When an owner expresses frustration over behavior issues with a pet, the first step is to gather as much information as possible about the problems they’re experiencing.  Often, what the owner considers undesirable, is normal behavior for the breed, or life stage of their pet. Some common breed specific behaviors, in companion animals, that may be a source of discord are:

– Strong Prey Drive

– Wanderlust

– Barking/Howling…Excessive Vocalization

– Intolerance of Being Alone

– Dog Dominance

– Biting/Snapping During Play

– High Energy

– Aloof/Independence

– Stubbornness

Obviously, assertive/independent breeds are not a good choice for first-time owners, but owners who are experiencing breed specific behaviors can often find help by gaining an understanding of their breed, tempering their expectations, and working with an experienced trainer to develop the techniques of behavior modification and positive reinforcement that will help foster a mutually gratifying relationship. Cat owners experiencing what they perceive as destructive behavior can most often restore harmony by viewing their environment through the psyche of their cat…creating enrichment opportunities for their pet…introducing scratching posts, creating climbing perches, and even considering the addition of a sibling cat.

Let’s look at some other common behavior problems…

Health Related Issues May Include…

– Age Related Cognitive Dysfunction

– Urinating outside the box for cats

– Aggressive Response to Stimuli

– Anxiety/Fearfulness

Changes in Environment or Family Dynamic, as well as Traumatic Events May Evoke…

– Excessive Guarding

– Phobias  (fear of walking on certain surfaces or past certain rooms)

– Excessive Vocalization

– Separation Anxiety

– Fleeing

– Defensive/Fearful Response

Pathologic, Genetic, or Mental Health Defects Often Result In…

– Unpredictable Aggression Towards Owners as Well as Strangers

Changes in behavior, or unwanted/undesirable behaviors should always be discussed with your Veterinarian, and the first course of action should be a comprehensive physical exam to rule out an underlying health problem. The journey to restore balance can include medication, training for both the owner and the pet, environmental changes, and the establishment of realistic expectations on the part of the owner. While some behaviors are more of a nuisance or annoyance, when aggression is present, rapid intervention is imperative to ensure personal safety. In instances of Pathologic, Genetic, or Mental Health Defects, the prognosis for resolution is, unfortunately, guarded.

Your Veterinarian is your best resource for identifying the source of unwanted behaviors, and mapping a course of correction. If you’re experiencing problems or have concerns, don’t wait…call for an appointment!

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When cats and dogs experience an excessive loss of fluids from their bodies, they can become dehydrated.  The drop in fluid volume triggers an electrolyte imbalance that can rapidly progress to a life threatening condition.

Electrolytes are naturally occurring chemicals that regulate the body’s organs and systems. For the heart (including blood pressure), lungs, kidneys, brain and all the major organs of the body to function properly, electrolytes must be in balance. When electrolyte concentrations drop, immediate medical intervention is warranted to prevent organ failure that could lead to death.

In general, dehydration is triggered by an underlying medical condition or adverse environmental circumstance:

– Vomiting and/or diarrhea

– High fever

– Excessive urination

– Blood loss/shock

– Heatstroke

– Prolonged exposure to high temperatures

– Intense physical activity during hot summer days

– Water deprivation

While cats and dogs diagnosed with diabetes or kidney disease are considered to be at greater risk for dehydration, any animal is susceptible. Don’t underestimate the effect of vomiting, especially on small dogs and cats. Because of their petite size, a significant fluid loss for their bodies will not necessarily appear large enough to be of concern.

Because the effects of dehydration can be rapid, it’s important that you be able to recognize the most common signs and symptoms of dehydration:

– Lethargy

– Weakness

– Depression

– Withdrawal particularly in cats

– Panting

– Excessive licking

– Drooling

– Dry, tacky gums

– Skin tenting…gently pinch the skin over the shoulder area and release it.                                     When an animal is dehydrated, the skin will remain tented upward.

– Refusal to eat

While dehydration can occur any time of year, Summer heat increases the risk! Keep your pets inside during the hottest time of day, restrict exercise to times when the temperature drops into the mid 70s, and make sure they have access to plenty of clean, cold water. If your pet is exhibiting any of the signs or symptoms associated with dehydration, seek immediate medical attention. When it comes to dehydration, “waiting to see how things go” can have catastrophic consequences. During your next visit with your Veterinarian, ask them for pointers on getting your pets…particularly your cats…to increase their daily fluid intake. As always, be especially tuned in to changes in behavior…if something seems off, take the safe approach and have your pet checked by your Veterinarian.



