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Knowing When to Nip it in the Buds

Survey of scientific literature suggests the healthiest age to spay and neuter pets

Survey of scientific literature suggests the healthiest age to spay and neuter pets

Eric Isselée/istockphoto.com
Few humans can say they’ve had a gonadectomy—but the surgery remains the most common veterinary procedure performed in the U.S. today, not to mention the most effective guard against domestic animal overpopulation and all its subsequent ills.

But when it comes to the old “snip, snip,” how old should cats and dogs be when the surgery is performed?

It’s already hard enough to get pet owners to spay or neuter, let alone tell them that the surgery must happen within a specific timeframe. How can one assure owners that a gonadectomy (the scientific term for removal of the sex organs of an animal of either gender) won’t come with health risks for their pet?

A recent summary of studies on the issue (“Determining the optimal age for gonadectomy of dogs and cats,” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol. 231, No. 11) shed a flicker of light on the complicated topic.

 Read the full article.

 

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