Category Archives: Spay benefits

KAH Invites All To Stay and Be Tutored on Spays and Neuters!

One of the most common procedures done in veterinary clinics around the country (and here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital!) is altering a pet—“spaying” for females, and “neutering” for males. What exactly is involved in these surgeries, and what benefits are there for pets who are surgically altered?


  • “Neutering” is the surgical removal of the testicles. In dogs, this is done through a small

    KAH technician Julie poses for a brief selfie with Rusty before getting started with surgery!

    incision in the abdomen, while for cats and for rabbits the veterinarian can perform the surgery by making a tiny incision in the scrotum.

  • Almost 100% of intact male cats AND rabbits will spray urine in the house. They may become aggressive or destructive, and most will escape outdoors to find a female and defend their “territory.” Unless he is being used for breeding purposes, there is very little benefit to leaving a male cat or rabbit intact. Cats and rabbits are usually neutered no later than 6 months old.
  • Dogs, however, are a different story. Large-breed male dogs (those over 50lbs as adults) especially seem to benefit a lot from remaining intact until they are finished growing. For these boys, owners can wait until 1 year of age to neuter.
  • Smaller dogs (or larger boys who start to show signs of marking or aggression) can be neutered as early as 6 months of age.

    Dr. Lynch completes a pre-anesthetic exam and enters her notes. Every surgical patient at KAH is given special care!



  • A “spay” is when the veterinarian removes a female’s uterus and ovaries. This prevents pregnancy and pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the uterus.
  • Cats and rabbits are spayed before 6 months of age to prevent them from going through a heat cycle. For both species, once a heat cycle starts it won’t end until the pet has mated.
  • Spaying before the first heat cycle prevents mammary cancer. Most intact female cats and rabbits will develop mammary

    KAH technician Sam cuddles her recovering patient after a spay surgery.

    tumors, which are invasive, fast-growing, and almost always fatal. There is no benefit to leaving a female cat or rabbit intact unless she is going to be used for breeding.

  • Larger-breed female dogs may benefit from waiting until 1 year of age to spay. However, most girls go through their first heat cycle between 6-8 months old. Our veterinarians at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital consider each dog on a case-by-case basis and make recommendations accordingly.

Spay and Neuter Benefits

Nowadays, most pets adopted from rescues are spayed or neutered before adoption. But 30 years ago this wasn’t the case. So, what’s changed? Well, the main driving factor behind encouraging sterilization is the accumulation of data regarding how it affects pet’s health and behavior, as well as increased efforts to control population numbers (remember Bob Barker’s daily plug to “spay or neuter your pets” on The Price is Right?).

So what are the health and behavior benefits of spaying or neutering your pet?

*Spaying a female dog before her first heat lowers the chances she will develop
mammary tumors later in life to almost zero. Compare that to a 25% chance of
developing tumors for an unspayed dog (50% of which will be malignant).

*Spaying eliminates the chances of a female dog developing pyometra – a potentially
life-threatening infection of the uterus that often occurs in middle-aged, unspayed

*Neutering a male dog virtually eliminates the incidence of prostate disease, and
prevents certain types of tumors.

*Spaying and neutering before a pet is sexually mature can help to reduce or avoid
many hormone driven behaviors, such as aggression, roaming, fighting and urine

Fetch Volume 6 2010/2011