Puppies and kittens may be cute, but an uncontrolled population of stray animals means not everyone gets the love and care they deserve.
You, as a pet owner, can do your part to decrease the stray population by getting your male dogs and cats neutered.
What Is Neutering?
Neutering is a routine surgical procedure for male animals known as castration.
During this procedure, both testicles are removed in order to sterilize the cat or dog, stopping its ability to reproduce. In addition to this benefit, neutering your pet does have other health benefits for your dog or cat.
Should I Neuter My Pet?
There are many benefits to neutering your male pet.
Besides decreasing overcrowding in animal shelters, there are a variety of health and behavioral benefits to neutering.
Some of these benefits include:
- Reducing the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate that comes with age) and prostatitis (prostate infection)
- Reduces the risk of hormone-related diseases, including perianal adenoma (benign tumor around the anus)
- Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer, which is the second most common cancer found in intact dogs
- Removes sexual urges, which can decrease roaming behaviors
- Reduces certain types of aggression
- Neutered dogs tend to live longer than intact dogs
- Reduces the likelihood of separation anxiety or fearful elimination
Typically, it’s always a good idea to neuter your male cat or dog. However, there may be some situations where the practice is not recommended, and your veterinarian can advise you if your pet falls into this category.
What Are the Risks of Neutering My Pet?
While neutering is considered routine surgery, it is still considered a major surgical procedure where your pet will be put under general anesthesia.
Just as with any other anesthetic, there are risks of serious complications in giving them to your dog or cat. Thanks to modern anesthetics and monitoring equipment, the risk of these serious complications is very low..
All anesthetized patients at Old Farm Veterinary Hospital receive full-time monitoring by Licensed Veterinary Technicians for their safety and comfort.
When Should I Neuter My Pet?
Your veterinarian can help you understand when it’s the best time to neuter your dog or cat. Some general guidelines on the best time to neuter male pets include:
For dogs: The traditional age for neutering is between 4 and 7 months old, but puppies as young as 8 weeks old can be neutered if they’re healthy. Adult dogs can be neutered, too, but there is a slightly higher risk of post-operative complications in older dogs, overweight dogs, or dogs with health problems.
For cats: Generally, it’s safe for kittens as young as 8 weeks old to be neutered. Old Farm Veterinary Hospital recommends waiting until at least 4 months of age. To avoid the start of urine spraying, it is advised to neuter your cat prior to 7 months of age.
How Can I Help My Pet Before & After Surgery?
Your veterinarian will give you a set of pre-operative and post-operative instructions, so it’s important to read them carefully.
Except in special circumstances, your pet should not eat after midnight the night before the procedure. We do not recommend withholding water, however. Pets do better with anesthesia and recovery if they’re well hydrated.
To help ease your pet’s anxiety during recovery, you may want to send them with a familiar blanket or other item to be laid in the recovery cage.
Here are some tips for helping your pet with a safe and comfortable recovery:
- Provide them with a quiet place indoors to recover, away from other animals.
- As best you can, prevent your pet from running and jumping for up to two weeks following the surgery, or for as long as is recommended by your pet’s veterinarian.
- Keep your pet from licking the incision site, which can cause infection. If necessary, distract your pet with treats or use a collar.
- Avoid bathing your pet for at least 10 days after surgery.
- Check the incision site daily to see that it’s healing properly.
Call your veterinarian if you notice any of the following:
- You notice redness, swelling, or discharge at the incision site.
- The incision is open.
- Your pet is lethargic.
- Your pet has a decreased appetite.
- Your pet is vomiting or has diarrhea.
- Something just doesn’t seem “right” with your pet.
Get Your Dog or Cat Neutered at Old Farm Veterinary Hospital in Frederick, MD
At Old Farm Veterinary Hospital, we have a state-of-the-art surgical suite that promotes safe, complete neutering procedures to help your pet recover quickly. Our team of skilled veterinarians performs multiple neutering per week, and we work hard to keep your pets safe and healthy from start to finish.