Why Should I Spay My Female Dog or Cat?

1. Decreased risk of mammary (breast) cancer

Dogs and cats that are NOT spayed have a very high probability of developing mammary cancer as they age. Fortunately, the rate of mammary cancer in dogs that are spayed BEFORE their first heat is 200 times less than the rate for intact (unspayed) dogs. In cats, the difference is less marked, but still substantial. The advantage of spaying is most beneficial in six month old cats and dogs, and the benefits decrease somewhat with age. This is why we strongly recommend spaying your dog or cat at six months of age.

2. Eliminate the possibility of uterine infections

Dogs and cats that are not spayed have a high incidence of uterine infections, called "pyometra". These infections are always serious, often life-threatening, usually result in an emergency surgery, and are totally preventable by your pet undergoing an ovariohysterectomy (being "spayed") at 6 months of age. These are COMMON infections in dogs and cats: they are probably the most common surgical emergency cases that we see in suburban practice. The infection is completely eliminated by spaying. If you are planning on breeding your dog once, please have your dog spayed two months after the puppies are weaned to prevent this problem from occurring in the future.

3. Eliminate the inconvenience of your pet's estrus cycle

4. Eliminate the possibility of unplanned mating that increase the excess pet population and could result in harm to your pet




1. "My pet will get fat"

It is a fact that spayed pets do no need as many calories as intact pets. However, the only change that you will need to make is to feed your pet less food after the operation. Remember that the thyroid gland, not the ovary, is responsible for metabolism.

2. "My pet won't have as much energy"

Spaying your pet will not decrease her energy level. However, overweight pets tend to have less energy than pets who maintain their ideal weight.

3. "My pet's personality will change"

Usually your pet is neutered at 6 months of age. Your pet is undergoing a personality change at that time, from adolescence into adulthood. There is normally a personality change associated with the maturation process.

4. "My pet should have at least one litter before she's spayed"

There is no medical, psychological, or social reason why your pet should have one litter before her ovariohysterectomy. In fact, the surgery tends to be more involved and complicated in pets who are older or who have had litters. There are many healthy puppies and kittens who are destroyed at shelters because they can't find homes. Unless you have a real interest in breeding dogs or cats, please do your pets a favor, and have them spayed at 6 months to help them to have a long and happy life.

If you have any other questions concerning this procedure, please contact our office for advice.