Apr 26 2016

What You Need To Know: Canine Spay and Neutering

CANINE SPAY

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Why should my dog be spayed?

It is recommended that all female pets are spayed. Important reasons for doing so is that it benefits your pet’s health, and contributes to managing an overpopulation crisis, whereby many animals are left needing homes.

What are the advantages of spaying my female dog?

  • Prevention of “heat” or estrus. 
  • When in “heat”, the female experiences an urge to escape in order to find a mate. This unwanted and potentially dangerous behavior will     be eliminated once spayed.
  • It eliminates the possibility of false pregnancy following the “heat cycle”.
  • Prevention of uterine infection known as Pyometra.
  • The prevention of breast cancer. Dogs spayed before the first” “heat” have less than 0.5% chance of developing breast cancer.
  • Elimination of the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer.

Is spaying performed for any other reason?

  • The operation may be performed for several medical conditions. These include:
  • Treatment of intractable false or phantom pregnancy.
  • Females with irregular or abnormal cycles due to ovarian cysts.
  • Spaying is also carried out on occasions to correct certain behavioral abnormalities.
  • Treatment of uterine infection (Pyometra) or cancer.
  • Dystocia (difficult birthing) or post caesarian-section surgery.

What are the disadvantages?

Most of the perceived disadvantages of false. The most quoted of these are that the dog will become overweight, lazy and useless as a guardian. Obesity is probably the most common misconception of spay and neutering. Obesity is largely the result of overfeeding and not exercising enough. By regulating your dog’s diet and caloric intake, you can prevent obesity in spayed/neutered, intact males.

When should the operation be performed? 

Research shows that spaying a pet at an early age does not cause any increased risk. We recommend spaying between the ages of 4-6 months.

Is there any alternative to surgery?

Not at the present time, although there are several promising advances being made in this area.

Are there any dangers associated with the operation?

Spaying is considered a major operation and requires general anesthesia. With modern anesthetics and monitoring equipment, the risk of a complication is very low. It has been said that your pet has a greater chance of being injured in a car wreck than having an anesthetic or surgical complication.

What happens when I leave my dog for this procedure

Your pet will be examined by your veterinarian and pre-anesthetic blood tests will be performed (if you have consented to this procedure). If blood work is acceptable, your pet will then be anesthetized. All 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 the trachea (windpipe). This will allow the delivery of oxygen and the gas anesthetic directly into the lungs. The surgery consists of making a small incision just below the umbilicus and removing the ovaries and uterus. Many veterinarians use absorbable sutures so that you do not have to return to have them removed.

Are there any post-operative precautions I should take?

Rest and restriction of activity are the primary post-operative care you should provide. Most dogs can resume normal activity five to ten days after surgery. Until then, leash walks, no running or climbing stairs and lots of rest are the rule.

CANINE NEUTER

neuter

Why should I have my dog neutered?

Neutering should be considered if you are keeping any male dog as a pet. Remember that Guide Dogs for the Blind, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, and Dogs for the Disabled are routinely neutered.

What are the advantages of neutering my male dog?

  • Reduces the risk of prostate cancer and prostatitis
  • Reduces the risk of hormone-related diseases such as perianal adenoma
  • Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer, the second most common cancer in intact dogs
  • Removal of sexual urges, which usually decreases roaming behaviors
  • Reduction of certain types of aggression

Is neutering performed for any other reason?

The operation may be performed to treat testicular tumors and some prostate gland conditions. It is also used to control hormonal (testosterone) dependent diseases such as anal adenomas.

Neutering may also be used in an attempt to treat certain forms of aggression.

What are the disadvantages?

Most of the perceived disadvantages are false. The most quoted of these are that the dog will become fat, lazy, and useless as a guardian. Obesity is probably the most commonly quoted disadvantage of neutering. Obesity is the result of overfeeding and not exercising enough. By regulating your dog’s diet and caloric intake, you can prevent obesity in neutered or intact males.

Neutering doesn’t cause a change in personality, guarding instincts, intelligence, playfulness and affection.

When should the operation be performed?

Research reveals that neutering a pet at an early age does not cause any increased risk. Most veterinarians recommend neutering at around six months of age.

Is there any alternative to surgery?

There have been recent advances in non-surgical neutering. These involve injection of a compound directly into the testicle. You should discuss this treatment with your veterinarian to determine if it is appropriate for your pet.

Are there any dangers associated with the operation?

Neutering is considered a major operation and requires general anesthesia. With = modern anesthetics and monitoring equipment, the risk of a complication is very low. It has been said that your pet has a greater chance of being injured in a car wreck than having an anesthetic or surgical complication.

What happens when my dog undergoes this procedure?

Your pet will be examined by a veterinarian 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 his trachea or “windpipe”. This will deliver oxygen and the gas anesthetic, most commonly isoflurane, directly into the lungs. The surgery consists of making a small incision in front of the scrotum and removing the testicles. Many veterinarians use absorbable internal sutures so that you do not have to return your dog to the hospital to have them removed.

Are there any post-operative precautions I should take?

Rest and restriction of activity are the primary post-operative care you should provide. Most dogs can resume normal activity five to ten days after surgery. Until then, leash walks, no swimming, bathing, running or climbing stairs and lots of rest are the rule.

 

This client information sheet is based on material written by Ernest Ward, DVM.

© Copyright 2005 Lifelearn Inc. Used with permission under license. April 26, 2016

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One thought on “What You Need To Know: Canine Spay and Neutering”

  1. Thanks for your comment about how you should hire a veterinarian that can perform spaying and neutering. My husband and I are considering having our dog neutered. Thanks for your tip to make that your pet is neutered so that they can have a lower risk for diseases such as cancer.

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