Prepubertal gonadectomy in dogs and cats - Part 1
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Prepubertal gonadectomy, or early-age neutering, has become common in many humane organizations as a method of population control. The concept of prepubertal gonadectomy has remained controversial among veterinarians despite the lack of scientific data to support current recommendations regarding the ideal age at which dogs and cats should be neutered. Studies suggest that gonadectomy is safe in dogs and cats as young as 6 weeks of age; however, many veterinarians are reluctant to anesthetize and perform surgery on pediatric patients. Part I discusses the history of prepubertal gonadectomy, physiologic differences between pediatric and adult animals, and general anesthetic and surgical considerations. Part II will address surgical procedures as well as the safety of performing prepubertal gonadectomy.
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