Spaying Your Dog – The Essential Questions

Spaying Your Dog – The Essential Questions

For many female dog owners the decision of whether or not to spay your pet is one that is often delayed. This is regrettable, because through being hesitant it can often result in the optimum time for spaying being in the past.

What this article sets out to achieve is that once you have finished reading it, you will be able to reach a well-considered, and timely decision.

The first question has to be: What is spaying?
It’s a surgical procedure [ovariohysterectomy]. Following a general anaesthesia, a small incision is made in the lower abdominal area to effect the removal of the dog’s ovaries and uterus.

What are the benefits of spaying my dog?
1. Obviously your not going to be troubled by any unwanted pregnancies. It can, and does happen, and without your even knowing. Males are very devious Romeo’s, and your sweet little girl is by no means a shrinking violet once the time is right.
2. The heat cycle is over for good. Which means no more blood from the vulva on your floors and carpets.
3. It’s also the end to any behavioral problems that are associated with the heat cycle. And that includes the urge to roam.
4. There are several major health advantages. Including the prevention of a pyometra developing: A serious, and sometimes fatal infection of the uterus.
5. Similarly, ovarian and uterine cancers are a greatly reduced threat–because of the removal of the reproductive organs.
6. And as your pet gets older there is a definite reduction in the risk of breast cancer.

What are the negative aspects of spaying my dog?
1. There are the risks involved in the surgery itself. The anaesthetic risk, and also the risk of infection.
2. And often the big stumbling block–The cost. In many areas there are organizations that will help–You need to be pro-active on this one, and leave no stone unturned.
3. The same as with the neutered male, there is the inevitable weight problem. Most vets will recommend that you reduce the spayed dog’s food intake by around 20% on a daily basis. The real causes of canine obesity is exactly the same as it is in people: Overeating and a general lack of exercise.
4. There is an increased likelihood of urinary incontinence, as your pet gets older. It does happen, but it is very easily controlled.
5. There needs to be more emphasis on post-operative care than in the neutering of a male.

What about Post-Operative care?
Get your vet to provide you with an Elizabethan collar, or a similar plastic cone after the procedure. Several years ago, one of my dogs nipped her way through one of her stitches. She was close to opening up the entire wound–which would have had the inevitable outcome.

Also wait for at least 10 days after the operation before you exercise your dog off of the lead. I did on just one occasion with another dog, and for only a few minutes. This lead to complications, and she had to endure a further 2 weeks of on the lead exercise. These were mistakes that I made because I lacked any information about post-operative care.

The key question–When should I have my dog spayed?
A common myth is that a female should have a litter before being the spayed. This is unsubstantiated nonsense. The optimum time period is just before, or 12 weeks after her first season. By acting during this timeframe you will substantially reduce her chances of developing mammary cancer at a later stage in her life. Being a responsible pet owner it would be wise not to miss this short, but beneficial period to enhance her health prospects.

This short article should help you to reach a decision concerning the spaying of your dog. The eventual choice is yours. However, in the interests of your dog’s health and well-being, if you do go ahead, please make sure that you act at the most favorable time.