The kidneys perform functions vital to the process of living. They filter out waste and potential toxins through the production of urine, help regulate the volume of fluids in the body, and maintain balance in levels of sodium, and chemistries in the bloodstream. In short, healthy kidneys are integral to a healthy life.

Kidney Disease is classified in two forms. It can be “acute”… referring to a rapid onset disruption of kidney function resulting from an assault to the kidneys by a variety of possible factors, including…ingesting a toxic substance like antifreeze, rat poison, medications that attack the kidneys, certain plants, bacteria contaminated foods, etc.

Kidney disease identified as “chronic” manifests as a gradual decline, often in older dogs and cats, and is not easily linked to a specific event. However, it is significant to note that a major contributor to chronic kidney disease in dogs is bacteria buildup from advanced dental disease…preventable by a sound regimen of oral hygiene to include periodic professional cleaning. Cats often develop chronic kidney disease from the formation of stones.  Cancer, genetics, and infections are a few of the additional contributing factors.

The symptoms of Acute Kidney Disease are dramatic…

– Vomiting

– Severe listlessness

– Imbalance, stumbling, disorientation

– Refusal to eat

Animals with acute kidney disease present as critically ill, and require immediate, life-saving emergency care.

The symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease can be subtle, with a gradual onset, and may not be readily identifiable.

 Symptoms in Cats…

– Lethargy

– Weight Loss

– Increased urine output with increased drinking

– Unkempt appearance

– Loss of appetite

– Urinating outside the litter box

 Symptoms in Dogs…

– More frequent urination…often during the night, or accidents in a dog who has not                 been known to have them in the past

– Little or no urine output

– Loss of appetite

– Vomiting

– Lethargy/Depression

– Excessive thirst

– Bad breath

– Diarrhea or constipation

As with any disease, early detection goes a long way towards increasing the odds of successful treatment.  Often, Veterinarians are alerted to the earliest stages of chronic kidney disease, by fluctuations in kidney function markers, reported on routine, screening blood work. Early diagnosis, especially when it takes place prior to the onset of symptoms, is a best case scenario. It allows for intervention before catastrophic damage occurs. Both cats and dogs, can benefit from being switched to a therapeutic, prescription diet, formulated specifically for chronic kidney disease. This simple change is often associated with both a prolonged life, and a better quality of life.

Since hypertension often accompanies kidney impairment, medications may be needed to control blood pressure and minimize potential long-term complications including damage to the cardio-vascular system.

There are treatment options and lifestyle changes that help stabilize the patient, control the symptoms, and help prevent irreversible consequences.

Talk to your Veterinarian about establishing a “baseline” for your pet that will help identify changing trends in their kidney functions.  Also work together to formulate a plan of preventive care specific to your pet’s needs…

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Could It Be Thyroid Disease?

The thyroid is a small gland of the human and animal endocrine system, located in the throat. Despite its small size, the hormones it secretes play a major role in regulating a number of the bodily functions relating to metabolism, heart health, and so much more.

Dogs, both male and female, are far more susceptible to Thyroid Disease than cats. For cats, Thyroid Disease is often a disease of aging. When the thyroid malfunctions, the signs, though significant, can be missed or confused with other conditions that produce similar symptoms. The first step in recognizing potential signs of Thyroid Disease, is identifying the two main categories and understanding their impact on the body.

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormones.

Hypothyroidism occurs when insufficient quantities of hormones are produced, and normal thyroid activity is disrupted.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms associated with each form of Thyroid Disease:

Hypothyroidism:  ( Reduced hormone production)

 – Weight gain not associated with increased food intake

– Newly developed dry or sensitive skin, or skin sores

– Excessive shedding, dull, unkempt appearing coat, hair loss

– Lethargy, significantly decreased energy

– Decreased heart rate

– Sensitivity to cold temperatures not exhibited in the past

– Muscle weakness

– Recurring eye and/or ear infections

Hyperthyroidism:  (Excessive hormone production)

– Weight loss…unexplained

– Noticeably increased appetite…ravenous hunger

– Increased urination

– Excessive thirst

– Elevated heart rate

– Unexplained and/or recurring vomiting and/or diarrhea

– Difficulty breathing…shortness of breath

– Bulge or palpable lump in the throat

– Restlessness, hyper-active behavior

– Dull coat

Thyroid Disease can be the result of a tumor on the thyroid. Thyroid tumors are most often malignant, and if one is suspected, it should be immediately evaluated by your Veterinarian. In addition to the symptoms already listed, the following symptoms can be indicators of the presence of a thyroid tumor:

– Cough

– Hoarseness

– A noticeable change in bark…not an increase or decrease in frequency, but                             tone and volume

The changes that Thyroid Disease effect can often be subtle, with a gradual onset of behavior changes. As with any illness impacting your pets, the earlier the diagnosis, the better the chances for a positive outcome. It’s important to note that left untreated, Thyroid Disease can lead to death. Diagnosis can be as simple as a blood test to evaluate hormone levels, or as complicated as a biopsy if a tumor is present.

