Veterinarians nationwide recommend spaying & neutering. It isn’t only to prevent unwanted pregnancies or control your male pets territorial spraying. Leaving a pet intact (Not “fixed) can lead to serious health problems. I can’t tell you how many emergencies we see that have a problem secondary to being intact. Today I want to review 3 of our most common health problems associated with pets that aren’t spayed or neutered.

Pyometra

A pyometra is an infection in female pets caused my bacteria multiplying in the uterus. This happens, most commonly, after a heat cycle but can be as a result of a fetus failing to be delivered from the uterus. There are two types of pyometra infection; opened and closed, meaning the cervix is either open or closed at the time of infection. The closed form is the most deadly because the pus is unable to drain from the uterus. That being said, both forms are deadly if left untreated. It is very easy for the pet to become septic and pass away relatively quickly. Though antibiotics have been used to treat pyometras, the infection may not resolve. An emergency spay is the best form of treatment, removing the source of the infection entirely. As a result of the infection the uterus fills entirely with pus. Symptoms include but are not limited to, licking the vulva, lethargy, inappetance, increased drinking, increased urinations, discharge from the vulva that is brown to green opaque colors, foul odor from vulva and fever. Blood in the urine may, also, be noted. The cost for the surgery can exceed $1,000 at most clinics.

Prostatitis

This is a common problem in male dogs. It defined as inflammation of the prostate, largely influenced by production of testosterone.  Prostatitis can have symptoms such as constipation,. painful urination, inability to urinate, bloody urine, as well as secondary problems such as perineal hernia, septicemia, and abscess. Treatment can include pain medications, antibiotics for secondary infection and neutering. Neutering is typically done after a course of medication, though it may need to be done on an emergency basis depending on your pet’s condition. Neuter costs vary based on the size of your pet and if it is on an emergency basis or not.

Pernineal Hernias

Perineal Hernias can be caused secondary to prostatitis and or can be caused by constipation. This is a common condition of middle aged male dogs. This is why even breeding dogs should be neutered after they are retired. Perineal Hernias are herniations of the perineum or musculature and mucosal surfaces of the rectum. Fecal matter often get trapped in the hernia and causes uncomfortable bulging of the rectum on one or both sides. If only one side of the perineum has herniated, it is likely the other side will at some point in the pet’s lifetime. Symptoms of this type of hernia is bulging of the rectum, constipation, straining to defecate, lethargy, painful defections, lethargy, not wanting to eat, and can be found associated with the diagnosis of prostatitis. The treatment is surgical correction. Based on your pets condition, sedation may be required to remove the fecal material trapped within the hernia. Medications include anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics to prevent secondary infection, and a stool softener that will be used long term through the healing process. Surgery is, typically, done by a specialist as not many small animal veterinarians feel comfortable doing such an intricate procedure. We have the ability to offer this surgery here at a fraction of the cost of a specialist. The surgery at our facility depends on if your pet has a bilateral hernia or a unilateral hernia, the cost will exceed $1,000. At a specialty clinic the price can exceed thousands. Neutering is an easy preventative measure to take.

Wow, today we talked about three very real, very scary problems that can be easily prevented. In no way do I mean to scare you, but I do wish to inform you about the costs and deadly problems that your pet can acquire if they are not spayed or neutered. These are three of the common problems we see and there are many many more! Mammary cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, dystocia, and eclampsia are all problems we see as a result of pregnancies (Both unwanted and planned,) and as a result of never being “fixed.” I hope this article may change your mind about not spaying or neutering. This is a matter of livelihood, and we aim to ensure that your pet lives a long, healthy, life.

 

Thanks for reading!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Vert Tech

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