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In the past, you may have considered sterilization surgery such as spaying or neutering an elective procedure aimed solely at reducing your household's animal population. While spay and neuter surgeries certainly do provide that significant benefit (both in your own home and for already-overburdened animal shelters), you may not realize the amazing health and wellness benefits they also offer. That's why Dr. Sterbinksy and the Richview Animal Hospital team want Toronto pet owners to get their pets spared or neutered by the age of 6 months.
Neutering (castration) involves the removal of a male dog or cat's testicles, while spaying (ovariohysterectomy) involves the removal of a female cat or dog's uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. The most obvious benefit of these sterilization procedures is the fact that they eliminate your pet's ability to either become pregnant or make another animal pregnant. This can be a great relief to owners who can't afford to support entire litters of baby animals with the food, attention, housing and veterinary care they need. But sterilization also provides your pet with the following major advantages:
Reduced cancer risk - Not only can the reproductive organs fall prey to cancer, but the hormones they produce can also contribute to the development of mammary and other cancers. By removing these sex organs, our veterinary team can eliminate your pet's risk of testicular, ovarian or uterine cancer (and their potential to spread), while dramatically reducing the risk of mammary cancer.
Elimination of heat cycles - Heat cycles not only accompany the rise in cancer risks noted above, but they also cause issues that make your beloved companion hard to live with. Female pets may produce messy vaginal discharges and/or menstrual blood. Vocalizing, aggression and marking territory with urine are also common -- and all of these annoyances can recur two or more times a year. Spaying by the age of 6 months will prevent your pet from ever going into heat.
Less roaming - Animals in heat develop a compulsion to roam the neighborhood looking for potential mates. This can lead your pet into a great deal of trouble, including fights, impacts with cars and exposure to other animals' infectious diseases. A sterilized animal who doesn't experience that compulsion is more likely to remain safely at home.
Eliminate the risk of sex organ specific diseases - neutering eliminates disease of the prostate. Spaying eliminates the potentially life threatening condition of pyometra. Both these conditons occur in older intact pets. The potential for these conditions to develop is eliminated with spaying or neutering.
Bring your puppy or kitten to Richview Animal Hospital before the 6-month mark so we can evaluate the pet's health, schedule surgery and give pre-operative advice on when (or whether) to withhold food the night before. Following surgery, pets typically wear collars that keep them from biting or licking the incision site. We will advise you on post-operative wound monitoring and other care. Call 416-245-8805 today to arrange that all-important date for neuter or spay surgery. It's a smart way to ensure a longer, healthier, happier life for your special friend!