Authored by: Dr. Lindsey, DVM
There are many benefits to getting your pet spayed or neutered. Spaying (ovariohysterectomy) is the term commonly referring to the removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus of a female animal. Neutering (orchiectomy) is the removal of the testes from the male animal. Spaying an animal removes the ability for them to breed and eliminates the heat cycle and other reproductive behaviors. Neutering also removes the ability for the animal to breed and can reduce or eliminate reproductive behaviors.
Some medical benefits of spaying include decreasing or preventing breast and uterine cancers. It can also decrease the chance of getting a uterine infection called a pyometra which can be life-threatening. The medical benefits of neutering include preventing testicular cancer and decreasing the chances of some prostate problems. Spaying and neutering are cost effective too. The cost of the surgery is less than the care for a litter.
There can also be some behavioral benefits of spaying and neutering. A spayed female won’t have a heat cycle so no mess to clean up or annoying vocalizations. Intact male dogs will do anything to get to a female dog in heat, so they are more likely to run away from home and get lost or hit by a car. Neutering MAY (it’s no guarantee) help decrease some “bad boy behaviors” such as humping, inappropriate urination/spraying, or some types of aggressive behaviors. Ask your veterinarian what age they recommend to spay or neuter a pet.
Dr. Lindsey graduated from Colorado State University in 2009 and works in general practice, shelter medicine, and more recently as a civilian contractor veterinarian for the Army. She is also certified in acupuncture and resides in Palm Springs, CA.