It’s often difficult to make decisions that are in the best interest of our pets, especially when it comes to something as big as sterilization. But the truth is, sterilization is one of the most important things you can do for your pet’s health. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why sterilization is so important and how it benefits both the pet parent and the pet. We’ll also dispel some of the myths about sterilization that often keep people from making this important decision. So if you’re on the fence about whether or not to get your pet spayed or neutered, read on!
“DOCTOR MY DOG CAN’T MOVE HER LEGS!!” In a recent episode at the clinic, where a 13 yr old Labrador who just had her heart assessment done was rushed in with hind leg paresis. This is not the first time we were handling such a case, but what was different this time around was that the owner had never considered getting her dog sterilized. “It’s against nature”, she said. Let me first give you a brief overview of what happens when we sterilize an animal. Spaying is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus of a female animal, while castration is the surgical removal of the testicles of a male animal. Now that we know what it entails, let’s look at some of the benefits of sterilization:
Sterilization has been shown to increase the lifespan of dogs and cats by up to three years. This is because sterilized animals are less likely to contract certain diseases, such as cancer of the reproductive organs.
Sterilization can also help reduce problem behaviours in both dogs and cats. For example, male dogs who are not neutered are much more likely to mark their territory by urinating on everything they see. Female dogs who are not spayed often go into heat, which can lead to restlessness, howling, and even aggression. And both male and female cats who are not spayed or neutered often spray urine to mark their territory.
Let me share one Scenario:
Maggie, a 13-year-old intact female Labrador, rushed in as she couldn’t get up. We started emergency treatment and it was diagnosed as pyometra, which means pus in the uterus. Now, this could have been avoided had the dog been spayed long ago.
This dog needed surgery, but it was very risky. She had two health problems that made the surgery even more dangerous. But the doctors decided to do it anyway because there was no other choice.
Surgeries that are not routine are more expensive than regular surgeries. Thankfully, we were able to complete a surgery that was very risky but necessary. The surgery took two hours and it was very hard. Now the girl is doing much better and is back to being her usual happy self.
Almost 80% of female dogs suffer from health problems related to their hormones. This can often be avoided if they are neutered. Hormone-related tumours, prostate problems, and abscesses in the testicles are quite common in male dogs as well.
Here are the thoughts of a veterinarian regarding spay and neutering:
- Elective surgery is always better than emergency surgery.
- Neutering the pet easily adds 2-3 healthy years in their life span
- Aggression in male dogs can be reduced.
- The cost of elective surgery is always lesser than that of an emergency surgery
- Females who tend to get pseudopregnancy are at high risk to get pyometra.
Parameters to assess before surgery.
- Complete blood count
- Liver function test
- Kidney function test
- Glucose test
- Xrays of the chest if the pet is older
- ECG of the heart
It is evident that there are many benefits to getting your pet spayed or neutered. Not only does it increase the lifespan of your pet, but it can also reduce problem behaviours and help prevent certain diseases.
And If you are still getting a feeling of guilt then watch this small video: