Yes! Neutering reduces fighting with other animals, tomcats “spraying” urine in the house, the urge of male dogs to “mount,” the risk of prostate problems and testicular tumors and eliminates the desire to roam to seek out a female.
Yes! Spaying reduces the risk of mammary tumors and eliminates the risk of pregnancy and birth, cancer of the uterus as pets grow older, and “heat” cycles (no bloody discharges or male-attracting scent).
On average, cats and dogs are spayed or neutered at between 5 and 9 months of age. Depending upon their size, some puppies and kittens may be safely sterilized when they’re as young as 8 weeks old. In fact, puppies and kittens recover more quickly from surgery than do adult dogs and cats. In addition, sterilizing female puppies and kittens before they are 4 months old will assure that they will not have a first heat cycle.
Cats can come into heat as young as 4 ½ months of age. Cats come into heat every 21 days, from February through October in our region. A female cat will stay in heat for approximately one week. Cats kept indoors may come into heat all year long. During her heat cycle, she may yowl or vocalize loudly and frequently, roll on the floor, stand with her rear end higher than her front end, and indoor cats may attempt to escape to the outside.
While your pet is in heat, she must be carefully confined. Most fences will not provide sufficient protection from determined males! Male dogs will be attracted to her for up to 5 miles around your house. Male dogs and cats can create a nuisance if they are in close proximity to a female in heat. Your pet can still be fixed while in heat.
Pets are never too old to have litters. Dogs and cats that are sterilized have a greatly reduced risk of testicular and ovarian tumors in later years of life. If your pet is over 7, we advise your pet have blood work done at your veterinarian’s office to make sure your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia. Extra precautions are taken with older dogs to ensure they are handled with special care. Older pets may take longer to get back to their normal routine.
Spaying and neutering are performed under general anesthesia. Some animals will have some discomfort following their surgery, and pain medications may be prescribed.
Your pet may lick at the incision. If so, ask your vet for advice. Pets will need to be kept in a dry place and have limited exercise following surgery.
View our Post-Op Care page for more info on taking care of your pet after surgery.
If you are a Tennessee resident and are looking for spay or neuter services within your area please call this toll-free help line for more information - 866.907.7729 (SPAY)