Spaying and Neutering Your Pets – Is it Worth the Cost?
Every pet owner that gets a young animal knows that the first year is probably the most expensive.
Booster vaccines, microchips, de-worming along with good quality food, leashes, collars, crates and carriers, toys and beds all in addition to the cost of the pet itself. By the time the first 6 months has passed owners just feel they are getting back on their feet financially then, along comes the last expense of the first year. Spaying or Neutering their pet.
There are many reasons that some pet owners choose not to have their pet fixed – all of them very poor reasons. Some people figure that their family should experience the “miracle of birth”. This age old adage is a huge part of why there was a pet for them to acquire in the first place. Where did their pet come from? If it wasn’t from a registered, reputable breeder, it most likely came from some family who let their pet reproduce then had to find homes for the offspring.
Pets adopted from animal shelters and humane societies generally have all come from the same background- owners who didn’t get their animals spayed or neutered. Many offspring end up going to new owners that don’t have the financial means to stop the reproduction cycle, or have the same beliefs as the people they just got their new puppy or kitten from. Definitely vicious cycle indeed.
If one looks at the cost of spaying or neutering their pet and consider the actual cost over the lifetime of their pet – they will see the investment is rather inexpensive overall
Most dogs have an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years. Cats usually live 12 to 15 years. A $200 surgery over 12 years is only $16 per year. A $450 spay divided over 12 years works out to $38 per year.
As you can see, the financial investment is not outrageous – and will aid in preventing costs far more expensive in the future.
So, what costs may be in store for an un-fixed animal? There are several as we will look at now.
The most common issues with unfixed cats that veterinarians see is trauma from motor vehicle accidents and attacks from other cats and dogs. Un-fixed cats are notorious for escaping the home whenever they feel the urge to breed. Treatment for injuries and infections caused by them getting into trouble while at large can easily exceed the initial cost of the spaying or neuter surgery. In addition to these costs – they now need to get the animal fixed to prevent the same accident from happening again!
With dogs primarily, males often suffer from prostate cancer, and females are prone to mammary cancer and suffering from a pyometra. This is where a massive infection develops in the cervix. Some pyometras are “open”, meaning they are able to drain thus producing a discharge that owners can see. Closed pyometras are the most dangerous as the infection continues to build inside, unnoticed. By the time the symptoms become apparent – it is often too late to save the animal. Regardless of the type, both are expensive to treat, and both can be fatal if medical care is not acquired soon enough. Both prostate and mammary cancers are painful and again very costly to treat.