Myth: Your Pet's Health is unaffected.
Truth: There are health benefits to fixing your pet: Dogs who are spayed before their first heat have a significantly reduced risk of breast cancer. If they are spayed with the traditional procedure, in which both the uterus and ovaries are removed, there's no chance at all of a severe and sometimes-deadly uterine infection which eliminates the risk of developing uterine or ovarian cancer. In the same way, neutering eliminates testicular cancer and reduces the risk of prostate problems.
Myth: My pet’s behavior will change.
Truth: This myth can actually be true — but, typically, the changes will be for the better. Spaying and neutering can smooth out fluctuations in your pet’s behavior, making it more consistent and pleasant. Females will likely dodge the irritability caused by hormonal changes that occur during heat cycles and may be less prone to pick fights with other dogs. A spayed female usually won’t urinate in your home or at the front door to let surrounding males know she's "available". Unneutered male cats and dogs have their own set of hormonally charged, unattractive behaviors — roaming, mounting, urine marking and fighting with other males — that will most likely decrease after neutering. Of course, spaying and neutering aren't quick fixes for all behavioral problems; you'll still need to work on specific issues with your pet.
Myth: My pet will get fat.
Truth: Maybe, but whether your pet puts on the pounds is strictly up to you. The age at which pets are spayed or neutered is typically the time their growth slows and they would normally begin to put on weight anyway. The good news is that weight gain is not inevitable after spay or neuter surgery.
Myth: My pet is too young to be spayed or neutered.
Truth: In many cases, younger is better. Some young animals can reach sexual maturity as early as 4 months of age. With cats, especially, spaying or neutering sooner can prevent unwanted litters. Young dogs and cats can be better able to handle the surgery. Younger pets may come out of anesthesia more smoothly and recover more quickly with less bleeding and pain. That said, some large and giant breeds can benefit from a longer wait before spay or neuter surgery. Talk to your Dr. Daniels about the best age for your particular breed.
Myth: Spay or neuter surgery is expensive.
Truth: Not necessarily. The surgery is usually less expensive for smaller and younger animals. It’s a lot less expensive when you compare it to the cost (think a couple thousand dollars) of a potential Cesarean section if your pet has trouble delivering a litter, or the cost of feeding and caring for pups or kittens and paying for their veterinary checkups, vaccines and deworming before they can be placed in new homes. Never be afraid to talk with Dr. Daniels about the options.
Myth: Your pet should experience the joys of parenthood before undergoing the big snip.
Truth: The good news for you is that there is no scientific evidence that it’s better to allow a pet to become a parent before spaying or neutering. Why is that good news? Spayed females won’t have a heat cycle, eliminating the likelihood that they will leave bloodstains throughout your home and neutered males are less likely to take off down the road in search of a little action.