Spay & Neuter
Did you know it is now absolutely normal to spay/neuter healthy puppies and kittens between 4 and 6 months of age? Wouldn’t it be nice to spay your puppy before she came in heat? Wouldn’t it be easier to neuter your kitten before he reached puberty and learned how to spray? We can safely anesthetize very young pets now, with the extraordinarily safe gas anesthetics used at Cross Timbers AMC. In addition, you don’t have to worry about your furry baby being uncomfortable. Safe, comfortable anesthesia and surgery is the name of the game at Cross Timbers AMC, especially for puppies and kittens. In fact, it is our hospital policy that ALL pets who have surgery receive pre-anesthetic, peri-anesthetic, and post-anesthetic pain control. In addition, our surgical patients go home with up a week of oral pain control medication.
At Cross Timbers AMC, we recommend that all healthy female dogs be spayed between 5 and 6 months of age. Truth be told, there’s absolutely no need for your female dog to ever have a heat cycle or to have puppies before spaying. Years ago, it was thought a female dog needed to have a litter of puppies to “settle her down,” and help her to be a better pet. . Some very elegant behavioral studies have shown that dogs spayed after having a litter, versus those spayed before reaching puberty, have no significant differences in their behavior and loving temperament.
A huge benefit to early spaying is virtually eliminating your female dog’s risk of developing breast cancer. Dogs get breast cancer 25 times more often than us humans. Dogs spayed before their first heat have a 99% reduced risk of contracting breast cancer. Dogs spayed after their first heat, but before their second heat, have a 95% reduction in their breast cancer risk. Dogs spayed after their second heat have no significant reduction in their risk.
Other benefits to early spaying include faster recovery time for the dog and reduced cost for the owner.
At Cross Timbers AMC, we also recommend that all healthy male dogs be neutered between 5 and 6 months of age. Neutering a male dog before puberty helps prevent testosterone-related behavior problems, such as hiking the leg in the house, mounting behavior, aggression and inappropriate protectiveness. If your male dog has a retained testicle, it is absolutely critical he be neutered as soon as possible–the retained testicle has a 50% chance of become cancerous by the time he’s two years old.
Many owners don’t realize that their adult male dog can develop serious health problems as he gets older from being unneutered. Did you know male dogs can get 3 different kinds of testicular tumors? The only way to prevent them is through neutering. Also, by the time an intact male dog is 5 years old, he has a 75% chance of having an enlarged prostate gland. By the time he’s 7 years old, his risk is over 90%. Enlarged prostates cause the dog to have to work harder to pass stool. In addition, the dog with an enlarged prostate is at high risk of developing prostatitis, a painful infection of the prostate that can be as life-threatening as appendicitis in humans. The treatment for enlarged prostate, and the only way to prevent enlarged prostate, is neutering.
Call Cross Timbers AMC for details about early spay or neuter services for your pet!