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Why you should Spay your Pet and its Effect on Cancer?

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Why you should Spay your Pet and its Effect on Cancer?


Breast cancer is not limited to humans. Unfortunately, it also affects dogs and cats. Intact dogs and cats have a seven times greater risk of developing breast cancer when compared to those who were already spayed.

As we celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to bring awareness of the importance of spaying to reduce the incidence of this dreadful disease in pets.

Take a look first of these important statistics concerning breast cancer in animals especially in dogs:

  • If a dog is spayed when it is less than 6 months of age, it has a 0.5% risk of developing breast cancer in its lifetime.
  • If a dog is spayed after 1 heat cycle only, it has an 8% chance of developing breast cancer in its lifetime.
  • If a dog goes through more than 2 heat cycles, than it has a 26% chance of developing breast cancer in its lifetime.

But how about the other benefits of Neutering in general?

Females: There are significant benefits in spaying female dogs, especially before their first or second heat (oestrus) cycle. Aside from eliminating the risk of surprise or unwanted pregnancies, spayed dogs have significantly lower mammary cancer rates and the complete removal of ovaries and uterus eliminates the risk of a potentially life-threatening infection, called pyometra, as well as uterine cancers.

Males: Age plays less of a factor with males, but castrated males are less likely to suffer from testicular or prostate diseases. Besides, any intact male dogs show undesirable hormone-related behaviours such as inappropriate mounting and roaming, which can be dangerous if they wander near roads or far from home in search of a female.

Significant changes after Neutering

As you’ll find out from your vet, there are several changes that occur in a dog’s body once they are spayed or castrated. These changes may be more noticeable in males. Neutering won’t change your dog’s personality but it is likely to change sex hormone-driven behaviours. Many owners also report that their dogs are calmer after neutering.

Along with the above hormonal changes, changes in metabolism can also occur. A slower metabolism means that your dog can gain excess weight easily after neutering, making it important to pay special attention to his nutritional needs to ensure that he doesn’t become overweight. It is recommended that you switch to a neutered-specific dog food.

Mammary Tumors

The best way to eliminate your pet’s risk to mammary tumors is to commit to spaying. Not only you will help reduce the population of potentially unwanted pets, but the chance of your pet developing breast tumors. We recommend spaying and neutering at 6 months of age to offer the best chance of protection against mammary cancer.

Due to rare case reports of urine incontinence development when female large breed dogs are being spayed too early (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11787155/), i.e before first heat season, we usually recommend spaying 2-3 months after their first period in dogs.

Try to perform exams at home. In addition to annual wellness visits to your vet, commit to checking your pet’s abdomen for signs of irregularities, including lumps, bumps, and bald spots. As with humans, early detection is the best first step toward treatment!


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