Here at Paws N’ Hooves Veterinary Hospital and Paws N’ Hooves Mobile Veterinary Services, we strongly believe in getting all our pets spayed and neutered! This helps keep our furry family members healthier and in many cases, allows us to have them with us much longer! This also helps everyone reduce the number of companion pets euthanized or waiting for homes in shelters! Check out these fun facts and other good reasons to have your pet taken care of!
- Before the first heat cycle (typically 6-9 months of age), their chances for mammary cancer are about .5%.
- After their first heat cycle, their chances for mammary cancer go up to 8%!
- After their 2nd heat cycle, chances for mammary cancer go up to 26%.
- With every heat cycle thereafter, their chances keep getting higher and by the age of 2 years the chances area as high as 80%.
- Spaying a dog after increased mammary cancer risk, does NOT reduce their chances. However, it DOES keep them from increasing.
- Mammary tumors in dogs have a 50/50 chance of being malignant (serious tumors that can cause serious complications in the mammary chain throughout the body).
- Cats spayed before 6 months of age have a 7-times reduced risk of developing mammary cancer.
- Unlike dogs, spaying a cat at ANY age, reduces the risk of mammary tumors by 40%-60% in cats!
- Over 85% of mammary tumors in cats are malignant!
- Out of the 85% malignant tumors, most are locally invasive and can spread to other areas in the body.
- Spaying your cat helps with the feral cat population that affect our neighborhoods and local wildlife.
Both: Spaying and Neutering prevents
- Mammary tumors that have the potential to spread to other areas of the body- most commonly the lungs.
- Unwanted pregnancies and animal overpopulation.
- Overpopulation and high numbers of pets being abandoned to shelters. This results in less euthanized pets. There are approximately 1.5 million pets euthanized every year in the US and many more in Mexico. Many of these animals are young and healthy and are pure-bred breeds.
- Prevents unwanted litters you later have to worry about and try to find homes for.
- Prevents the expense of pregnancy, possible C-sections or other complications, and having to vaccinate an entire litter of babies.
- Eliminates “going into heat” (bleeding in your home)
- Eliminates the behaviors associated with breeding instinct, for example male dogs marking on walls, pets escaping the home and getting hit by cars or getting lost and other unwanted behaviors like territorial aggression.
- Eliminates the possibility for Pyometra. A pyometra is a potentially deadly uterine infection and typically occurs after a female goes through a heat cycle. The uterus fills with pus and bacteria, which the pet is unable to expel as it accumulates. This condition requires emergency surgery to remove the puss-filled uterus before it ruptures inside of the pet. Unfortunately, untreated pyometras end in fatality.
- Eliminates the possibility of uterine, ovarian, and testicular cancer and painful cysts. Many of these go unnoticed because they are inside the body and cannot be seen, but are very painful.
Both cats and dogs
- Prostate gradually enlarges as they age due to hormonal changes when not neutered
- Prevents testicular cancer
- When neutered early enough, they do not develop the habit of “marking their territory” (urinating in the home).
- Helps prevent territorial aggression
- Helps prevent aggression towards other animals
- Prevents roaming due to looking for a female
- Helps with a more comfortable and relaxed pet, making them easier to handle
- Eliminates the chances for unwanted pregnancies/litters/overpopulation (same as females).
- Neutering your cat helps with the feral cat population that affect our neighborhoods and local wildlife.
- Some males are “cryptorchid”. This means that either one or both testicles did not descend into the scrotum. Since the testicle(s) is inside the body rather than out, it remains in a much hotter environment than it is meant to be. This makes the pet more likely to develop testicular cancer in that testicle. Males that are cryptorchid should not be bred, this is a genetic defect that can be passed on!
Studies show that spaying and neutering prolong your pet’s life
How much does a spay/neuter cost?
