Animal Fair Media has always championed the underdog, animal rescue and welfare. When you spay or neuter your pet, you help the animal shelters around the country that are overburdened with too many animals. Homeless and stray animals cost their communities millions of dollars when trying to control unwanted animals.
What exactly is spaying and neutering?Spaying is when a female animal has their reproductive organs surgically removed, and neutering is the surgical removal of a male animal’s testicles. Your animal is placed under anesthesia, and usually will have to spend the night at the vet’s office or pet hospital. The length of the stay depends on your pet’s age, size, and health. Make sure you don’t leave your pet overnight at the vet’s office if they do not have techs in attendance. Always ask your vet for the details involved with the procedure, and get a printout of post-op instructions.
The benefits of spaying and neutering your pet are vast; they live a longer life and can eliminate various health problems including mammary, uterine, ovarian, prostate, testicular cancer. The cost of having the procedure done is a medical investment that protects your pet’s future health and your bank account.
What most pet parents don’t realize is that spaying and neutering can enhance your pet’s personality. They become more affectionate and friendlier. Also, animals are less likely to stray from home and won’t be driven by the desire to go out to find some action! And for those pet parents that take pride in their home décor and design efforts, spaying and neutering makes pets less likely to spray and mark territory.
Banfield’s Animal Hospital, the world’s largest veterinary practice, published its State of Pet Health 2013 Report based on its 2.6 million clients throughout the United States. The Banfield Applied Research and Knowledge (BARK) team analyzed data collected in 2012 from 2.2 million dogs and 460,000 cats cared for in Banfield’s more than 800,000 hospitals in 43 states.
Good news! Our pets are living longer! In 2012, the average of a cat’s lifespan was 12 years – an increase of 10% since 2002 adding a year to a cat’s life, and the average of a dog’s lifespan was 11 years – an increase of 4% adding half a year to a dog’s life.
This report also highlights the importance of spaying and neutering our pets, as it increases their lifespan, among other factors. On average, neutered male cats live 62% longer non neutered male cats and spayed female cats live 39% longer than unspayed female cats. As for dogs, an increase in longevity was also seen on spayed and neutered dogs. On average, neutered male dogs live 18% longer than non neutered male dogs, and spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed females. Also note that toy/small breed dogs live 41 percent longer than Giant breed dogs.
Spaying and neutering are not the only factors that can influence our pets’ life expectancy; there are other contributing factors, such as genetics, breed, type, geographic location and the amount of preventive care a pet receives in his life. This is why it is particularly important that you take care of your pet’s vaccinations, parasite control, dental care, and nutrition. A healthy pet is a happy and older pet!
“As a practice, Banfield is a believer that regular preventive care is essential to helping pets live happier, healthier and longer lives – a core piece of that preventive care is twice-annual examinations and early disease diagnosis,” says Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, MS, DACVIM, senior president and chief medical officer for Banfield Pet Hospital. “The key to successful early disease diagnosis involves a partnership between pet owners and their veterinarian to identify changes in a pet’s overall health and behavior.”
Another important factor influencing your pet’s life is where you live, due to preventable disease plaguing some parts of the country, such as heartworm in the Southeast and Lyme disease in the Northeast. Heartworm infection is one of the top three conditions or diagnoses for pets seen in Banfield hospitals in the Southern states, including Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
The report also reveals interesting facts on pet’s lifespan and the states they live in. Concerning cats, they live longer in Montana, Colorado, Long Island, Illinois and Nebraska, and have the shortest lifespan in Delaware, Ohio, Louisiana, Kentucky and Mississippi. Dogs live longer in South Dakota, Montana, Oregon, New Mexico and Colorado, and have shorter lifespan in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Delaware and Massachusetts. If you live in those states where pets don’t get so old, please, don’t pass on preventive care!
The State of Pet Health 2013 Report also features the first ever interactive map of the US outlining pet health concern and prevalence by state. This map gives you the amazing opportunity to select the state you live in, what type of pet you have – dog or cat, its sex, age, breed etc. It will then show you important information such as the pet lifespan, and the common diseases and condition affecting pets in your state, such as overweight/obesity, kidney disease, dental disease, heart disease, arthritis, parasites, fleas, ticks, diabetes, heartworm infection, thyroid disease etc.
Founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1955, Banfield Animal Hospital is the largest veterinary practice in the world and is more than 800 hospitals strong acrosse the US, with more than 2,600 veterinarians.