The benefits of having your pet neutered!
Did you know that in addition to preventing unwanted pregnancies, there are other health and behavioural benefits to having your pet neutered?
In female dogs, heat periods (or seasons) usually occur twice a year and last about three weeks. During this time your dog will be receptive to the advances of un-neutered male dogs in your area. In both sexes, the urge to mate can lead to roaming, with associated risks of becoming permanently lost, getting involved in fights or potentially being injured in a road accident.
Female cats come into heat as often as every two weeks during the breeding season (spring and summer) and will endlessly try to escape to mate with the local tom (male) cats. Male cats, particularly if not neutered, will mark their territory by ‘spraying’ objects inside and outside your house with strong smelling urine. In addition, they are frequently involved in fights, resulting in bite injuries and the risk of acquiring deadly viral infections. Sexual contact can also lead to transmission of deadly viruses.
In females, neutering (termed spaying) involves removing the ovaries and uterus under a general anaesthetic. As well as preventing ‘seasons’ and unwanted pregnancies, spaying also removes the possibility of life-threatening uterine infections. Additionally, it greatly reduces the risk of developing potentially fatal mammary tumours later in life.
In males, neutering (termed castration) involves removal of both testes under general anaesthetic. Neutering makes male pets less likely to stray and in dogs can be of help in controlling excessive sexual drive and certain types of behavioural problems. Neutered male cats are far less likely to get into fights and urine spray. Male, un-neutered dogs are also prone to certain tumours.
Rabbits also benefit from being neutered. As well as preventing unwanted pregnancies, they are generally calmer and more sociable with each other once neutered. Older females can also be prone to uterine cancer and this removes the risk.
For more information on neutering your pet, make an appointment with your vet.
Chris Devlin BVSc MRCVS is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen. w: www.hillsidevets.co.uk.