Weekly, we are asked at the surgery certain questions that seem to have become urban myths about pets, here are the most common.
Should I let my bitch have a season before she is spayed?
There is no scientific evidence to support this theory . Reasons for delaying spaying usually incorporate the words “balancing hormones”. Hormones don’t need to be and can’t be balanced, and there are good reasons to actually spay your bitch at a young age. The primary reason in our view is that it greatly reduces the risks of developing mammary cancer, as the number of seasons a bitch has is directly proportionate to mammary cancer incidence. In addition, the operation is much easier and less likely to carry perioperative complications and the bitches recovery is quicker.
I have to restrict the amount of exercise my puppy can do.
Many owners worry that any type of moderate exercise will damage their puppy’s joints. This theory has been existent for as long as we can remember and again there is no evidence to support this. Almost all joint problems suffered by juvenile dogs are inherited, such as hip dysplasia and another condition called osteochondrosis.
By restricting your puppy ,you can often end up with a bored and frustrated dog that develops behavioural problems as a result. There is even some evidence now to state that by restricting exercise, muscle development over the hips becomes poor and that in itself can become a problem. So we recommend allowing your puppy to exercise as much as it likes as long as you don’t have to carry it home!
Cats regulate their own food intake.
Even 25 years ago, Richard was taught this at University, but it is clearly not true. We see many overweight cats and obesity leads to many health problems, among them, Diabetes. This may be due to the advent of dry foods and cats not drinking enough but it is well worth weighing out your cats food before you hand it out, not leaving it ad hoc to be enjoyed at any time!
I need to feed my new puppy and kitten milky meals and cereals.
This is again unnecessary as if your new pet is on a good quality pet food it will have the necessary nutritional elements already in it. Your pet will probably like you giving it lots of milky meals but lactose intolerance is quite common in dogs and cats and cows milk can often cause diarrhoea so we would advise sticking to pet food only and water from the outset.
Castration will change my dog to the detriment.
Most often asked by male members of the family! But again this is not true. It is the undesirable characteristics such as roaming, dominance and aggression that will be changed in your dog for the better. He will still be just as ebullient and lively and in addition will be less likely to be afflicted by prostate, testicular and anal cancers,so it is well worth taking the plunge.