By Dr. Cecilia Boklin, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Kinabalu Animal Clinic.
Neutering: The removal of an animal’s reproductive organ, either all of it or a considerably large part.
Spaying: To sterilize (a female animal) by removing the ovaries and uterus.
Castration: The removal of the testicles of a male animal.
Generally speaking, the layman’s term for neutered animal is “fixed”.
For many, many, different reasons, the decision to neuter your pet can be the most important. And it is equally important for veterinarians to provide recommendations and sound advice so that pet owners can make more informed decisions on neutering and the nuances on when to neuter.
However, the general recommended time to neuter are not the only ones out there. Some shelters that are filled with unwanted pets understandably neuter at any age before the pet is adopted.
But even if we put this organizational preferences aside, the question of when to neuter has certainly become more complex as a result of scientific research. For example, consider a large breed female puppy at a veterinary practice for the first time. There is a good literature to support spaying at 6 months to seriously minimize the risk of mammary neoplasia (cancer). However, a veterinarian could also recommend spaying at or past 1 year of age to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disease. Another factor to keep in mind here is that possible complications increase with a large breed female dog the older it becomes.
So just like people, no two pets are alike. Always keep in mind the importance of discussing neutering with your pet’s veterinarian to evaluate the benefits and timing of the surgery in regards to your pet’s well-being.
It is important to state here as a public awareness message that the era of one-size-fits-all neutering advice has come to an end. It’s time to move from recommendations to conversations. Now we need conversations between the veterinarian and the pet owner about the many nuances of neutering, so pet owners can make more informed decisions.
For more information about this topic, kindly get in touch with Kinabalu Animal Clinic at 088-385804 or visit their clinic at Kinabalu Animal Clinic, Lot 6, Lorong Durian 3, Kian Yap Industrial Estate, 88450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. At Parents Avenue, we strongly recommend all our readers to seek medical advise from your local animal clinic. Thank you.
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