(Bihar Times) Many years ago, before I started learning about animal management the great love of my life was a bullmastiff called Sabra who had been given to me. Like every dog owner I was told that one litter is really important to a female. Sabra was mated and had nine puppies which we gave away to people frantic to have them. Three months after they were given away this is what happened to them : one had his leg broken and died of gangrene, one died of rabies, one was abandoned in a farmhouse as she was too boisterous, one ran away and was never found and one changed three houses and became vicious so was locked up the whole day in a garage. Sabra got pyometra ( an infection of the uterus) the next year and died. All these pups went to “good” homes – the gangrene victim to a Prime Minister’s house, the rabies victim to my cousin, the abandoned farmhouse one to my son’s teacher.
Please spay your dogs , cats and rabbits.
There are so many benefits – medical, behavioural and environmental that only a very foolish and cruel person would not do so.
Spaying (ovario-hysterectomy) is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs (ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes) of the female animal. Neutering (orchectomy or castration) is the surgical removal of the reproductive glands (testes) of the male animal. The animal should be spayed or neutered by 6-8 months old. Older animals can be done as long as they are in good health. All sterilization surgery is performed under general anesthesia by a licensed veterinary surgeon.
Female dogs and cats can be spayed when in heat or pregnant. This can usually be done up until a few days before delivery. These surgeries can take longer and need experienced doctors.
Spaying before having a first litter or heat cycle is usually a simpler procedure. The heat cycle for dogs is once or twice a year starting as early as 6 months of age. Duration is 3 weeks. Heat cycles in cats start as early as 6 months and occur every 3-4 weeks during spring through early autumn. The gestation period for both dogs and cats is 63 days.
What are the health benefits of Spaying and Neutering? Spayed animals no longer feel the need to roam to look for a mate. The result is that they stay home and have less chance of being involved in traumatic accidents such as being hit by a car. They also have a much lower incidence of contracting contagious diseases, and get into fewer fights saving you veterinary bills and aggravation.
In males, neutering decreases the chances of developing prostatic disease and hernias, and eliminates the chances of developing testicular cancer. It also reduces problems with territorial and sexual aggression, inappropriate urination (spraying) and other undesirable male behavior. It reduces the annoying and embarrassing urge of male dogs to "mount" human legs.
In females, spaying decreases the incidence of breast cancer. It eliminates the chance of developing a serious and potentially fatal infection of the uterus experienced by many unspayed animals (pyometra). Spay surgery also eliminates the heat cycle and associated mood swings and undesirable behaviors, messy blood spotting and the attraction of all available males to your house.. It eliminates sexual frustration. A male sensing a female in heat nearby may dig out or jump fences in the desire to mate. You don’t need to confine your female while in heat. And listen to her frantic pacing and crying by the female while in heat (cats are especially vocal at this time). It stops tomcats from "spraying" foul-smelling urine in the house. Spaying and neutering greatly increases the lifespan of your pet and increases quality of life as well!
Environmentally it helps decrease the overpopulation problem. One male running loose for just a few hours can impregnate many females adding to the serious problem of unwanted puppies and kittens. How many animals in the streets and in shelters are the offspring of cherished family pets. Maybe someone's dog or cat got out just that one time or maybe the litter was intentional, but efforts to find enough good homes failed. For every person that is born, 15 dogs and 15 cats are also born. There is no way we can find homes for them all. Of these 30 animals , 25 die in the first month of being on the road – from being run over, starvation, cold, beaten to death or disease. Every shelter in India is full to the brim and mortality rates in the shelters are staggering. Abroad , they simply kill all the animals in shelters after 20 days of holding them. Over 5 million are killed in the US alone.
Every day we pick up abandoned pedigreed dogs , most of them thrown out because they are sick or old and their owners have got new ones. Hundreds of puppies are left in baskets outside our gates in the middle of winter. 90% die in the first two weeks as each one needs hourly individual attention which is simply not possible. As dog and cat owners increase the number of pedigreed dogs , it is the Indian dogs that are being killed to make space for the foreign ones. Municipalities spend millions to control and eliminate unwanted animals. Irresponsible breeding contributes to the problem of dog bites and attacks.
Here are some myths that stop people from having this operation done:
- Neutering will take away the "guard dog" instincts. NOT TRUE Neutering a dog does not reduce its ability as a watch dog. They will still be as protective of their territory as they were before the surgery.
Neutering makes pets fat. NOT TRUE. Neutering does not make your pet fat or lazy. Too much food and not enough exercise is the cause of obesity.
- Neutering will hurt him or her. NOT TRUE. Neutering is a safe and relatively painless operation done by a registered veterinary surgeon using the flank spaying method. Depending on your pet's age, size and health, he or she will stay at your veterinarian's office for a few hours or a few days..
- She should have one litter first. NOT TRUE. It is actually better for her not to have a litter or a heat period before being spayed.
- I will find good homes for the puppies or kittens. NOT TRUE. You may be able to place your puppies or kittens, but are they in "good" homes and "permanent" homes? And remember, each time you place one of your puppies or kittens, somewhere else an animal is being killed because there was no available home.
- We can sell puppies or kittens and make money. NOT TRUE . You will be fortunate if you even break even on raising purebred litters. The cost of raising such a litter -- which includes stud fees, vaccinations and other health care costs, and feeding quality food -- consumes most of the "profit." .
Spayed and neutered pets are better, more affectionate, companions. Neutered cats are less likely to spray and mark territory. Spayed and neutered pets are less likely to bite. Unaltered animals often exhibit more behavior and temperament problems than those that have been spayed or neutered.
Don't forget to spay or neuter your pet rabbit. Rabbits reproduce faster than dogs or cats and often end up being sold to butchers for meat . Spaying or neutering rabbits can reduce hormone-driven behavior such as lunging, mounting, spraying and boxing.
How can people look into their pet's unconditional loving eyes, and say that its life, is not worth the money or the time it takes to neuter them? The more animals that do not have to die needlessly, the better job we are doing of being kind. If you want a dog or cat ( rather than a possession or a status symbol toy) take a sterilized one from any shelter.
To join the animal welfare movement contact email@example.com
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