Spay and Neuter Your Pet: A story about Jamie the Cocker Spaniel
Other than the obvious reasons.
It is important to spay or neuter a pet that you are sure you do not want to breed later. This prevents the arrival of puppies later on, which is a lot more work than people realize. Besides that, spaying and neutering your animals has benefits that may take you by surprise.
The obvious benefit from neutering your male pet is that it prevents the possibility of baby pets in the future. If you do not own any female pets, then the possibility of the babies growing up in your own home is minimal, but what if a neighbor catches your male pet with their female pet and demands that you help a little? What if there is a female stray living under your porch? Responsibility does not (and should not) elude you if your pet results in babies somewhere.
The not so obvious benefit of neutering your male pet is that he will calm down greatly after this procedure has been performed. Have an over-active male cat? I bet he doesn't run in as many circles around the house after this!
Another not so obvious benefit (though it becomes horrifically obvious if you've experienced it) is that neutering your male pet reduces his urges to spray (or urinate) in the house.
The obvious benefit from spaying your female pets is that you will not have to worry about baby pets later on arriving in litters. They are more work in the cleanup than I bet you ever imagined if you have not had the opportunity to experience it yourself.
A not so obvious benefit in spaying your female pet that it will calm her down! Have a jumpy dog? She will be much easier trained to no longer jump after she has been spayed.
Another not so obvious benefit is that it greatly reduces the chance of breast cancer, especially in dogs.
This is the story of Jamie.
Jamie is an 11-year-old American Cocker Spaniel. She has never had puppies, but she has also not been spayed. Jamie had two large lumps on her chest and many smaller ones in her nipples. Our cocker spaniel had developed breast cancer.
Jamie came home from the vet today.
She finally got spayed. This wasn't our initial plan however. The first visit to the vet was because the poor cocker spaniel had an ear infection. We'd noticed her sudden hearing loss and immediately made an appointment. During that visit, we found out that the huge lump on her stomach--and the smaller ones in her nipples--were mammary tumors.
We were told that mammary tumors are the most common tumors, and that they happened when a female dog got older and had not been spayed. This worried us of course, but the vet said it would be simple enough to spay her and have the rest of the lumps removed, so we were relieved to hear this and, after retrieving the antibiotics for Jamie's ear yeast infection, we set up an appointment for her to be spayed in two weeks' time.
I dropped Jamie off yesterday morning and asked the vet to keep her overnight just in case. She agreed because of Jamie's age and then assured me that she would call if there were any problems. After receiving no call by 5 PM, I was confident that Jamie had gone through the surgery just fine and was probably in a stupor from the anesthesia.
My sister picked Jamie up this morning. Apparently, they'd had to put Jamie on an IV during the surgery because she has a uterine infection. Jamie, the poor old lady dog, is okay, but she is sore and, as can be seen above, her stomach looks like "railroad tracks" (the vet's words). They had had to open her stomach in more places in order to remove the different tumors. Do not let it get to this point with your pet!
"Neuter That Boy!" A G-Rated, adorable music video.
Take Care of Your Pets!
It is more important to spay and neuter pets than people seem to think. I know we felt it was no big deal to not spay Jamie. We figured that if we held it off, we'd be able to make the decision later on whether or not we wanted to breed her. But with 4 kids, my mom would not have had the time or money to deal with puppies, especially if we decided to breed her with another purebred cocker spaniel, whose sperm usually has a price, and if we decided to keep the puppies or couldn't find homes for all of them and had to keep some of the litter anyway.
Is your pet spayed or neutered?
So yes, hold it off if you think that someday you want to breed your male or female pets, but do not put off spaying or neutering your pet for too long. It is your pet's health that you are gambling with.
Go to the next article, an update on how Jamie's doing!
- Jamie the Cocker Spaniel and her Mammary Tumors
Here is an update on my Cocker Spaniel Jamie after her spaying and surgery to remove mammary tumors.
© 2011 Jennifer Kessner