Most Thyroid Disease can be treated, and the symptoms that negatively impact your pet’s life can be managed. Hypothyroidism can be controlled by administering synthetic hormone, in the form of a pill or liquid, depending on your pet’s preference. The synthetic hormone will restore proper balance to the hormone levels in your pet’s system. Periodic blood tests will be required to assess hormone levels, with medication adjustments being made as necessary.

Hyperthyroidism treatment is more complicated, and may require radiotherapy or chemotherapy in conjunction with medication.

Where tumors are present, treatment is determined by the type of tumor, and its impact on the surrounding organs and arteries.

As always, the first step towards diagnosis is a vigilant owner who questions changes in behavior and appearance, no matter how subtle. If you’re witnessing something that causes you concern, call your Veterinarian and make an appointment today. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention.

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Your Dogs’ Social Life…Tips To Keep Them Safe

Today, as never before, dogs participate in organized social programs that keep them on the go. Doggy Day Care, Dog Parks, Training Classes, Grooming Salons, Boarding Facilities, comprise some of the venues where groups of dogs, from varied backgrounds, gather to interact, and enjoy the pack dynamic.

On the surface, socialization is great for them, but the flip side of increased interaction with other dogs, is the potential for diseases to spread among them as they share water bowls, come in contact with one another’s secretions, share toys, and roughhouse together! Depending on their age (puppies and seniors are at greater risk), and their general health, an active social life can present some potentially serious concerns. Let’s look at some of the diseases that can spread relatively easily through these groups.

Kennel Cough

Recently, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of kennel cough cases among dogs who frequent group settings. This highly contagious virus often escapes detection because infected dogs frequently don’t exhibit symptoms in the early stages. By the time the runny nose and dry hacking cough arrive, the entire group has been exposed. There is a vaccine for kennel cough, but it isn’t routinely used with every dog. Lifestyle is the deciding factor.  Since the Bordetella vaccine is good for 1 year, it’s important to keep your dog up to date if you plan on having them participate in any activity that includes repeated or confined exposure to dogs from outside your home.

Canine Distemper

This highly contagious virus is a threat to any dog who hasn’t gone through the vaccination cycle…particularly puppies. It’s an airborne virus with devastating, often fatal, consequences. Until they’re fully vaccinated, the only way to protect your puppy is to keep them away from dogs who are not part of your home.


Parvo is another potentially devastating virus spread through contact with the stool of an infected dog, and on surfaces like water/food bowls, leashes, toys, even the clothing of humans interacting with the infected dog. Because of the high mortality rate associated with Parvo, the vaccine to protect against it is part of the core vaccines recommended for all dogs.


Lepto is caused by a bacteria spread through the urine of an infected animal. Drinking contaminated water or coming in contact with contaminated soil and food are all ways to contract the bacteria. In addition to fever, muscle weakness, and vomiting, infected dogs can suffer kidney and liver failure. The vaccine for Lepto is optional based on lifestyle, and it’s strongly recommended that you discuss its’ use with your Veterinarian.


Rabies vaccine is mandated by law, for licensing, in most municipalities, and as a rule facilities where dogs gather require proof of vaccination. It’s important to remember, that unvaccinated animals exist all around us…raccoons, squirrels, skunks. Anyone is susceptible to the rabies virus, and it’s 100% fatal.  Fortunately, the rabies vaccination equals prevention.

Canine Influenza

This relatively new disease is caused by a virus that can live up to 48 hours on hard surfaces and clothing. Because it’s new, few dogs have developed immunity to it. The symptoms of nasal discharge, fever, and hacking cough are similar to kennel cough. Your Veterinarian will confirm the diagnosis. While a vaccine does exist, it isn’t recommended for use with every dog so you’ll need to discuss your dog, and whether or not it makes sense to vaccinate, with your Veterinarian.

