Wednesday, 15 Feb, 2017
The Many Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet

February is Spay & Neuter Awareness month. Once again, we will be posting information on the Mountain View Facebook page about the importance of spay an neuter programs, as well as participating in educational events being held by Tinykittens and Langley Animal Protection Society

Several times in the past few years we have webcast "behind the scenes" looks at a spay and neuter surgeries live at Mountain View. We did this not as entertainment, but rather so people could watch the pre-surgical exam, surgical preparation, the procedure (from a distance, but take care if you are squeamish), and how quickly our little patients recover. You can watch the Part 1 of recent neuter surgeries by clicking here, and Part 2 by clicking here

Why are community spay and neuter programs important?

It has been estimated that only 1 in 12 cats and 1 in 6 dogs born ever find a forever home. Without spay and neuter initiatives, homeless animals are often euthanized (not at Tinykittens or LAPS!), killed, neglected or die of disease or injuries. Spay/neuter is truly a humane and responsible procedure that prevents the unnecessary deaths of millions of animals globally.

What is a pediatric spay/neuter?

A pediatric spay and neuter occurs between 8 and 16 weeks of age. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about pediatric spay/neuter procedures. As with any surgical procedure there are risks of complications, however it is the general consensus among veterinary professionals and researchers that the positives of spaying/neutering animals before they are able to reproduce outweighs the potential negatives. It must be noted however, that every animal is unique and prior to performing a spay or neuter procedure, they should be thoroughly examined to ensure that they are healthy and strong enough to proceed.

What are the benefits of spaying or neutering my pet?

There are many positive health and socialization outcomes. Health benefits include helping prevent uterine infections and breast cancer in female pets (fatal in about 50% of dogs & 90% of cats), and neutering your male pet prevents testicular cancer and prostate cancer in dogs, if done before six months of age.

Socially, your spayed female won't go into heat which means that they won’t yowl and urinate so frequently. Neutered male pets will be much better behaved focusing their attention on their human families, while unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying urine all over the house / yard / neighbourhood, etc.. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering and neutered male dogs won't want to roam away from home.

Myths About Spaying and Neutering Your Pet. (adapted from the Humane Society of the United States)   

MYTH: It's better to have one litter before spaying a female pet.
FACT: Medical evidence indicates the exact opposite. Females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier over their lifespan.

MYTH: I want my children to experience the miracle of birth.
FACT: Then watch Tinykittens with them! The miracle of birth is quickly overshadowed by the millions of homeless animals that die from starvation, disease and predators every year.

MYTH: But my pet is a purebred.
FACT: One out of every four pets brought to animal shelters are also purebreds. There are just too many dogs and cats—mixed breed and purebred. While LAPS is a no-kill shelter, about half of all animals entering other shelters are euthanized.

MYTH: Spaying or neutering will stunt their growth.
FACT: While that was once considered to be true, research has proven that your pets growth will not be stunted.

MYTH: I want my dog to be protective.
FACT:  It is a dog's natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog’s personality is formed more by their genetics and environment, rather than by sex hormones.

MYTH: I don't want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.
FACT: Pets don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego, and neutering them will not change their basic personality.

MYTH: My pet will get fat and lazy.
FACT: When a pet is spayed or neutered their metabolism decreases. Therefore, you will have to monitor the amount of food that they eat so that they don’t become overweight.

MYTH: It's expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.
FACT: As part of our commitment to helping create a healthy pet population, most veterinarians offer spaying and neutering at a significantly reduced rate. Plus, wonderful organizations like LAPS have a voucher program so qualified families can get their pets spayed/neutered for free.

We understand that the decision to have any procedure performed on your pet is an important one. If you have any questions, contact your Veterinarian and they will be able to provide you with the most current information available.  Also, please do what you can help support the spay and neuter programs of your local animal protection society, either by helping to get the word out or through financial contributions. You can support the amazing work of Tinykittens by clicking here and to Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) by donating securely online through Canada Helps: Donate to LAPS.