Contrary to popular belief, the best gift you can give to your female pet is to spay her. Though this may prevent her from ever being a mother, the benefits of spaying your intact female cat or dog far outweigh the risks.
1) Your pet will not go into heat: With dogs in heat, you have to deal with your pet’s swollen genitalia and bloody discharge. This can be difficult to manage as the discharge can stain your furniture and carpet and your dog may excessively lick her private area. Cats, on the other hand, do not display these physical symptoms but may get aggressive towards their owners while in heat. Both cats and dogs will need constant watching if intact, as it only takes a moment for a male to impregnate them. You will not be able leave them unattended. When your dog is out in the yard to do her business, an intact male will be able to smell her from a distance and your fence may not be enough to stop him. Cats can slip out the door quickly in search of male territory.
2) Your pet will not get uterine infections: Both cats and dogs are able to develop pyometra: an infection in the uterus. Pyometra is life threatening since the uterus fills up with toxic pus and the only treatment is an emergency spay surgery. Rather than potentially lose your pet to this infection, prevent it by spaying your pet ahead of time.
3) Your pet will not get uterine or ovarian cancers: Though these particular cancers are not frequently common in cats or dogs, they can still happen to your pet. While uterine cancers are often benign in dogs, they are usually very malignant in cats and can grow very quickly. Ovarian cancers in both cats and dogs can be malignant and have the potential to cause fluid buildup in the chest and abdominal cavities along with other potentially fatal symptoms.
4) Your pet will be less likely to develop breast cancer: Mammary tumors are very common in dogs and while less common in cats, they are typically malignant. Surgery is usually required to remove the tumors and sometimes chemotherapy is needed as well.
5) Your pet will not have a false pregnancy: Though having a false pregnancy may seem harmless, the negative effects that the overflow of hormones can cause can wreak havoc on your pet’s immune system. They can affect your dog’s metabolism and even trigger infections of the mammary glands.
6) Your pet will not become pregnant: Puppies and kittens may seem adorable, but there are huge risks with pregnancy and the birthing process. She may need an emergency C-section nor not survive the birthing process. Whether the pregnancy was intentional or by accident, there will still be risks for your previously healthy pet. In addition to this, providing necessary nutrition, veterinary examinations, dewormers, and vaccines for the new litter also quickly takes a toll on your wallet and finding new homes for puppies and kittens is not as easy as you’d think. There are already millions of homeless cats and dogs across the world, so another litter only adds to that number.
7) The cost of a spay surgery is significantly less than the cost of all of the complications listed above: Extra surgeries due to tumors or infections, increases in food and medical bills due to a new litter, the cost of new carpeting after the living room became stained with blood–all of these things add up very quickly.
If you have an intact female pet, give her the greatest Mother’s Day gift by calling your veterinarian and scheduling a pre-spay consultation appointment. And if your pet has already been spayed, save lives by spreading the word!
Emerald Animal Hospital has 40 years of veterinary experience. We offer spaying, neutering, diagnostic testing, and wellness programs for your pet. Give us a call at 216-749-7161 to schedule an appointment.