Flea and Tick Infestation, Lyme Disease, Heartworm Disease are all risk factors that increase when dogs frequent group settings.

Your Veterinarian is your first line of prevention, and your greatest resource in minimizing the risks and maximizing the benefits of socialization for your dogs. Equally important is early diagnosis and treatment of infections. Don’t ignore symptoms or changes in behavior…if something seems off, get it checked out.


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Just as with humans, dental disease can have debilitating consequences for your pets! Bad breath is not a “given” when you own a cat or dog, and should never be ignored. Generally it’s the first sign of a plaque forming bacteria build-up that when left untreated, can lead to serious gum disease, infection, and tooth decay. With time, the inflammation and infection in the mouth becomes more destructive, and often migrates from the mouth to the heart, lungs, and kidneys where it negatively impacts your pet’s overall health.

Sound dental hygiene begins with an evaluation of puppy and kitten teeth to identify any potential problems that may exist. As a general rule, the majority of dogs and cats start to exhibit dental disease of at least a Grade 1 level by age 3.  A dental, performed under anesthesia, would be recommended to halt progression, and restore the mouth to good health. It’s important that dental exams be a routine part of your pet’s annual exam. An evaluation of the mouth by your Veterinarian will identify any areas of concern. There may be times that your Veterinarian recommends dental x-rays to confirm conditions under the gum line where dental disease can be more extensive, yet difficult to assess. Small breeds are often particularly susceptible to dental disease, particularly abscesses and advanced decay under the gum line, and can require multiple extractions. It’s  not uncommon for owners to be completely unaware that serious dental problems exist. As the disease progresses, symptoms can present, such as decreased appetite, because eating becomes painful, teeth can appear discolored, there can be pawing around the mouth, pain can manifest as lethargy and depression, there can be an inability to chew hard kibble or treats, and of course, bad breath. Cats may also begin to drool excessively. However, it’s always important to remember that cats are very skilled at hiding problems, making their annual oral exams even more important!

Tooth brushing, and oral dental chews will go a long way towards supporting a healthy mouth, but alone, they will not prevent dental disease. These aids should be used as a maintenance component of a comprehensive plan of dental hygiene.

February has long been designated “Pet Dental Health Month” because dental health is a cornerstone of prevention in Veterinary Medicine. In support of this effort to raise awareness of the importance of pet dental health, we offer discounted routine dentals throughout the month of February. All dentals are performed under anesthesia, and will include evaluation of each tooth for stability and decay, removal of all accumulated tartar, and all teeth will be polished to smooth the tooth surface, removing any rough spots or grooves resulting from tartar growth. Call for an appointment!


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Both dogs and cats are susceptible to acute and chronic ear infections, and, like humans, the consequences of allowing them to go untreated can be significant.  Identifying the cause and formulating an effective treatment plan can be complicated.

Often owners fail to recognize the early warning signs of an ear infection:

– Scratching near the ear and side of the head

– Head shaking

– Rubbing the side of the head along furniture and the floor

– Redness inside the ear with possible warmth to the touch

If untreated, the symptoms increase as the infection becomes more serious:

– Pain to the touch

– Fur loss from excessive scratching

– Balance issues

– Nausea

– Head tilt

– Wounds around the face and ears from clawing

– Discharge from the ears

– Foul odor from the ears

– Ear hematomas from vigorous head shaking

– Crying and/or moaning from pain and unrelenting itch

By the time these symptoms present themselves, your pet is in pain!

In short, ear infections leave our pets feeling miserable, and place them at risk for chronic problems.  There are multiple reasons why a cat or dog experiences ear infections. Sometimes it’s as simple as dirt, or excessive moisture in the ear.  For cats, the culprit is often ear mites – microscopic parasites that are more common in outdoor cats, but can find their way into our homes.  These mites can be passed between animals, but are generally not a concern for humans.  When a cat has mites, you’ll see increased scratching, head shaking, and possibly some fur loss around the ear.  Another indicator of their presence is dark, crusty debris in the ear canal.  To confirm an ear mite infestation, your Veterinarian will take an ear swab, and look at it under the microscope.

Infections caused by bacteria or yeast are more complicated to diagnose and treat.  These infections require analysis of a sterile swab to identify the specific organism, and a sensitivity culture to determine what treatment will be most effective.  Treatment can include an antibiotic, an anti-fungal, and potentially an anti- inflammatory to relieve pain.  In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary.

When ear infections appear chronic in nature, testing for food allergies with dietary adjustments, allergy injections, and in some cases, thyroid testing may be warranted.

Once the source of ear infections has been identified, it is important to treat to resolution, because chronic inflammation within the ear canal can result in development of scar tissue that narrows the canal and prevents medication from reaching the diseased area. It can also cause the ear drum to rupture resulting in significant pain, and ultimately, in the worst case, your pet can sustain permanent hearing loss.

Attempting to treat a suspected ear infection on your own is never a good idea.  If your dog or cat exhibits any behaviors indicative of an ear infection, call your Veterinarian and have them evaluated.  It’s also important to talk with your Veterinarian about ear hygiene techniques, and get their input on any products you might consider using to clean the ears.

Ear infections won’t go away on their own…

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As we head towards the first day of winter on December 21st, it’s important to remember that during the month of December, holiday celebrations and the onset of winter weather, create complex challenges for the pets we love.


Inside the home, increased use of electrical extension cords, tinsel decorations, and ribbon (especially wired ribbon), are a few of the things that trigger an increase in veterinary emergencies for both dogs and cats!  Tinsel and ribbon can’t be digested, and accumulate in the digestive tract, forming an intestinal blockage that requires surgical intervention.  Hanging lights and dangling decorations attract unwanted attention that can have potentially catastrophic consequences. If you have a pet drawn to electrical wires, please note that injuries from electrocution are reported every holiday season! When choosing your decorations, be sure to evaluate their impact on your pet, and be extra careful if you’re a cat owner. We all know how curious our kitties can be.

Celebrations with friends and family bring out holiday foods that also account for a marked uptick in sick visits during December.  Keep sweets…especially chocolate…out of reach, along with caffeinated beverages and alcohol.  Remind your guests that sharing with your pets is not in their best interest, and you’d rather they didn’t!  The surefire way to protect your pets from the perils of festivities is to keep them in a separate part of the house, away from unwanted food and guests who might not be accustomed to having pets underfoot.

New Year’s fireworks and noisemakers will evoke the same fear response as 4th of July fireworks, so keep your pets safe and secure when celebrations are in full swing! While dogs tend to run away, cats tend to hide.  Whichever pet you have, keep them indoors, and make sure they have access to their safe haven of choice.

In addition to holiday safety pointers, there are basic cold weather safety tips to keep in mind.  A rule of thumb is that if you’re feeling cold, chances are your pets are, too.  Make sure they have a warm, dry spot away from drafts to stay safe.  When you bring them in from the outdoors, make sure to dry their coats. Dogs get frostbite on their paws so take that into consideration when you head out for a walk.  Remember to avoid ice melting products sprinkled on sidewalks…they aren’t always “pet friendly”!  Wipe down their paws to keep them from ingesting any toxic residue when they lick them clean.  For dogs that enjoy bounding through snow drifts, remember to remove any accumulated snow/ice clumps from the paws…especially between the toes.  The easiest way to do this is to place each paw in some warm (not hot) water and allow it to melt naturally, drying the paw off when you’re finished.  Don’t tug the ice off…pulling the fur can be painful and if the ice is attached to the skin, removing it that way can result in injury to the tissue.

Pay extra attention to your pet’s coat and skin during the winter months.  Like our skin, the outdoor cold and indoor heating systems tend to leave them dry and a little flaky.  Fewer baths are a good thing during the winter to prevent drying them out even more.  To help keep them warm, let their fur grow longer during the winter, and use sweaters/coats to help them retain body warmth.

On those bitterly cold days we sometimes experience, be sure to limit their outdoor time to absolute necessity. Remember, if it’s too cold for you…it’s too cold for them, especially if they are short haired, or smaller breeds.

Most importantly, if you suspect a problem, don’t delay having your pet seen by a veterinarian.  Quick intervention can help avert a possible tragedy at any time of the year!

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Keep the “Happy” in Holiday Travel with Pets

Anyone with a pet knows that as much as we may love to travel, they would rather be at home…especially if they happen to be a kitty!  Visiting family at the holidays often inspires us to include our four legged friends.  Safety in travel takes on new significance when pets are involved.  Preparation should include proper equipment to transport your pet geared to the type of vehicle they’ll be traveling in.


Dogs should never travel in a car without being contained in a safe restraint…a crate attached to the interior of the vehicle, or an approved car seat.

Cats should never roam free inside a car…their safety depends on a carrier or crate!  Planning your route will need to include frequent stops for potty and exercise, and overnight road trips will require reservations at pet friendly hotels.  Spontaneity doesn’t really work when there are pets on board! 

Leading up to a trip, it’s important to familiarize pets with the crate/carrier they’ll be occupying, long before their travel day arrives.  Leave these containers out for weeks leading up to your trip, and line them with their favorite blanket and toys.  Allowing pets to go in and out of the crate/carrier at will turns them into “safe zones” for nesting, and helps remove some of the fear of the unknown.

Airline travel presents a different set of challenges.  Your first hurdle involves getting through security!  Pets need to be screened, too, and cats often take this portion of the trip personally!  Ask to be screened in a private room…if kitty makes a run for it you won’t risk having him disappear in the terminal!  While each airline details their rules and restrictions on pet travel, it’s always safest to keep your pet in the cabin with you.  Every year pets are lost/mishandled by airline personnel, and sadly stories of pets who die during transport in the cargo portion of the aircraft are reported. The Humane Society offers comprehensive tips for pet travel.

It is extremely important to remember that every trip with your pet should begin with a visit to your Veterinarian.  Before you leave home, you want to make sure they’re up to date on their vaccinations, microchipped in case they become separated from you, and generally in good health.  Additionally, your Veterinarian can counsel you on the use of behavior targeted products designed to increase a pet’s sense of well-being and security when they’re in an unfamiliar environment or subjected to stressful situations.  For pets who require more, your Veterinarian can provide prescription medications used to reduce anxiety and fear, and support safe travel.  Commercial forms of transportation will also require a Travel Certificate from your Veterinarian confirming that the pet is safe to travel.

Travel with your pets involves planning, and preparation.  Don’t wait…begin your journey by calling Bayshore Veterinary Hospital, and scheduling an appointment with one of our Veterinarians.

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Spaying/Neutering…Protecting the Pets We Love

Let’s start by defining spay and neuter.  Spaying is a surgical procedure, performed under anesthesia, on female animals.  Both ovaries and uterus are removed rendering the animal unable to reproduce.

Neutering is a surgical procedure, performed under anesthesia on male animals.  Both testicles are removed, rendering these males sterile and thereby unable to reproduce.

As a general rule these are performed as “same day” surgical procedures.  Recovery tends to be relatively uneventful so long as patients adhere to restricted activity guidelines outlined at the time of discharge.  After approximately 7-10 days of healing, it’s business as usual!

Ideally, spay/neuter takes place during the puppy/kitten phase, prior to a first heat for females and puberty for males…sometime around 6 months for dogs, and as young as 8 weeks for kittens.  Pre-heat spays are strongly recommended.

Older pets can be spayed and neutered, but as a pet ages, the risk of potential complications from anesthesia increase due to any existing health conditions.

Let’s explore what makes the decision to spay and neuter so important.

Most people are aware of the problems relating to overpopulation of both dogs and cats and the burden that it places on shelters trying to house these animals until homes can be found, and communities dealing with strays.    Pet abandonment and “back yard breeding” have created a homeless crisis that resulted in almost 4 million animals being euthanized last year because there were not enough people willing to adopt these animals.  The majority of these were healthy, adoptable animals.  The obvious solution to this problem is to spay and neuter.  Pets adopted through a shelter or rescue group will have undergone these procedures, prior to adoption, in an effort to reduce overpopulation.  Breeder or pet shop acquisitions will not.

Less widely understood are the health issues directly related to a failure to spay or neuter.  Unspayed female dogs are susceptible to Pyometra, a life threatening infection of the uterus that requires emergency, life-saving surgery to remove the diseased organ.  In both cats and dogs, spaying eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer, and greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer.  Heat cycles are completely eliminated.

Neutering a male dog or cat eliminates the threat of testicular cancer, and greatly decreases prostate cancer risk.   Additionally, it prevents unwanted, hormonally triggered behaviors like roaming, spraying, marking of territory, aggressive posturing and biting.  While undesirable behaviors fade, it is significant to note that neutering has no impact on a dogs’ instinct to protect home and family.

It’s also important to note that spaying/neutering will not make your pet fat.  Just like us, weight problems arise from too little exercise and too many calories!

Spaying and neutering your pets prevents certain types of cancer, and unwanted pregnancies.  The benefits are measurable!  If you have concerns, or are unsure where your pet falls in the spay/neuter timetable, schedule an appointment with one of our Veterinarians!  Let’s work together towards giving your pet a bright, healthy future!

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