Spaying And Neutering
Spaying and neutering are the respective processes of
female and male animal
sterilization, in order to keep them from producing offspring.
Unlike in humans, this usually includes (somewhat
controversially) the entire removal of related major organs. While most
agree on the advantages of sterilization itself, the necessity of the castration
part is even now hotly debated.
The processes are sometimes referred to as
due to the removal of organs, although the term in itself specifically refers to
the removal of the male testicles.
animal shelters, and
groups urge pet owners to have their pets "spayed or neutered" to prevent
the births of unwanted and accidental litters, contributing to the
overpopulation of animals.
In addition, the process has theoretical health benefits (uterine
testicular cancer or similar diseases are definitely ruled out, and
hormone-driven diseases such as
prostate cancer become a non-issue as well), and it may help to address
behavioral issues that otherwise can result in animals being given up to
shelters, abandoned or put to sleep. Obviously, the animals lose their
females no longer experience
cycles. This is due to the great hormonal changes involved with both
genders, and any neutering will definitely cause minor personality changes in
Modern Non-surgical Alternatives
- Male dogs - Zinc gluconate neutralized by arginine.
- Female mammals - Purified porcine zona pellucida antigens encapsulated
in liposomes (cholesterol and lecithin) with an adjuvant.
- Noninvasive vasectomy using ultrasound.
Spaying of a female cat.
In female animals, spaying involves invasive abdominal surgery to remove the
involving major complications. It is commonly practiced on household pets such
as cats and
dogs as a method of
birth control, but is rarely performed on
urinary incontinence and minor
Terms for the spayed
A specialized vocabulary in
animal husbandry and
has arisen for spayed females of given animal species:
- Sprite (ferret)
- Poulard (chicken)
In males, neutering involves the removal of the testes. See
Terms for the neutered
Neutered males of given animal species also have specific names:
Dinmont (sheep, goat)
- Gib (cat,
- Hog (pig)
- Ox (cattle)
Stag (primarily cattle)
Current Information on Prostate Disease, Testicular Neoplasia, and
Undesirable Behavior in Male Dogs. URL accessed on
SpayVac. URL accessed on
N.M. Fried, Y.D. Sinelnikov, B.B. Pant,
W.W. Roberts, S.B. Solomon, (December 2001). Noninvasive vasectomy using a
focused ultrasound clip: thermalmeasurements and simulations. Biomedical
Engineering, IEEE Transactions on 48 (12): 1453-1459.
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