Operation wanted: Why now is the time to desex your pet
WITH the RSPCA's "Operated Wanted" now in operation till August 31, now is the time to talk to your Vet about desexing your pets. Many Vets offer special prices for desexing at this time and demand is strong so you should book your pet in early.
Why desex your pet?
Thousands of puppies and kittens are surrendered to animal shelters every year with many being put down as unwanted. These cute fur balls are often the result of their owners being too slow in having their pets desexed when they have no intention of breeding their pet.
Some may be tempted to breed a litter on the assumption that they will make additional income but unless you are a registered breeder with the appropriate licence and set up, best forget it.
In our experience breeding your pet cat or dog often leads to an unhappy outcome. While some of the offspring may be sold, many end up being given away just to get rid of them.
Rearing puppies or kittens for sale with the associated vaccinations, certification, advertising, foods and microchipping can be an expensive and time consuming business.
Benefits of desexing your dog.
There are many health and behaviour reasons for having dogs desexed. Female dogs no longer have the strain of continual litters and are much less likely to develop mammary carcinomas (breast cancer). Desexing also eliminates 'false pregnancies' - and the risk of developing life-threatening but all-too-common infections of the reproductive tract (pyometra).
Castrated male dogs usually have a healthier and more contented life.
He is less likely to develop problems with his prostate gland, and the chance of the development of tumours in the testes will be eliminated.
Roaming is reduced in 90 percent of male dogs after castration and is the biggest behavioural advantage noted. It also helps reduces aggression toward other males along with 'leg lifting' (urine marking) behaviour.
While desexing may reduce aggression, be aware, there are different triggers to aggression and different types of aggression. Generally it reduces inter-male aggression but can have little effect if the aggressive behaviour is fear based.
If your dog is aggressive in any manner, neutering it is always a good idea and even if it doesn't help with the aggression, at least they will not pass his or her aggressive genes to any pups he or she may produce.
It is usual to have your dog desexed when they are five to six months of age. There is no benefit at all in allowing them to breed. It will not make her more content and there is no known advantage in allowing her to have a season or to even come into heat before being desexed.
In fact, if she is already pregnant or in heat, surgery can be much more complex and thus more expensive due to the massive increase in blood vessels around the uterus.
For your male dog, there is absolutely no advantage in allowing him to service a bitch before he is neutered.
How about the cat?
Cats have a three-week breeding cycle which usually starts around August and lasts through the summer.
Cats are breeding machines and while dogs usually only come into 'season' every six months and have just one cycle lasting three weeks before it stops, whether they are mated or not, cats are in season every three weeks.
When the hormones hit, queens (female cats) will actively seek males until she mates. Female cats can show some unusual behaviour when her hormones start and may yowl at the door to get out, roll on the ground, or become generally agitated.
You may think she needs to go to the toilet and that's your mistake, as she will stay out all night, to return in the morning with a happy, contented smile on her face and deliver you some kittens around nine weeks later.
Cat fights over females can end in a very bitter and vicious way with injuries such as ruptured eyeballs, deep scratches and bite wounds over the body or head being common.
Bite wounds can become painful abscesses caused by bacteria that are forcefully injected under the victim's skin by the aggressor's needle sharp teeth and there is a very good chance that Feline AIDS, will be contracted.
Unlike human AIDS, Feline AIDS is spread by saliva passed from one cat to another by a bite wound and is much more common in entire male cats than others.
Male cats can roam for kilometres seeking to mate and can become lost, fall victim to cars or attacked by dogs - or even sleep deprived humans.
For both Dogs and Cats, there are similar myths.
It is a myth that "She'll be so much more content after having a litter".
There is no advantage at all in allowing dogs or cats to have a season or a litter.
Toms that are not desexed can suffer continual wounds and abscesses from fighting and often die early and sometimes tragically.
If your pet is not already desexed, you should call your vet now and make an appointment.
The surgical procedure involved for cats and dogs are similar and quite routine but should only be carried out in a sterile environment by trained staff.
This is not something that should be done outside a sterile environment or by untrained people.
Remember - desexing is not just about unwanted offspring
A long healthy life for your pet is really a much better outcome. So - if you have a pet dog or cat and they have not been desexed, do yourself and the community a favour - call your vet now and take advantage of the discounts offered in support of the RSPCA's Operation Wanted campaign.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at Killarney Vets.