By: Melanie Rushforth, Vice President, Veterinary Services SPCA Serving Erie County

A lot of times we approach the cause for why spaying your pet is important by advocating for overpopulation prevention. If pets are spayed, they cannot bring more puppies or kittens into the world, thus they are not contributing to the 19 million homeless pets in the United States. However, another important aspect of spaying your pets is for the health benefits. An unspayed cat or dog produces hormones and goes through heat cycles once a month. For each heat cycle a female goes through, her uterine lining thickens, until eventually, cysts begin to form. These cysts create an environment that is ideal for bacteria to grow. This bacteria growth causes an infection called pyometra, which, left unattended can be fatal. The only way to truly get rid of the infection is to perform a spay surgery and, when the infection has already set in what is normally a simple surgery can be much more complicated.

We see pyometra most often in older dogs who have been left unspayed. A particularly notable one that we’ve seen was in a dog weighing 54 pounds with her infected uterus weighing 10 pounds. It was nearly five times the size a healthy uterus would be! Imagine how painful it would be to carry 10 pounds of infection around in your belly. Nip this potential problem in the bud (literally) and make sure you make an appointment for your pet to come in to be spayed.

Today is World Spay Day! Launched in 1995, World Spay Day is an annual campaign that aims to encourage people to save animal lives by spaying and neutering companion animals and feral cats. Initiated by Doris Day and her Animal League as Spay Day USA in 1995 when the estimated euthanasia rate in overcrowded shelters was between 14 and 17 million dogs and cats each year, this annual event has grown to global proportions in 74 countries, resulting in the spay/neuter of millions of animals since its inception.

The Lipsey Veterinary Clinic is proud to offer affordable spay and neuter surgeries for dogs and cats, and while they are with us, they will receive high quality and compassionate care. You will do right by your pet, and your pet will be happier, healthier, and better for it.

Please contact the SPCA’s Lipsey Veterinary Clinic for an exam and a spay or neuter appointment by calling 716-531-4700 or visit us on!