Neutering and Spaying refer to the animal sterilization of both males and females. Well, both the terms mean the same, but there is a significant difference between them.
To understand better, one should know that both of them are non-synonyms.
- Spaying is a surgical procedure to remove the ovaries and uterus in female animals, preventing pregnancy and reducing certain health risks.
- Neutering refers to the surgical removal of the testicles in male animals, preventing them from reproducing and reducing aggressive or territorial behaviors.
- Both spaying and neutering are common methods of controlling animal populations and promoting better health and behavior in pets.
Spay vs Neuter
“Spay” is only used in reference to females. A female dog or cat’s uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries are removed. She is rendered infertile. While neutering is the removal of an animal’s reproductive organs, in whole or in part. Used for male animals. The testes of male dogs and cats are removed.
They are also less prone to diseases and roam less. Also, there are fewer chances of annoying neighbours and falling prey to animals.
The complexity of the spay procedure is much more than neutering. But they both mean the same.
There are several benefits and reasons why these processes take place.
|Parameter of comparison
|It is mainly done for female animals
|It is done for male animals.
|It is a complex process hence it is pretty expensive
|It is an easy process hence it is less expensive.
|Change in Behaviour
|Female pets become more aggressive
|Male pets show improvement, and they become less aggressive.
|It takes around half a month to get recovered
|It takes almost a day to get recovered.
|It is a very complex surgery and invasive
|It is pretty fast, and it takes only a few minutes.
What is Spaying?
A scientific name for spaying is ovariohysterectomy which is the surgical process done to remove animals’ reproductive organs from females. It could be either the uterus or ovaries. In sporadic cases, only the ovary or uterus is removed.
Female animals are given anaesthesia before the complex surgery process. In this surgery, a vet makes an incision in the animal’s abdomen and carefully removes the reproductive organs.
Once the organs are removed, it closes the incision and sutures various layers, including the abdomen wall, hypodermis, and skin’s outer layer. Since it is an invasive process, pain medication is given.
Generally, all the animals are under observation once the surgery is done so that they can recover quickly, as it takes around a few days for recovery.
Spaying is categorized as
Ovariectomy: in this, ovaries are removed from female animals. But the uterus remains. It makes animals unable to reproduce, and the heat cycle is eliminated.
Vasectomy: in this, testes are removed and dogs and cats cannot reproduce. But since testes remain, it produces hormones.
Hence it does not change the behaviour.
Hysterectomy; In this uterus, parts like fallopian tubes are removed in female animals. That makes them unable to do reproduction.
But in this case, the ovaries are still there so that they can produce hormones. This does not bring any changes in behaviour.
What is Neutering?
Neutering is considered to be done for male animals, and its scientific name is orchiectomy. It entails the removal of reproductive organs in male-like testicles.
It is also known as desexing. It involves the male animal’s sterilization.
This process is considered to be very straightforward and faster than the process of spaying. It involves making an incision in the scrotum to remove the testicles, and the testicles are tied off.
Neutered animals bounce back after the anaesthesia stops working.
Also, one should try to make an effort and be kept stress-free. Once this process is done, male animals won’t be able to produce testosterone any more, and they will show less aggression, increased work capacity and more submissive behaviour.
It is done to control the birth rate, increase the work capacity and suppress aggression.
Main Differences Between Spay and Neuter
- Spaying is a more complicated process than neutering. In neutering, testicles are removed, which are the external organs. Hence the process is quite simple.
- Whereas in spaying, one needs to make an incision in the abdomen to remove the reproductive organs. Hence this is the reason why males recover earlier than females.
- It takes only a few minutes to do neutering, whereas spaying takes an hour. The process of spaying needs a lot of care, effort, and attention from the veterinarian since spaying is a more complex process. It takes a considerable amount of time for recovery.
- Neutary is done, so it prevents them from getting any disease. Also, it decreases the tendency to become aggressive if the process takes place before they enter their first cycle heat. Spaying is done, and it prevents diseases. But after this process, females get more aggressive.
- Neutary should take place when the animal is between the age of 4 and 7 months, whereas spaying should take place at the age of 5-6 months.
- Spaying is riskier since, in this, female animals go under surgery, and the incision is made, whereas neutering is less Riker since reproductive organs are external organs in males.
- Recovery time varies in both neutering and spaying; neutered animals take much less time to recover, whereas spayed animals take a lot of time to recover.
Last Updated : 11 June, 2023
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.