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3000 Roane State Hwy Harriman, TN 37748

Spay and Neuter

Spaying is a general term used to describe the ovariohysterectomy of a female animal. Neutering is a general term used to describe the castration of a male animal. However, neutering is often used in reference to both genders. The surgical procedure, performed by a veterinarian, renders the animal incapable of reproducing.

When can I have this procedure done?
We like to spay/neuter around 6 months of age.

How much does it cost?
The procedure cost will vary depending on the size of your pet.  Please contact us for a customized medical care plan.  865-882-6327

Doesn't neutering alter an animal's personality?
No. Personality changes that may result from neutering are for the better. Not being distracted by the instinctual need to find a mate helps your pet stop roaming and decreases aggressive tendencies.

What are the benefits?
The most obvious reason for spaying or neutering is to prevent adding to the pet overpopoulation problem.  However, there are other real benefits particularly relating to a pet's health. 

No Pregnancy or Pregnancy Complications

By preventing pregnancy, spaying permanently eliminates a source of great physical stress for female animals. including complications such as ceasarian section delivery.  It also eliminates:

  • Attendant males in abundance while the femal is in heat
  • Spotting during the heat period
  • False pregnancies (increasingly common with age)
  • Mammary tumors (less than 1% incidence in animals spayed before their first heat, versus higher than 50% incidence in intact female dogs over 5 years of age)
  • Uterine infections (increasing common with age; often life threatening)
  • Tumors of the ovaries or uterus
  • Stress, leading to increased susceptibility to diesase
  • Need for extra food during pregnancy and nursing

In female dogs, heat periods occur twice a year and last about 3 weeks each time.  Female cats may com into heat every 2-3 weeks.  During heat both dogs and cats will be more irritable and nervous than usual, and may even become aggressive and damage furniture or attack strangers.  Female cats will howl and rub excessively.

Less Testosterone, Less Trouble

In terms of behavior, male dogs will benefit even more than females from being neutered.  An un-neutered male can detect a female in heat even from miles away.  Neutering decreases roaming by 90%.  Responding to the overwhelming urge to reproduce, he will often become nervous and irritable, perhaps picking fights with other dogs, or becoming lethargic, less responsive to his owner, stop eating, or act ill and depressed.  Among the problems reduced or eliminated by neutering male pets are:

  • Territoriality and aggression, including urinating to mark territory, and fighting to defend it.
  • Wandering, escaping, and automobile injuries
  • "Riding" inappropriate objects
  • Prostate enlargement (occurs in at least 60% of un-neutered male dogs 5 years or older)
  • Prostate tumors and infections
  • Tumors of the testicles, penis and anal area
  • Perineal hernia (rupture of the posterior abdominal wall)
  • Stress, leading to increased susceptibility to disease
  • Need for extra food

Veterinary Topics