Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Time to spay Poppy

Poppy is just about six months old and her adult canine teeth are just starting to appear - the time to spay her is here! I always advise people to wait until the adult canines have erupted before their puppy goes to surgery. Retained deciduous teeth, meaning that the baby and adult teeth are present at the same time, requires extraction of the baby teeth so the dog's bite does not become adversely affected. The removal of any remaining baby teeth must be done under anesthesia so it makes sense to do this at the same time as the spay/neuter surgery.

In my opinion spay/neuter is one of the top three essential things that should be done to give your pet a long, healthy life (as a side note the other two are proper vaccination and heartworm prevention). Therefore I thought I would re-post my article on why this is such an important procedure.
Spaying and neutering are routine surgeries, which remove a dog or cat’s reproductive organs. This single, simple act has numerous benefits for your pet’s health, yourself, and the millions of unwanted animals living in shelters.

As a general rule, if you do not plan on breeding your pet, he or she should be spayed or neutered by 6 months of age. It is common for some shelters to perform these surgeries on younger animals. Breeding correctly takes a lot of research and education both for the safety of your pet and to pass on desirable traits of the breed. If you are not dedicated to improving the genetics of your chosen breed and producing offspring that are healthier than their parents, then you should not breed your pet.

Female dogs and cats spayed before their first heat have less than a 1% chance of developing mammary cancer. If you spay them before their second heat you have a 92% chance of preventing mammary cancer. By spaying you completely remove the chance for an often life-threatening uterine infection called pyometra as well as uterine and ovarian cancers. Neutering a male dog or cat eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and significantly decreases the chance of prostatic disease and hernias which occur under the body’s influence of testosterone. Plus, a pet that is spayed or neutered is simply more pleasant to live with. Neutering your male dog decreases and may even eliminate such undesirable behavioral tendencies as aggression, urine marking, wandering and the dreaded humping. Male cats are less likely to spray if inside and fight or roam if they are allowed outside. Female dogs in heat are really messy – who wants that mess on their carpet or sofa? And anyone who has ever lived with an un-neutered male cat will recall the joys of damp carpets and the delicate aromas of cat pee wafting through the room.
If the reasons above do not move you, let us consider the tragic pet overpopulation problem in this country. The Humane Society of the Unites States estimates that 6-8 million dogs and cats enter a shelter every year. Of that number over half are euthanized, that is 4 million dogs and cats put to death every year. The average fertile female cat can produce about 12-18 kittens per year and female dog 12-20 puppies. Shelters and rescue groups work tirelessly to find homes for these pets but they just can’t keep up with the number of animals entering the shelters.

Spay and neuter today! Do it for your pet’s health, do it for yourself and do it for the millions of unwanted animals living in shelters.

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