With the wonderful spring weather upon us, we have been lucky enough to see a lot of puppies and kittens visiting our clinic for their vaccines.  While vaccines are just one of the important things we discuss in our new pet appointments, we also like to discuss the importance of spaying and neutering our pets. Spaying is the surgical procedure where by the ovaries and uterus of a female is removed;  neutering is the surgical procedure by which both testicles are removed. While there are many advantages to spaying/neutering, we want to highlight what we feel are the most important.

1. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and mammary cancer.  Doing so before their first heat cycle (typically around 6 months of age) offers the best chance of avoiding these potentially life threatening conditions.

2. Neutering prevents testicular cancer.

3. Neutering decreases roaming/aggression.  An unneutered male is more likely to show aggression and will often go to great lengths to find a female. Neutering will decrease the desire to find a mate and decrease the ill side effects of aggression.

4. Neutering decreases an animal’s need to defend their territory. Often males who are unneutered feel a need to defend their territory by urine marking in order to find a mate.  Neutering will decrease this desire and therefore decreases the chance of unwanted marking.

5. Spaying is cost effective (when compared to having a litter).  While there are many responsible breeders out there who have plans in place for emergencies related to pregnancy (emergency c-sections, complications after whelping), the cost of an unwanted litter can be significant.  Spaying and neutering your animals will eliminate the chance of an accidental breeding and avoid any unforeseen costs.

6. Spaying and neutering decreases over population – In 2012, shelters in Canada took in over 119,000 cats and 53,000 dogs (Canadian Federation of Humane Societies).  By spaying and neutering our pets, this decreases unwanted litters and decreases the amount of animals entering our already overpopulated shelters.

If you have any questions regarding spaying or neutering, please do not hesitate to call us at (250) 493 0503.