Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet for Their Health

Why should I spay my pet?
We’ve all heard of breast cancer in women. With approximately one in eight women falling victim to this form of cancer, what many pet owners do not know is that the incidence of breast cancer development in dogs and cats is higher with one in four intact female dogs/cats affected. By spaying your pet before they have their first menstrual cycle there is ZERO chance they can ever develop this disease. The average age a dog has their first heat is 6 months of age, but can be as early as 5 months in small breeds. The average age of a cat’s first heat cycle has their first heat is 6 months of age, but can be as early as 4 months.

If you cannot spay your pet before this time, there are still numerous advantages to having the procedure done as soon as possible. Some of the benefits include prevention of potential life threatening complications with birthing of puppies/kittens, uterine infections, diabetes, bone marrow toxicity, hair loss, pyometra (the uterus becomes very infected, fills with pus and becomes life threatening), behavior problems and of course, pet population

Why should I neuter my pet?
Neutering, or removing your pet’s testicles, is paramount in their behavioral development as well as their health. Much of a male canine or feline’s behavior is driven by a hormone called testosterone, which is primarily made in the testicles. This hormone increases their sense of being leader of the pack and behavior that follows including, urinating in the house, mounting/humping, and inter-animal aggression. Research has shown that the #1 behavior decreased by neutering your cat is running away from home or “wandering”.

As in human males, there are numerous testosterone related problems with the prostate. Luckily in pets you can stop this hormone from being produced by shutting down the factory. This will eliminate your favorite boy from developing prostatic abscesses, enlarged prostate (BPH), and cancers that can all be extremely painful and make it very difficult to even urinate. In addition to these infections, keeping your pet’s testicles intact dramatically increases the chance of developing painful ulcerative lesions around their anus as well as hernias.

In conclusion, there are many beneficial reasons to spay or neuter your pet which may be further discussed with your veterinarian at Encina Veterinary Hospital in Walnut Creek, California.

Jared Jaffey, DVM

Kitten Season: TNR

With kitten season approaching us quickly, we thought we’d take a moment to shine some light on Trap-Neuter-Release programs and how you can help.


A female 5-6 week old kitten recently rescued from a
bush by one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians, Sarah S.

TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) is a strategy used to solve the feral cat problem by humanely trapping wild, unowned cats in order to spay and neuter them, and then releasing them back into this wild. Spaying and neutering wild/feral cats is beneficial in multiple ways: no more kitten reproduction, cuts down on cats fights and cat yowling, helps prevent the cats from developing cancer in their reproductive system and possibly makes you a new friend!

The East Bay SPCA currently offers FREE spay/neuter surgery to feral cats. You simply need to be sure you and the cat qualify and rent out a trap for $1/day.

If you’re interested in learning more about the TNR program offered at East Bay SPCA, simply click here.

Also, check out some other pet related blogs on the Saturday Blog Hop!