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Spay & Neuter Information

Over pet population is a serious problem in the Unites States, every pet owner can do their part in helping lower the numbers of unwanted animals by having their family pet spayed or neutered. The HSUS estimates that 8-10 Million Dogs and Cats enter shelters each year across the USA. Only 3-5 Million are adopted, the remainder are euthanized, 25 % of these animals are pure bred dogs and cats.

  • In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can theoretically produce 420,000 cats.
  • In six years, one female dog and her offspring can theoretically produce 67,000 dogs.

Some statistics show that for every dog and cat in the USA to have a home, every person in the country would need to own 5 animals. That would mean a family of 5 would own 35 DOGS/CATS. THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH HOMES!                                                     Please Spay and Neuter your Pet!

Intact Dogs & Cats are more prone to roaming, behavior problems and other health issues like the risk of Ovarian & Breast Cancer for female dogs and Testicular Cancer and decreases the incidence of Prostate disease for male dogs. Spaying & Neutering your dog or cat is a big step in keeping them healthy!

Spay/Neuter General Information

Spaying (ovario-hysterectomy) is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs (ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes) of the female animal. Neutering (orchectomy or castration) is the surgical removal of the reproductive glands (testes) of the male animal. The outer skin (scrotum) is left, only the testes are removed. Appearance depends upon the dog's age at the time of the surgery. Females and males should be spayed or neutered by 6 months of age. Currently some clinics are performing surgeries on animals as young as 8 weeks of age. As this procedure becomes more common, it will be available in all areas. Older animals can be done as long as they are in good health. All sterilization surgery is performed under general anesthesia by a licensed veterinarian.

Female dogs and cats can be spayed when in heat or pregnant. This can usually be done up until a few days before delivery. These surgeries can take longer, and can therefore cost more. Spaying before having a first litter or heat cycle is usually a simpler procedure. The heat cycle for dogs is once or twice a year starting as early as 6 months of age. Duration is 3 weeks. Heat cycles in cats start as early as 6 months and occur every 3-4 weeks during spring through early fall. The gestation period for both dogs and cats is 63 days. Female cats can become pregnant again as soon as 10 days after giving birth (while still nursing the first litter).

Health Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

Spayed animals no longer feel the need to roam to look for a mate. The result is that they stay home and have less chance of being involved in traumatic accidents such as being hit by a car. They also have a much lower incidence of contracting contagious diseases, and get into fewer fights.

In males, neutering decreases the chances of developing prostatic disease and hernias, and eliminates the chances of developing testicular cancer. It also reduces problems with territorial and sexual aggression, inappropriate urination (spraying) and other undesirable male behaviors.

In females, spaying decreases the incidence of breast cancer (the rate goes down to almost zero if the spaying is done before the first heat cycle!). It eliminates the chance of developing a serious and potentially fatal infection of the uterus experienced by many mature unspayed animals (pyometra). Spay surgery also eliminates the heat cycle and associated mood swings and undesirable behaviors, messy spotting (in dogs) and the attraction of all available males to your yard.

The simple fact is that spaying and neutering greatly increases the lifespan of your pet and increases quality of life as well!

Most text from Valley Oak SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

Importance of Pediatric Spay/Neutering:

Changing Views on Early Spaying and Neutering

By performing early neutering at the time of adoption, the new owner and the humane shelter have both done their part to ensure that a pet's offspring will not be back at that same shelter in 6 months! Many progressive shelters now endorse this policy. In 1991, after careful evaluation of scientific data, the American Humane Association became the first national organization to endorse early spaying and neutering of puppies and kittens. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association quickly followed suit and believe the practice to be a safe, effective tool to help end pet overpopulation.

With the advancement of medical knowledge over the past 10 years, informed veterinarians have changed their views on the appropriate age for pet spaying and neutering. Doctors at large and prestigious veterinary hospitals and humane shelters such as Boston's Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, and the Los Angeles SPCA, the Miami Humane Society, and the Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital of Denver have performed thousands of early spay/neuter surgeries with excellent results.

There are three important points to consider:

  • There are no substantial medical or behavioral reasons to wait until puberty.
  • New owners do not have to worry about complying with the terms of a shelter's spay/neuter deposits.
  • Owners will not have to worry about their new puppy or kitten reaching sexual maturity as early as 4 months of age.
  • Common Questions Pet Owners have about Early Spaying and Neutering
  • Q. What are the Anesthetic and Surgical differences between an adult and a 6 week old dog or cat?

    A. Adult pets need to be restricted from food for 8-12 hours prior to surgery, whereas puppies and kittens require only a 2 hour restriction. The anesthesia is by inhalant gas, and vital functions are monitored. Minimal fat and bleeding make the surgery easier and faster in the juvenile patient, and quicker healing shortens recovery period.

