Getting your pet spayed or neutered is an important part of keeping your pet healthy. These safe and routine procedures will help your pet live a longer, healthier life. Spaying or Neutering will not change your pet’s personality, but may change some negative tendencies that hormones can influence. Such as crying and pacing for females, along with the troublesome mess that the heat cycles bring. In both males and females it can reduce or eliminate undesirable and embarrassing behaviour, including roaming, fighting, mounting, and spraying.
Many health issues that arise later in life can be avoided when spaying or neutered at the appropriate time (6 months of age). For each heat your female goes through, it significantly increases her chances of pyometra (infection of the uterus – life threatening), uterine or ovarian cancer, mammary cancer or unplanned pregnancy. The longer your male is intact, the risk of prostate and testicular cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, marking and hormone driven aggression increases.
In addition, spaying your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.
Spaying, and neutering is a routine surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under a safe general anesthesia. This surgical procedure is done with the greatest care. Safety is our number one priority. All anesthetic procedures are carried out by your Registered Veterinary Technician, who are highly qualified and intensely trained to deliver, monitor and recover your pet safely and with as little stress as possible. Your trusted Veterinarian performs the surgery and works with the RVT team to ensure the safety and comfort of your pet.
To set up an appointment to have your pet neutered or to learn more about this procedure, please call or visit our clinic. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to neuter your pet, please call us so we can discuss your concerns.
My breeder/previous caregiver said to wait until my pet was 1 year of age or older to spay/neuter? Why do you recommend to do it at 6 months? Most dogs and cats come to a sexual maturity around 6 months of age. This means that your pet’s hormones have kicked in, and are starting their work in the body. This results in heat cycles for the females, and marking or dominance can start for males. Both females and males will start to look for their mates. It also means that your pet can become pregnant or make another pet pregnant. When this process starts, it is the footstep to the complications we spoke about above regarding the increased risks of cancers, sickness etc. It just takes one cycle to begin the process and to have those pre-cancer cells in their body. The only way to ensure that your pet does not have any hormone related cancers (mammary/ovarian/testicular/uterine etc) or infections (pyometra etc) is to remove the source before they become inflamed with maturity. This is why we like to spay or neuter your pet at 6 months (ideally) to ensure we do not have any precursor cells. At 6 months of age, your pet is old enough that the procedure is safe but young enough to prevent the negative effects of intact males and females. However, this procedure can be done at any age!
Will spaying/neutering my pet change his personality or stunt his growth? Spaying or neutering your pet will not change your pets personality. If done early enough, it can help to offset some behaviours (such like mounting or marking) unless they are a learned behaviour. Doing the procedure will not stunt the growth of your pet. They will still grow to be the size that they were meant to be (with proper nutrition), however the mammary glands of the females will not become enlarged or saggy, and the males will not develop the testosterone “head” or “chest”. Your pet will still look normal and “full” even though they have been spayed or neutered.
I’ve heard you should wait until one heat cycle is finished before spaying? We disagree with this myth. Many people would prefer you to wait to spay or neuter as the hormones will allow for a fuller chest or head, a “look”. This is a fashion statement. I refer you to the question above for reasons as to why we would recommend spaying or neutering before the sexual maturity of 6 months. The health risks skyrocket after their first heat.
We will always respect your decision! We just want to provide you with the proper information to help you make your educated decision.
Why does the cost increase on a “mature” spay/neuter, and what constitutes “mature” ? Mature, in the sense of spaying and neutering, is generally referred to any pet over 6 months of age, or after their first heat cycle/sexual maturity. This is because once the heat cycle has started, or the testicles have started to grow rapidly, the cells in the tissues around these areas (testicles, uterus etc) have become enlarged, and full of blood to facilitate the need for potential mates or babies. This increase in size and enlarged blood vessels makes the surgery more complicated for the surgeon and your pet. It takes longer to finish the procedure and is more involved than if the organs affected were still immature. Even if your pet is mature, the surgery is still very safe. A more cautious approach and safety measures are put in to facilitate for the added risk. Due to this increase in surgical time, materials, and safety measures, you may also see the cost increase of the procedure after they are mature.