If there is anything that dogs are innately good at it’s getting pregnant.
Unfortunately this means that our stray population continues to grow and that a large number of unwanted animals are destroyed every year.
If you do not intend to breed from your pet the responsible thing to do is to neuter them. This also has many other health-related advantages listed below.
Neutering Your Female Dog (Spaying)
Neutering a female animal is referred to as ‘spaying’. Spaying or ovariohysterectomy involves removal of the womb and ovaries to prevent ‘heats’ and unwanted pregnancies in a female dog as well as other undesirable diseases, such as those described below.
A female dog will usually have two heats a year.
Other Advantages of Spaying Your Female Pet Are:
False Pregnancy Prevention
This occurs in female dogs when, after a heat, the pet’s body thinks she is pregnant and can go on to produce milk and even go into labour although there are no pups. This is very distressing for both owner and pet alike.
Pyometra or Womb Infection
This is a life-threatening condition in dogs in which the womb gradually fills up with pus which leads to a form of blood poisoning/septicaemia. Death or kidney failure are possible consequences of this disease.
Breast Cancer/Mammary Neoplasia
Many older female dogs will develop breast cancers, which may be malignant or benign. This condition, which usually requires surgery to remove the mass and reduce the risk of spread, may be life threatening. Spaying at a young age, preferably before their first heat, will mean the chances of developing breast cancer will be very low – similar to that of a male dog.
A Lot of Mouths to Feed!
One unspayed female dog can have up to 12 puppies in ONE litter!
Not spaying your animal may become an expensive choice.
Any Disadvantages to Spaying My Pet?
Spayed female dogs need fewer calories than unneutered animals but spaying does not mean they automatically put on weight. All animals need enough exercise and should not to be fed excessively and with the correct balance of the two we should maintain their correct body condition. There are plenty of overweight unneutered animals.
Spayed females may be at a slight risk of developing urinary incontinence in later life, although this also occurs in unneutered dogs too and studies into this have not produced definite links. This is a rare development later in life and may have developed unrelated to neutering. This often can be managed very simply with medication.
Neutering a Male Dog
Although neutering a male dog may reduce the tendency to wander and be more aggressive, it is often advised because of the positive health benefits it offers.
Neutering removes the possibility of testicular cancer, prostate problems and reduces the incidence of anal adenomas (lumps around the bum) and perineal hernias (a separation of the muscles near the bum which presents as sudden swelling beside the anus and will need surgical attention as the bladder can get stuck in this artificial pocket).
It has been found that neutered male dogs will have a longer life expectancy than their unneutered counterparts.
Further Information on Neutering/Spaying Your Dog
Please contact us for further information and advice on neutering or spaying your pet.