Spay Neuter…How old is to old?
At SpayXperts Spay Neuter Clinic in Norman, OK, we are frequently asked a handful of questions over and over again. So we decided to dedicate this blog to answering Spay Neuter FAQ’s.
Here are some we get several times a month…
1. My dog is already 10 years old. Is he/she too old to be spayed/neutered?
As dogs age, un-spayed females are at an ever increasing risk for a life threatening uterine infection called pyometra and un-neutered males suffer from a growing prostate and the potential for testicular tumors. The health benefits must be carefully weighed against the risks of anesthesia and surgery. Given the advances in veterinary anesthesia and the expert care available, we at SpayXperts Spay Neuter Clinic recommend all healthy dogs be spayed or neutered before they develop age related illness.
2. My cat is in heat. How long should I wait before having her spayed?
We have written before about cat heat cycles and the variation we are now seeing (see the blog “Pregnant Cats in January?). The short answer is, “Don’t wait!” Cats are becoming year round breeders and heat cycles are as frequent as 1 week on and 1 week off. Spaying a cat in heat is only slightly more complicated than one not in heat, unlike dogs who experience more complications in the post-op period. Schedule your appointment today before she ends up pregnant with another unwanted litter.
**If you have a female dog who is in heat, please read the blog titled “Ugh!!! My Dog’s in Heat. Now What?
3. My two male dogs keep fighting with each other. Will neutering them help?
Scientific studies have shown roaming and inter-dog aggression to be the two behaviors most positively affected by neutering. While there is no guarantee, it’s a good bet neutering them will help.
4. My male cat just starting spraying, will Neutering him help?
Spraying or marking territory is a nasty habit of male cats that results in many of them losing inside privileges. But did you know that cats neutered before 6 months of age rarely if ever spray? The behavior has 2 parts: one is testosterone driven, and then there is the learned component. If we remove the main source of testosterone by neutering before they learn how, we get the best results. So to answer the question, neutering will help in proportion to how well they have already learned the behavior. Neuter at 3-4 months old for best results.
5. My vet said wait until 6 months old, can I have my pet spayed/neutered earlier?
Many veterinarians prefer to wait until the traditional age of spay neuter, 6 months old. But based on our experience performing over 10,000 spay neuter surgeries on all ages and breeds, we actually prefer 3-4 months of age – old enough to do well under anesthesia and young enough to make a speedy recovery. Much research has been done on behalf of all the shelters and rescues who wanted to spay and neuter puppies and kittens before they were adopted. The research shows that age is not as much a factor as weight, and the minimum weight is 2 pounds. As long as dogs or cats are 2 pounds or more, surgery can be done successfully with very few complications. We have found that 3-4 months of age is absolutely ideal, but even if you wait until 6 months of age, the benefits of pre-pubescent (by 6 months of age) spay neuter are clearly defined.
I hope you found the answer you were looking for. If you didn’t, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We’ll be happy to help.
For now, SpayXperts Spay Neuter Clinic reminds you to Have Your Pets Spayed or Neutered.
Thanks for reading, Dr. Jake Boyer