Monday, 22 September 2014

Veterinary Fact Sheets

Neutering/Spaying

Should you spay/neuter your pet?

Most dogs and cats should be spayed or neutered at an early age. Animal shelters are crowded with unwanted pets that, in many cases, are the result of accidental or poorly planned breeding. The majority of these unwanted pets are never adopted. Neutering your canine or feline companion results in better health and longer life for your pet and peace of mind for you.

SIX COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING SPAYING OR NEUTERING

1. Will my pet get fat and lazy after the operation?

Neutering or spaying may reduce your pet's overall activity level and natural tendency to wander, which may also, influence appetite. Pets that become fat and lazy after neutering or spaying are generally overfed and / or do not get enough exercise.

2. Will my pet's personality change for the worse?

Neutering or spaying will not change your pet's character. Your pet will be less aggressive towards other cats and dogs and will be less likely to wander off. Spraying (urine marking), which is often done by cats and dogs to mark their territory, reduces or ceases after pets are neutered or spayed.

3. I am concerned about my pet undergoing anaesthesia. Is there any danger?

Placing a pet under anaesthesia is a very common concern of owners. Although there is always a slight risk involved, the anaesthetics currently used by veterinary surgeons are very safe. Equipment to monitor heart rates and respiratory rates are used during surgery to ensure that the patient is doing well under anaesthetic. Thus, the medical benefits of having your pet spayed or neutered far out weigh the slight risk involved with undergoing anaesthesia. Do not be afraid to consult your Vet if you are concerned about this aspect of the procedure.

4. Can we sell puppies or kittens and make money?

Even well known breeders are fortunate if they break even on raising purebred litters. The cost of raising such a litter, which includes stud fees, vaccinations and other health care costs and feeding a quality food, consumes most of the "profit". Well known breeders raise breeds that they like and try to improve the standard of the breed. If you look at the notice board in our waiting room, you will always see notices trying to find good homes for kittens and puppies.

5. Could I let my children witness the experience of our pet giving birth?

Pets often give birth during the middle of the night or in a place of their own choice. Because pets need privacy when giving birth, any unnecessary intrusion can cause the mother to become seriously upset. These intrusions can result in an unwillingness to care for the offspring or injury to the owner or to the pet itself.

6. Is it possible to breed another pet just like Rover or Fluffy?

Breeding two purebred animals rarely results in offspring that are exactly like one of the parents. With mixed breeds, it is virtually impossible to have offspring that are exactly like one of the parents.

FOUR GOOD REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PET

1. Neutering or spaying increases your pet's chances for a longer and healthier life.

Spaying your pet before her first heat greatly reduces her chances of developing breast cancer to 0.5%. Spaying also completely eliminates the threat of uterine and ovarian cancer and uterine infection, which are common occurrences in intact females.

False pregnancies are not uncommon in the female dog and can become quite a distressing time for both you and your pet. Complications can arise during this time such as mastitis and long term behavioural problems.

Neutering your male dog or cat prevents testicular tumours and may prevent prostate problems such as cancer. Neutering also decreases the possibility of peri anal tumours and hernias, which we commonly see in older, intact dogs. Because neutered cats are less likely to roam, the threat of abscesses caused by bites and diseases transmitted by fighting are greatly reduced.

2. A neutered dog or cat is a better pet for your family.

No family wants to cope with an unwanted pregnancy. Spaying prevents your pet from the stress and trauma of giving birth to unwanted puppies or kittens.

Males neutered early in life are less aggressive towards other males and children and are not distracted by females in heat. Therefore, a neutered male will be less tempted to leave your home and cross that dangerous road searching for a mate. Neutered males are also less likely to mark its territory in unwanted places such as in your home or on your flowers in the garden.

Spaying your female pet eliminates the threat of stray males camping in your garden and possibly being a danger to you, your pet or even your children.

3. Spaying results in a cleaner female dog and home.

Because female dogs pass bloody fluid for about ten days, twice a year, as part of their oestrus cycle, constant care must be taken to avoid carpet stains in your home. It is also a nuisance trying to confine your pet for long periods when she is in heat as her natural instinct is to wander and breed. Spaying eliminates these problems totally.

4. You are helping to alleviate the dog and cat overpopulation problem.

Over population is a significant problem, especially in cats where it has been estimated that one female cat breeding throughout her life can give rise to 20,000 offspring. Each year, millions of unwanted dogs and cats are euthanised (put to sleep) at shelters across the country. Although there are many other reasons for pets ending up in shelters, accidental breeding by free roaming unaltered pets is primarily why orphaned puppies and kittens end up here. The more pets that are spayed and neutered, the fewer cats and dogs will have to be put to sleep.

What is involved in spaying and neutering?

Normally your pet is fasted for 12 hours or overnight before the operation. Prior to the operation, your pet receives a full clinical examination from the Veterinary Surgeon on duty. The patient is generally operated on during the morning and is kept in overnight for observation. The ovaries and uterus are removed in the female and the testes in the male.

When your pet comes home he/she should be confined to the house for a few days. Dogs can be given light exercise by walking them on a leash. Your biggest problem with a newly spayed pet will be keeping them quiet as they don't understand that they have just been operated upon and should take it easy for a while! Make sure that your pet does not jump or bite at the sutures. In ten to fourteen days the incision will have healed and the sutures will be removed by the Vet.

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