Why Spay/Neuter Your Pets?
by Dr. Jesse Navatta
Why is it important to spay/neuter your pet?
Aside from keeping up to date on vaccinations, spay/neuter is the most effective procedure for prolonging our pets’ lives in multiple ways!
First and foremost, early spay/neuter significantly reduces the risk of mammary cancer or prostate issues and completely eliminates the risk of uterine, ovarian, and testicular cancers. As our female pets get older and go through multiple heat cycles, they are at risk of developing a life-threatening infection called pyometra. This can lead to a sharp decline in a pet’s health, requiring an emergency spay with a high risk of anesthetic complications.
Pets that are intact (not spayed/neutered) are often driven by hormones that result in roaming (running away) which puts pets at risk in many ways. It can also lead to behavioral issues that can make training and home-life difficult.
How is the VWC helping serve outdoor pets?
Our VWC expands our capacity to participate in Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). Through this program, outdoor pets are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and examined by a veterinarian. These pets are returned to their habitats and cared for by designated colony caretakers, amazing individuals who volunteer their time and resources to ensure the health and wellbeing of these outdoor pets.
There is another benefit to our work with outdoor pets: through TNR, the population of outdoors pets is managed humanely which in turn benefits human health in the city by keeping transmissible (known as zoonotic) disease levels to a minimum and protects the local wildlife (birds and rabbits) from being over-hunted by food-seeking outdoor pets. By being spayed and neutered with the adequate resources available to them, the outdoor pets will fight less amongst themselves allowing them to live happy and comfortable lives.
What’s one thing someone can do to help keep their pet happy and healthy in the summer?
For both dogs and cats, the best thing any pet parent can do for their pet is to keep them up to date on their preventives! Preventives include vaccinations, flea and tick medications, and heartworm preventions. With warm weather comes fun times in the sun which means long walks outside and perhaps time at the dog parks, beaches, or other settings where many other dogs congregate. While these are centers for fun and enjoyment, there is also a strong potential for disease transmission in these areas.
The most common transmissible diseases are generally preventable with yearly vaccinations. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes also love the warm weather! These parasites not only cause discomfort when they attach themselves to our pets, but they can also carry diseases.
One of the most concerning diseases is heartworm which is spread through mosquitoes. It is important to remember that even indoor cats are at risk of hosting these parasites. Ever seen a mosquito buzzing around inside your home? They are quite sneaky! By ensuring your pets are fully vaccinated and kept up to date on parasite preventives, you can ensure that they will enjoy a happy and healthy summer!
The Tree House Veterinary Wellness Center is here to help with affordable access to vaccinations and parasite preventives. We would love to meet the family!