As veterinarians, we often hear questions such as, “When should I spay or neuter my pet?” Everyone from breeders, to the internet, to your friends has an opinion on this matter, and often these opinions conflict. This is why it’s best to ask us, the experts, for the answer.
So when should you spay or neuter your pet? We strongly recommend that you do this when they are from four to six months old.
For female dogs, this means doing it before their first heat cycle. Spaying a dog after her first heat cycle increases her risk of developing mammary tumors from 0.5% to 8%, and this increases even more to 26% if it is done after the second heat cycle.
For cats, if they are spayed before they are six months old, they are seven times less likely to develop mammary cancer. In general, spaying also helps to avoid pyometra, which is a fatal infection of the uterus. Since spaying completely removes the uterus and ovaries, the risk is completely eliminated.
Neutered pets have virtually no risk of developing prostate issues like infection or prostatic hyperplasia (an enlargement that creates difficulty defecating), and a neutered dog also prevents the spread of STDs. When cats are neutered, this protects them from testicular cancer.
Along with these health benefits, neutering also reduces or eliminates uncouth behavior such as roaming in dogs, spraying in male cats and aggression.
While spaying and neutering are indeed complicated surgeries, at Garden Oaks Veterinary Clinic we are very proud to be an AAHA-accredited hospital. What this means is that our protocol for these services has been continuously evaluated to ensure that our procedures are of the highest standard, especially our anesthesia methods.
When you bring your pet in for a spay or neuter here, our high-quality facility offers a completely safe and professional environment, unlike other lower-cost and unaccredited hospitals. Since this is an important surgery, our experienced medical team and doctors will provide:
- Pre-op exam and blood work to ensure the pet is healthy enough for surgery.
- Individualized patient and anesthesia monitoring during the whole procedure that includes heart rate, EKG, Pulse Oximeter and a trained or certified technician assigned to your pet.
- Pre-, peri- and post-op pain management for patient comfort.
- High-quality anesthesia medication.
- Follow-up from the team and doctor who actually performed the procedure, to give you peace of mind.
If you’ve got a pet who’s due for a “snip”, World Spay Day is the perfect time to get this done. For more information on these procedures, especially regarding timing, safety and anything else, contact us at (713) 659-0650 or schedule an appointment online.
Thank you for helping us raise awareness for World Spay Day, and in the famous words of Bob Barker, “Always spay and neuter your pets”!