Spay and Neuter for Dogs & Cats in St. Paul, MN
Spay and neuter surgeries are some of the most routine and common surgeries performed on cats and dogs—and rightly so. The surgery boasts multiple benefits, from reducing unnecessary euthanasia due to pet overpopulation to providing individual medical and behavioral benefits. At St. Paul Pet Hospital, we're here to guide pet parents on why these surgeries are so important, and when the best time is for having their pet spayed or neutered.
Why Spay Your Dog or Cat?
Spaying refers to the removal of the ovaries and uterus of a female pet. The surgery requires minimal hospitalization and offers lifelong health benefits:
- Spaying helps prevent uterine infections, ovarian and uterine cancers, and mammary gland tumors which are usually fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat cycle offers the best protection from these diseases.
- Your spayed dog or cat won’t go into heat. While cycles can vary, cats usually go into heat for four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house!
- Spayed cats and dogs will no longer be inclined to roam to find a mate—a habit that could find them in dangerous situations like in the street or in proximity to aggressive males.
Why Neuter Your Dog or Cat?
Neutering or castration refers to the removal of the testicles of your male dog or cat. The procedure will vastly improve your pet’s behavior, keep him closer to home, and provide major health benefits:
- Neutering your dog or cat prevents testicular cancer.
- Neutered dogs and cats are less likely to roam away from home in search of a mate, which can put him in danger of a car accident or a run-in with another aggressive male.
- Neutered cats and dogs are usually better behaved because they are no longer consumed with the need to reproduce. Instead, they’re able to better focus their attention on their human families.
- Another benefit of neutering your dog or cat is that they are less likely to exhibit urine-spraying behavior to mark their territory as well as mounting behaviors.
Debunking Spay & Neuter Myths
Spaying and neutering are surrounded by some pretty stubborn myths. Before you make your decision, be sure to consider these myths and the truths behind them so you can make the most informed decision.
Myth 1: My pet will gain weight after surgery. Spaying and neutering do not increase your pet’s weight. Lack of exercise and overfeeding do, though! As long as your pet gets plenty of exercise and is fed a healthy, controlled diet, they’ll remain trim and fit.
Myth 2: Spaying and neutering is too expensive. The cost of a spay and neuter surgery is a one-time fee that covers the necessary procedures to ensure your pet’s health and safety throughout surgery. The costs of an unexpected litter, on the other hand, are extensive with costs for the mother’s care throughout pregnancy, medical care for the litter, food for the whole family, and more.
Myth 3: My female will be “missing out” if she doesn’t have one litter. Trust us, your female pet will not lament the inability to have a litter. In fact, spaying females before their first heat cycle significantly reduces their risk of developing mammary gland tumors in the future. Letting them have even one heat cycle and litter raises the risk of cancer substantially.
Myth 4: My pet’s personality will change after surgery. Spaying and neutering does affect some behaviors, but it’s important to note that behaviors and personality are two very different things. With surgery, your pet will be less aggressive, less likely to exhibit urine-marking and mounting behaviors, and will be all-around better behaved. Yet their stubborn, bubbly, or mischievous personalities will go untouched.