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Sterilizing a pet generates many doubts and uncertainties, but there are many reasons that allow us to understand why it is the best option for companion animals.
Reality reflects that there are many companion animals that roam the streets without a home, food and water that allow them to lead a healthy life. Their constant reproduction only spreads the problem and spreads it, given that many stray dogs and cats are exposed to contracting diseases and, therefore, to spread them.
Another of the inconveniences that pets that do not have a place to live can generate is causing problems in communities, creating trash damage or behaving aggressively towards people, facts that expose them to the danger of being transferred to places of mistreatment and unhealthiness.
Dr. Melania Gamboa, Manager of World Animal Protection Veterinary Programs, explains that, for example, in the case of canines, the female can have on average between 5 and 6 cubs in one birth. And depending on the female, she can get pregnant up to twice a year. Imagine then the level of reproduction that could be created and how many dogs would be lost in the street, living in totally unfavorable conditions.
On the other hand, in addition to providing many benefits to animals that are homeless, sterilization also helps to improve the health of pets that do have a home thanks to improvements in character and prevention of multiple diseases, thus providing them longevity.
Next, from World Animal Protection, we detail why sterilization is key to improving the lives of animals:
Benefits of sterilizing females
- Lowers the risk of breast cancer. The earlier you sterilize her, the better chance you have of avoiding it. If you sterilize it before the first heat, you eliminate it by 99%. In the case of female cats, it means reducing their chance of breast cancer by 40-60%.
- Because the reproductive tract is removed during the spaying procedure, females are no longer at risk of developing a serious uterine infection known as pyometra.
- Psychological pregnancy is completely avoided, a moment that they suffer both physically and psychologically and that represents a long process to solve.
- The behavior that occurs when they are in heat and have a strong instinct to reproduce is prevented, which leads them to run away from home to find a male, running the risk of getting lost and having accidents.
Benefits of sterilizing males
- Prostate problems would be greatly reduced, including possible cancers of this same organ in the future, which could be fatal.
- In the male dog and cat, the habit of marking territory with urine is diminished. If sterilization is done from puppies, the habit can be almost completely eliminated.
- In the same way that happens with females, if the male detects a bitch in heat, his instinct will lead him to look for her at the cost of everything and, therefore, he may run away from home, with the possibility of getting lost and suffering damage.
Benefits of sterilizing street animals
- Sterilizing a street animal prevents it from having future offspring that will not find a home, and reduces the risk of disease.
- Give an abandoned pet a chance to get a family to adopt it.
- It prevents the unnecessary sacrifice of thousands of animals due to lack of homes and owners to take care of them.
Spaying or neutering: differences and advantages
Animal owners are not always clear on the difference between spaying and neutering, however there are notable differences between the two options. Depending on the results you want to achieve, you will have to choose one option or another, depending on what the vet recommends. In the case of sterilization, the sexual behavior of the animal remains intact and with castration the absence of sexual activity is achieved.
If the option chosen is castration, the sex glands are removed with surgical techniques. That is, the testicles in the case of males and the ovaries in females. In this way, sterility and the absence of sexual activity are achieved. However, with sterilization the fertility of the dog is prevented, but normalized sexual behavior is maintained.
The castration technique is more drastic and invasive than in the case of sterilization, but it also has its advantages such as: controlling the character in cases where there are specific problems of coexistence (aggressiveness, escapes), as well as all the associated advantages to sterilization: prevention of diseases related to the uterus or breasts, in the case of females, and in the case of a male, preventing prostate diseases. It must be borne in mind that both spaying and neutering are suitable options to avoid procreation, and therefore unwanted litters.
Castration involves certain hormonal changes that lead to a greater tendency to be overweight, due to the rate of metabolism decreasing and the dog's appetite increasing. However, with a proper feeding strategy supervised by the veterinarian, it does not have to be a problem. There are solutions such as the contribution of less caloric foods and the increased activity of the dog, to compensate for the weight gain.
Thanks to sterilization, pets can become more docile, both female and male. With this, the inconveniences that can be created by animals with aggressive behavior problems are reduced.
Dr. Melania maintains that castration is a solution and prevention measure that will bear fruit in the medium and long term. "To think about the sterilization of dogs and cats, both on the street and with the owner, is to think not only about their well-being and health, but also about the quality of life of our communities."
If you are a pet owner, it is important that they are sterilized and that you do not let them roam the street. And if any of them become pregnant before sterilization, do not leave their puppies abandoned on the street. With this you will help to solve the true root of the problem.
World Animal Protection