Pediatric, or Early Spay/Neuter, refers to spaying or neutering pets at a much earlier age than the old six to nine month standard. With today’s anesthetics, advanced monitoring equipment, and surgical techniques, not only are these procedures safe in young puppies and kittens, the risk of complication is lower and the recovery period shorter than in mature pets. Concerns about adverse effects have now been proven unfounded. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society of the United States, the Association of Spay/Neuter Veterinarians, and the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia, are among those that support early spay/neuter.
But why spay and neuter the babies?
- It’s safer. Our mortality rate is lower. I’ve performed over 800 procedures with only one loss. Complications occur less often. Most compelling, in a study done by veterinary students (completely inexperienced surgeons), their death and complication rates were lower.
- It’s easier on the pet – anesthesia time is shorter and recovery takes only a few hours.
- It completely eliminates the possibility of accidental litters. We daily hear the infamous “I didn’t know she’d go in heat so soon”, and “she just got out for a few minutes”. The list is endless. My personal favorite is “She can’t be pregnant. I just chained her up when she was in heat.”.
- It completely eliminates the possibility of intentional breeding by well meaning but ignorant guardians. The old “so the kids can have the experience”, “just one litter”, “we can make a little money” or “I found her a good home” that turns out to be a back yard puppy mill.
- Breeders can avoid having their names show up on poor quality stock and help control competition by backyard breeders.
- The bottom line is fewer unwanted pets and fewer ill-bred animals filling up homes so that others go without.