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Spay and Neutering in San Jose

Spaying your female pet and neutering your male pet can be a very beneficial procedure. It is primarily used for population control, of course, but can also be used to reduce or eliminate certain behavioral problems and reduce or eliminate certain tumors/cancers.

With female dogs, it will stop/prevent cycling or “coming into heat”, and all the attendant issues, such as the bloody vaginal discharge (can last up to 2-3 weeks!). She can be around male dogs without fear of her getting pregnant. If it is done before she comes into heat, the chances of mammary gland tumors are greatly reduced. She cannot get tumors of her ovaries and uterus, nor infection in her uterus (called pyometra, a very serious condition), since both are removed.

With male dogs, it can reduce aggressive behavior in those dogs that have problems with that. He cannot get testicular cancer (which tends to happen in dogs less than 5-6 years of age, and can be a very aggressive cancer). Prostate and perianal gland tumors are virtually non-existent. It can reduce urine marking.

With female cats, when she goes into heat, she will continue to cycle every couple of weeks, unless she is bred to, or has been stimulated to ovulate (cats are “induced ovulators”). Female cats in heat tend to howl (some owners think they are in pain!), fall over, and can be moody. Spaying will stop all of this!

Male cats have a greater tendency to get into fights (which can cause abscesses and expose them to nasty diseases like FELV and FIV), urine inappropriately (i.e. mark with their urine), and their urine has a very strong, musky odor. Neutering will reduce all of this.

The surgeries involved, while considered major surgeries, are extremely well tolerated. Recovery is quick, and without complications the vast majority of times. Pain control is used by us for all of these procedures.

In the last couple of years, there has been some growing concern over spaying and neutering at too young of an age, and how this might lead to some problems later. There is one study with Golden Retrievers that suggest some major problems could be associated with “early” spaying and neutering. Realize this is ONE study. Some other issues that can be associated with “early” spaying and neutering include the following. Neutering male cats before 12-16 weeks of age can result in a very small number of cats developing hip fractures at about 7-10 months of age. Some female dogs, if spayed at 6 months or earlier, can develop urinary incontinence later in life (which is treatable with medications).

There is NO certain answer on what age is “best” for every pet. There are no certainties with regard to those issues mentioned above; in other words, not every pet who is spayed or neutered early will develop those issues. There is much to be figured out, and studies are being done. In all probability, there will be no definitive answers, no certain recommendations, because of the myriad of factors involved, such as sex, breed, and family genetics.

In the meantime, talk with the veterinarians at Lincoln Avenue Veterinary Clinic about this to figure out what will be the best time for YOUR pet.

You can also see more information at www.veterinarypartner.com.

Feline spay information

Feline neuter information

Canine spay information

Canine neuter information

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