Ask the Vet: A new regular column for the Seattle Pets Examiner
Guest column from Dr. Cherri Trusheim
Cherri Trusheim, DVM, wants to change the face of veterinary medicine. She believes that it should be affordable, accessible, and convenient – and she created Urban Animal to enable people to have frank conversations about their pets’ health.
Celebrating World Spay Day by debunking spay/neuter myths
I've heard people mistakenly believe:
- cats and dogs need to have "just one" litter
- the risks (anesthesia, etc.) outweigh the benefits of altering a pet
- it's "kinder" to leave a pet unaltered
- altered pets are fat, lazy, and unhappy
There is no known medical or psychological benefit for a dog or cat to produce a litter. In fact, allowing a female dog or cat to go through a heat cycle increases her risk of developing mammary cancer later in life.
We live in a country where over 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized every year because they do not have homes. It is safe to say there is not a “need” for more litters.
There are indeed risks involved with general anesthesia but there are protocols that can reduce these risks, involving safe anesthetic agents and proper monitoring by qualified individuals.
When done properly, the risks of anesthesia seem to be less than the health risks and behavior issues associated with unaltered dogs and cats.
Leaving dogs or cats intact and therefore with the hormonal drives to reproduce but never allowing them to do so is not kind. Most would agree that this would be a frustrating way to live.
Now circle back to the “more than 4 million cats and dog euthanized every year” and the answer is clear.
Altered pets can certainly become fat and lazy, but so can unaltered pets. Studies have shown that spaying and neutering does contribute to weight gain. It can cause a decreased metabolism as well as an increased food drive. This is not a myth. But this does not make it impossible to have an ideal body weight, energetic dog.
It just may take a bit of dedication, just like ourselves as we age.
From Seattle Pets Examiner, happy World Spay Day! May all of your pets be spayed, neutered, healthy, and happy.
About Dr. Trusheim and Urban Animal
Dr. Cherri Trusheim wants to change the face of veterinary medicine – and her brainchild, Urban Animal, is just the setting for this change to occur.
Designed with artwork, homey seating, and wallet-friendly pricing, it’s the kind of place where you’d want to sit, socialize, and maybe even have a cocktail, if she offered one.
A graduate of the college of veterinary medicine at Iowa State, University followed by one year of advanced training on the east coast, Cherri worked for years in veterinary practices that required appointments as well as 24-hour referral hospitals that were very expensive, but she realized that pet owners wanted more.
So instead of focusing on making as much money as possible in each office visit, she decided to focus on inexpensive quality care for a large volume of patients. Cherri focuses on quality of life rather than quantity and she hopes that others will share her veterinary vision.
“Our practice philosophy is that we want to be different,” Cherri stated.
“Success will come if you’re passionate about something.”
"Like" this column to help share it with others.
If you would like to continue to receive important information, news, and features on pets in Seattle and beyond, please click the "Subscribe" button located at the bottom of the column. It's free, convenient, and anonymous!
You can also find the Seattle Pets Examiner on Facebook!