The Importance of Spaying and Neutering

Throughout Canada too many dogs and cats are euthanized (put down) because homes cannot be found for them. Pet overpopulation is a a serious problem. Pet owners must take responsibility for their companion animals by having them spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering are safe surgical operations that prevent animals from reproducing. Spaying (ovariohysterectomy) is the removal of a female animal's ovaries and uterus; neutering (orchidectomy) is the removal of a male's testicles. These procedures do not even require an overnight stay in a veterinary clinic, and can eliminate or significantly reduce the risk of an animal developing numerous health problems, some of which may shorten their lives. These include reproductive cancers and infections, as well as behaviour problems such as territorial marking, destructiveness and aggression. Animals who have been spayed or neutered are much less likely to roam in search of mates. When female dogs and cats are not spayed, they go into heat and this can attract males. While searching for mates, animals can get hit by cars, injured in fights, or lost and even stolen. Others end up in animal pounds. Keeping animals inside doesn't guarantee safety, as they may escape by accident.

Will neutering my pet make him fat and lazy?

Neutering might reduce an animal's activity level, but this need not result in weight gain. A healthy diet and sufficient exercise can help your pet maintain a healthy weight.

Doesn’t spaying and neutering interfere with nature?

Domesticated dogs and cats are completely dependent on humans. It's our responsibility as their guardians to make sure the number of companion animals born doesn't exceed the number of available homes.

Should my female dog be allowed to have one litter?

There's no reason for a female dog to have even one litter. It won't make her a better companion, and it will increase the likelihood that she will develop mammary cancer. Spaying a dog before she goes into heat even once greatly reduces the risk of her developing mammary cancer.

Preanesthetic Blood Testing

A pet which appears healthy may be hiding symptoms of disease that are not always obvious during examination. Blood tests prior to anesthesia help us identify diseases or problems, such as anemia, infection, as well as vital organ function, that could put your pet at risk. These blood tests can be preformed in our hospital on the morning of your petʼs scheduled procedure. If problems are detected the doctor will discuss treatment and/or anesthetic options before proceeding.

Permanent Identification

Proper identification can mean the difference between life and death for your dog. Provincial law requires animal shelter operators to take reasonable steps to find and notify the owner of any found dog or cat that has a license tag, microchip, tattoo or other means of identification. However, many dogs in shelters are never recovered by their owners, because they are not identified. If you have a municipal dog licence tag, attach the tag to your dog's collar immediately. Increasingly, pet owners are having their pets microchipped. A microchip is a tiny chip that is inserted beneath the animal's skin by your veterinarian. The microchip is permanent, and cannot be lost. If the animal is lost and recovered by an animal shelter, the shelter will scan the dog for the chip. When the chip is scanned, the shelter will be able to find out the name and address of the dog's owner. At the time of spay or neuter you can have a tattoo placed in your dogʼs right ear for identification. This tattoo recognizes that your pet was tattooed at our hospital. If your pet becomes lost, our clinic will be contacted to help locate the owner. With this program it is important that you keep us informed of any changes to your phone number to ensure a speedy reunion for you and your dog.

Ask your veterinarian for more information about microchipping or the BC vet association tattoo program.