For many pet owners, spaying or castrating their pet is an important decision. While “neutering” is the correct term for either spaying a female or castrating a male, it is often a term associated with the male pet. This surgical procedure involves the removal of the reproductive organs of both the male and female pet.
In the female, it involves the surgical removal of the ovaries and most of the uterus. Removing the ovaries not only sterilizes the female but also stops the heat cycle. If the ovaries are not removed, the pet would continue to go into heat regularly and eliminate several of the benefits realized by spaying. Every time a female pet goes into heat, she increases her chances of developing mammary tumors later in life. Spaying your pet at an early age significantly decreases this risk. Another benefit to the animal is the prevention of pyometras. This condition can be seen in middle-aged, unspayed females who, during their heat cycle, acquire a uterine infection. Mating is not required for this to occur. As time goes on, this infection becomes more severe and could require emergency surgery.
Neutering in the male involves the surgical removal of the testes. Neutering helps to decrease or prevent several of the unwanted behaviors of male animals. Some of these behaviors are marking their territory, roaming and aggressiveness. Male dogs have a prostate which, over time, can become dramatically enlarged in the unneutered patient. This can result in difficulty with urination and or bowel movements and lead to life threatening problems. Additionally, there are some tumors that are influenced by the presence of testicular-produced hormones. Like spaying, castration decreases the odds of developing these types of tumors later in life.
Neutering your pet is an easy and relatively low cost procedure that can help lead to a long and healthy life for your loved family member.