!Header Logo

Sibley Animal Hospital

!Call Today!

Preventing Litters is Now Nationally Advocated in February

February 1 2024

February typically radiates with love, especially as Valentine’s Day looms, adorning stores with romantic flourishes like flowers and confections. However, for pets, the focus transitions to prevention: it’s Prevent A Litter Month, Spay/Neuter Month, and Feline Fix By Five Month. These campaigns align under a common banner: diminishing the occurrence of unwanted litters among puppies and kittens. A local Dolton, IL veterinarian weighs in on this crucial issue, offering enlightening viewpoints.

When Should a Kitten Be Spayed or Neutered?

Ideally, Fluffy should be spayed prior to her first heat, usually around five months, in accordance with the Feline Fix By Five Month initiative. Cats can get pregnant as early as four months, even though they’re still considered kittens. Though spaying can occur at eight weeks, many veterinarians suggest waiting longer. Seek advice from your Dolton, IL veterinarian and adhere to their recommendations.

Can I Still Arrange for My Adult Pet to Be Spayed or Neutered?

Certainly! The procedures, generally speaking, are safe, but seniors or pets with health issues should consult a vet.

What Age Is Most Suitable for Spaying or Neutering a Dog?

Spaying or neutering Fido should consider his size. The AKC suggests small dogs be fixed around six to nine months, while larger breeds might wait longer. Some giant dogs may not undergo surgery until 18 months. Consult your vet for advice on timing, taking into account Fido’s size and health.

Can Neutering Lead to Increased Affection in Male Pets?

Sure, your furry friend is already a big cuddler, but get ready for even more love after they’re fixed! Taking away that urge to mate tends to make them calmer, which can really improve any behavior problems they have. Once they’re neutered or spayed, they won’t be as into marking their territory or looking for a mate, so they’ll be all about playtime, cuddles, and enjoying those belly rubs. It’s like they’re saying, “Who needs love when there are tennis balls and cozy laps?”

How Does Having My Pet Fixed Contribute to Their Overall Health?

Though our main priority is controlling animal overpopulation, there are additional advantages for your pet.

Here are a handful of key ones:

Reduced Cancer Risk– Opting to spay or neuter your pet contributes to a considerable reduction in the likelihood of specific cancers. Male pets, in particular, experience a significant decrease in the risk of testicular cancer, while females benefit from a lowered risk of ovarian, uterine, and mammary gland tumors.

Prolonged Lifespan– Did you know that spayed or neutered pets commonly live longer lives? For females, the risks related to pregnancy and childbirth complications are eradicated. The aforementioned lowered cancer risk also contributes to their overall health. Moreover, fixed pets are less prone to roaming.

Reduced Undesirable Behaviors– Heat cycles and hormonal urges can bring about messy side effects. Unneutered male pets are significantly more likely to spray and exhibit heightened aggression, making them more prone to destructive behaviors. Spaying or neutering effectively addresses these concerns, fostering a cleaner, calmer living environment for both pets and their owners.

Can Fixing My Pet Effectively Contribute to Reducing Overpopulation?

Although spaying or neutering your furry companion won’t solve the problem single-handedly, it’s definitely a step forward. It’s a collaborative approach. Every pet is valuable!

Let’s delve into Fluffy and Fido’s reproductive statistics. The numbers can be quite overwhelming.

How Quickly Can Dogs Reproduce?

Our canine pals usually have about two litters per year, with each litter comprising six to ten puppies. That means in just six years, a single pair of dogs could have as many as 67,000 descendants!

And that’s just the average! Some dogs have many more puppies. Tia, a Neapolitan Mastiff, holds the record with an incredible 24 puppies born in a single litter in 2004. Her extraordinary achievement was acknowledged in the Guinness Book of World Records. In a recent occurrence, an Australian dog named Honey broke the nation’s record. Following three days of labor, Honey delivered 22 puppies.

How Quickly Can Cats Reproduce?

For Fluffy and other cats, it’s possible to have three litters annually, each with 4-6 kittens. This means that in just eight years, a pair of cats could potentially have as many as 2,072,514 descendants!

Several of our cat friends could compete with Honey and Tia. In 1970, a Burmese/Siamese cat set the record for the largest litter with 19 kittens, even though four were stillborn. The surviving 15 kittens would have made headlines. However, Dusty, a Texas cat, holds the lifetime record with a remarkable 420 kittens.

While an excess of puppies and kittens can be delightful, these numbers connect with more serious statistics. Each year, about 7.6 million animals find their way into American shelters. Sadly, roughly 1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats end up euthanized.

Furthermore, there are countless homeless pets struggling to survive out there. Street life is tough for these animals, with many enduring short, harsh existences. Taking steps to prevent your pet from adding to these numbers is a small yet meaningful action that can positively impact the overall welfare of animals.

What Steps Should I Follow to Help My Pet Recover From Spay/Neuter Surgery?

Your veterinary clinic will provide you with aftercare instructions, typically on a care sheet. Follow these instructions to the letter for effective healing.

Usually, it’s advisable to give your furry companion a calm, comfortable spot for recovery. (If you’ve been considering a new bed, now’s the perfect chance to get one.) Keep other pets in a separate area initially to allow your pet to rest undisturbed. Monitor the surgical area closely for signs of healing.

Pets may have a tendency to scratch or chew stitches, prompting your vet to recommend an inflatable collar or “Cone of Shame” to prevent them from opening the stitches. Your veterinary clinic will offer guidance on this.

Males usually have a faster recovery from the procedure compared to females. Most males will surpass the healing ‘hump’ within a few days, whereas females may take several weeks for complete healing.

Be watchful for any signs of infection or complications. These could include:

  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Redness
  • Lack Of Appetite
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Foul Odor
  • Pus
  • Torn Stitches

If anything seems off, contact your veterinary clinic immediately.

What Is the Standard Charge for Spay/Neuter Surgery?

Prices fluctuate depending on location. Although there may be an initial expenditure linked to spaying or neutering your pet, it proves to be a beneficial investment over time. The potential expenses of managing a litter of puppies or kittens, as well as addressing health concerns related to their reproductive organs, could far surpass the initial procedure’s cost.

One Last Reason to Fix Your Kitty

Exploring the importance of spaying or neutering pets requires acknowledging one of the less-discussed advantages of having Fluffy fixed: the cessation of her nightly vocal performances. While Fluffy is undoubtedly a beloved member of the family, her vocal abilities are less than stellar. During heat, cats produce sounds that could be described as singing in an attempt to attract mates. Unfortunately, to human ears, it’s more akin to enduring a mild form of auditory discomfort. While this “singing” may be alluring to other felines, for us humans, it’s more of an annoyance. This alone may warrant considering spaying or neutering your pet!

Considering spaying/neutering your pet? Need information about getting your furry companion fixed? Get in touch with us, Sibley Animal Hospital in Dolton, IL, for all your pet’s healthcare needs.