“It’s too expensive.” “They should be allowed to have at least one litter.” “I can make money selling the puppies.” These are just a few of the reasons we hear for why people haven’t spayed or neutered their pet, with the cost being the most frequently heard reason. People still believe that it just costs too much to get their pet spayed or neutered. What they fail to realize is the enormous cost of not getting their pet fixed. Unfortunately, we see it nearly every day, especially in the spring.
It usually starts out with a very pregnant momma cat or dog. The owner calls and says she has been in labor for three days and still no pups/kittens. After an exam and testing the momma dog is rushed into surgery with an infected uterus (Pyometra,) a condition that can be fatal if untreated. Surgery and antibiotics can cost hundreds of dollars to treat a condition that could be avoided with a simple spay.
We also see female cats that have been attacked by intact toms hoping to either abort the unborn kittens or destroy a new litter of kittens to bring the female back into a heat cycle. Not only do we then have to contend with the physical wounds and injuries of these fights, but there becomes a real concern about the spread of diseases such as distemper, feline leukemia, feline aids, or even rabies.
We get panicked phone calls from owners of small dogs who have bred with much larger dogs, and the owners have waited until the mom dog is in mid-delivery to worry about if the pups might be too big for her to deliver naturally. Trying to find a vet who can perform a C-section on short notice can be costly and near impossible in some communities. All because someone thought their female should be allowed to experience motherhood at least once.
Pure breed puppies can be wildly expensive, especially if you don’t educate yourself on both the breed and the breeder. Dogs seen as money makers will be overbred, causing harm to both the moms and the pups. Without informed and careful attention to health conditions, breeders can create weakened bloodlines that result in litter after litter of pups with chronic conditions such as skin allergies, kidney disease, behavior issues, and heart conditions. People who buy these pups are entering a lifetime of chronic illness and facing the financial responsibility of treating these issues for the lifetime of their dog.
Dogs and cats that are not spayed or neutered can ultimately have hundreds of offspring, all of which are likely to contract some illness while living on the streets. Puppies can go from fun-loving and healthy to full-blown Parvo in no time, which can be fatal if left untreated. Having a pup contract Parvo while living with you can also be a death sentence to future pups, as the virus can live for up to a year in the soil in your yard. Treating Parvo requires a dedicated and attentive vet staff providing hospitalization and hourly attention, often for several days, all of which is an expensive endeavor.
Every spring, we see waves of kittens come through the clinic, foundlings that have lost their moms. Upper respiratory infections are almost a given, which can progress to lung infections, neurological issues, and ultimately, death. Kittens that survive to be weaned and become members of feral colonies can contract and spread numerous diseases, including bobcat fever, a nearly 100% fatal infection contracted through a tick bite.
Every year we see puppies, and kittens suffer needlessly. Spayed and neutered pet’s mean not only preventing an increase in the feral population but preventing the spread of illness and disease. It means keeping your existing pets healthier. It means less worry about pets developing conditions and cancers later in life.
There are numerous programs out there to offset, if not completely absorb the cost of spaying and neutering your pet. Don’t get caught up in the notion that every animal deserves to be a mom at least once, or that there aren’t real concerns for the future health issues an intact pet may face. Being a responsible pet owner starts at the very beginning. Test your newly adopted cat for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia and your newly adopted dog for heartworms and tick-transmitted diseases. Schedule your vaccines as recommended get your pet spayed and neutered when they are old enough. Investing in that first year of pet ownership can help ensure a long and healthy life with your new family member, and that can be priceless in the long run.
Last week several lost animals were brought into the clinic, so I thought I would re-run this article on animal identification. It can be difficult to reunite lost pets with their owners especially with lack of identification. Less than 50% of lost dogs and 20% of lost cats had any identification when they went missing. Only 4% of lost cats and 14% of lost dogs are reunited with their owners. Whereas, approximately 38% of lost cats and 52% of lost dogs with microchips are reunited with their owners.Continue…
Spring is the beginning of warmer weather and longer days. Spring leads to blooming flowers, budding trees, and baby animals. In fact, 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day. At this alarming rate, things can get out of hand rather quickly. For instance, one intact female cat and all her offspring will produce 11,606,077 cats over nine years, and one intact female dog and all her offspring will produce 67,000 dogs over six years? This week let’s talk all about spay and neuter.Continue…
Whether you are deciding to get your very first pet or adding another pet to your household, it is imperative to choose wisely. Approximately thirty percent of dogs and cats are relinquished between seven months and one year of age. Relinquishment is partially due to poor planning on the owner’s part, and the other factor is behavioral pet problems. This week’s article will give you some tools that will help you and your veterinarian or pet counselor find the perfect pet. Continue…
Unfortunately, animal abandonment is a huge problem in Logan County. Thanks to Friends of Guthrie Animals (FOGAS), Guthrie has an active group of pet rescuers to help with this problem. This week Dr. Anna Coffin wants to tell you about this amazing group and how you can help with animal abandonment. Continue…
I’ve been practicing veterinary medicine for over twenty years and have experienced the entire spectrum of reactions from cat vet visits that you can imagine. These cat reactions range from “You’re my best friend” to “I want to kill you.” The cat vet visit that could be right out of a horror flick is just one of the reasons that cat owners don’t like taking their cat to the vet. In a recent study conducted by Royal Canin, they reported that 92% of cat owners say their cat’s health is important to them, but only half of all cats are taken to the veterinarian by their caretakers on a regular basis. This week, I will reveal the top four excuses clients use for not taking their cats to the vet and how to resolve these issues. Continue…
Trail hikes and sidewalk strolls have long been the exclusive domain of owners and dogs. Not anymore! There has been an increase in interest in cat owners taking their friends out for adventures lately, which has led to the creation of a group of Adventure Cat. These cats have been acclimated to harness, lead, and backpack excursions with their owners. From casual strolls through town hiking the Appalachian Trail these cats have become almost commonplace on many local paths. Continue…
Pip’s story started right here at Guthrie Pet Hospital. His mama was abandoned when she was pregnant and, through the help of a kind man and a group of helpful people, she ended up coming to stay with us. Pip was the firstborn of her puppies. He spent the first seven weeks of his life at Guthrie Pet Hospital, getting love and growing. He and his brother Turtle we’re adopted together into a wonderful home.
Sadly, Pip and Turtle’s owners recently went through some difficult life changes, and they realized that they could no longer provide a safe, enriching home for the boys. Those owners did the right thing and contacted us to get Pip and Turtle into a foster while we searched for new forever homes for them. Turtle has found his new family, but Pip still hasn’t met the right match. We want him to find a home and owner who will be “just right.”
These are the things the adoptable dog Pip needs to be happy:
- A person who wants a big dog. Pip weighs about 110 pounds. He’s tall and leggy.
- A person who wants to spend quality time with him. He needs time to build a bond with his new person or people. He can seem aloof when he meets new people, but he’s a sweetie once he knows you.
- A fenced yard or lots of on-leash.
- No chickens. Pip eats chickens.
“Was that a mouse???”
That was the sentence that started everything. While watching TV one night, my wife saw a tiny, grey rodent go scuttling through our kitchen. We’re the kind of people who don’t have the heart to set traps to kill mice. Instead, I ordered a live-catch trap online and set it up under the cupboard. Continue…