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Get your pet desexed now

Thursday, 24 May, 2007

NewbornKittenIf you think you have a reason for letting your pet breed, the SPCA says it's time to reconsider.

Dogs and cats are breeding at a greater rate than ever – faster than good homes can be found. They become unwanted, are given away, stray, or are callously dumped. They suffer out of sight of their owners.

The lucky ones end up in animal shelters where they are placed in new homes.

Keeping a pet is a lifetime commitment and the one-time expense of desexing will bring many advantages to both animal and owner.


Advantages of desexing

No desexed dog or cat can ever get cancer or other diseases of the reproductive organs, such as testicular tumours, cystic ovaries, ovarian tumours or acute or chronic uterine infections.  Desexed animals are also at far less risk of mammary cancer, prostate diseases, perianal tumours and perianal hernias. There will never be a risk of pregnancy complications. Because neutered animals avoid these medical problems they tend to live longer, healthier lives.

A desexed animal is often a more relaxed pet. Neutering reduces a pets desire to roam and fight.

Desexing decreases embarrassing behaviour habits like leg mounting and spraying, and eliminates the frantic pacing and crying of a cat in heat.

Desexing your pet saves you a lot of money. A pregnant animal requires additional food, as will the puppies or kittens. They may also need extra veterinary care.

Desexing reduces roaming, thereby lessening the likelihood of your animal being hit by a car or getting injured in fights with other animals.  "Entire" animals are more likely to roam in search of a mate and one of the saddest parts of being an SPCA vet is having to euthanase a seemingly unending stream of dogs and cats who have been severely injured after being hit be a car.

Most councils have cheaper registration fees for neutered dogs.

Desexing fees for your animal are very reasonable and veterinarians are already keeping costs to a minimum to encourage people to have their animals desexed.


Desexing myths

It is important that people understand that desexing does not change the personality of their pet, or make it fat and lazy.

There is absolutely no truth to the myth that it is best to let a female pet give birth to a litter before getting her desexed. In reality it is better for an animal to be desexed before having a litter.

Letting your children "experience the miracle of birth" is not a very good reason to let an animal procreate. It would be better to teach them about responsible pet ownership instead of adding to the number of unwanted animals.

Responsible pet ownership means getting your dog or cat desexed as soon as possible. People should talk to their veterinarian about the optimum desexing age for their pet. Your veterinarian can also advise you on an appropriate vaccination regime which should ideally be done before your pet's operation.

The tragedy of the pet overpopulation crisis is that adoptable dogs and cats are dying because somebody did not get their pet desexed.

But whether a pet owner neglects to have a dog desexed because they want her to have "just one litter" first, or whether someone simply did not want to spend the money for their pet's surgery, the end result is the same: far too many animals for the number of available homes.

If your animal is entire, now is the time to act! Contact your veterinarian or local SPCA for further details.


SPCA animals and desexing

All animals available from your local SPCA are desexed before being rehomed. Desexing before adoption is an integral part of our long-term goal to see the problem of pet overpopulation become a thing of the past.