Why Should I Have My Dog Spayed?
Spaying should be considered if you are keeping any female dog as a pet. It is the easiest, fastest, least stressful, and least expensive way to prevent unplanned litters and unwanted behaviors.
What Are the Advantages of Spaying My Dog?
Reduces the risk of malignant mammary cancer. Studies show that dogs who have twice been in-heat have a 26% chance of developing this devastating cancer. This increases to a whopping 40% for dogs who haven’t been spayed and are over the age of 2.5 years!
Prevents a life-threatening infection of the uterus (pyometra). Up to 24% of dogs that have not been spayed will develop this disease by 4 to 10 years of age with up to a 17% chance of death.
Eliminates the risk of cancer of the reproductive organs.
Prevents unwanted pregnancy.
Reduces hormone-related aggression.
Prevents messy heat cycles.
It’s highly cost-effective compared to having and raising a litter of puppies.
Increases your dog’s lifespan.
You help fight pet overpopulation — every year millions of dogs are euthanized or suffer as strays.
Are There Disadvantages to Spaying?
Some of the perceived disadvantages are false. The most quoted of these are the dog will become fat, lazy, and useless as a guardian. But the truth is, we know spaying is less important than other environmental factors, such as diet and exercise, on weight gain. Too, spaying doesn’t cause a change in personality, guarding instincts, intelligence, playfulness, or affection.
There are, however, some potentially adverse events associated with spaying in large- and giant-breed dogs. “Potentially” is the key word as this information has been gathered from small retrospective studies of select populations which makes these concerns valid to discuss, but the relative risk for an individual pet is difficult to determine at this point.
Early spaying may play a role in the development of orthopedic conditions, particularly hip dysplasia and cranial cruciate ligament injury.
Early spaying (primarily in large dogs over 33 lbs) increases the chance for urinary incontinence.
Spaying can mildly increase the incident of some cancers (lymphoma, mast cell, hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, transitional cell carcinoma), but the age of the dog at the time of the spay is influential.
When Should My Dog Be Spayed?
The sum of our current knowledge and wisdom suggests this surgery should be done when a dog has reached her mature height and weight—typically between 8 and 18 months of age—and certainly before her second heat cycle. Most dogs, however, will come into heat for the first time between 8 and 12 months of age, and this is problematic for many owners. In such cases we recommend spaying at 7 or 8 months of age—before the first heat cycle.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Spay Surgery?
Spaying is considered a major operation and requires general anesthesia. With modern anesthetics and monitoring equipment, the risk of a complication is very low.
What is the Process of Spay Surgery?
Your pet will be examined and pre-anesthetic blood tests will usually be performed. If everything is acceptable, your pet will then be anesthetized. Most pets will have an intravenous catheter placed to administer the anesthetic and to provide fluid therapy during the surgery. After your pet is anesthetized, a breathing tube will be placed in her trachea or “windpipe”. This will deliver oxygen and the gas anesthetic directly into the lungs. The surgery consists of making an incision into her abdomen and removing her ovaries and uterus. Many veterinarians use absorbable sutures so you don’t have to return your dog to the hospital to have them removed.
When Can My Dog Run After Being Spayed?
Rest and restriction of activity are the primary post-operative care you should provide. Most dogs can resume normal activity seven to ten days after surgery. Until then, leash walks, no swimming, bathing, running, or climbing stairs as well as lots of rest are the rule.
If you have any questions about spaying your dog, or would like to schedule a spay, you can reach us at 281.351.7184 or make an appointment online.
We love ‘em like you do!