Brix Veterinary Service

1829 W Main St
Shelbyville, IL 62565



Why should I have my pet spayed or neutered?

This is a common question with a very interesting answer.  Did you know that spaying or neutering your pet benefits your pet, you, AND your community?

How does this benefit my pet?  There are many health benefits associated with spaying and neutering.

Spaying a female:

  • Decreases the risk of mammary cancer (greater decrease in risk if done before the first heat)
  • Eliminates the risk of uterine cancer
  • Eliminates the risk of pyometra (a potentially fatal infection of the uterus common in intact females)

Neutering a male:

  • Eliminates the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate gland that can interfere with urination and defecation)
  • Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer (testicles that have not descended into the scrotum are at an even higher risk for cancer)
  • Decreases injuries related to aggression (fighting with other dogs or cats) and roaming (being hit by a car after dashing out the door to chase a female in heat)

How does this benefit me?  Spaying or neutering can lead to a better relationship between you and your pet!

Spaying a female:

  • Eliminates staining in the house due to discharge when a pet is in heat
  • Decreases aggression
  • Prevents you from having to protect your pet from every intact male in the neighborhood when she is in heat
  • Prevents unwanted pregnancies (taking care of a mother and her litter is an expensive and time-consuming job, even when the birth goes smoothly and no one gets sick)

Neutering a male:

  • Decreases aggression (both aggression towards other animals and territorial aggression)
  • Decreases or eliminates urine marking or spraying
  • Improves urine odor
  • Decreases or eliminates the urge to roam (escaping the house or jumping the fence)
  • Decreases or eliminates inappropriate mounting behavior (usually due to hormones but occasionally this behavior is related to dominance issues)

These behaviors are triggered by hormones.  Neutering will often decrease or eliminate these behaviors, but an older intact male may have these behaviors developed into habits that can be very hard to break.  It is best to neuter at a young age before this occurs.

How does this benefit the community?
  Spaying and neutering has benefits that reach far beyond your own household.

Spaying and neutering:

  • Reduces the number of unwanted and homeless animals that are euthanized
  • In some cases, prevents an animal from passing on an undesirable genetic trait (something that may be inherited from a parent such as a retained testicle or an umbilical hernia)
  • Allows specific dog and cat breeds to be improved through the work of expert, responsible breeders and careful selection of breeding animals

But what about...?  There are myths about spaying and neutering that often cause people concern.  Here is the truth.

Spaying and neutering:

  • Does NOT lead to weight gain or lethargy
  • Does NOT change playfulness or friendliness
  • Does NOT result in a smaller male  (In fact, male dogs neutered before puberty actually grow taller.)
  • Does NOT decrease an animal's enjoyment in life  (It can lead to a better relationship between you and your pet, which is what a companion animal enjoys!)

So what is the next step?   If you would like to have your pet spayed or neutered, please call the clinic at (217) 774-5464 to set up an appointment.  For most animals, we recommend spaying or neutering at 4 to 6 months of age.

If you would like to learn more about what actually happens during the process, please click HERE to go to our "Story of a Spay" for a step-by-step explanation.  There are no pictures from the actual surgery, so do not worry about being squeamish!