If you are considering spaying or neutering your pet, there is a lot to consider. Traditionally, veterinarians have been staunch advocates of spaying and neutering programs for a number of reasons. The AVMA still advocates aggressive spay and neuter programs within the industry, as does the American Humane Society. You can read their regarded and convincing opinions on the position of spaying and neutering a pet thru the links provided.
And, in some cases, local government mandates that these procedures to be performed on personal pets. In Charleston, similar legislation has been passed that makes it increasingly difficult for the individual to decide on how to manage their pet’s reproductive status.
Non-biased, scientific research into the issue of surgical sterilization of pets indicates that there are pros and cons involved in the decision to have your pet surgically altered. So, this decision should not be entered into lightly. Much of the new information has revealed some interesting findings, especially with regard to risk factors associated with cancer.
Consider the following findings on the “pro” side of the sterilization argument: the elimination of the risk of pyometra (15-24% of intact bitches by 4-10 years old and “significant likelihood” of uterine disease in cats by 5 years of age); a seven times increased incidence of mammary cancer in intact bitches and queens; that testicular cancer is cured by castration in dogs (but generally, easily identified in intact dogs); that benign prostatic enlargement is virtually eliminated (present in half of all intact male dogs by 2.5 years of age, and 90-100% of dogs 9 years and older); a possible neuron sparing effect in male dogs that are castrated (see cognitive dysfunction below), that the alteration of cats has major benefits to owners, such as female cats remain in estrus until they are bred (developing persistant annoying behavior and eventual fatal anemias) and in male cats, preventing costly damage to homes due to sexual marking or spraying; and the naturally expected reduction of sexually transmitted disease in animals of all types, but especially, the fatal retroviruses (FeLV and FIV) in cats.
And the “cons“: a two to four fold increased risk of developing prostate cancer in castrated dogs; a doubling of bone cancer in all dogs of either sex and size; a “significant increase” in bone cancer when Rottweilers of both sexes when altered before 1 year of age; a four to twenty percent incidence of spay incontinence in spayed bitches; mild increases in cognitive dysfunction in castrated stud dogs; decreases in working drive in male dogs; increases in aggression towards people, including family members in spayed bitches probably due to decreased “bonding” hormones; a four fold increase in risk of bladder cancer; a doubling of splenic hemangiosarcoma in dogs of both sexes and a five fold increase in cardiac hemangiosarcoma in the same group; an increased risk of cranial cruciate rupture in spayed females; an increase in obesity in cats (studies are not clear in dogs, but in all animals, can be easily controlled by calorie restriction); an increased risk of urinary tract infections in spayed bitches, possibly from the maintenance of infantile vulva conformation; a correlation with adrenal gland disease and alteration in ferrets; an 8.7 times risk of diabetes mellitus in altered cats of both sexes.
In conclusion, the decision to neuter you pet dog or cat may be a highly personal and complicated decision that needs to include the breed of the animal, the lifestyle of the pet, the intended use of the pet, and past pet experiences of the owner, and involve the guidance of a trusted veterinarian.
“It’s like nothing ever changed”sm
For the discerning male pet, and the owner who would prefer a more “natural” appearance after neutering, the Folly Road Animal Hospital is now an “authorized preferred provider” for Neuticles® Testicular Implants. Feel free to browse the Neuticles® website for the preferred size and model. Let us assist in the ordering with one week’s advanced notice to assure that the correct Neuticles® can be ordered and are on hand prior to surgery.
the Folly Road Animal Hospital is excited to announce that it will be opening a minimally invasive (laproscopic) surgery center in the very near future! We will be offering minimally invasive canine ovarectomies and ovariohysterectomies, very soon. As the benefits of minimally invasive surgery are more widely recognized by veterinarians and their clients, laparoscopic sterilization of female dogs is growing in popularity. Laparoscopic ovariohysterectomy and ovariectomy procedures in dogs are associated with less postoperative pain and a faster return to normal activity versus open sterilization procedures. Currently, we are now offering some laproscopic procedures in advance of the official opening of the full service center. We are presently offering rhinoscopy (laproscopic exploration and surgery of the sinuses) and cystoscopy (laproscopic exploration and surgery of the bladder). Please check in often for updates on this center’s progress!