Spaying your female pet…
- Definition: ovariohysterectomy – removal of both ovaries and the uterus.
- When spayed before the first heat cycle, there is less than one-half of one percent chance of developing breast cancer.
- When spayed after one heat cycle, there is an 8% chance of developing breast cancer.
- When spayed after two heat cycles, the risk of developing breast cancer increases to 26%.
- After four heat cycles, or 2½ years of age, spaying provides no breast cancer protective benefits.
- Pets with diabetes or epilepsy should be spayed to prevent hormonal changes that may interfere with medications.
- Spayed females cannot have babies and should not have any further heat cycles.
- Non-spayed females are susceptible to pyometra, a severe infection of the uterus which requires emergency surgery.
- THE BOTTOM LINE: Spay your pet at six months of age prior to her first heat cycle.
Neutering your male pet…
- Definition: orchiectomy – removal of the testicles and the spermatic cord.
- Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer, the second most commonly reported tumor in non-neutered male dogs.
- Greatly reduces the risk of prostate cancer and prostate disease.
- Reduces the risk of perianal and preputial tumors.
- Reduces roaming and fighting behaviors.
- Neutering before six months of age will reduce spraying and marking behaviors if done before the onset of these behaviors.
- Virtually eliminates the risk and spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
- THE BOTTOM LINE: Neuter your pet at six months of age