Spaying or neutering is the removal of the reproductive organs of an animal. The procedure makes your pet unable to reproduce, eliminating their heat cycle.
Spaying refers to the procedure of removing the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus of a female dog or cat. Neutering refers to the removal of testicles of a male pet.
Originally founded by the Doris Day Animal League in 1995 as Spay Day USA, World Spay Day has been observed by nearly 70 countries around the world so far and the number is growing. This has brought to light the fact that neutering a domestic animal has more advantages than disadvantages. It’s affordable and has many health benefits for your animal companion.
The day is observed on the last Tuesday of February and this year, it was on February 27.
Before we get on with the tips and advantages of sterilizing your pet, let’s take a look at some of the common myths and misconceptions associated with neutering and spaying.
Sterilizing your dog makes them unhealthy, lazy and overweight.
Wrong. Your dog’s health depends on diet and exercise. It’s a no-brainer.
Neutering your pet will fix many behavioural problems.
Wrong again. While early neutering may tone down some of the unwanted behaviours caused by a higher level of testosterone such as marking their territory by urinating all over the house, or mounting other dogs, people, etc, expecting your dog to completely change their personality is unrealistic. Your dog’s personality, developed over a period of time, cannot get a quick makeover by neutering him; it largely depends on how well you’ve trained him.
It will be depriving my pet of a chance to give birth.
Think about it. There’s a huge overpopulation problem with pets all over the world. Neutering curbs pet overpopulation and eliminates many health risks. If not spayed, a cat may give birth to a litter of six kittens, four times a year, and a dog may give birth to a litter of eight to nine once a year. “You can only imagine how difficult it must be for the pet mothers to go through such physical stress so often,” says Sourav Shamim, Chairman, Care For Paws.
Why should I spay my pet?
Spaying your female dog or cat prevents urine infections and breast tumours. They are malignant in about 90 percent of cats and 50 percent of dogs.
In males, neutering prevents testicular cancer, along with a few prostate issues.
Spaying your pet will stop them from going into heat. When in heat, they usually urinate more often around the house, and sometimes escape from the house to find mates. Once out, your pet is at risk of being injured in traffic or even fights with other animals.
Sourav Shamim, Chariman, Care For Paws explains that the sterilizing procedure is quite affordable here; spaying costs Tk3,000, and neutering costs Tk2,000. “Neutering a pet takes about 30 minutes, and spaying takes about 60 to 90 minutes. These procedures reduce the chances of cancer, and many other diseases.”
So when should I spay my pet?
You could spay or neuter your four-legged buddy within six to nine months after its birth, but puppies and kittens as young as eight weeks old can be neutered if they’re healthy.
Pre and post-op instructions
• Before getting your pet sterilized, your vet may ask you to not give them any food 12 hours before the surgery is scheduled.
• After getting neutered, your pet should be kept in a quiet, comfortable place indoors, away from other animals, to rest and heal faster.
• Your neutered pet should not be bathed for at least 10 to 14 days after the surgery.
• S/he should be prevented from running, jumping, or licking and scratching the incision site, which may cause infection and complications and slow down the healing process even further. Your vet may recommend putting an Elizabethan collar on your pet. Alternatively, you could fold and wrap a small towel around its neck, making a loosely-fitted cervical collar that will pretty much serve the same purpose.
If you notice, swelling, redness or discharge at the incision site, please contact your vet immediately.