By: Dr. Clayton Greenway, B.Sc., DVM | Nov 4, 2016
Dr. Greenway discusses whether you should spay or neuter your cat or dog and explains some of the health benefits. Other topics discussed in this video include medical vs behavioral reasons, impact on life expectancy, the risk of mammary cancer and pyometra in intact females, prostate problems in males, and the importance of your belief system in making the decision.
What we’re going to talk about right now is whether you should spay or neuter your dog or cat. I think most people think about this as they want to avoid the behavioral issues that come with an unneutered or unspayed male or female dog.
Actually for veterinarians we don’t think so much about the behavioral aspect. If you’re worried about that like humping behavior in male dogs, those things can be to some degree trained out of them, particularly the male behaviors that come along with that. The real reason why we do it is really for the medical benefit. There was a study done that looked at the sterilization of dogs and cats and it was found that sterilized dogs and cats actually lived longer than ones that were unsterilized.
Both of these groups tended to get cancer most commonly and there were different cancers associated with them, but first of all the sterilized dogs and cats did live longer. The other thing to consider as well particularly if you have a female dog or cat, it becomes very important because we know that when they remain intact, the effect of those hormones can greatly increase some diseases, particularly mammary cancer and also pyometra, an infection of the uterus which we see a lot in our older female pets.
The same is true for male dogs as well. If they remain intact, their prostate always gets larger, they’re more prone to getting prostate infections or prostate cancers. So a lot of people will neuter their dog and cat to eliminate these issues, but it also comes down to your personal belief and maybe even your cultural belief.
If you want to breed that animal, obviously you’re going to want to keep it intact but if you’re not looking to do that, that’s where we typically recommend that they’re spayed or neutered so you don’t have these other problems.
At the end of the day you can get all the opinions that you want but really this is your pet so you decide and that’s what we want to do is give you the information and you decide what’s right for your pet at healthcareforpets.com.
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