"Fixing" Pets: Why not Vasectomies and Tubal Ligations?

Why are pets’, (dogs and cats), gonads removed when it seems that vasectomies and tubal ligations would be nearly as effective?
Will vets perform a vasectomy for a dog or a cat?

The purpose of fixing an animal is not just to prevent pregnancy, it also affects behavior in the animal. For example, fixing a male dog can make him less aggressive (I think because it affects their hormone production), but simply performing a vasectomy would not affect his sex drive at all, it would just make him unable to reproduce. I would also imagine (I am not a vet) that a tubal ligation would not prevent menstruation in females, and that’s not something most pet owners want to deal with unless they want to breed their pet.

Humans want surgical procedures that will not affect their sex drive while preventing pregnancy, hence vasectomies and tubal ligations.

The methods you suggested would be effectivly control the pet population, but the animals would retain thier libido and and all the mess that comes with it. Nutering especially helps calm aggressive or assertive males, I doubt a doggie vasectomy would have the same effect. Personally I thinnk that if you do not plan on allowing you pets to breed it is cruel to NOT spay or nuter them.

I really should’ve previewed that last post.

I have always had our cats done that way. It’s more expensive and not all vets are wiling to do it. Your female animals will still roam and go into heat, and your male animals will still get into territory fights. I do like them better with their hormones though.

Cats in particular would be almost impossible to live with. Female cats will continue to go into heat every few weeks unless they are bred (or “serviced” somehow), and this is very unhealthy for them. Male cats will continue to spray.

Neutering a male animal makes him less likely to want to wander and fight, and so reduces the likelihood of his getting hurt while ‘out on the town’. In the case of cats, it’ll also stop him from marking his territory by peeing on stuff (which includes furniture, since he considers the house to be his territory too).

Female dogs have something like menstruation, which wouldn’t be stopped with a tubal ligation, and even breeders find it to be a messy thing to deal with. Female cats are absolutely miserable when they’re in heat; it’s unfair to keep them in the house away from toms when they’re like that, and it’s dangerous to let them go out and roam.

Ditto–it’s currently illegal in most places to sell ferrets that are not fixed; aside from overpopulation (less of a prob. since there are no feral domestic ferret populations a la cats and dogs), there is the very real problem that female ferrets can die if they go into heat and are not serviced by a male.

Spaying and neutering do a lot more than prevent unwanted puppies and kittens. Spaying can drastically reduce the odds of mammary tumors, which are a big bad deal by the time they get noticed on the average house pet. It also prevents pyometritis, a potentially fatal uterine infection which is treatable only by hysterectomy. It also prevents uterine and ovarian tumors, which typical aren’t found in dogs and cats until a post-mortem exam. Neutering reduces prostate problems and prevents testicular cancer.

Besides, there are the behavioral effects, too.


Males take… less than a minute.

Females are not so quick, but the time it takes to open a cat, remove the organ, tie off, and sew up pretty much the same time it would take to do a tubal.

If you have a dog or cat who has already exhibited mature sexual behavior, it’s likely they will continue to do so, even without their organs.

BTW, for female pets especially, the intact animals have a dramatically increased risk of certain cancers and other health problems.

Oh, and male puppies and kittens are usually given a vasectomy. You make a small list in the scrotum, pull the tubes out, slice 'em, and go on about your day.

The testicals tend to … vanish!

Not necessarily, if the tom is already mature. One of the cats which cohabited with my mom was a stray who wandered in at about a year old, and we had him fixed as soon as we decided that he was staying. But he continued to spray intermittently for a few years afterwards. He particularly liked spraying catnip-scented things, as I recall.

I’d really like to see a cite for this. I consider myself a pretty well-educated pet owner and I’ve never heard that male puppies and kittens are “usually” given a vasectomy. In fact, I’ve never heard of it.

All I know is: had I been offered the option of giving my cat a vasectomy instead of neutering, I would have opted for neutering in a heartbeat. One other negative cat behavior that is cured by this: That 3 a.m. yowling he was doing in my window every night.

3 a.m.:
RRRrrrrOOOOWrrr… wait three seconds…
RRRrrrrOOOOWrrr… three more seconds…
RRRrrrrOOOOWrrr… Enough! If I hadn’t taken him to the vet after three nights of that… I would have lopped off his little nuts with a rusty spoon myself. This here dogzilla is not pleasant without sleep!

I circulate on tubal ligations at work—on human females! and those pieces of tube removed are typically an inch long and less thick than a drinking straw. They go down to the path lab to make sure they’re really fallopian tubes and I imagine female puppy fallopian tubes have got to be a whole lot smaller (130 lb woman vs 10 lb puppy).
Our Precious doesn’t seem to miss her uterus and I certainly don’t miss my own tubes.

Sorry, what I meant was that with many puppies and kittens we simpy cut the vas deferens - the same tube that is cut in a vasectomy - and let the ends of the tube snap back in.

I never saw this done an adult animal, though.

Sorry, what I meant was that with many puppies and kittens we simpy cut the vas deferens - the same tube that is cut in a vasectomy - and let the ends of the tube snap back in.

I never saw this done an adult animal, though.

Don’t ask me about livestock… heh heh heh!

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work. I know of one female cat who was spayed and still got cancer.

I didn’t mean to bring this up, but my cat–who’s about 12 now–now has a massive tumor, complete with ulcer and such that won’t heal. It’s getting rapidly worse. I don’t think the vet said specifically that it was a mammary tumor, but the biopsy showed that it was definitely malignant and considering the general area, I think that’s what it is. If not a mammary tumor, then some other tumor that’s probably attacking part of her reproductive system.

There’s no chance of getting it fixed; by now it’s sure to have metastisized, and I can’t put her through that, plus I don’t have the money to pay for it. Luckily, this week is my spring break, so I get to spend one more week with her before we put her down this Friday, before she starts to be in real pain. I’m afraid we might have to do it even sooner; the growth rate appears to be at least geometrical, if not exponential.

Still, though, I agree. Unless you are going to breed an animal, get it fixed. It tends to mellow them out some, gets rid of the annoying behavior, and makes life safer for them and you.

Bit of a hijack…but if spaying/neutering is supposed to mellow the animal out why does my spayed female dog make sweet love to our throw pillows? =-O

I saw a vet give a bull a vasectomy. It was done so the farmers could use him to tell when a cow was in estrus, so they could best time the artificial insemination.