How Does My Pet’s Health Benefit from Spaying and Neutering?
Your pet’s spay or neuter surgery can have long-term benefits for their health by reducing or even preventing the development of certain diseases, such as:
- Mammary gland tumors (females)
- Ovarian and uterine tumors (females)
- Pyometra/infection of the uterus (females)
- Prostate cancer (males)
- Testicular cancer (males)
Dogs and cats may also show a marked decrease in some hormone-driven behaviors, such as:
- Escaping/roaming in search of a mate
When Should Pets Be Spayed and Neutered?
The right time to spay and neuter dogs and cats depends on a couple of factors. First, your pet needs to be healthy before undergoing surgery, with minimal risk for anesthesia complications. Next, we need to make sure they are the right weight/size. If they are too small, this could lead to greater anesthesia risks. Additionally, large-breed dogs need more time to finish growing before they can be spayed or neutered. We typically recommend waiting until a large-breed dog is 12-18 months old before doing their surgery. This ensures healthy joint development, which relies on the sex hormones. Interrupting this growth with a premature spay/neuter surgery can result in joint problems.
Cats and small and medium-sized dogs are less at risk for joint development issues, and can usually be spayed and neutered earlier in life.
Call our hospital at (269) 235-9380 if you have questions about when to spay or neuter your pet! We’ll be happy to give you the information you need so you can make the best health decisions for your companion.