Parker County Today May 2017 - Page 63

our advice: ASK DR. CATE Vet Rap by Dr. Ryan Cate “Fixing” Your New Pet Dear Dr. Cate, We are planning for a new pet this spring and were wondering about having it fixed. Can you explain what the procedures are? A: There are two different procedures to surgi- cally sterilize or “fix” your new pet. For cats or dogs it’s called ‘neutering’ for male animals, ‘spaying’ for females. Both are done in a vet’s office and your new pet will be home by the end of the day.  Neutering can be done by a couple of different procedures, depending on your veterinarian’s preference, but the result is the same. A male animal’s testicles are removed so he cannot reproduce. When a female is spayed, the veteri- narian removes the reproductive organs, ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus. The male procedure is less invasive than the female’s. Removing the female organs requires an open cavity abdomi- nal surgery, while the male removal is done with a small incision. Another reason is to keep your pet home and safe. Dogs and cats that have been spayed or neutered tend to stay closer to home because they are not looking for a mate. If they are at home, they can’t be run over or injured by cars when they are in the roadway. There was a study done on Golden Retrievers that showed the age at which the dogs were neutered affected their risk for developing certain cancers and joint diseases, but the results in this limited study do not outweigh the benefits of sterilizing your pet. We as the veterinarian community continue to look for ways to lessen the invasiveness of sterilization so we can decrease the number of unwanted pets. Talk with your veterinarian to see what he or she suggests when you add a new member to your family. They will recom- mend when and how is the best way to take care of your new furry friend. The incision may be closed by dissolving stitch- es or they may need to be removed by your veterinarian. Both before and after the procedure is completed, your vet will let you know how he or she wants to follow up with your pet after surgery. A: There are many more pros than cons to having your pet spayed or neutered. The most obvious one is to decrease the pet population, especially in animal shelters. An unspayed female dog, her mate, and their offspring can add 12,288 dogs to the pet population in just five years. An unspayed female cat, her mate, and their offspring can add 11,801 cats to the pet population in five years. That’s why when you adept a pet from a shelter, most will have to be spayed or neutered before you can adopt them. After surgery, animals wake in the vet’s office in a kennel and are kept until the animal can swallow and lift their head. Most are given pain medication for 3-5 days after surgery. A collar will be fitted to the animal to keep it from disturbing the incision. Most male animals will be restricted from regular activity for 5-7 days, while females will be restricted for up to 10 days. Q: Why do we need to have our pet spayed or neutered?  61