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What is the Best Time to Neuter or Spay Your Pet?

By May 7, 2019 January 13th, 2020 Small Animal


Spaying and neutering are surgical procedures that involve sterilizing cats and dogs, so that they can no longer reproduce.  These surgeries are performed on patients under general anesthesia.  Please check out the 3 parts of the article Coventry Animal HospitalTries to Demystify Pre-anesthetic Protocols for your Pet,  Coventry Animal Hospital Tries to Demystify Anesthetic Protocols for your Pet and Coventry Animal Hospital Tries to Demystify Post-anesthetic Protocols for your Pet if you would like to learn more.

A neuter is a procedure in which the testes of a cat or dog are surgically removed.  It is also known as castration or orchiectomy.  The feline neuter involves a scrotal incision and the canine neuter involves a pre-scrotal incision.

A spay is a procedure in which both ovaries and the uterus are surgically removed.  It is also known as ovariohysterectomy.  See feline spay, canine spay for more information on the surgical procedures.

What are the Benefits of Neutering my Male Cat by 6 Months of Age?

Neutering your male cat by 6 months old will prevent him from getting a female cat pregnant.  Neutering will greatly reduce the odour of a male cat’s urine, as well as urine spraying and marking behaviour.  Inappropriate urination in cats is a huge reason why male cats are rehomed and we want you to have your kitty companion for his lifetime.  Neutering may decrease his chances of roaming and getting into territorial fights with other cats.

Should I Allow my Female Cat to Have a Litter of Kittens Before Her Spay Surgery?

We recommend having your female cat spayed before her first heat cycle.  Allowing your cat to have a litter of kittens would contribute to the problem of pet over-population.  Spaying a cat at this young age will prevent her from going into heat (See our cat heat cycle blog), decrease her risk of mammary cancer later in life, prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and prevent cancer of the uterus or ovaries.

Should I Wait Until My Large-Breed Dog is Over a Year Old to Sterilize Them?

There has been research in large-breed dogs that suggests waiting until a large-breed dog is 15-18 months old and their growth plates are closed may reduce their risk of orthopedic diseases, such as cranial cruciate ligament rupture and hip dysplasia.  Please consult your veterinarian to determine the best time frame to sterilize your large-breed dog based on their lifestyle and other risk factors.

What are the Benefits of Neutering My Male Dog by 6 Months of Age?

Neutering your dog will prevent certain health issues such as prostatic enlargement and decrease his risk of developing testicular or prostatic cancer.  This will prevent your male dog from breeding a female dog.  There is no benefit to delay neutering a small breed dog until after sexual maturity.

What are the Benefits of Spaying my Female Dog by 6 Months of Age?

Spaying female dogs prevents the over-population of puppies.  Please check out our dog heat cycle blog.  Spaying a female dog prior to her first heat cycle significantly lowers her chance of developing mammary and ovarian cancer and pyometra.  Her risk of pyometra increases with consecutive heat cycles.

Will Spaying/Neutering my Pet Cause Them to Get Fat?

Within days of sterilization surgery, your pet’s metabolism will slow down by approximately 30%.  This means that their caloric intake will need to be adjusted in order to maintain them at an ideal body weight.

If you have questions or concerns about spaying or neutering your pet, talk to one of our team members at Coventry Animal Hospital, we would be happy to address them. 


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