by Dr. Tyler Williams
We here at BLVD Vet are dedicated to the well being of our patients! Our primary focus is to keep your pet healthier for longer. One of the ways we achieve this is by advocating for the safe and common practices of spaying and neutering at an appropriate age. We recommend that you get your pet spayed or neutered for numerous reasons.
Do it for their health:
On average, altered (spayed or neutered) animals live longer, healthier lives. This is partly due to a decreased urge to roam away from home which results in a lowered risk of injury from automobile accidents or fighting with other animals. Also contributing to the increased longevity of altered pets is a lowered rate of certain serious medical conditions. Spaying your female animal eliminates the potential for them to develop uterine and ovarian cancers, potentially life threatening uterine infections, and significantly reduces the likelihood of mammary cancers. Neutering your male animal eliminates the potential for testicular cancers, and significantly reduces the likelihood of prostate and perianal cancers.
Do it for your community:
Everyone is affected by animal overpopulation. Human health can be threatened by animal attacks and transmittable diseases from animal bites. Animal shelters and humane societies today face a tremendous burden of pet overpopulation. They do their best to find these animals loving homes, but are often understaffed and operating with limited resources and inadequate budgets. The number of stray, unwanted, and abandoned animals far exceeds the number of willing foster and adoption homes. Millions of tax dollars are spent annually to shelter and care for these animals, but sadly millions of animals are euthanized in theses facilities every year.
Do it for you:
Altering your pet will result in a wide array of behavioral benefits for you as well. Spayed females will not go into heat which will eliminate the yowling/vocalizing, nervous pacing, bloody discharge and frequent urination that are commonly seen during this time. Neutering your male pets can prevent mounting and humping, urine marking, aggression, and decrease their desire to go roaming for a mate. For multi-pet households, all the pets usually get along better when all the animals have been altered.
Altering your pet is also very cost effective. The average cost of a spay/neuter surgery is significantly less than that cost of producing and providing for a litter of puppies or kittens. The expenses that go into treating reproductive cancers and infections are multiple times higher than the expense of a routine spay/neuter surgery. You are also less likely to accrue costs towards treatment of fight wounds and accidents or household destruction from the behavioral issues mentioned earlier. Additionally, many counties are now enacting laws that require owners of intact animals to pay higher licensing and renewal fees compared to owners of altered animals.
Now, let's debunk some common myths:
- Altering your pets will not change their fundamental personality nor remove their protective instinct.
- Altering your pets will not inhibit their ability to learn, work, or play. Most studies have actually found that altered animals are more responsive to training as they are less distracted.
- Altering your pets will not directly cause them to become overweight. Altering animals has been shown to slightly decrease their overall metabolism, but regular exercise and preventing overfeeding will keep your pet at a healthy weight.
Assessing the Risks
While spay and neuter surgeries are very common and considered routine procedures, it is important to remember that they do require your pet to undergo general anesthesia. Severe complications from general anesthesia are very rare, but there will always be a low level of risk inherent with these procedures. That is why it is very important to make sure that these procedures are performed as safely as possible by a veterinarian you trust.
BLVD Veterinary is AAHA accredited which means that we adhere to the highest quality of care guidelines for your pet. We perform pre-anesthetic examinations and lab work, have certified veterinary technicians constantly monitoring your pet’s vital signs, and provide intensive post-operative monitoring and proper pain management. We follow these comprehensive protocols to ensure that the chance of complications is minimized and therefore your pet’s procedure is as safe as possible.
As we advocate spaying and neutering your pets for both their health and the health of the community, we know it's our responsibility to make this procedure a safe and easy choice for you. We believe in providing the best care possible, so that your pet can have a long and joyful life!