By Beatrice Mazzanti


Today Dr. Maruska Fossi, doctor in Veterinary Medicine, will talk to us about a very important topic for the physical and psychophysical well-being of our four-legged friends: sterilization in cats and dogs, with the main differences and characteristics. Clarifying why it is fundamental.




“In cats, this intervention is the only real resource to defeat stray cats, to reduce the births of sick and uncared cats and to prevent two particular infectious diseases transmissible by mating – which are Feline Leukemia FELV or Feline Immune Deficiency Virus (FIV) or Feline AIDS, both of which are extremely serious and extremely contagious.

For these reasons, neutering in cats is strongly recommended in both males and females after six months. To prevent unwanted pregnancies and the excessive birth of kittens that cannot be managed from a health point of view, sterilization is the only way to prevent the transmission of these two diseases. In our society, unfortunately, it is difficult to understand the reasons for health and public hygiene, since it is true that these diseases are transmitted only between felines – so they cannot be transmitted either to us humans or to other species such as dogs – but nevertheless unmanaged colonies of cats become a real problem in themselves, from an ethical, health and public point of view.

In Casentino, in recent years, fortunately, we have had important help from the ‘gattare’ and from the AUSL which has jurisdiction over the area: the various colonies have been surveyed and there has been a major sterilization intervention. It is important to remember that, unless you decide to buy a purebred cat, cats in our realities are all foundlings and we have a civil responsibility towards them to ensure their health and adequate care”, clarifies Dr. Fossi – who then introduces us to sterilization in dogs, illustrating characteristics, differences and benefits especially in the female”.





“In dogs, it’s helpful to make a sex distinction. In female dogs, sterilization is recommended for two important reasons: first of all, to reduce unwanted pregnancies – since caring for a litter by giving it care, veterinary assistance, such as a caesarean section, is a significant cost; Also because it is clear that when we take custody of an animal we must also be able to maintain it economically – remember that the owner ‘owns’ a dog, with the obligation to microchip it within sixty days and is responsible for its health.

The second reason is that it is scientifically proven that early sterilization in females reduces the risk of developing problems affecting the reproductive system. We are talking about diseases such as pyometra, infection of the uterus with collection of pus, uterine or mammary gland cancers.



Females on average go into heat twice a year; Immediately after the heat we witness a paraphysiological condition in which the progesterone level is very high, such that there is no pregnancy test as it would always be positive. For this reason, in 90% of cases imaginary pregnancies develop in which the dogs hide objects, scratch to make a bed, and get milk. The problem here is both from an emotional point of view because they get stressed, and from a health point of view because the continuous production of progesterone on the mucous membrane of the uterus and on the breast row could lead to neoplastic, inflammatory and infectious diseases.

In the male dog, on the other hand, the evaluation of sterilization is singular, i.e. dog by dog; In specimens that usually have behaviour problems, such as being shy or fearful, early neutering may increase their behavioural problem. This is because the main male hormone, testosterone, can strongly influence their behaviour.”



Indicatively, this is the age indicated for sterilization:


Small size under 10 kg: 8-10 months

Average: 10 months- 1 year

Large: 1 year – 14 months


Finally, we asked Dr.ssa Fossi if in recent years the practice of sterilization has been understood for its importance by dog and cat owners: “Spreading scientific news helps dog and cat owners understand the importance of sterilization – a practice that has increased in recent years, especially in cats. In female dogs, on the other hand, there is still work to be done because the owners get carried away from an emotional point of view, thinking they are displeasing the animal, but punctually over the years, unfortunately more and more often, we get to intervene to remove uterine infections or neoplastic diseases”.


Info: Clinica Veterinaria Dr. Maruska Fossi, Piazza della Stazione, 3 Bibbiena Stazione (AR) / +39 349 5052678


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