Spaying and Neutering
What Does it Mean to Spay or Neuter?
Contrary to popular belief, female dogs and cats can be spayed when in heat or pregnant. This can usually be done up until a few days before delivery. These surgeries can take longer, and can therefore cost more. The heat cycle for dogs is once or twice a year starting as early as 6 months of age. Duration is 3 weeks. Heat cycles in cats start as early as 6 months and occur every 3-4 weeks during spring through early fall. The gestation period for both dogs and cats is 63 days. Female cats can become pregnant again as soon as 10 days after giving birth (while still nursing the first litter).
What Are the Health Benefits of Spaying and Neutering?
In males, neutering decreases the chances of developing prostatic disease and hernias, and eliminates the chances of developing testicular cancer. It also reduces problems with territorial and sexual aggression, inappropriate urination (spraying) and other undesirable male behaviors.
In females, spaying decreases the incidence of breast cancer (the rate goes down to almost zero if the spaying is done before the first heat cycle!). It eliminates the chance of developing a serious and potentially fatal infection of the uterus experienced by many mature unspayed animals (pyometra). Spay surgery also eliminates the heat cycle and associated mood swings and undesirable behaviors, messy spotting (in dogs) and the attraction of all available males to your yard.
The simple fact is that spaying and neutering greatly increases the lifespan of your pet and their quality of life.
Most text from Valley Oak SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Resources
If you cannot afford to have the surgery performed by your veterinarian, you may qualify for one or more of the following low-cost services: