29 May 2012
Spaying and Neutering:
How Soon is too Soon?
Often referred to as “man’s best friend,” dogs have been around for thousands of years. They provide their love and services to their human counterparts, and most often receive love, food, and shelter in return. Responsible dog owners everywhere would agree that neutering your dog is important and something that must be done; but the question is when? Most people neuter their dogs between 5- 7 months, simply because this is was common tradition. A common tradition that needs to be re-evaluated. What most people do not realize, is that it is most beneficial to his/her health when a dog is spayed or neutered after his/her first birthday to promote a healthy, prosperous, and disease-free life.
First off, what does it mean to spay or neuter your dog? Also known as desexing, it’s the process of removing their sex organs for population control, health, and behavioral modification (O'Meara). The operation requires general anesthetic, stitches, and a close watch to ensure safe healing.
Because the procedure requires anesthetic, most veterinarians recommend that your dog be in the 5-7 month range for desexing. Most veterinarians say it is safer for the dogs to wait until this age before undergoing a anesthetic surgery. They believe the liver and kidneys in younger animals are less mature, and less capable of tolerating the effects of the anesthetic (O'Meara).
However, some veterinarians now are saying it is safe and effective to neuter your pet before this 5-7 month-mark. Dog owners can ask to have their pet desexed at an earlier age. The practice was approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and studies done at the University of Illinois provided evidence of successful early desexing of dogs (Fuess).
Another common belief concerning desexing dogs at this stage is to eliminate the ‘naughty behaviors’ dogs will develop if neutered too late. Undesirable sexual...