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To neuter or not to neuter

 | August 7, 2012

To neuter or not to neuter – that is the question. While many people feel we are playing God when we de-sex our pets (after all, were they not born to reproduce?), there is a bigger picture that demands our attention and compassion.

Sad statistics

Each year, about five million unwanted pets are put to sleep in Malaysian shelters. That’s 575 dogs and cats euthanised every day. If you could stem this problem by spaying your female pets and neutering your male pets, shouldn’t you?

Puppies and kittens born to un-neutered animals end up on the streets, often times suffering abuse at the hands of wicked people and becoming malnourished from lack of food. Their life spans are short too – if they don’t die early from fighting, sickness or poisoning, they get run-over by vehicles.

What spaying and neutering mean

Spaying your female cat or dog involves the surgical removal of her ovaries and uterus by a certified, practising veterinarian. Neutering your male pet on the other hand involves the removal of his testicles. Both these procedures require minimum hospitalisation but deliver lifelong benefits for your pet and you.

Neutering does not apply to cats and dogs only. If you have a rabbit, do consider neutering it as well as rabbits reproduce at an alarming rate. If there is no demand for a pet, there should be no supply. And it is up to you to ensure this.

Positive behaviour changes

A female animal that is spayed enjoys a happier, healthier life. Some behavioural changes do occur but they are all for the better. Spaying eliminates the constant, loud howls and moans accompanied by anxious pacing that a female cat displays while in heat. She instinctually takes on this behaviour because she’s calling for a mate.

Neutering of male dogs and cats can prevent them from exhibiting aggressive, dominant behaviour traits such as marking their territory by urinating on car tyres, gates and furniture in the home. Also neutering ceases the constant humping action from a male dog when he gets excited. He also will have less of an urge to roam and pick fights with other dogs. If you live in a multiple-pet home, you’ll find everyone gets along better with each other if they are neutered and spayed.

In rabbits, neutering helps reduce hormone-driven behaviour such as lunging, mounting, spraying and boxing.

Unlike cats that frequently clean themselves while in heat, dogs leave spots of blood on the floor and on their bedding while in heat. For you, this can be a constant headache as you would either have to put her in enclosed quarters or clean up after her all day long.  If there is an un-neutered male lurking around somewhere, there’s going to be trouble!

A healthier life

If your female pet was spayed before her first heat, you have helped her almost completely reduce her risk of breast cancer. Spaying also totally prevents her from developing uterine infections and uterine cancer. Neutering a male on the other hand prevents testicular cancer and enlargement of the prostate gland, and greatly reduces his risk for perianal tumours.

Now with all this information in your hand, pick up the phone and call your vet for an appointment.




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