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When Should I Spay or Neuter My Pet?

Spaying entails surgically removing the uterus and two ovaries of a female pet. On the other hand, neutering is removing testicles from a male pet. Most people refer to it as castration. A neuter procedure is a significant surgery like spaying. However, a spay is more complex. 



Medical Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Pets



Spaying will help your female pet live a healthier and longer life. It prevents uterine infections. Spaying your female pet also prevents cancerous or malignant breast tumors. Taking your pet through the procedure before their first heat protects them from such diseases. Neutering male pets help prevent prostate problems and testicular cancer.



Behavioral Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Pets



Spayed female pets do not go into heat. As a result, it eliminates bloody vaginal discharge, yowling, erratic behavior, and crying. Neutering helps male pets reduce behaviors such as fighting with other male pets, roaming looking for a mate, and marking inside your home.



When to Spay and Neuter Your Pet



Traditionally, neutering happens at six to nine months. But if your puppies are healthy, you can go ahead and neuter them at eight weeks old. It is advisable to neuter at a young age, although you can still do it for dogs in their adult years. Doing so increases their risk of developing complications after their surgery. Such problems occur due to health problems or being overweight.


It is safe to neuter or spay your kittens at eight weeks. Most animal shelters perform surgery at that age to sterilize the kittens before they become adopted. They do so to prevent pregnancy and urine spraying. Cat owners ought to schedule the surgery before their pet reaches five months.



What to Do Before Surgery



Your veterinarian will give you advice during the period before surgery to help you prepare yourself and your pet. You will need to avoid feeding your pet food past midnight before the procedure. However, you should not withhold food from your kitten or puppy because they need enough nutrition.



How to Help Your Pet After Surgery



Your vet will also give you instructions on what to do after the procedure. Your pet may be uncomfortable after the surgery. You may get some pain medication to take home, depending on the surgery your pet underwent. 


It is essential to put your pet in a quiet place indoors where they can recover in quiet. Avoid putting them close to other animals.


It is also essential to prevent the jumping and running of your pet for at least two weeks after their surgery. The incision site should remain protected at all costs. Keep checking the site every day to monitor the healing progress. You can use an Elizabethan collar to prevent your pet from licking the incision site and causing infection. Your pet should not take a bath for a few days post-surgery.


Contact your veterinarian if you notice discharge or redness around the incision site. You should also call if you see the incision is open, your pet’s appetite reduces, it becomes lethargic, has diarrhea, or is vomiting. You need to seek medical help if you have any concerns after surgery.


For more on spaying and neutering your pet, visit Eastern Animal Hospital at our office in Baltimore, Maryland. You can also call 410-633-8808 to book an appointment today.

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