Spaying & Neutering

Valid Spaying and Neutering

The spaying and neutering of pets is a responsible action all animal owners should consider. Throughout the country, streets and animal shelters are full of homeless dogs and cats facing starvation, disease, and the chance of being euthanized.

If you're interested in spaying or neutering your pet, Fort Hunt Animal Hospital is the place to go. Call 703-360-6100 today to make arrangements.

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Answers to FAQs About Pet Sterilization

Why spay or neuter my pet?There are many benefits to spaying and neutering. These procedures are very safe when a licensed and experienced vet performs them. More so, many families find these procedures help to improve a pet’s disposition. There are also medical benefits to the process.

For example, spaying your pet can help prevent uterine infections and even breast tumors in pets. These are malignant or cancerous tumors that develop in as many as 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. Neutering male pets is also beneficial because it can help to prevent certain types of sexual behaviors, including male aggression, the desire to roam, urine marking, and sexual activity.

It’s also important to recognize the need for spaying and neutering from the vantage point of animals on the street. Each year, some 3.7 million cats, dogs, and other animals are euthanized at shelters because they simply do not have anyone to adopt them. Spaying and neutering minimize this number in a safe way.

Other benefits include:

  • Female pets tend to live a longer and healthier life
  • Neutering can prevent testicular cancer and some types of prostate concerns
  • Females will not go into heat
  • It’s less expensive than trying to home a litter

When should I spay or neuter my pet?
There can be some differences in when you should have your pet spayed or neutered. The primary concern is that your pet is healthy enough for the procedure and any unresolved health complications are under care.

It’s always beneficial to talk about this process with your veterinarian at your pet’s first appointments.

What do the terms spay and neuter mean?
Spay is an ovariohysterectomy, the removal of the uterus and ovaries. Neuter is an orchiectomy, the removal of the testicles. When a pet is spayed or neutered, they can no longer get pregnant or impregnate another animal. Once an animal has been spayed or neutered, which is often referred to as fixed, the surgery is a permanent solution that cannot be reversed.

What is the difference between spaying and neutering?

To have a pet spayed involves removing the reproductive organs of a female dog or cat. Neutering, on the other hand, is the removal of a male animal’s testes. Each of these services involves pet surgery, which we perform here at Fort Hunt Animal Hospital. 

When should I get my pet spayed or neutered?
Typically, you would want to get your pet spayed or neutered before they sexually reproduce. While the exact timeline differs in the veterinary community, we recommend getting your dog or cat spayed or neutered before they are six months old.

This reduces the likelihood that a female cat or dog will go into heat, which can ensure they do not reproduce before they are spayed. For male cats and dogs, having them neutered before they are six months old reduces the aggressive behaviors associated with the desire to reproduce. 

Why should I spay or neuter my pet?
The primary reason pet owners spay or neuter their pet is to prevent the animal from reproducing. However, there are several health benefits associated with this type of pet surgery.

By removing a female pet’s reproductive organs the animal will avoid cancers of the reproductive organs, as well as breast tumors and uterine infections. The ASPCA notes that 90% of these tumors are malignant in female cats and 50% are deadly in female dogs. 

For males that are neutered, there is some evidence that early neutering reduces joint problems and some forms of cancer, according to Cesar’s Way. 

Neutered pets are also less likely to wander off or leave home to search for a mate.


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