World Animal Sterilization Day: Know the Benefits of This Procedure for Your Pet

    Animal sterilization contributes to controlling pet overpopulation, preventing infections, tumors and some types of cancer

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    With the aim of helping to raise awareness about the need to sterilize our pets, to save animal lives; The last Tuesday of February marked World Animal Sterilization Day.

    Sterilization consists of the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus (in females), or the surgical resection of the testicles (in males) of pet animals, to prevent the reproduction of unplanned offspring and litters.

    “In this way, we contribute to the reduction of pet overpopulation, since there is a high number of dogs and cats that do not have a family or a home. The benefit of sterilization is also for pets with families, since it reduces the possibility of transmission of some diseases. Likewise, this procedure helps prevent illnesses in companion animals,” explained Adrián Polo, Veterinarian and Technical Manager of the Companion Animal Unit of MSD Animal Health in Central America, the Caribbean and Ecuador (CENCA EC).

    Sterilization rate is more than 80%

    According to a study by Humane Society International, in some areas of Costa Rica the dog sterilization rate is more than 80%, demonstrating that the population density of stray dogs has decreased in some urban areas of the country where spaying and neutering is more common.

    Within the framework of this important day, specialists from MSD Animal Health highlighted that, contrary to what many think, this procedure can have great benefits for the health of animals.

    Some of these benefits are:

    For dogs:

    • Reduces the risk of developing testicular neoplasms.
    • Reduces the risk of prostate diseases.
    • Reduces the risk of mammary gland tumors in females.
    • Minimizes the risk of pyometra (uterine infection), which kills approximately 1% of all female dogs.
    • Eliminates the risk of ovarian tumors.
    • It can help reduce roaming behaviors, territorial marking, aggression, among others.

    For cats:

    • It can help decrease marking behavior in the house.
    • Eliminates aggressive behavior with other cats.
    • Reduces the transmission of diseases such as viral leukemia and immunodeficiency syndrome.
    • Helps prevent the appearance of prostate, testicular and anal tumors.

    According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the general benefits of sterilization are as follows:

    • Spaying your female pet dramatically reduces her risk of breast cancer, which is fatal in approximately 50% of dogs and 90% of cats.
    • Neutering the male pet eliminates his risk of testicular cancer.
    • Spaying the female pet prevents heat cycles and eliminates meowing, crying, erratic behavior, and bloody vaginal discharge.
    • Neutering the male pet reduces inappropriate behaviors, such as wandering to find a mate, marking inside his home, and fighting with other males.

    AAHA guidelines recommend that cats be sterilized before five months of age. While small breed dogs (less than 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered at six months of age or spayed before the first heat (five to six months). Large breed dogs (over 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered after growth stops, which generally occurs between 9 and 15 months of age.

    The surgical and anesthetic techniques currently used allow sterilization to be an elective procedure with a large margin of safety for the animals, in addition to the fact that postoperative care is minimal and the animal returns to its normal life in a very short time; recovery takes no more than 24 hours.

    According to specialists, sterilization is a preventive measure that improves the quality of life of pets and that contributes to the control of the animal population, avoiding more abandonments and they recommend taking the pet to the Veterinarian to follow their recommendations on this important procedure.

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel
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