Sunday, July 17, 2011

Facts/ Myths , advantages of sterilization and neutering.

     Arguments are inevitable when a topic on sterilization pops in. When you read this article please read it  with an open mind so that the facts are understood and myths are cleared. Many ain't even aware that 'neutering' and 'sterilization' are two different terms which are used for male and female dogs. Even I was ignorant some years back and even now I mix up the words as other do. When a male dog gets castrated it is called 'neutering' and when a female dog undergoes an operation where the ovaries and uterus is surgically removed is known as 'sterilization'. A certain section might argue , when we don't mate our dogs , why sterilization?  Some might say , I don't want my dog to go under the knife as  I love  my pet too much. There are others who might say , I heard so and so person's dog died due to sterilization.  My answer to all these people would be  , don't love your dog so much that you unknowingly start playing with its life. Regarding deaths, there are specially qualified surgeons who are trained to conduct sterilizations and neutering. They even advice on pre and post care during operations. Check, the credibility of the vet , consult fellow  activists, some local ngo's, friends whose pets have undergone sterilizations before you take a plunge.
     Myths regarding sterilizations and neutering:
1) Death
  I won't deny the fact that deaths do occur due to neligence and unhygenic conditions which a dog can be subjected to, but not every animal lands on the death bed. Though a possibilty of 0.1% chances cannot be overlooked as sometimes the vet might give a higher dosage of anaesthatia as he/she might be wrong in judging the quantity. It could be possible that the pet might be having some underlying problem of either heart/kidneys/ lungs which must have gone unnoticed . Or either pet is suffering from an allergic reaction to some drugs or if the pets has a blood condition where the blood fails to clot. Being vigilant and an expert surgeon can help in conducting safer operations.
2) Obesity.
 If you overpamper your pet,give goodies and snacks without paying attention to a pet's daily dose of exercise, even a unsterlised dog can become obese. The fact, is sterilization doesn't make a dog obese but extra affection of the owners and lack of exercise for the dog.
3) Urinary Incontinence.
 1 out of 50 dogs might develop urinary incontinence but that can be treated .
4)  Decreased activity.
 I have seen some dogs being equally active even after sterilization and neutering. Lethargic behaviour of dog's are 90% of times due to owners fault.
5) Early neutering/sterilization causes deformed bones.
  Many vets in the west advice people on early neutering as the animal copes up better with the surgery. Bone deformity is not caused due to sterlisation but poor nutrition , lack of calcium in the diet and inadequate exposure to sunlight.
 Advantages of neutering a male dog:
1) No testicular tumours as the male organ is removed during surgery.
2) Fewer hernia's ( A hernia is a protrusion of an organ or parts of an organ or other structure through the wall of a cavity that normally contains it ).
3) Fewer tumours as the hormone testosterone is suppressed which is the major cause of tumours .
4) Fewer prostrate problems.
Advantages of sterlising a female dog:
1) No spotting. I call them 'polka dots' as blood falls in the form of droplets during menstruation. Who doesn't want a cleaner carpet or flooring? Sterilization means an end to the mess.
2) Fewer chances of contracting mammary cancer. Oestrogen hormone causes malignant tumours in female dogs and sterilization controls this hormone to a great extent.
3) Fewer tumours of the reproductive tract. Sigh of relief as your dog won't have tumours that weigh some grams. The sight of such tumours is nerve wrecking.
4) No urinary tract infections after the messy menstrual cycle. Your dog will definately thank you for this.
5) No more false pregnancies. Have you ever seen dog's mammaries swelled up and it clinging continuously to a pair of socks or toys? You might find it funny , somewhere a female mentioned congratulations to my dog for undergoing false pregnancy. This is not a joke, if the dog is left unattended it can even go through depression.
        A male dog can be back on its feet in 2-3 days , whereas a female dog will take a week to recover completely. Basic hygiene and proper medication under the guidance of a vet should be followed. Sterilization/ Neutering doesn't guarantee that the aggression in dogs can be controlled. Your dog may be need sessions with a behaviorist if it aggressive, mere sterlising/ neutering will be futile. Female dogs do undergo fewer mood swings with sterlisation. I hope your doubts are cleared.. What are your waiting for? Fix an appointment with a vet for a counselling session  on sterilizing/neutering ...