The Importance of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet

Whether you have a kitten, puppy, or a recently adopted pet, it is important to make sure he or she is spayed or neutered. Veterinarians recommend having your pet spayed or neutered as a safe and effective way of eliminating negative habits and promoting a long and healthy life for your pet. Our team at Bridges Professional Park Animal Hospital in Morehead City is here to help your pet throughout the process.

What Is Spaying or Neutering?

Spaying (for females) or neutering (for males) means removing all or part of an animal’s reproductive organs. This is performed as a routine surgery at our clinic. In females, this means removing the ovaries as well. Spayed females will also not go into heat and attract unwanted males.

When to Neuter or Spay

Neutering or spaying your pet early is the best way to get the maximum benefit. That means before the pet has gone through her first heat cycle. The earliest we recommend spaying or neutering a cat is 4-6 months. For smaller or medium sized dogs, 6-8 months is best. For larger breed dogs it can be beneficial to wait until the animal is 1.5-2 years old. It is important to consult with our staff to find the best time for your pet to have the surgery.

How Long After Giving Birth Can My Pet Be Spayed?

While it is tempting to get your female pet spayed as soon as possible after pregnancy, it is best to wait until at least two weeks after her milk has dried up and the litter has been fully weaned off. This is often at four to five weeks old for puppies and five to six weeks for kittens. It is important to know that mothers can get pregnant again while nursing their kittens. The best way to prevent another pregnancy until you can get your pet spayed is to keep her away from male pets.

Benefits of Spay and Neuter Surgery

  • Reduced risk of cancer – Spaying or neutering can reduce or eliminate the risk of breast tumors, uterus infections, testicular cancer, and ovarian cancer.
  • Prevent the pet from going into heat – A dog will go into heat 1-3 times yearly and can bleed for up to 1 month during this time. A urinary tract infection can result from a heat cycle causing inappropriate urination.
  • Marking territory – Pets often mark their territory by urinating. This can be very smelly, particularly when it is inside the home. Neutering can help eliminate the problem.
  • Eliminate wandering behavior – As pets develop, they can wander around the neighborhood looking for someone to mate with. When they roam, pets can get lost, hurt, or bother others.
  • Controlling the pet population – Pets are abandoned at shelters every day. There are not enough homes for the 6.5 million animals that are found every year. Spaying or Neutering can help diminish that number.
  • Preventing life threatening illness- a significant number of females left intact are at risk of contracting a uterine infection following their heat cycle. This is a life-threatening emergency, of which the only treatment is immediate surgery. Not only is your pet’s life at risk but the expense is significantly higher than that of a routine spay.

Call us today at (252) 247-5595 to schedule an appointment.