Canine and feline overpopulation is a serious problem today in our society. Uncontrolled reproduction inexorably leads to a progressive increase in the number of animals and subsequent abandonment of most of them. Education in respect and coexistence with animals is essential when seeking solutions to this problem, as well as raising awareness on the part of the citizen regarding the need to sterilize, or at least control the reproduction of, their pets. . From Madrid Salud, a great effort is being made to instill in citizens the need to exercise responsible Toni Eakes ownership of our animals, contributing all the means available to it.
The current objective of delivering 20% of the dogs and 75% of the adopted cats sterilized to their new owners, oblige us to make an enormous material and human effort in this regard.
WHAT DOES THE STERILIZATION OF A COMPANION ANIMAL CONSIST OF?
It is a simple surgical procedure, different in males and females, by which their reproductive organs are removed.
MALE: Orchiectomy consists of the removal of the testicles, thereby suppressing the formation of sperm and male hormones related to reproduction (testosterone).
FEMALES: Ovariohysterectomy is the most recommended option. This technique consists of the removal of the ovaries and uterus, eliminating the production of eggs, female hormones and the appearance of reproductive cycles.
Both surgeries are performed under general anesthesia, with minimal risk, do not require hospitalization, and full recovery of the animal occurs in 2 or 3 days.
The control of reproduction can also be carried out medically through the use of hormonal preparations, oral or injectable. However, its effect is only temporary, which means treating the females in each of their heats. It should also be noted that its administration is associated with a series of side effects such as pyometra or mammary tumors, so its use for long periods of time is not recommended.
Sterilization involves a series of BENEFITS , both for the citizen and for our animals, which can be summarized as follows:
At the collective level: The sterilization of companion animals is the most effective method of controlling their reproduction, as an essential tool to avoid situations of overpopulation, preventing unwanted pregnancies and litters that, in turn, increase the number of abandoned animals arriving at shelters. In the same way, it contributes to improving citizen coexistence in matters related to the presence of animals, avoiding certain unwanted behaviors that can be annoying.
At the individual level: The positive effects that revert to the health of the animal are the following:
- Avoid health complications that can occur during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.
- Avoid pseudo-pregnancy, or psychological pregnancy, which can cause mastitis due to the accumulation of milk from the mammary glands.
- Decreases the incidence of mammary tumors. If an ovariohysterectomy (removal of the ovaries and uterus) is performed at an early age, even before the first heat, the risk of mammary tumors in bitches and cats is almost completely eliminated.
- Avoid the frequent pathologies that affect the female reproductive system: pyometra, ovarian cysts, uterine torsion, uterine prolapse, tumors, etc.
- Avoid heat and the problems associated with it: they do not attract males, the typical anxiety of this period disappears, so frequent in female cats (meowing and continuous vocalizations), and in the case of bitches, they do not stain at home.
- Avoid the tendency to run away from home when they come into heat.
- Avoid pathologies such as testicular tumors or testicular torsion and reduce the risk of suffering from prostate conditions. These conditions are very common in unneutered male dogs older than 5 years.
- Decreases aggressiveness due to sexual dominance.
- Avoid marking with urine, especially in cats.
- Avoid the tendency to run away from home after a female in heat.
MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF STERILIZATION
There is a wide dissemination of multiple MYTHS and LEGENDS on this subject, against which it is necessary to provide truthful information that allows to banish the misgivings of the owners before this intervention:
Myth 1 : Sterilizing deprives animals of their sex life. Fact: As far as is known, cats and dogs do not feel sad when they cannot reproduce. The female only accepts the male when she is in heat, that is, when her body presents a hormonal demand and she has the possibility of becoming pregnant. Outside of this situation, she can reject the male very aggressively, which shows that for her there is no situation of pleasure related to sex, but rather a situation of hormonal need. In the same way, the male only looks for females when he receives chemical information that there is a female in heat in the vicinity.
Myth 2: Females must have at least one litter.
Fact: This statement is not true. We are talking about hormonal and chemical processes, so if they are neutered they will not have any need to reproduce, and therefore they will not have psychological pregnancies or stress or seasonal anxiety.
Myth 3: It affects its personality. Reality: Neutering can calm an excited animal, reduce aggression and other sex-related behaviors, but it does not influence the animal’s true personality.
Myth 4: Castrated animals tend to gain weight easily.
Reality: After castration, metabolic activity may be slightly decreased, however, a sedentary life and an inadequate diet have a greater influence on the animal. By paying attention to these two factors you can easily control your weight.
Myth 5: There is no problem finding a home for puppies.
Fact: Puppies probably get on better than adult dogs, but you have to remember that shelters are full of homeless dogs, most likely acquired as puppies and abandoned as they grew up. The objective is not only to find an owner, but to find a responsible owner, who acquires an animal knowing everything that it entails, and who is aware that an animal is for life.
Sterilizing your pet is the most responsible decision you can make since you benefit their health and at the same time take a responsible step towards the protection of animals by avoiding overpopulation and their suffering.