Below find answers to some of the common questions asked of our clinic. If you do not find what you are looking for, call us at 312-644-8338.
Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, and spaying before the first heat cycle offers the best protection from these diseases. Cats can become reproductively active as young as 4 months old. Many veterinarians now sterilize cats and dogs as young as 8 weeks of age. Talk with your veterinarian about the appropriate time for these procedures for your pet.
Pets do not mourn their lost ability to reproduce. They reproduce solely to ensure the survival of their species. Female pets nurse their young for a few weeks, teach their kittens or puppies rules, boundaries, and limitations, and then send them off into the world. Male cats and dogs are not “fathers” in the human sense of the word and do not actually recognize kittens and puppies as their own.
The truth is that pets gain weight because their owners feed them too much or don’t give them enough exercise, not because they are sterilized. The weight gain that people may witness after a spay/neuter surgery is most likely caused by continuing to feed a high-energy diet to a pet that is reducing its need for energy as it reaches adult size. Exercise in the form of play can help encourage activity to keep the weight off and muscles strong.
Today, we know that kittens and puppies can be spayed or neutered at the age of 2 months (or the weight of 2 pounds). The American Veterinary Medical Association has endorsed this practice, which is called Early Age Neutering; the animals recover more quickly from surgery when they are young. Your veterinarian can advise you on the most appropriate age to spay or neuter your pet based on its breed, age, and physical condition. Generally, for members of the public who want to bring their animals to the Society for spay/neuter services, we require animals to be 3 months and a weight of 3 pounds before we will schedule an appointment.
Many people have a difficult time sterilizing their pets, because they impose upon their dogs their own feelings about losing their reproductive abilities. Male pets do not have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet’s basic personality. He doesn’t suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when he’s neutered. Neutered pets have less desire to roam, mark territory, or exert dominance over other pets. Sterilized pets are proven to be more affectionate and less likely to bite, run away, or become aggressive.
There are always risks involved with any anesthesia or surgery, but the overall incidence of complications is very low. These surgeries are the most commonly performed veterinary procedure. Our staff veterinarians perform thousands each year!
Your pet will most likely be drowsy and a little lethargic. This is normal for a few hours to up to a day or two after surgery. If you see your pet displaying concerning behavior, please call us at 312-645-8051.