Additional Information: Spay/Neuter Benefits

Benefits of spay and neuter surgery for your pet

Top 3 Reasons to Spay and Neuter

1. It helps to reduce companion animal overpopulation. Most countries have a surplus of companion animals and are forced to euthanize or disregard their great suffering. The surplus is in the millions in the United States. Cats are 45 times as prolific, and dogs 15 times as prolific, as humans. They do not need our help to expand their numbers; they need our help to reduce their numbers until there are good homes for them all. 2. Sterilization of your cat or dog will increase his/her chance of a longer and healthier life. Altering your canine friend will increase his life an average of 1 to 3 years, felines, 3 to 5 years. Altered animals have a very low to no risk of mammary gland tumors/cancer, prostate cancer, perianal tumors, pyometria, and uterine, ovarian and testicular cancers. 3. Sterilizing your cat/dog makes him/her a better pet, reducing his/her urge to roam and decreasing the risk of contracting diseases or getting hurt as they roam. Surveys indicate that as many as 85% of dogs hit by cars are unaltered. Intact male cats living outside have been shown to live on average less than two years. Feline Immunodeficiency Syndrome is spread by bites and intact cats fight a great deal more than altered cats.

Tattoos Indicate Spay and Neuter

These tattoos are not for decoration, but for conveying information. Discreet, painless tattoos are performed while the (pet) patient is still under anesthesia. Veterinarians use small, straight-line tattoos when pets are spayed or neutered to let future caregivers know that this particular pet no longer has internal reproductive organs. Suppose circumstances, economic, medical or catastrophic made it necessary that your pet goes to live with someone else. You may or may not be able to convey to the new owner whether your pet had been surgically altered. Suppose, now, that the new owner observes problems with the pet and his new veterinarian suspects that those problems may be related to the reproductive tract. Do you want your pet to have to undergo a surgical exploration of the abdomen for organs that aren’t there? A little tattoo, a couple of millimeters wide and a couple of centimeters long answers that question as soon as it is asked. “But my pet will have a scar showing that she’s had surgery, won’t she?” Maybe. Maybe not. Another example is a spay tattoo. Notice that the surgical incision barely left a scar. Some surgical incisions heal so well that no evidence is left behind that entry was ever made. Even if there is a scar, it only tells us that there was (an) interruption of the skin there. Is the scar from an injury? Is the scar from a Caesarean section? Is the scar from bladder surgery? There are only three ways to know: surgical exploration (painful and invasive), hormone assays (expensive) and tattoo (free and performed after surgical alteration while the patient is still under general anesthesia). Which do you want for your pet? While it might seem that it would be obvious in the case of male dogs and cats, a condition called cryptorchidism demonstrates the necessity of a tattoo for them, too. Cryptorchidism occurs when testicles fail to enter the scrotum and instead are retained in the abdomen. If neither the left nor the right testicle leaves the abdomen a scrotum will never be formed and a veterinarian is left to wonder whether the pet was neutered very early in life or has testicles in the abdomen. Retained testicles are predisposed to two types of cancer and a condition called torsion of the testicle. Torsion results in a painful, potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate emergency surgery. A male pet presented for abdominal pain, with no testicles in the scrotum and no surgical tattoo may undergo unnecessary abdominal surgery looking for a torsed or cancerous testicle that isn’t even there. So, when your pet’s doctor recommends a small, discreet surgical tattoo with your pet’s alteration surgery, don’t hesitate to say yes. Dr. James W. Randolphá, 2009

Benefits to the Community

Your community will also benefit. Unwanted animals are becoming a very real concern in many places. Stray animals can easily become a public nuisance, soiling parks and streets, ruining shrubbery, frightening children and elderly people, creating noise and other disturbances, causing automobile accidents, and sometimes even killing livestock or other pets. - The American Veterinary Medical Association The capture, impoundment and eventual destruction of unwanted animals costs taxpayers and private humanitarian agencies over a billion dollars each year. As a potential source of rabies and other less serious diseases, they can be a public health hazard. - The American Veterinary Medical Association
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