(The following is from the www.animalshelter.org Feb ’06 Newsletter)

What is involved in spaying and neutering?

Spaying and neutering are the everyday terms for the surgical sterilization of a pet, neutering for the male, spaying for the female.

Both spaying and neutering must be done only by a licensed veterinarian.  In general the procedures can be performed at six months of age, in the last few years early spay and neutering has been accepted as early as 8 weeks by many veterinary groups.  Please check with your local veterinarian for his or her recommendations.

Spaying involves the removal of the female’s entire reproductive system:  The uterus fallopian tubes, and ovaries are removed from a small incision in the abdomen some veterinarians require you to return in about 10 days so the stitches can be removed, other will use stitches that can be absorbed into the body.   Recovery in general is a fast process, taking only 2 or 3 days, during which time you should limit, your dog’s activities (no jumping or rough housing).  Most owners will notice very little difference in their female’s personality.

In neutering, the male’s testicles are removed through an incision just in front of the scrotum; self-absorbing stitches are the norm in this relatively minor surgery.  Your veterinarian will inform you if your pet needs any special post-operative care.

Many pet owners are surprised to see that their dog doesn’t look neutered at first, since the scrotum remains in place and may be somewhat swollen.  The loose skin will   gradually shrink away after a few weeks.

Behavioral changes can be dramatic in some neutered males.  Many hormone linked behavior such as mounting, and dominance related aggression will diminish in a vast percentage of young adult males.  In older pets the behavioral changes are generally less noticeable.  If your pet is neutered before it is six months of age sex-linked behaviors may never even occur.

Spaying and neutering are among the most common medical procedures in the United States and Canada, and carry very little risk for y our pet.  Your veterinarian will discuss your roll in the process to ensure that any complications that do develop are dealt with properly.

Some benefits of spaying and neutering …

A neutered male is:

* Less likely to roam, less likely to fight, less likely to potty in your house, and less likely to bite.  Most dog bites typically come from a young un-neutered male.

* Less likely to be involved in a dogfight.  Aggressive dogs and cats find the presence of other un-neutered animals as a challenge for their territory.  If you have a large dog he maybe lucky enough to get away with only a few scratches, if the dog is smaller you may not be so lucky.

* Spared from testicular caner, and or prostate cancer.
The results for females may not match up to those of a male but the health benefits more than make up for it.

A spayed female is:

* Safe from Breast cancer if you spay her before her first heat.

* Will not spot your carpets with her bi-yearly bleeding caused from going into heat.

* Protected from other reproductive system cancers.

* Not an attraction for other male dogs.

If you have a topic or questions we can answer in our upcomming newsletters send us an email to  editor@animalshelter.org

Please remember to visit our site at www.animalshelter.org


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