wellness (3)Your dog or cat is a friend, a companion, and most of all, a member of your family. Unfortunately, not all pets are as loved and cherished as yours. Four to six million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in animal shelters throughout North America. These figures seem staggering, although it is easy to understand when you consider this scenario: If a male and female cat produce 8 kittens per year, and each of those kittens then produce an average of 8 kittens per year, there are almost 300,000 cats in the “family tree” in just 6 years. By year seven, the descendents of the original male and female number almost 2.4 million!

For each kitten or puppy like yours that find a happy home, four others are unloved, unwanted, homeless, or even abused or neglected. Don’t be a part of the problem…be a part of the solution! The benefits of spaying or neutering your pets are numerous. Not only does it help reduced the number of unwanted pets, it also provides long term health benefits to your beloved pet.

Spay/Neuter Facts

  • Spaying DOES NOT cause a pet to get lazy or fat, those problems come from overfeeding and poor exercise.
  • Personalities are NOT altered by spaying/neutering.
  • Surgical risk is very minimal due to modern anesthesia and techniques. However, it is much easier for a pet to be spayed before going through a heat cycle, due to the smaller size of the reproductive tract.
  • Early spaying or neutering is encouraged, try to have your pet’s surgery before 6 months of age.

Health benefits of spaying include:

  • Decreases the chance of breast tumors later in life.
  • Decreases the chance of cystic ovaries and uterine infections later in life.
  • Decreases surplus of unwanted puppies and kittens. Pet overpopulation is a big problem.

Health benefits of neutering include:

  • Decreases the desire to roam, so your pets are less likely to be hit by a car or lost
  • Decreases aggression
  • Decreases chance of prostate cancer later in life
  • Prevents odor of strong urine, as well as decreases spraying/marking furniture

As research continues and increased knowledge evolves, many scientists and veterinarians are re-evaluating the recommended treatment protocol which would eliminate pet reproduction while retain the male’s gonads and as a result, his sex hormones. A vasectomy offers a solution.

What is a vasectomy?

A Canine Vasectomy is the same procedure that human males have had for years to prevent reproduction. The reproductive organs are left intact, thus hormone production will still function. As a result, the dog will still have all the same urges and drives that intact dogs experience such as hormone induced/ related behaviors (marking of territory, roaming to find a mate, aggression and mating urges). It is very important for pet owner’s who are considering a vasectomy to be aware of these behaviors and how sex hormones affect your dog.

So, why would a pet owner choose to have a vasectomy performed on their pet instead of a traditional neuter? Evidence supports that that a dog’s health can benefit from circulating sex hormones and this procedure actually may actually help our male dogs live healthier lives while still preventing reproduction. This procedure is intended primarily for those owners who are opposed to removal of the gonads (testicles) and as a result, his sex hormones, but who would like to prevent their dogs from reproducing.

What happens during a Canine Vasectomy?

A skin incision is made in front of the scrotum, the testicular cord is located and brought through the skin opening. The tissue surrounding the cord is removed and the vas deferens is identified. The vas deferens is tied off in two locations and the tissue between the ties is removed (approximately 1/2″ of vas deferens is removed to prevent transport of sperm from the testicle). The cord is replaced and the skin incision is closed with suture and tissue adhesive. The cord sample tissue is removed and biopsied to be identified and to ensure surgery was successful. This surgery is not reversible.

***IMPORTANT*** A vasectomy does not remove the testicles therefore it does not remove testosterone, the male sex hormone which stimulates “male” behaviors in the dog. For all intents and purposes the dog will remain “fully male” but will be sterile and unable to impregnate females. He will have his testicles so will be considered an intact male by city/county licensing entities (meaning higher fees for licensing). It is important to note when the testicles are not removed as with traditional neutering, males will still be at risk for testicular cancer and hormone induced prostate disease.

Interested in learning more?

For additional information, please feel free to contact our office at (937) 743-2600.