Spaying – A Simple Procedure With Great Benefits For Your Pet

Spaying your female pet has many benefits, both for you, as a pet owner, and for your pet. Besides preventing unwanted litters of puppies or kittens, spaying can also help make make it possible for your female pet to lead a longer and healthier life.

Let’s start at the beginning. Spaying your pet means removing the female reproductive organs, specifically the uterus and ovaries, so that your pet can no longer become pregnant. The more technical name for a spay is an ovariohysterectomy (or OHE, for short).

Obviously, if breeding your pet is a priority for you, spaying is not an option. However, any female pet which is not a breeding animal can benefit tremendously by being spayed.

What are the benefits of spaying your female pet? Well, of course, one of the most obvious benefits is that you will no longer need to worry about your pet becoming pregnant. You also will not have to worry about your female pet coming into “heat”. This means, for a dog, no bleeding or mess associated with your dog being “in heat”.

For a cat, it means not having to tolerate the unpleasant behaviors that your cat experiences while being “in heat”. For those of you who have never been around a cat “in heat”, these behaviors include loud and frequent vocalization, which can disrupt your entire household, pacing, and urine marking in your home. Unspayed female cats can come into “heat” every few days. This behavior is often a deciding factor for cat owners when considering whether or not to spay their female cat.

There are a number health benefits for your spayed female pet also. If left unspayed, female pets often develop a condition known as pyometra. Pyometra is a severe, life-threatening infection of the female uterus. It is frequently a fatal condition if left untreated. Even with treatment, some female pets do not survive a pyometra infection. Because your female pet’s uterus is removed when she is spayed, the possibility of developing a pyometra is completely removed. Spayed female pets cannot develop this disease.

In addition, because your female pet cannot become pregnant, you don’t have to worry about complications which can occur during or after the birth process of pregnant female pets. There is no need to worry about puppies or kittens being to large to pass through the birth canal, or in the wrong position to be born normally. Conditions such as metritis (an infection of the uterus which occurs after pregnancy) and mastitis (infection of the mammary glands, or breasts) cannot occur in spayed female pets either.

Another benefit to spaying your female pet is a lower chance of developing breast tumors later in life. This primarily applies to pets which are spayed at a young age. If spayed before the first “heat” cycle, the chance of your pet developing breast cancer later in life is very low.

It is a proven fact that pets which are spayed lead longer, healthier lives. Some estimates indicate that spayed females can live as long as twice as long as unspayed females.

Spaying also tends to make your pet calmer and more affectionate, without the mood swings that can accompany the “heat” cycle.

As you can see, there are many strong reasons for spaying your female pet.

Copyright 2006 The Pet Med Site

Finding a Lost Pet – Why the Dog Catcher May Be Your Best Friend

Losing a pet is a frightening experience. Dog and cat owners will often go to almost any lengths to locate and retrieve their four-legged companions. Unfortunately, many pet owners consider contacting authorities at the “pound” either a last resort or absolute taboo. While there are many other good resources to help locate your pet, your city or county animal control facilities should actually be your first contact if your pet is missing.

Dog catchers and animal impound shelters get a bad rap all too often. City or county facilities for animal control are usually staffed with people who are in that particular line of work because they love animals. Yes, an unfortunate part of the job is to euthanize animals that are hopelessly ill or injured, a danger to the public or other animals, or unwanted. So, the key is to make sure the shelter staff knows your pet isn’t unwanted, by notifying them first that your pet may be “at large” and asking them to add him or her to their lost list and “into the system”. Taking this step first is important for several reasons:

Time may be short.
Many shelters work under a legally mandated waiting period after a stray animal is impounded. A healthy pet may go up for adoption during this waiting period, but overcrowding and increasing costs for many of these facilities have become such a problem that the waiting period may be short. If your pet is already impounded at a shelter, you want to know as soon as possible.

Incoming animals are checked.
Getting your dog or cat on the “at large” list means that if he or she is picked up for impound, you should be contacted immediately to come and retrieve your pet. In most instances, you won’t have to worry about your pet going up for adoption.

The network is in place.
Shelters and pounds are connected via sophisticated networks to law enforcement, highway departments, veterinarians and other regional services and facilities that report back to the shelter when lost animals are spotted or brought in. This means that you almost immediately have all these services working to help find your cat or dog.

Shelters have media connections.
Many animal impound shelters make use of a wide range of media resources. Your lost pet’s photo and description is very likely to be posted to at least one internet site, in the local paper and perhaps on local television news. By contacting the shelter, you can probably save yourself some time and expense.

By the way, a personal visit to the shelter is much better than a phone call. First of all, if your pet is already there, you can identify him or her and take your pet home. If not, you can at least have a good photo of your pet in hand to be copied and posted to bulletin boards, lists, etc. If you can’t get to the facility quickly, go ahead and call first, but follow up with a visit as soon as possible. Remember that your verbal description of your dog or cat isn’t necessarily going to be interpreted correctly.

Is there a possibility you’ll have to pay a fine when your pet is found? Yes. In some cases fees may be waived for an animal that has been reported as lost and is retrieved by its owner immediately, but this isn’t always the case. Pick up fees can vary greatly according to your location and circumstances. In addition, if your dog or cat comes in without rabies tags or required license tags, you will probably have to pay for shots and licensing in addition to any other fees before your pet can go home with you. Most pet owners would agree that the investment is justified by the safe return of a loved one.

There are a number of steps you can take to help authorities find and identify your pet in the event of loss or theft. First and foremost is the licensing of your pet according to your local regulations. License tags are checked by shelter officials if they’re found on your pet. The number on the tag can be referenced to lead back to you as the owner. Other collar tags, engraved with your contact information, can be helpful. For a small fee, your vet or the shelter staff can quickly and safely implant a microchip that can be scanned by authorities. Tattoos have been used as well, but some pets have been mutilated by thieves to remove these markings.

Contacting the animal shelter won’t replace any of the other things you can do to find your pet. You should still search your neighborhood or the area he or she was last seen, make and post flyers, contact neighbors, post to online classified sites, etc. Calling the shelter should, however, be the first item on your “to do” list. Why not put some of your tax dollars to work to help get your best friend home safely?

One last note: If you do find your pet by some other means after contacting authorities, be courteous enough to call and notify the shelter. One less animal at large will be welcome news and might save a few dollars as well.