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Natural Awakenings Hudson County NJ

The Case for Pet Vasectomies

May 31, 2022 11:12AM ● By Jorelle Baker
embarassed dog on bed with his paw over his eye.

One of the most common questions that new pet parents ask our veterinarians is “When should I get my pet neutered?” Often they want to do the procedure early, believing it’s an easy surgery that will have minimal impact on their pet’s health. Actually, there are many consequences to neutering too early, as well as alternatives to prevent future health complications. Before making the decision to neuter, pet parents should consider the following information in order to give their pet the best chance at a long and healthy life. 
 
Neutering vs. Vasectomy
Neutering is when a veterinarian surgically removes the animal’s testicles. The process can typically be done within a day, and it has the immediate effect of making a male completely unable to reproduce with a female. Typically, since the testicles have been completely removed and its hormones altered, the pet will have less desire to mate.
           
Vasectomy is a surgery where a veterinarian removes a portion of the vas deferens, the tube that carries sperm to the testicles. The testicles themselves remain intact. The pet will still have a desire to mate after the surgery but will be incapable of reproducing within a few months.
 
Benefits of Vasectomy
Choosing vasectomy rather than neutering comes with several health advantages.
·        Decreased risk of obesity: Pets that keep their testicles have balanced hormones, which lowers their risk of forming unhealthy eating habits or becoming obese.
·        Decreased risk of cancer: Proper hormonal balance lowers the risk of cancer of the heart, spleen, bones and bladder.
·        Decreased risk of behavioral changes: A pet with more testosterone is less likely to have anxious behaviors, like fearfulness and reactivity.

Risks of Neutering
Beyond a basic understanding of the concepts and benefits of neutering and vasectomy, pet parents should also be aware of the potential risks of neutering too early.
 
·        Behavioral changes: Without testicles supplying testosterone, the pet could exhibit more signs of fearfulness, clinginess and reactivity.  
·        Increased risk of disease: When the hormones are unbalanced, the pet has an increased risk of forming hormonal diseases like hypothyroidism, diabetes, Cushing’s and certain cancers. 
·        Increased risk of injury: Neutered pets have a higher chance of developing hip dysplasia or cruciate ligament ruptures.
·        Increased risk of obesity: Neutered pets have a higher chance of becoming overweight.
 

We highly recommend scheduling a pet to be neutered after 1 year of age; this will allow its body to fully mature naturally and will cause minimal disruption to its hormonal system. We encourage every pet parent to do their research and schedule a veterinary exam to discuss the healthiest option for their pet.

 

Jorelle Baker is the social media manager, content creator and webmaster for Holistic Pet Care, located at 125 Paterson Ave., Little Falls, NJ. For appointments or information, visit HolisticPetCareNJ.com.

 

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