Primary Care

Spays and Neuters

Spaying or Neutering: It's the Responsible Choice

VCA Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic reminds you that spaying and neutering pets is the best way of keeping the unwanted pet population percentage low. Because too many animals don't have forever homes, hundreds of them right here in our area face being humanely euthanized. We believe spaying and neutering can provide benefits not only to your pet but also to the entire local pet population.

Some Facts About Spaying and Neutering

Females may be spayed before their first heat cycle, which means at approximately 6 months of age. Male dogs and cats may be neutered at 6 months to 1 year of age. Loomis Basin veterinarians will be able to recommend the most appropriate timing for your pet's surgery.

Spaying or neutering your dog or cat often reduces their metabolism. We will help you to determine if your pet's food intake should be adjusted to avoid future weight gain that can in turn result in decreased activity.

What Is Spaying?

Spaying female dogs and cats, called 'ovariohysterectomy', is the surgical removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. Heat cycles and the accompanying unwanted bleeding, nervousness, and desire to mate are eliminated as a result of this procedure. Female dogs and cats are often mature enough to reproduce by the time they reach the age of 6 months.

On average, female dogs go through a reproductive cycle, or 'heat', every 6 months, usually once in spring and again in the fall. The entire cycle may be as short as several days or as long as 4 weeks. Often, female dogs will experience some personality changes during heat cycles, such as being short-tempered or anxious.

Spaying your female dog before her first heat cycle greatly reduces her chances of developing mammary cancer later in life. Having your female dog or cat spayed will also protect her from uterine infections and difficult or unwanted pregnancies.

Female cats enter their reproductive cycles continuously every 3 to 4 weeks during certain times of the year, primarily in the spring and fall. Many female cats become nervous during these heat cycles and exhibit unusual behaviors, such as rolling on the floor, hiding furtively, or begging for constant attention. They often become quite vocal, meowing throughout their cycles.

What Is Neutering?

Neutering of male dogs and cats, called 'orchiectomy', is the process of surgically removing the testicles. Neutering done at an early age eliminates reproductive behavior and the aggressive demeanor that can come with it.

After they reach sexual maturity at 6 to 9 months of age, male dogs and cats are able to breed any time they are exposed to receptive females. Unneutered male dogs and cats are prone to wander in search of a female in heat. This usually means trouble. Pets that wander are exposed to diseases more frequently, and they get injured in fights and traffic accidents more often than pets that do not wander.

Male dogs benefit from the neutering process in other ways as well. Dogs are less likely to develop diseases of the prostate gland and are at less risk for testicular cancer and infections.

Male cats are known to 'mark' their territories by spraying smelly urine on furniture, walls, and shrubs. Male dogs are sometimes equally anxious to mark their territories. This tendency is reduced greatly when the pet is neutered. Neutering may also reduce aggressive behavior. After neutering, your male dog or cat will continue to have his own unique personality, but he will be less likely to roam and will enjoy staying at home more.