Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Pets

ImageDuring the month of March our theme here at Allentown Animal Clinic is “Don’t Leave Your Pet’s Health to Luck”. We are focusing on the benefits of wellness care and regular check ups. One of the best things you can do for your pet is to have it spayed/neutered.

What is Spaying and Neutering?

Spaying is the term used to describe an ovariohysterectomy of a female animal. Neutering is the term used to describe the castration of a male animal. Both, surgical procedures, they are performed by your veterinarian to prevent the animal from being able to reproduce. These procedures are routine and require minimal hospitalization, with most pets able to return home the same day! Pre-surgical bloodwork can be done and pain medications administered to ensure your pet is safe and comfortable during and after the procedure.

Health Benefits

Both procedures offer many health benefits for your pet. Spaying your female cat will prevent the constant crying and pacing of a cat in heat. Spaying your female dog eliminates the mess associated with a female dog in heat.

Spaying your female pet helps to prevent breast cancer and eliminates the risk of uterine infections and cancer.

Many undesirable male behaviors, such as urine marking, aggression and the urge to roam, can be prevented by neutering your male cat or dog. Long term benefits of neutering are preventing testicular cancer and enlargement of the prostate gland.

Benefits for the Community

Animal overpopulation is a serious problem that affects all of us. Millions of tax dollars are spent each year to care for stray and unwanted pets. Shelters are burdened with millions of pets each year that simply there are just not enough homes and willing adopters for.

Stray animals can also contribute to public health issues. There is a danger of transmittable diseases (i.e. Rabies), animal waste, dog bites/attacks.

By taking the responsibility of having your pets spayed and neutered you can help to be part of the solution to this growing problem!

What Will it Cost?

The cost of each procedure depends on your pet’s species, age, gender and weight. Keep in mind, however, that this is a one-time cost versus the cost of caring for a litter and the number of unwanted problems and complications of not having your pet spayed or neutered.

Many areas also offer low cost spay and neuter clinics. Check with your local animal shelters for their low cost options.

Spaying or neutering pets prevents animals from being born accidentally, and is the most effective and humane way to save animals lives.

 

Poison Prevention Awareness for Pets

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National Poison Prevention Week is March 17-23, 2013. Much of the effort of this week is usually dedicated to raising awareness to parents of small children, but we’d like to remind you that pets are also vulnerable to accidental ingestion of potentially life threatening items in the home. Taking some simple steps to keep potential hazards away from your pets will significantly reduce the chances of your pets coming in contact with a toxic substance.

Home Hazards

The ASPCA reports that of the 167,000 poisoning cases handled in 2010 the number one culprit was human medications. Other hazards around the home include foods, plants, insecticides and rodenticides, and products containing xylitol (sugar-free gums and candies).

Keep your home safe by:

  • Knowing your houseplants. Some common houseplants are toxic to cats and dogs. A list of potentially toxic plants can be found here
  • Some human foods that are poisonous include raisins, grapes, onions, garlic, and chocolate. Keep garbage cans in a place where your pets cannot reach them.
  • Keep all medications and dietary supplements in secure cabinets. Never medicate your pets at home with human products unless directed by a veterinarian.
  • Birds are especially sensitive to airborne products. If you are spraying aerosols or heavily fragranced products remove the bird cage from the area.

Outside the Home

  • Antifreeze products are extremely dangerous and have a sweet taste that is appealing to pets. Keep bottles out of reach and always be sure any spills are cleaned up immediately.
  • Fertilizers, yard insecticides, and rodenticides all pose a real threat to pets. Keep all products tightly sealed and out of reach. Use products according to label instructions and keep your pets away until the products used are completely dry.

Be Prepared

In case of an accidental poisoning be prepared with an emergency first aid kit at home. Some items to include are:

  • A bottle of hydrogen peroxide
  • A medicine syringe or dropper
  • Saline eye solution
  • Grease-cutting dish detergent (i.e. Dawn)
  • A muzzle
  • Your Veterinarians phone number, as well as the ASPCA Poison Control number.

Know the Signs

 If you think your pet may have been poisoned contact your veterinarian immediately. With any type of poison ingestion, the sooner treatment is started the better prognosis for your beloved pet. While the signs of poisoning can vary greatly depending on the substance ingested, there are some symptoms to watch for.

  • Vomiting/Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drooling
  • Coughing and/or vomiting blood
  • Weakness/Lethargy
  • Shaking/Tremors