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Deciding to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Did You Know?

Cats and dogs can be fixed as soon as they turn 4 months of age. Studies show that spaying a pet before her first heat cycle will reduce the chances of mammary cancer later in life.

When purchasing a pet from a breeder you may be required to sign a contract or agreement about the care of your pet. One popular clause in many contracts requires owners to spay or neuter to prevent breeding.

Rabbits who are housed with others should also be spayed or neutered. Rabbits are the third most common pet relinquished to shelters after dogs and cats.

Spaying and neutering your pet is a common practice in the United States. With so many animals in the United States (and around the world) n­eeding homes, spaying or neutering your pet is the responsible way to help end pet homelessness.

Spaying and neutering (also referred to as "sterilizing" or "fixing") is done under anesthesia. Spaying involves removing the female's reproductive organs. Neutering is the removal of a male's testicles. This way, animals are unable to procreate and have unwanted litters.

The procedure to spay or neuter is quite simple. Some pets (depending on age, breed, and current health concerns) will go home the same day as their procedure, while some might have to spend the night at the vet hospital where we can keep a watchful eye on your pet and restrict their activity.

A few pets may experience discomfort for a few days, but many pets go back to being their happy, playful selves in a few days. If there is a chance your pet will have pain or discomfort, we will certainly address those chances with medication.

While some pet owners feel they have a duty to breed their pet because they are purebred, this is not the case. An estimated 25% of all animals turned over to shelters and rescues are purebred animals. Many animal rescues dedicate themselves to rescuing one specific breed because of the number of purebred animals needing homes.

Other pet owners worry about their pet's health after having them fixed. Old wives tales exist about pets gaining weight after being fixed, or them not being as affectionate. Neither of these beliefs is true. Pets do not gain weight because they are fixed. Pets gain weight because of diet and lack of exercise. Pets that are spayed or neutered are just as affectionate after being fixed, as they were before.

In fact, some pets (such as female cats) in heat will stop being affectionate during heat cycles. Being in heat can lead your female pet to cry for no apparent reason and shy away from being petted or played with. Females who are not spayed may also show signs of nervousness and can attract males who are not neutered and can make a litter.

The benefits of spaying and neutering:

  • Decreases the chances of your pet roaming the neighborhood
  • In males, there is no chance for testicular cancer
  • In females, there is no chance for ovarian cancer
  • Other reproductive related cancers (such as mammary cancer) is greatly reduced
  • Your pet will not experience "heat" or "ovulation" periods
  • Spayed and neutered animals live longer, healthier lives
  • Cities and towns spend millions of dollars each year caring for, and unfortunately euthanizing animals who are homeless

While spaying or neutering your pet is a big decision, take into consideration your pet's health, the overpopulation of pets currently, and what you would do with an unwanted litter of puppies or kittens. If you are still unsure about spaying or neutering, contact us to discuss the topic further.

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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