- The cost of a spay or neuter goes based off how much your pet weighs. Many factors (such as medication and time needed) go into the price of the procedure. Females that are “in heat”, pregnant, or are found to have the beginning of a pyometra, will carry an additional charge as it causes the procedure to take longer and be more difficult in some cases. Males that are found to be cryptorchid will also have an additional cost, as two incisions are to be made and additional time is needed to look for the retained testicle in the abdomen or inguinal area of the patient.
Do we offer any payment plans?
- We do work with Care Credit and Scratch Pay, and payments can be done this way. The applications for both don’t take long to complete, and can conveniently be done from your mobile device. Care Credit and Scratch Pay can also be used for emergencies and routine vaccine visits!
- Health insurance obtained for your pet at an early age is another wonderful way to reduce the costs of preventative care, such as spaying and neutering, as well as that of emergency care.
- Our Wellness Annual Packages also offer wonderful discounts for routine and emergency care.
- We understand saving can be difficult, so you are also welcome to leave credit on your account! This is 100% on your own terms and you can leave as much as you’d like weekly/biweekly/monthly to save up for this needed procedure!
I’m concerned about my pet going under anesthesia.
- We understand that putting our four-legged family members under anesthesia for any procedure can be scary. However, we take all the precautions we can to help ensure that your pet is safe and comfortable during and after the procedure. We recommend bringing your pet in for a pre-surgical exam prior to having the procedure done, so we may better get a view of yours and your pet’s needs before they even come in for surgery! This is also a perfect time to discuss any and all questions/concerns you may have. At this time, we can also collect a blood sample from your pet for pre-surgical blood work. Pre-surgical blood work should be done for EVERY pet, of EVERY age, EVERY time! This helps us determine if your pet is safe to go under general anesthesia, and prepare for any possible complications that may arise. Although pre-surgical blood work is only mandatory for our seniors (6 years+), we always recommend every pet get tested as often we are able to find congenital liver disease that has gone unnoticed but that can affect your pet’s ability to process the anesthetics. Spays and neuters are routine procedures, and are done daily by our experienced Doctors!
“But don’t their personalities change?”
- One of the biggest misconceptions of getting a pet sterilized is that their personality changes. The procedure has no effect on the pet’s ability to play, work, or learn. In some cases, they become better behaved and easier for an owner to handle. One of the biggest changes we may see is weight gain, thus we recommend monitoring food and activity levels to avoid weight gain. In most pets, however, this will not be an issue.
“Will my pet stop urinating on everything? Will my pet become less aggressive?”
- We can’t guarantee that a pet will stop any unwanted behaviors. Although it is possible that these behaviors stop or lessen after sterilization, often these behaviors are now habit. Sterilization will remove the hormonal urge for these behaviors, but must be performed early and before habits form. Once the habits are formed, it is difficult and rare for them to cease completely. Castrating does help make the pet more trainable, which will in turn help reduce aggression. However, this requires time and effort from the pet parent and not the neuter alone.
Already decided you’d like your pet to be spayed/neutered? What to do next?
If you’ve already made the decision to get your pet spayed/neutered, your pet is one step closer to a happier, healthier, and longer life to enjoy with you! The next step depends on where you would like to get the procedure done. If you are considering coming into our Mesa (stationary clinic) location, please give us a call to schedule a pre-surgical exam. If you are considering coming to our mobile clinic, no exam is required prior to the day of the procedure (for spay and neuter). We still recommend you bring them in 3-30 days before the surgery for pre-surgical blood work, this way we have results before your pet even arrives that day. However, we can also run blood work in house on the same day, if you’d prefer. Since our mobile clinic is walk-in only, we recommend you arrive before the mobile does. Many times, we have a line for surgeries forming before we even arrive. We take surgeries the first 30 minutes of the day, or as many as we can before reaching capacity (whichever comes first). Please bring your pet fasted (nothing to eat/drink after 8 PM the night before). An estimate will be provided to you and any questions/concerns answered during the drop off process.