Short Takes

March 2008 Issue

Short Takes: 03/08

Importance of spay and neuter; antimicrobial resistance; a pet challenge.

If statistics help you make difficult decisions, there are plenty of numbers in a Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Vol. 231, No. 1) article, "Determining the optimal age for gonadectomy of dogs and cats." First the researchers compared benefits and risks of the surgeries. For example, spayed female cats incur an immediate 2.6 percent risk of surgical complications, [IMGCAP(1)]as well as a high risk of obesity, and less than a one percent risk of either FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease) or diabetes mellitus all later in life. None of spayings possible outcomes causes what the researchers termed "substantial morbidity." That is, surgical complications from the spaying (called ovariohysterectomy or OHE) are hardly ever life-threatening.

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