What to Know about Spaying & Neutering Your Pets
Spaying or neutering your pets can significantly improve their quality of life. However, because it is a surgical procedure, many pet owners have questions about the process.
Our veterinary practice in West Richland is dedicated to providing a healthy lifestyle for your pets, which is why we've compiled this spay & neuter resource so you can make the right choice for your beloved pet.
What Is Spaying & Neutering?
The process of both spaying and neutering is the act of removing reproductive organs from a pet so no accidental pregnancies occur. There are a few differences between the two procedures.
- Spaying is the process of removing the ovaries and the uterus of a female animal in order to prevent pregnancy as well as to prevent future reproductive health problems. This is often a more involved procedure, as it includes the surgical removal of internal organs inside the abdomen.
- Neutering refers to the process of removing both testicles from a male animal. While still a surgical procedure, it is less invasive than spaying.
The Benefits of Spaying & Neutering Your Pet
In addition to preventing unwanted pregnancies, spaying or neutering an animal can improve your pets’ quality of life in a number of ways. For example, neutering a male animal often results in behavioral improvements that make the animal less aggressive and may result in them not being inclined to roam. Additionally, spaying or neutering your animal can increase their lifespan. Female animals that are spayed will not go into heat if done before their first heat, and cats who are neutered may not participate in urine spraying.
Spaying and neutering your pets also prevents reproductive cancers like uterine and ovarian cancer or testicular cancer. It also removes the risk of pyometra, which is a life threatening uterine infection for females and some prostate problems for males.
When Can Your Dog Be Spayed or Neutered?
Our recommended age for small dogs (less than 50 lbs.) to be spayed or neutered is five to six months, and for large dogs (greater than 50 lbs.) between 6-18 months. Cats are also traditionally spayed or neutered around 5 months and should be fixed before six months of age.
Older animals can be spayed and neutered at any time, even if female animals are in heat or pregnant. However, senior animals may suffer complications as a result of the surgery and are considered an increased health risk. Overweight animals and animals with preexisting health conditions are also often considered to have increased risk.
Contact a West Richland Veterinarian Today
Dr. Jennifer Corwin, Dr. Emily Weier, and Dr. Mackenzie Walkenhorst at Paws, Claws, and Hooves Veterinary Center are dedicated to providing the foremost care for your pets when the time comes for them to be spayed or neutered. Schedule an appointment today so you can enjoy the peace of mind and health benefits of your pets being spayed or neutered.