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Unless there is a specific plan to breed puppies or kittens, it is generally recommended that pet owners spay or neuter their pets. It is safe for most puppies or kittens to undergo spay or neuter surgery as early 6 months years old. It’s also never too late to consider having your older cat or dog spayed or neutered. In fact, at Pet Medical Center of Westerville, we recommend the surgery as there are several health benefits for your pet.
The term spay refers to the sterilization surgery done on female puppies or dogs, as well as cats and kittens to prevent them from becoming pregnant and producing litters of their own. The term neuter refers to the sterilization of either dogs or cats to prevent the siring of any unspayed females that may be in the vicinity.
While the prevention of new puppies and kittens is at the top of the list for most who put their pets through the surgery, there are also many other reasons why this is advisable.
Both spaying and neutering can help to reduce the risk of cancer in cats and dogs, including mammary cancer and testicular cancer. It also eliminates the chance of a uterine infection and keeps male pets from developing prostate issues.
Intact pets have a tendency to be more excitable and aggressive than pets who have been spayed or neutered. Spaying or neutering won't take away the "frisky" behaviors from your puppy or kitten entirely, but it may make training a bit easier.
Pets who are not spayed or neutered have a natural drive to mate, and sometimes they may turn into aggressive escape artists to do so. Once they wander they become vulnerable to the world beyond your yard, including cars or mistreatment from people who might not have their best interests at heart.
If you have made the decision to spay or neuter your pet, it is important to talk to your veterinarian in about how to prepare your pet and yourself for the procedure. Before the surgery, your pet's overall health is checked to make sure she or he is strong enough for the surgery and to receive anesthesia for the operation. After the operation, your pet should be ready to go home by the next day in most cases.
When you do take your pet home, your veterinarian will have a list of instructions and precautions to assure that your pet has a smooth recovery. One of the main things is to keep your pet calm in the days following surgery so they can heal properly. They should not be allowed to leap and jump off furniture, nor should running be allowed until they heal. To keep them from licking the incision site, they may need to wear an Elizabethan or "cone" collar, or some other type of barrier recommended by the vet. There may also be some pain and soreness, so you may also want to ask your vet about medication as they heal.
Pet Medical Center of Westerville is an AAHA-accredited animal hospital and is committed to providing excellence in veterinary care. To learn more about spay and neuter surgery or any of our other veterinary services, contact our Westerville veterinarians at 614-882-7700.