    Q. Will Early Spay/Neutering affect the health and growth of our pet?

    A. Extensive studies and research by Dr. Mark Bloomberg, DVM, DACVS and Chief of Staff at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine show that there are no difference in immune function, growth rates and final size, and urinary tract function and disease rates in juvenile versus adult spay/neuter cases.

    Q. Will Early Spay/Neutering affect the behavior of our pets?

    A. Dr. Suzanne Hetts, Certified Animal Behaviorist, studied and reviewed research on early spay/neuter pets. No behavioral conditions develop as a result of early spay/neuter, and undesirable behaviors such as urine marking, aggression, and roaming are much less likely to develop with these patients.

    Many humane shelters across the country now endorse spaying and neutering at the time of adoption. Euthanasia takes its toll on everyone. Consider the case for early spaying and neutering as the key part of the solution to end unnecessary destruction of healthy and adoptable cats and dogs.

    Information on this page taken directly from the videotape "The Case for Early Neutering", produced by the American Humane Association, 63 Inverness Drive East, Englewood, CO 80112, copyright 1996.

    Pediatric Spay/Neutering Endorsed by:

    AVMA-American Veterinary Medical Assoc
    HSUS, Humane Society of the US
    Cat Fanciers Association
    Texas A & MCollege of Vet Med, Univ of Minnesota
    Knox County Humane Society
    Capital Area Humane Society
    Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
    American Humane Association
    Doris Day Animal LeagueAKCAVAR (Assoc of Vets for Animal Rights)
    The American Animal Hospital Assn


    Most Common Questions

    How does my pet benefit from being altered?

    Your pet will be healthier, happier and easier to live with after it has been spayed or neutered. Neutering male pets reduces the chance of prostate cancer, as well as the urge to roam and fight. It also reduces territorial behavior. Spaying your female pet reduces her risk of mammary and ovarian cancer, and eliminates the chance of pyometra (an infection of the uterus commonly found in unspayed female animals).

    At what age should my pet be altered?

    Dogs and cats can be altered as young as 8 weeks of age and should be altered by 6 months of age. Female animals should be altered BEFORE their first heat cycle or pregnancy. It is NOT true that your pet should have one litter before being altered. Altered animals do NOT become lazy and overweight.

    What does spay/neuter really mean?

    Spay and neuter are forms of preventing unwanted litters by surgically removing the internal reproductive organs from your pet. The operation is done painlessly while your pet is under an anesthetic, and is performed by a licensed veterinarian. After the operation, with a little special care and attention from you, your pet will soon resume its normal activities.

    How can I spay/neuter outside pets?

    People who own outside pet cats that are not used to frequent handling can borrow a humane box trap from a local animal welfare organization. This type of trap will enclose the pet without harm, enabling it to be transported to a clinic or veterinarian to be altered. Pets secured in such a manner should be confined for 10 days after surgery.

    How will spay/neuter prevent animal suffering?

    The tragic fact is that 13 million puppies, dogs, kittens and cats are "put to sleep" (euthanized) by shelters each year. Over 3,000 dogs and cats are born every hour in the United States. There are simply not enough homes for them. Untold thousands of unwanted cats and dogs, left to fend for themselves in the streets, will most likely die at young ages from starvation, injury or disease. Some strays are picked up and sold illegally to laboratories, becoming victims of painful and unnecessary experimentation.

    Prevent unwanted pets through spay and neuter, and YOU prevent these animals from suffering and death.


    For low cost spay and neuter programs in your area please check with your local shelter, Veterinarian or you may also check out the following links.

    SPAY/USA - http://www.spayusa.org/ or 1-800-248-SPAY

    Friends of Animals - 1-800-321-PETS
    Call the Friends of Animals spay/neuter hotline, and they will send you a list of participating veterinarians in your area -and an order form for your low cost spay/neuter certificate.

    Feline Rescue - http://www.felinerescue.net/low_cost_or_free_spay_neuter.htm

    Happy Pets Directory - http://happypets.addr.com/lost_cost_or_free_spay.htm

    Other Resources:

    Why Spay or Neuter document - http://www.aspca.org/site/DocServer/spayneuter.pdf?docID=188

    Myths about Spaying and Neutering - http://www.sspca.org/NeuterMyths.html

    Download spay/neuter graphics - http://www.doghause.com/friendlyart1.html

    Cat overpopulation document - http://www.spayusa.org/help/cat_overpopulation.pdf

    Dog overpopulation document - http://www.spayusa.org/help/dog_overpopulation.pdf





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