Spay And Neuter

There is a much-heated controversial debate of spaying and neutering companions as early as 6-8 weeks of age. In medical terms, this is referred to as “paediatric neutering/spaying”. Veterinarians from around the globe each have their beliefs of when to spay and or neuter a companion. Many disagree, however, with research revealing that there are many benefits of “paediatric” spay/neuters. Companion parents are requesting an early spay and neuter surgical assessment.

According to Dr. Miller, DVM and Vice President of Shelter Medicine care and peers, the benefits of early spay/neuter are the following:

• Veterinarians who are familiar with the surgery and anesthesia agree that pediatric surgery is much less physiologically stressful for younger patients.
• Animals should be fasted for only 2-4 hours in order to prevent them from developing hypoglycemia, and this can be an advantage for clients who may forget to withhold food for several hours prior to surgery. (Many surgeons still recommend an overnight fast for adult dogs, although this practice is also falling out of favor.)
• Animals are awake and ambulatory usually within an hour of completion of the surgery, so they can be fed a small meal and then sent home the same day, avoiding an overnight stay in the hospital.
• Experienced veterinarians report that the surgery is faster, easier, and less stressful on both the patient and surgeon.
• There are fewer preoperative complications associated with pediatric neutering.
• Spaying a female before her first estrus has a strong protective effect against development of mammary gland neoplasia later in life.
• Pediatric surgery is less expensive because of the use of fewer materials, and because less staff time is needed for surgery and pre- and post-operative prep and monitoring.
• If the procedure is performed or scheduled when the last vaccination is given at 3 to 4 months of age, the veterinarian does not have to worry about the client forgetting to return, or shopping around and going elsewhere for the surgery. It can be included as part of a kitten/puppy care package of vaccinations, deworming and neutering. The unintentional delay in neutering pets is often responsible for the production of accidental litters that end up at shelters.
• Embracing the concept of “one health” that promotes the link between animal and human health and welfare requires veterinary participation in solving community problems. Studies have shown that intact animals are much more likely to be relinquished to shelters than neutered ones. Pediatric neutering is an essential component of a comprehensive community strategy to end the euthanasia of unwanted companion animals in the United States.
• The best strategy includes education about responsible pet ownership, increased efforts to improve adoptions, counseling to keep animals with behavior problems in their homes, and the prevention of births of unwanted animals. Surgical sterilization is one part of the solution that only veterinarians can provide.

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Dogs and Cats according to many companion guardians, veterinarians, and animal bios who’ve had this experience can and have gone into heat as early as four months of age. However, this depends on the environment, breed/pedigree.
Environmental wise: if your dog should be going into heat this early, this could be because of how many “dogs” you may have. (A pack mentality) Same can apply to cats – if you have a cattery forming in your household it’s wise to get the male cats fixed first. Due to the fact that they are the ones that “spray” and are majorly more aggressive during a females heating cycle.

Whichever the case may be – it’s always wise to get your companions fixed in the first place, to prevent any unwanted litters. As for breeders – although a necessary evil, we DO NOT need any more at this time. For the fact that there are companions in the shelters at this very moment waiting for homes.

We, however, as advocates cannot place all blame on the breeders – seeing as it is the majority of people who do not want a shelter dog or cat because they believe those companions are, “diseased” or broken. Shelter animals are neither diseased or broken, they are victims of irresponsibility or victims of hardships. Shelter animals come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Usually, more often than naught they are still babies dropped off as an unwanted litter or an elderly companion still having life in them, yet, was traded in for a “newer model”. Harsh yet true.

As we know, spaying and neutering can and does save many lives. We just have to be more boisterous as well as active in educating the populace regarding spays and neuters.