Pet Health: Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Pet

By Natalie Gomez on Feb 25, 2014 at 10:00 am

While plenty of people know that altering your pet will avoid unwanted pregnancies and may decrease aggression and wandering, there are more reasons to spay or neuter than you may realize. If you are on the fence about whether or not to have you pet fixed, here are four lesser-known, compelling reasons to book the appointment today.

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Drastically Lowers Cancer Risks

Female cats who are not spayed by their second heat cycle have a 26 percent chance of developing breast cancer. If you spay her before her first heat cycle, that risk drops to below one percent, and of course she will never have the chance to develop ovarian or uterine cancer. Male animals of all species will never develop testicular cancer once they are gelded or neutered. In addition, prostate cancer and prostate infection rates among desexed male animals are but a tiny fraction of those suffered by intact pets.

Eliminates Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

No matter how careful you are, accidental matings occur. Unfortunately, a sexually transmitted disease can make your pet very sick or even end his life prematurely. What's worse is that your pet can pass the STD to you! Canine brucellosis can be transmitted when Fido licks your face, and leptospirosis can pass to you if you come into contact with your pet's urine.

Helps Epilepsy and Diabetes Management

When a pet has diabetes or epilepsy, there are medications available that will help keep her stable and healthy. Spaying is especially helpful in keeping hormone levels constant so that these medicines work properly. Cats, especially, go through huge hormonal shifts during heat cycles that can make managing blood sugars or seizures impossible. Since these diseases can strike later in life when surgery is more risky, it's best to desex your pet while they are young. You can inquire at clinics like Hamilton Road Animal Care in Columbus or one near you when is the right time to take your friend for his pet vaccinations.

Avoid Malnutrition and Exhaustion

Any pet that is kept intact may refuse to eat, drink or sleep if kept from breeding. Female ferrets can die if they are allowed to go into heat and not bred, and some species of birds will pull out all of their feathers in frustration. A stallion that can smell a mare in heat but cannot get to her may refuse to eat or drink until he collapses. The health ramifications of leaving an animal intact can be terrible.

Spaying and neutering your pets can prevent diseases and keep your pets happy and healthy. Unless you intend to breed your animal ethically and with full veterinary care, there is no reason to keep a pet intact. 


Anica OaksAbout the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. 

Posted in Health by Natalie Gomez on Feb 25, 2014 at 10:00 am

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