Jacksonville Veterinarian Answers Your Spay and Neuter Questions
Spay and neuter is one of the most common surgical procedures at our Jacksonville animal hospital. If you are deciding whether to spay or neuter your pet, it is natural to have questions about this procedure, including what to expect and the benefits offered by this procedure. Below, our Jacksonville veterinarian answers five of your most frequently asked questions.
#1: What do the terms "spay" and "neuter" mean?
Spaying is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a female animal’s ovaries and uterus; this prevents a female from reproducing. Neutering is a surgical procedure that removes a male animal’s testes, which also prevents the male animal from reproducing. Spay and neuter are both considered routine surgical procedures.
#2: How is spaying/neutering good for the pet and the pet owner?
Spay and neuter procedures have important benefits for pets and their owners. Spaying and neutering animals reduces the risk for certain cancers, including testicular cancer in males and breast cancer in females. The decision to spay and neuter pets can also help correct certain behavioral issues. For example, spaying a female pet will prevent females from going into heat and howling to attract male attention. Neutering male pets helps to direct a male’s attention towards the family, rather than attracting a pet. Neutering male pets helps to reduce certain behaviors, including territorial aggression and spraying urine to mark territory.
#3: How is spaying/neutering good for the community?
Spaying and neutering is a responsible choice that helps control the unwanted animal population. Every year, millions of pets are placed in animal shelters. The majority of these pets are the purebred offspring of beloved family pets. Even if you are able to find a home for your pet’s offspring, this still reduces the number of homes available for shelter animals in need. Spaying and neutering pets is essential to reducing the unwanted animal population and increasing the likelihood for shelter animal adoption.
#4: How old does my dog/cat have to be to have spay/neuter surgery?
Our Jacksonville veterinarian recommends spaying or neutering pets before they reach sexual maturity, typically between five and six months of age. However, it is never too late to spay or neuter your pet. Even if your dog or cat recently had a litter, you can still spay your pet as soon as the litter is weaned. Talk to our veterinarian to learn more about the right time to spay or neuter your pet.
#5: Will my pet become overweight if she/he is spayed/neutered?
No, spay and neuter does not cause pets to become overweight, nor will spay and neuter negatively alter your pet’s personality. Pets gain weight when they are over-fed or lack sufficient exercise. If you are concerned with your pet’s weight or lack of activity, talk to our Jacksonville veterinarian. Our vet can make nutrition and exercise recommendations to help your pet stay healthy.