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Benefits of Spaying/Neutering

 

Every day in the United States, thousands upon thousands of puppies are born because of uncontrolled breeding of pets.  Add to that number the offspring of stray and abandoned dogs and the total becomes even more staggering.  Sadly, every year there are about seven million dogs that enter animal shelters and more than half of those dogs are euthanized because there are just not enough homes for them.  That is a lot of dogs needlessly killed.

Too many companion dogs competing for too few good homes is the most obvious consequence of uncontrolled breeding.  However, there are other equally tragic problems that result from this overpopulation: the transformation of some animals shelters into “warehouses,” the acceptance of cruelty to animals as a way of life in our society, the stress that caring shelter workers suffer when they are forced to euthanize an animal and the many congenital health issues that are passed to their offspring.  Living creatures have become throwaway items to be cuddled when cute and later abandoned when they become an inconvenience.  Such disregard for animal life pervades our culture and there is little that can be done.  But there are many caring people that are actively taking steps to help control overpopulation and the effects of it.

The public health epidemic of dog bites—which number more than 4.5 million each year—is due in part to uncontrolled breeding of pets. Bites by so-called dangerous dogs have drawn an enormous amount of media attention, and fatalities caused by dangerous dogs are a serious concern. Often, the vicious tendencies found in some dog breeds can be attributed to irresponsible breeding without regard for temperament.

Clearly, pet overpopulation is not just a problem for the animals or for the shelters involved. Each year communities are forced to spend millions of taxpayer dollars trying to cope with the consequences of this surplus of pets. These public costs include services such as investigating animal cruelty, humanely capturing stray animals, and sheltering lost and homeless animals.
Altering dogs through spay/neuter surgery has many benefits but certainly the most obvious is to cut down on the unwanted birth of animals that would be difficult to place into good homes.   

So, that is pretty much why we support neutering/spaying. Now, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will my dog or cat be a better pet after altering?
Yes. In addition to the benefits of not having heat periods and unwanted offspring, the animal’s tendency to roam is decreased. Most dogs become less aggressive toward people and other animals.

2. What are some of the other known advantages of having my pet altered?
The neutered male dog is less likely to roam, mark territory, and display aggression toward other dogs.
Neutered dogs have fewer prostrate problems, tumors around the anus, and decreased urine odor.
The spayed female dog does not have reproductive tract disease problems and will minimize their chances of developing mammary cancer.

3. What is actually done in a spay or neuter procedure?
In both cases, the animal is put under general anesthesia so that it cannot feel anything.
A spay surgery (also called an ovariohysterectomy) is performed on females. While performed routinely, an ovariohysterectomy is a major surgery in which the reproductive tract – including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus – is removed. Bloodwork may be performed to make sure the pet is healthy enough for anesthesia and surgery.
Neutering refers to the castration of a male animal. It is a surgical procedure in which both testicles are removed. Neutering requires considerably less time and equipment than a spay surgery.

4. How old should my pet be before surgery?
Although some veterinarians today are suggesting spay/neuter as early as eight weeks of age, we at Trinity believe that 14 months of age is the best time. 

5. Will spaying or neutering my pet cause it to become fat and lazy?
No. Weight gain is due to being fed more calories than the animal uses. Watch the quantity of food you give your pet. Also, older pets need fewer calories than younger ones because they tend to be less active and are no longer growing. Regular play and exercise, along with diet, are the keys to keeping your pet in shape.

6. I can’t afford to spay or neuter my pet. Is there a source for financial assistance?
As part of their commitment to the health of animals and our communities, many veterinarians participate in reduced-cost spay/neuter clinics or accept spay/neuter coupons from local humane societies so contacting your veterinarian is a good first step.