Pet Overpopulation is the number one killer of dogs and cats in the United States.
Each year an estimated ten million dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are put to death in our nation's animal shelters as a method of population control. The majority of these animals were young, healthy and adoptable. In addition, millions of abandoned pets and feral cats suffer on the street as they attempt to survive on their own.
The Answer: spay/neuter your pets!
Get the facts about cats...
Get the facts about dogs...
Myths Of Procedure Debunked
By Dr. Karen Halligan,
Every year, tens of thousands of female dogs and cats die from breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, uterine infections and difficult pregnancies.
Most people think that veterinarians recommend spaying and neutering solely to help the pet overpopulation crisis. While this is certainly a major reason to spay, there is numerous health benefits to doing it as well.
Before we talk about the benefits of spaying, let's define it. Spaying is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs, uterus and ovaries from a female animal. Spaying can be safely performed on animals as young as 8 weeks of age.
Animals in heat and pregnant animals can also be spayed, although the risk of complication is a little higher. Spaying your cat or dog before they have their first heat cycle, which is usually at 6 to 7 months of age, will decrease their chances of developing breast cancer to almost zero.
It also reduces the risk of your pet dying of uterine or ovarian cancer. Spaying eliminates the chance of your pet developing a potentially life-threatening infection of the uterus called pyometra.
It also eliminates the mood swings and undesirable behavior that female cats and dogs display during their heat cycle, such as messy spotting, pacing, crying and trying to escape.
Spaying greatly increases the life span of your pet, and owners of spayed pets have fewer vet bills.
The procedure also helps decrease the number of animals that are euthanized at the shelters and pounds.
The following are some myths and facts about spaying pets:
Myth No. 1
My kids need to experience the miracle of birth.
Most animals deliver in the middle of the night by themselves. Kids can experience the birthing process by watching a video instead of at the expense of the family pet.
Myth No. 2
My pet is a purebred and her personality is so good that I want her to have puppies.
One out of every four pets brought to the shelter are purebreds and most do not find homes. Just because your pet is special, there are no guarantees that her offspring will be anything like her. You have the father's genes to consider as well.
Myth No. 3
I can find homes for all of the puppies or kittens.
Even if you do find homes for the offspring, this is one less home for the millions of animals in the shelters waiting to get adopted.
Myth No. 4
My pet will get fat and lazy if I spay her.
Too many calories and not enough exercise cause dogs to become overweight. The good news is that spayed pets need fewer calories so by feeding them less you will cut down on your feeding costs.
Myth No. 5
It's better to allow your female pet to have at least one litter before spaying.
This is grossly untrue. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Your dog will have much less chance of developing cancer of the reproductive organs and mammary tissue by spaying her before her first heat. Letting her have even one litter predisposes her to breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.
Content provided by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles. For more information, visit spcaLA.com