levijatan.org | STERILIZATION AND CASTRATION – YES OR NO?
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STERILIZATION AND CASTRATION – YES OR NO?

A female dog can give birth to up to 20 puppies per year, who will then have their own offspring already at the age of ten to twelve months.

This means that the number of dogs born from the reproductive cycle of only one female can reach impressive 40,000 individuals. Of this number, the majority have unfortunately already been condemned to suffering, abandonment, shelters and death. Many of them are killed by irresponsible owners right after birth. We often witness stories how little helpless puppies are left in groves or ditches, or we find their bodies on the banks or rivers, creeks or in the trash. It is time for the citizens to learn and embrace responsible ownership but also to help street animals to avoid spreading the diseases and reducing the population of animals in the streets.

In the past, sterilization and castration were absolutely unacceptable, and even today they sometimes have a reputation of being inhumane. It is believed that they limit the sexual drive of dogs and deprive them of their natural impulses.

Sterilization or ovariotomy is removal of ovaries in females or ovariohysterectomy if ovaries and uterus are removed.

Castration is a physical removal of testicles in males.

The procedure begins with a complete overview of the animal’s health condition. Only when we are completely sure that the animal is healthy, and that anesthesia and surgery will not endanger the health, we start the preparation and sterilization or castration.

Sterilization is very important especially in small animals because by early sterilization before they are in heat for the first time or immediately afterwards, there is a reduction of 90-96% in the occurrence of the tumor of the mammary gland. By sterilization in the later age we reduce the possibility of developing endometritis, uterine inflammation and hormonal disorders.

On the other hand, sterilization is crucial to animal population control, reduction in the number of strays and abandoned dogs, and spreading disease among abandoned animals.

The procedure takes around 45 minutes. It is important to prepare the patient before surgery. This implies no food 12 hours and no water 6 hours prior to the surgery. Animals are recovering quickly, with antibiotic and pain therapy in recovery. Newer anesthesia methods are much better tolerated, and animals leave the clinic walking.

If each one of us helped with castration of one animal, the overpopulation of street dogs and cats would be surprisingly quickly remedied.

Milan Stefanović,
Charlie & Graff Veterinary Clinic
Doctor of veterinary medicine