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The Month of Love is also the Month to Advocate Spays and Neuters
February 15, 2024

February commonly exudes an air of love, especially with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, adorning stores with romantic symbols like flowers and sweets. However, for pets, the emphasis shifts to prevention: it’s Prevent A Litter Month, Spay/Neuter Month, and Feline Fix By Five Month. These campaigns align around a shared objective: minimizing the occurrence of unwanted litters among puppies and kittens. A New Orleans East, LA veterinarian offers expertise on this critical issue, imparting essential knowledge.

How Old Does a Kitten Need to Be Before Spaying or Neutering?

Ideally, Fluffy should undergo spaying before her first heat, usually around five months, as advocated by the Feline Fix By Five Month initiative. Cats can become pregnant as early as four months, despite being young themselves. While spaying can be done at eight weeks, many veterinarians prefer waiting longer. Consult your East Indianapolis, IN veterinarian for guidance and adhere to their advice.

Can I Have My Adult Pet Spayed or Neutered?

Certainly! While generally safe, consult a vet, especially for seniors or pets with health issues.

What’s the Recommended Age for Spaying or Neutering a Dog?

Deciding when to spay or neuter Fido hinges on his size. The AKC suggests small dogs have surgery around six to nine months, while larger breeds might wait longer. Some giant dogs may not undergo surgery until 18 months. Your vet can recommend timing based on Fido’s size and health.

Is There a Change in Male Pets’ Affection Levels After Neutering?

Your furry companion may already be a cuddle champ, but get ready for some serious affection post-fixing! Taking away that urge to mate tends to make them mellower, which can really smooth out any behavioral wrinkles. Once they’re neutered or spayed, they won’t be as focused on marking their territory or seeking out a mate, so they’ll be all about games, snuggles, and enjoying those belly rubs. It’s like they’re saying, “Who needs love when there are laser pointers and cozy laps?”

What Health Improvements Result From Getting My Pet Fixed?

While the main purpose is to tackle animal overpopulation, there are added perks for your pet.

Here are some key ones to consider:

Minimized Cancer Risk– Electing to spay or neuter your pet leads to a notable reduction in the likelihood of specific cancers. Male pets, in particular, undergo a significant decrease in the risk of testicular cancer, while females experience a lowered risk of ovarian, uterine, and mammary gland tumors.

Enhanced Lifespan– Were you aware that spayed or neutered pets often have extended lifespans? For females, the risks of complications from pregnancy and childbirth are eliminated. The lowered cancer risk mentioned earlier also contributes to their overall well-being. Moreover, fixed pets are less inclined to roam.

Reduce Undesirable Behaviors– Heat cycles and hormonal urges can bring about messy side effects. Unneutered male pets are significantly more likely to spray and exhibit heightened aggression, increasing their susceptibility to destructive behaviors. Spaying or neutering effectively addresses these concerns, fostering a cleaner, calmer living environment for both pets and their owners.

Will Spaying or Neutering My Pet Really Help Decrease Overpopulation?

While getting your furry friend spayed or neutered won’t instantly solve the problem, it certainly makes a difference. It’s a collective endeavor. Every pet has significance!

Let’s analyze Fluffy and Fido’s reproductive data. The numbers can be quite staggering.

How Fast Do Dogs Reproduce?

Canine companions typically have around two litters per year, each containing six to ten puppies. This means that in just six years, a single pair of dogs could potentially have as many as 67,000 descendants!

Of course, that’s just an average estimate. Some dogs far exceed this number. Tia, a Neapolitan Mastiff, holds the record with an incredible 24 puppies born in a single litter in 2004. Her extraordinary birth story earned her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. In a more recent development, an Australian dog named Honey set a new record for the country. Honey delivered 22 puppies after three days of labor.

How Fast Do Cats Reproduce?

For Fluffy and other felines, it’s possible to have three litters annually, each with 4-6 kittens. This implies that in merely eight years, a pair of cats could potentially have as many as 2,072,514 descendants!

A few of our feline buddies could rival Honey and Tia. In 1970, a Burmese/Siamese cat established the record for the largest litter with 19 kittens, although four were stillborn. Even the 15 surviving kittens would have made for an impressive litter. However, Dusty, a Texas cat, holds the lifetime record with an incredible 420 kittens.

An abundance of puppies and kittens might seem endearing, but these figures point to some strikingly concerning statistics. Around 7.6 million animals enter American shelters each year, with approximately 1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats euthanized.

Moreover, there are millions of stray pets out there, struggling to fend for themselves. Street existence is brutal for these animals, with many enduring brief, harsh lives. Preventing your pet from contributing to this population is a small deed with significant implications for the welfare of all animals.

What Strategies Should I Employ to Aid My Pet’s Recovery From Spay/Neuter Surgery?

Your veterinary clinic will provide aftercare guidelines, usually on a care sheet. Strictly adhere to these instructions for successful recovery.

Generally, it’s recommended to offer your furry pal a serene, comfortable place to recover. (If you’ve been considering a new bed, now is the time to make the purchase.) Keep other pets in a separate area initially, allowing your pet to rest and heal without disturbance. Keep a close watch on the surgical site to monitor healing progress.

Pets may attempt to scratch or chew stitches, prompting your vet to recommend an inflatable collar or “Cone of Shame” to prevent stitch disruption. Your veterinary clinic will give you information on this.

Males generally recover more rapidly from the procedure compared to females. Most males will overcome the healing ‘hump’ within a few days, while females may need a few weeks to fully heal.

Generally, you’ll need to keep an eye out for any indications of infection or complications. These may include:

  • Lethargy
  • Torn Stitches
  • Foul Odor
  • Swelling
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Bleeding
  • Redness
  • Pus
  • Fever

Should you notice anything unusual, contact your New Orleans East, LA veterinary clinic immediately.

What Does the Cost of Spay/Neuter Surgery Typically Look Like?

Prices vary depending on location. Though there might be an initial expense tied to spaying or neutering your pet, it is a wise investment in the long run. The potential costs of managing a litter of puppies or kittens, as well as addressing health issues related to their reproductive organs, could far outweigh the initial procedure’s expense.

There’s a Bonus Reason to Fix Your Cat

When considering the importance of spaying or neutering pets, it’s important to acknowledge one of the lesser-discussed advantages of having Fluffy fixed: the cessation of her nightly vocal performances. While Fluffy is undoubtedly a beloved member of the family, her singing abilities are less than impressive. During heat, cats emit sounds resembling singing in an attempt to attract mates. Unfortunately, to human ears, it’s more akin to enduring a mild form of auditory distress. While this “singing” may be enticing to other felines, for us humans, it’s more of a nuisance. This alone may justify opting for spaying or neutering your pet!

Are you thinking of spaying/neutering your pet? Do you have questions about getting your furry friend fixed? Contact us, your  East Indianapolis, IN, veterinary clinic,  for comprehensive veterinary services for your pet.