ARL’s Dr. Schettino on Spay/Neuter, Part I

Hosting #ARLAskaVet Twitter Chat on World Spay Day

Dr. Schettino ARL director

Dr. Schettino takes a break with Socks during our interview on the importance of spay/neuter to preventing animal overpopulation.

He’s a man with a mission: to let everyone know it’s hip to snip!  We sat down with the ARL’s Dr. Edward Schettino to discuss the importance of spay/neuter.

As director of veterinary medical services, he works with the ARL’s private veterinary clinic Boston Veterinary Care,  the Spay Waggin’, and shelter veterinary medicine programs. He cut to the chase about why it’s hip to snip and answered some of the most frequently asked questions about the procedures.

In part I of his interview, Dr. Schettino focused on common myths about spaying and neutering.

ARL Blog: Give us the basics – why is it so important to spay and neuter pets?

Dr. Schettino (DS): There are too many cat and dogs in our communities that don’t have homes. If we can increase spay and neuter rates, we can help prevent pet overpopulation. Additionally, it lengthens the life span of our pets, reduces the cost of pet ownership, prevents aggressive behaviors, and offers protection from potentially life-threatening diseases including testicular cancer, breast cancer and uterine infections.

ARL Blog: What are some common myths about spay/neuter that you often hear?

DS: There are many common myths – here are some that I hear often:

I don’t want my male dog or cat to feel like “less of a male.”
Pets don’t have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet’s basic personality.

I want my children/family to see my pets experience the miracle of birth.
Complications can and do occur during the birthing process. Teach children/family members that all life is precious and by spaying and neutering your pet, he/she will lead a healthier, longer life.

It’s better to have one litter before spaying a female pet.
This is false. Females who are spayed before their first heat are typically healthier.

My pet is a purebred and I should breed him/her.
Your pet may be a purebred, but so is at least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters throughout the country. Purebreds and their offspring are no exception and be spayed and neutered as well.

My pet will get fat and lazy.
Pets get fat and lazy because their owners feed them too much and don’t give them enough exercise, not because they are spayed or neutered.

My dog (or cat) is so special. I want a puppy/kitten just like her/him.
Your pet’s puppies or kittens will not be a carbon copy of your pet.

It’s expensive to have my pet spayed
Many low-cost options exist for spay/neuter services. Check out the ARL’s spay/neuter resources to find one in your area.

Read part II of our interview with Dr. Schettino!  He talks about common concerns people have about spay/neuter surgery and its effects on their pet.

Have more questions for Dr. Schettino? On World Spay Day, February 24, World Spay Day, Dr. Schettino and the ARL will host an #ARLAskaVet Twitter chat at 12 PM (EST). Follow the ARL on Twitter @arlboston and submit your questions using the hash tag #ARLAskaVet.