The average lifespan of a neutered pet is much longer than that of an unneutered one.
Unspayed females can develop breast cancer or severe uterine infections by the time they are 8-10 years of age. Unspayed females are also in heat frequently, during which time they are noisy and troublesome to live with.
Unneutered male cats have very strong smelling urine, which they like to spray in the house to mark their territory. They are also prone to wander in search of female cats and are very territorial as well. These traits lead to high rates of death from being run over by cars, fight wounds and contagious illnesses (for some of which there is no cure e.g. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia Virus).
Almost all unspayed female dogs will eventually develop either mammary tumours (breast cancer) or a severe uterine infection called pyometra, by the time they are 8-10 years old. Female dogs also go through a messy heat cycle (season) two to three times each year.
Male dogs commonly develop prostate disease, peri-anal tumours and testicular cancer in their old age. Even more sadly, one of the more common reasons for euthanasia of pets is behaviour problems. These are usually aggression, running away, or urinating in the house by unneutered male dogs. Intact males also have greater tendencies to roam, which lead to road traffic accidents, dog fights and contagious diseases.
If cost is a concern for having surgery, just £5-10 per week saved from the time you get your puppy until he or she is 6 months old will be more than enough to cover the surgery.
● Prevention of Pregnancy: This is the most common reason that rabbits are neutered, particularly if there are both male and female rabbits living together in a household.
● Prevention of Uterine Cancer: This is the most compelling medical incentive to neuter female rabbits. In some rabbit populations the rate of uterine adenocarcinoma, which is a malignant uterine cancer, can approach 80% of the females.
● Prevention of Other Uterine Disease: Cases of other uterine disease such as pyometra (infected uterus full of pus), uterine aneurysm (uterus full of blood) and endometritis (inflamed uterine lining) also occur in rabbits.
● Prevention of Aggressive Behaviour: Both male and female rabbits can display aggressive behaviour when they are fully in the state of sexual maturity.
● Prevention of Urine Spraying: Both male and females can spray urine on vertical surfaces to make their territory. This is more common in males.
● Prevention of Testicular Disease: Most commonly we see abscesses (usually the result of bite wounds from other rabbits), haematomas (blood filled areas) and cancer.
When should I neuter my pet?
Cats: This should be done when your cat reaches 4-6 months of age.
Dogs : This should be done from the time that your dog reaches 6 months of age.
Rabbits: Depending on the breed, from four to nine months.
Things to consider before breeding from your pet
1. Do you have the time to raise a litter of kittens or puppies? The time and effort required may be considerable, especially if problems are encountered.
2. Is your pet a good representative of his/her breed? Up to 40% of purebred dogs have some form of genetic defect which they can pass on to their offspring.
3. Look at the general health of the breed. Are there any problems such as hip dysplasia or seizures?
4. Can you afford the expense if your pet becomes pregnant and needs veterinary care for associated problems? Caesarean sections and other emergency care can be very expensive (and are not always covered by insurance—check your policy).
● We recommend spaying (surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus) of females and castration (surgical removal of the testicles) of males, for all pets that will not be used for purebred breeding.
● Your pet will be healthier and happier, and you will have done your part to reduce the pet overpopulation problem.
● You will be helping to prevent many dogs and cats being put to death each year because there are not enough homes for them all.
Neutering is the responsible thing to do.