Surgical sterilization, or neutering, of your dog is a responsible decision for any dog owner. It is important to reduce the soaring pet population, reduce the number of homeless pets, and protect your pet’s health. Male dogs are surgically castrated, while female dogs are surgically spayed (ovariohysterectomy). Consider the following facts:
- Neutering reduces the risk of cancer in older pets. Spaying female dogs prior to a heat cycle or pregnancy virtually eliminates the risk of breast cancer which, left untreated, can be fatal in up to 50% of cases. It also eliminates ovarian or uterine cancer. Castration of male dogs greatly reduces or eliminates prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
- Spaying eliminates life-threatening uterine infections.
- Spaying eliminates future heat cycles that attracts male dogs or may cause your dog to roam.
- Castration of your male dog markedly reduces his tendency to roam thereby reducing his chance of injury from cars or other dogs.
- Castration at a young age decreases certain behavioral problems such as territorial urine marking, aggression, and hyperactivity.
Don’t let the myths about neutering your dog dissuade you from this important decision. The procedure will not lead to obesity or laziness. Those conditions are brought on by consumption of too many calories and having too little exercise. There is no known benefit to allowing your dog to have a first heat cycle or pregnancy before neutering. In fact, it’s medically beneficial (see above) to spay your dog prior to a heat cycle or mating.
We recommend neutering to be done in the age range of 4-6 months. This provides the optimum size and age for a safe and easy procedure and rapid recovery. Our hospital utilizes isoflurane gas anesthesia, intraoperative monitoring of pulse and oxygen saturation, and close technician supervision during surgery and recovery.