A spay procedure or, ovariohysterectomy, is the surgical removal of a female dog or cat’s ovaries and uterus. While it is an abdominal surgery requiring anesthesia, it is one of the most commonly performed surgeries within a veterinary hospital. Spays are typically performed BEFORE a puppy or kitten’s first heat cycle (around 6 months of age). The following are important benefits of spaying your female puppy or kitten:
- Mammary cancer prevention – A female dog spayed before her first heat cycle will have nearly a 0% chance of developing potentially fatal mammary cancer, as you are essentially removing the source of the hormones that stimulate the formation of such tumors.
- Pyometra prevention – Pyometra is a potentially life-threatening infection of the uterus that typically occurs in middle-aged or geriatric intact female dogs in the six weeks following a heat cycle. Without treatment (emergency surgery), a patient with pyometra will die. Surgeries in cases of pyometra are expensive and carry the risk of many operative complications.
- Prevention of unwanted puppies – Controlling pet overpopulation.
- Elimination of the heat cycle – Convenience of no bloody discharge, offensive odor, etc. that owners of intact female dogs deal with on an average of every 8 months. Dogs do NOT experience a menopause.
- Many counties that require a dog license will offer a discounted fee if your dog is spayed.
- Prevention of unwanted kittens
- Elimination of noisy heat cycles that are often annoying to the owner
- Prevention of mammary cancer
- Pyometra prevention – although more common in dogs