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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Friday, January 04, 2008

history of spay/neuter?

I wanted to post on that this morning. After all, when you get to thinking about it, my great-grandmother didn't "fix" any of her pets, but jump forward to the late 60's and pets got fixed. So what happened?

I can't find out exactly, though it does seem that the sterilizing of smaller companion animals did gain prominence in the 60's. Also, if I remember my James Herriot correctly, he was doing spays and neuters in the --what, 30's, 40's?

If you know, please give me a heads-up adn I'll post it. Meanwhile here's a well-thought-out bit on "how young is too young to neuter" by Dr. Dave Sweeney at Utah's Best Friends Animal Society.

PS: She's still fine. I can't believe how high she's trying to jump. We keep telling her not to, so she spends today locked up in the office.


xenobiologista said...

I know this is kind of off-topic since you're asking about spay/neuter practices in modern times, but the earliest reference in English to spaying is from 1410. No kidding, the middle ages. From the Oxford English Dictionary:
c1410 Master of Game (MS. Digby 182) xi, And bycause {th}ei shuld not lese her tyme, men make hem yspayed, saue {th}ose men will kepe open to bere whelpes.I have no clue how people did surgery on dogs in those days...must have been awful for the poor bitches!

little gator said...

I've heard that at least one of George Washington's lady hounds was spayed.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering recently about when spay and neuter became common. When I was a child in the mid 60s, almost none of our pets were fixed. I remember my parents got one of our dogs spayed, and I recall it being thought unusual. Neighbors came to see her (very long) incision. So I wondered if it was a new thing then. But when I searched online I found references to pet neutering being done in the 1900s. And I'm pretty sure it has been done for well over a century on farm animals such as horses and cattle.