Castration, sterilization, aftercare
For starters, let’s figure out the terminology.
Castration is the removal of reproductive organs. In males, the testes (testicles) are removed, and in females, the uterus and ovaries are removed. The purpose of elective surgery in animals is to correct sexual behavior and eliminate the ability to reproduce offspring. Sterilization is a procedure aimed solely at eliminating or temporarily inhibiting the reproductive function of animals; sexual behavior and all secondary sexual characteristics remain unchanged. In the case of surgical intervention, manipulations are performed that are not related to the removal of the testes and ovaries.
Thus, sterilization of animals is inappropriate, since it does not meet the task – does not change sexual behavior and does not eliminate other unpleasant sexual characteristics (male urine retains a pungent odor). In the vast majority of cases (99%), veterinarians resort to castration of animals: castration of females and castration of males.
So, we will talk about castration. Today, there is practically no doubt that castration is a boon to the health of cats and cats. It is proved that the absence of gonads positively affects the stability of the psyche and hormonal balance in the animal body. People tend to try on pets their lives and the perception of many of its moments. But the animal is not human. It will never experience social experiences associated with the absence of one or another organ – it will simply take advantage of what it is and enjoy life without hormonal bursts detrimental to the body, often leading to fights in cats and a feeling of prolonged mental anxiety in cats. Elimination of organs not used for their intended purpose prevents the development of a number of diseases and neoplasms of the reproductive system: testes, prostate, ovaries, and uterus. All currently available data on the dangers of castration for cats and cats do not have sufficient evidence and are controversial.
Castration of cats is a fairly simple surgical procedure that is performed under general anesthesia. To prevent injury to wounds when they are licked by animals, it is recommended that cats wear protective postoperative collars for 5–7 days. Healing and full restoration of the animal occurs, as a rule, within 1-2 weeks. The procedure is so simple that castration of a cat at home has become a common practice in the absence of anesthetic contraindications.
Castration of cats is associated with the penetration of the surgeon into the abdominal cavity in order to remove the uterus and ovaries. Such penetration, or more correctly called “surgical access”, can be carried out in two ways: median laparotomy – an incision is made just below the navel and a lateral laparotomy – the incision is made from the side. It is also possible endoscopic castration of a cat. In this case, depending on the chosen technique, one to three small incisions-punctures are made on the stomach, through which a miniature camera and manipulators are inserted to remove the uterus with ovaries. And although the more modern method is laparoscopic sterilization of cats (laparoscopic castration), it is impossible to say with certainty which technique is better and less traumatic. A lot in this situation depends on the experience of the surgeon. Postoperative rehabilitation is a little more complicated. The cat is recommended to wear postoperative blanket mainly as a means of preventing licking of suturing sites. The recovery period does not usually take more than 14 days.
Often, but not always, after castration, animals become calmer, move less and eat more. These factors can lead to pets gaining excess body fat. Also, according to some reports, castrated animals are more susceptible to urolithiasis. To prevent the accumulation of excess fat mass and urolithiasis at the end of the rehabilitation period, it is recommended to transfer your pet to a specialized feed for neutered cats and cats. An excellent example of such nutrition is Purina® PRO PLAN® Sterilised®, formulated for all metabolic characteristics of castrated animals. Its special formula helps maintain an optimal level of acidity in the urine, which helps to successfully prevent the formation of urolithiasis, and a lowered fat level, along with an increased protein level, will reduce the risk of obesity in the animal.