26th February was World Spay Day and we feel this is a great opportunity to discuss spaying your pets.
Spaying your pet is when the hormone secreting reproductive organs (ovaries) are removed often but not always with the uterus. This procedure is performed by a veterinary surgeon under general anaesthetic and renders the animal infertile (unable to produce offspring).
Spaying your pet can provide both medical and behavioural benefits. Please see a brief list of these below:
- Unwanted pregnancies – by your pet being spayed she will be unable to get pregnant, therefore any unwanted pregnancies will be avoided.
- Cancer – spaying your pet will greatly reduce the risk of them developing mammary tumours and uterine cancer, particularly if carried out before their first season
- Pyometra – a pyometra is an infection of the uterus and can be fatal. By spaying your pet you will avoid this risk.
- Straying – most entire female cats when in heat will go wondering to find a male cat to mate with. Whilst out looking for a mate they could get lost, trapped or be involved in a road traffic accident. To reduce the chances of your cat straying, have her spayed.
- Phantom Pregnancies – After every season or heat, there are hormonal changes which prepare a female’s body for pregnancy, even if they aren’t pregnant. This can cause a phantom pregnancy. Their body may change (start producing liquid from their teats), behaviour may change (start nesting and in rabbits pull out their fur to start building a nest) and may become lethargic, depressed and their appetite may decrease.
- Behaviour – some behaviours can be rectified if your pet is spayed. The longer you wait to have your pet spayed, the greater the risk you run of the surgery not doing the trick because the behaviour is so ingrained.
At the JSPCA we spay all female dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets prior to rehoming them.
If you have any questions about spaying your pet please speak to your vet.