Sterilisation, or NEUTERING, of cats and dogs is also known as speying (in females) and castration (in males), and is a topic that many owners ask us about and shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, if you do not plan on breeding from your pet, the benefits of neutering far outweigh the benefits of keeping them entire. The reasons for this vary between males and females, and between cats and dogs.
The obvious birth control advantages apply to all, but in particular to cats. Cats are very good breeders and survivors, and we all know about the worrying feral cat population in and around the Perth region. This places great stress on the native bird and small marsupial populations and we all have a MAJOR role to play in keeping the impact of domestic cats on these precious creatures to a minimum. Further to this, the RSPCA, Cat Haven and other animal shelters are full to overflowing with unwanted cats and kittens. We all have a responsibility to prevent unwanted pregnancies in our pet population.
Many infectious diseases are transmitted when animals fight, and this risk is increased in entire animals, as they fight for territory. This is no more relevant than in cats, where nasty cat fight abscesses result from cat bites, or even worse, infection with Feline Leukaemia virus (FeLV) or Feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV or Feline “AIDS”). Cat fight abscesses often require surgery to remedy and can cause serious disease, while FeLV and FIV cause incurable disease of the cat’s immune system. These preventable diseases are made more preventable by neutering AND vaccinating.
Medically speaking, research has proven that female dogs are SEVEN times less likely to develop breast cancer if they are neutered prior to their first season, compared to entire females. An incredible motivation to neuter, and neuter early.
Entire females, as they get older, run the risk of developing a dangerous infection of the womb – or PYOMETRA – following a Season, or “Heat”. This serious condition often requires emergency surgery, at great risk to the patient’s life, and could be easily prevented by neutering.
The secondary sexual characteristics that male dogs develop when they hit “puberty” can often be more than just socially undesirable. Urine marking and a high libido (especially if a neighbouring bitch is on heat) is one thing, but territorial and sometimes aggressive behaviour can become concerning in some dogs. Many male dogs that require veterinary treatment for nasty dog-fight wounds are either entire, or have been attacked by another entire male. If you are concerned, speak to one of our team.
Medically speaking, neutered dogs have a dramatically reduced rate of prostate problems later in life, and also have a low incidence of developing hernias, or testicular tumours.