Besides the obvious benefits of not having to deal with a pet in heat, a roaming male or pregnancy complications, having your pet fixed has additional benefits for your pet’s health.
Spaying or neutering your pet before the onset of sexual maturity reduces the chances of some cancers and serious illnesses and completely eliminates others. A neutered male pet has no chance of developing testicular cancer and a greatly reduced opportunity for prostate issues. Spayed female pets are no longer at risk for uterine and ovarian cancers and have a greatly reduced risk of breast cancers. Breast tumors are cancerous in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spayed female pets are also no longer at risk for uterine infections such as pyometra, an infection in which the uterus fills with pus. This infection can affect other organs, most typically the kidneys, and can make your pet very ill or even kill her. And there’s always the chance that the pyometra could mature and rupture, spreading pus throughout your pet’s abdominal cavity and requiring intensive–and expensive–treatment.
Pets who are sterilized have less desire to wander since they aren’t trying to answer the call of nature. And pets who stay close to home are less likely to get hit by a car, lost or into a fight in which they could sustain a serious injury or contract a transmittable disease, such as feline leukemia (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). A common injury seen after a cat fight is a cat abscess, a bacterial infection–usually from a bite wound–that intensifies under the skin until it bursts open to drain the pus and blood that has accumulated. These often require surgical intervention. Dogs fighting over territory or a female can cause significant damage in the form of cuts and scratches to each other and potentially also to the female over whom they are fighting.
Finally, pets who are fixed have lifespans that average two years longer than intact pets. It makes sense–fixed pets aren’t wandering off and getting into trouble. They are content to stay by your side and be a true and loyal companion. And isn’t more time with your beloved pet what you really want anyway?