Mammary tumors are three times more frequent for the bitch than the woman. Among which, 53% prove to be malign for the bitch and 90% for the cat.
Compared to the non spayed bitches, the ones that are spayed before the first estrus (occurring at about 7-9 months) have a risk of mammary cancer diminished by 200 %, and for the bitches spayed after the first estrus the risk is 12,5% lower.
(source: The Merck Veterinary Manual, Eighth Edition, 2003, Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA)
Moreover, spaying by ovary hysterectomy (extraction of ovaries and uterus) eliminates completely the risk of ovary cancer and infection of the uterus, pyometra. Pyometra is a frequent disease for the unspayed bitches, difficult to diagnose in the initial stage and of lethal risk in the advanced stage.
The conclusion is that for the sake of the female animal, cat or dog, it is best to be spayed between 3 and 6 months, after immunization and before the first estrus.
Recent studies indicate a similar age for neutering the dogs.
Early neutering doesn’t have negative effects on the dog’s health. Side effects for the early neutering are minor: on one side, the growth of external genital organs is reduced, and on the other side the long bones may grow for a few more months. There are important benefits to neutering:
– For the neutered tomcats, reducing the penile bulb diminishes the risk of urethral blockage
– Neutered dogs are spared the incidence of prostate diseases, occurring at old age.
– Neutered dogs are spared the incidence of testicular cancer.
– There is a proven correlation between the state of neutered pet and a reduced level of aggresivity. It is true, nevertheless, that neutering per se doesn’t automatically solve the behavioural problems for the animal, which can be solved through training and education. But it is statistically proven than in people bitten by dogs incidents, 6 out of 10 cases involve unneutered dogs. (for example: http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/statistics.html)
– according to statistics, life expectancy for neutered animals is higher.
Reproduced from www.ortovet.ro, with dr. Liviu Gaita’s permission.