Medical benefits of neutering

Have a heart - have your pet spayed or neuteredHave a heart - have your pet spayed or neutered

Dogs and cats have a greatly improved chance of long life, good health and contentment if they are spayed or neutered.  Neutering is the most reliable cure for numerous health and behavior problems and acts as a powerful preventive.  In addition to conferring numerous health benefits, spaying and neutering prevents reduces or eliminates behaviors problematic in the home. Neutering removes the testicles, and so prevents testicular tumors.  A dog that develops a testicular tumor must be treated, before the tumor spreads, by the only effective means-neutering.  Especially prevalent in older dogs, testicular tumors are the second most common tumor in male dogs. Some dogs have one or two “undescended” testicles, which remain inside the body; these dogs have particularly Hugh risk of testicular tumors.  Although only a small percentage of testicular tumors are malignant, even non-cancerous ones can threaten a dog’s life.  One type of non-malignant testicular tumor sometimes secretes the hormone estrogen at toxic levels that destroy the bone marrow’s ability to produce blood cells- a fatal outcome.  If the lack of visible equipment is a concern, ask your veterinarian about “neuticles” artificial implants that are now available to help owners feel better about neutering their dogs. Enlargement of the prostate gland affects over 60 percent of unaltered male dogs older than five years.  Prostatic enlargement predisposes a dog to prostate and urinary tract infections, which can make urinating difficult and painful.  If infection leads to an abscess, it must be surgically drained.  Common consequences of the surgery, however, include incontinence, system wide infection, shock and death.  Because prostatic enlargement is caused by the male hormone testosterone and testosterone is produced by the testicles, neutering acts as both preventive and cure. Tumors of the perianal glands also develop in response to testosterone.  The third most common tumor in male dogs, perianal tumors often bleed or become infected.   Although perianal tumors can be surgically removed, they usually reoccur unless the dog is neutered. By eliminating the sexual drive that can cause a dog to bolt from the house or yard, neutering helps protect dogs from injuries and diseases associated with roaming.  Neutering decreases roaming, one study found, in 90 percent of male dogs.  On the loose, a dog may be hit by a car, harmed by an act of cruelty, or infected with disease transmitted by another animal.