Influence of spay-neuter timing on health

G. Robert Weedon, Margaret V. Root Kustritz, Philip Bushby

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Ovariohysterectomy (OHE) and castration are the surgeries most commonly performed by small animal practitioners in the United States. The optimal time for spay-neuter depends on species, breed, intended use, financial considerations, and life situation. For an individually owned animal living in a home, decisions should be based primarily on factors that impact that animal’s individual health and the health and wellbeing of that household, and secondarily on population control. The normal behavior of most intact male cats is incompatible with their living as house pets. Benefits of OHE in female cats include increased life expectancy and decreased incidence of mammary neoplasia, ovarian or uterine tumors, and pyometra. Benefits of castration in male dogs include decreased incidence of testicular neoplasia and non-neoplastic prostate disease, and possible increased life span. Mammary neoplasia is the most common tumor of female dogs. Ovariectomy is an alternative to OHE that offers essentially the same advantages and disadvantages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHigh-Quality, High-Volume Spay and Neuter and Other Shelter Surgeries
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781119646006
ISBN (Print)9781118517208
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • Animal’s individual health
  • Female cats
  • Female dogs
  • Male cats
  • Male dogs
  • Mammary neoplasia
  • Ovariectomy
  • Ovariohysterectomy
  • Spay-neuter time
  • Testicular neoplasia


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