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December 22, 2011

Pet Talk: The price of spaying and neutering

Montgomery. AL — Consider this: One pair of un-sterilized cats, together with their offspring, can result in 420,000 kittens in 7 years. One pair of un-sterilized dogs, with their offspring, can result in 4,372 puppies in 7 years.

Statistics also show that only one out of nine of these animals find a good home, leaving the rest to suffer abandonment and/or euthanasia.

For years, pet owners have questioned whether or not to spay or neuter their pets. However, history and research show that there are many pros to having your pets spayed or neutered.

Whether your pets are kept indoors or out, there are many health and behavioral benefits associated with spaying and neutering, says Dr. Lynn Ruoff, clinical associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM).

"Spaying and neutering pets results in fewer reproductive health problems and makes the treatment of epilepsy, diabetes, and other diseases much easier," notes Ruoff.

Ruoff adds, "Spayed pets will not develop pyometra, or pus in the uterus, and they have a greatly decreased risk of developing mammary gland tumors. Neutered pets are less likely to develop testicular tumors or an enlarged prostate."

Another big benefit can be peace of mind - a spayed or neutered pet is far less likely to leave the yard in search of other animals.

"In both male and female pets, sterilization makes them far less likely to roam, which tends to safeguard against injuries due to fights and accidents," adds Ruoff. "Neutered males are less likely to mark their territory by urinating in the house and will not be inclined to wander off in search of a mate. Spayed females are also less likely to wander and will not attract males who will fight over a female in heat."

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