The Benefits of Spay/Neuter

There are currently 8 million dogs, cats, puppies and kittens euthanized in the United States every year simply because there aren’t enough homes for all of them. Besides preventing more unwanted puppies and kittens, spaying and neutering your dog or cat prevents diseases and prevents many behavioral problems that occur in unaltered pets. The risk of mammary cancer is greatly reduced if you spay your dog before age one. Also, cancers of the reproductive organs are eliminated. Behavioral problems such as aggressiveness towards same sex dogs, marking or spraying in the house and roaming to find a mate are also eliminated or reduced if you spay or neuter your pet.

The reasons for spaying are compelling and well-known:

  • Overpopulation and the resulting mass euthanasia and neglect. There can never be enough good homes for all the puppies and kittens born, including purebreds.
  • It avoids heat cycles, unwelcome visitors fighting on the lawn, accidental pregnancies, unwanted puppies and kittens, inconvenience and expense.
  • Better-behaved pets – Spayed pets are less likely to spray or mark or roam. They are less aggressive toward humans and other animals. 85% of dog bites involve intact pets.
  • Healthier pets
    • Females spayed before their first heat cycle have 96.4% less risk of breast cancer. Spaying after the first heat but before a litter still reduces the risk by 84%. Breast cancer is four times more common in dogs than in humans.
    • Spayed females have no risk of uterine infection, or uterine, ovarian, or cervical cancer.
    • Dogs and cats have their own sexually-transmitted diseases, many fatal, and some potentially contagious to humans. Spayed and neutered pets are rarely exposed to these diseases.
    • There are many complications associated with pregnancy, having babies, and raising a litter – infections, emergency c-sections (very expensive), seizures due to calcium deficiency, etc. The risk of pregnancy and rearing a litter is far greater than the risk of anesthesia and spaying.

The reasons for neutering are compelling and well-known:

  • Overpopulation and the resulting mass euthanasia and neglect. There can never be enough good homes for all the puppies and kittens born, including purebreds.
  • It avoids fighting over females, trying to escape looking for females, and the resulting inconvenience and expense that results. Males can smell a female up to 3 miles away, and will often get in trouble out looking for girls. Most of the animals hit-by-cars and lost are intact males. Smaller dogs are often killed by larger ones.
  • Neutered pets are less likely to spray or mark or roam. They are less aggressive toward humans and other animals. Eighty-five percent of dog bites involve intact pets. And who can stand the aroma of Tom Cat urine?
  • Dogs and cats have their own sexually transmitted diseases, many fatal, and some potentially contagious to humans. Feline Leukemia, for example, is the leading disease killer of cats in our area, and is spread through fighting and sexual contact. Spayed and neutered pets are rarely exposed to these diseases.
  • Neutered males have no risk of testicular cancer. Prostate cancer, and other prostate problems, are very common in older un-neutered males.

From the Office of Tracy Land, DVM
1271 Canton Hwy,
Cumming, GA 30040
Telephone: (770) 887-1565
Fax: (770) 781-4237
Email: tracylanddvm@mindspring.com