Spaying or Neutering Your Dog

cute puppy

Whether or not to have your dog desexed is one of the most important decisions you can make for your pet. Desexing is a permanent operation performed by a veterinarian that will prevent your pet from breeding and can ultimately lead to your pet living a longer and healthier life.

What does a bitch spay involve?

A bitch spay, or ovariohysterectomy, is the surgical removal of the ovaries and the uterus. It is a routine procedure that is performed under general anesthetic. The operation can be carried out at any age, although most bitch spays occur at 6-12 months (when the bitch reaches maturity).

What are the advantages?

If you have no plans to breed from your bitch, then spaying her has decided advantages to leaving her entire.

• Prevents unwanted puppies
• Prevents phantom pregnancies
• The possibility of your dog developing ovarian or uterine cancer is eliminated
• The chances of life-threatening uterine infections are greatly reduced
• Spaying removes oestrus (heat) cycles which can occur every 6-12 months and can last up to 3 weeks at a time
• Drastically reduces the chance of mammary tumours (breast cancer), especially if the dog is spayed before her first season

Myth – Will my dog become fat and lazy following this operation?

This is a common misconception. Obesity in dogs tends to occur because the owners are feeding an inadequate diet and not providing enough exercise for their dog. A healthy diet with minimal tidbits and lots of exercise will keep prevent any problems with obesity.

What does a dog castration involve?

A dog castration is the surgical removal of the testicles under general anesthetic. It is a routine operation that can be carried out at any age, but is typically done when the dog reaches sexual maturity (6-12 months) if there are no plans of breeding from him.

What are the advantages of castration?

There are numerous benefits associated with neutered dogs.

• Territorial and sexual aggression are reduced
• The possibility of testicular cancer is eliminated
• Health problems like prostatic cancer and hernias are greatly reduced
• Your dog will not contribute to the production of unwanted puppies • Roaming decreases as the dog no longer feels the urge to search for a mate

Myth – Neutering dogs breaks their spirit!

There is a mistaken belief by many owners that if they castrate their dog he will become dull and spiritless. However, the fact of the matter is that most owners usually see an improvement in their pet following castration, as many of the undesirable male behaviors are eliminated (roaming, aggression) without altering the affectionate personality of their dog.
Ask your vet today about how you can provide your pet with a happier, healthier, longer life.

(photo: chadmiller)