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Neutering Your Female Dog

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suziwalsh View Drop Down
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    Posted: 10 October 2008 at 1:08pm

Neutering your Female dog!

WHAT IS NEUTERING?

The only way to be sure your dog doesn't produce unwanted puppies is to get your female dog spayed or your male dog neutered (castrated). Intact male dogs and bitches in heat have an uncanny way of finding each other, and breeding can occur in an instant.

Spaying involves the removal of both the uterus and the ovaries. Castration refers to the removal of a male dog's testicles. The term neutering is a general term to describe either spaying or castration.

BENEFITS OF NEUTERING

In addition to preventing unwanted puppies, neutering your dog has many benefits:

For Females:

Female dogs that are spayed prior to their first heat cycle (which usually occurs between 6 and 9 months of age) have a significantly reduced chance of developing mammary (breast) cancer compared to dogs that have had even one heat cycle.

Spayed females can't develop pyometra, an infection of the uterus that can be quite severe and can even result in death.

Eliminates ‘spotting’ on the carpet and floor surfaces during the females heat, twice yearly.

Spayed females tend to have more even temperaments and do not go through the hormone-induced mood swings that intact bitches sometimes have. If not pregnant, she may follow her seasons with false pregnancies. Many bitches will look as if they are pregnant and display obvious maternal behaviour, such as producing milk, nursing their toys or other objects such as shoes and making nests out of their bedding. They can show signs of increased panting and restlessness and be considerably distressed for periods of up to three months after the season has finished. As bitches may have seasons twice a year, they could be unwell and uncomfortable for up to half of their lives.

WILL MY DOG GET FAT?

Many people think their dogs will get fat if they are spayed or castrated, but this isn't the case. Neutered dogs frequently don't need as much food as their intact compatriots, but there is a simple solution: Don't feed them as much. You may need to reduce the amount of food that you give him/her or switch to a ‘diet’ food after neutering. Ask your vet for advice on this. If your dog has enough exercise and you feed him/her correctly, he/she will not get fat or lazy.

WHAT BEHAVIORAL CHANGES CAN BE EXPECTED AFTER NEUTER?

The only behaviour changes that are observed after neutering relate to behaviours influenced by male hormones. Playfulness, friendliness, and socialization with humans are not changed. The behaviours that change are far less desirable. The interest in roaming is eliminated in 90% of neutered dogs. Aggressive behaviour against other male dogs is eliminated in 60% of neutered dogs. Urine marking is eliminated in 50% of neutered male dogs. Inappropriate mounting is eliminated in 70% of neutered dogs.

In fact if your dog is neutered at 6 months old he/she is likely to retain their playful puppy nature and carry it on into adulthood.

NEUTERING A FEMALE DOG – THE DETAILS:

It is not necessary to let your dog have a litter of puppies before neutering. This is an old wives tale which has no scientific basis. In fact, pregnancy can pose a significant health risk to your dog.

WHY ALL FEMALE DOGS SHOULD BE SPAYED?

Surgical sterilization of the female dog, commonly referred to as "spaying," is one of the most significant aspects of female dog care an owner can provide. The benefits to the dog FAR outweigh simply not having puppies, though as pet over-populations looms as a societal problem it is important to be "part of the solution" rather than "part of the problem." Spaying involves removal of the uterus and ovaries. It is a major surgery but a very commonly performed one, ideally performed while a female dog is still in puppy-hood, prior to her first heat cycle.

MAMMARY CANCER PREVENTION

A female dog spayed before her first heat will have a near zero chance of developing mammary cancer. After the first heat, this incidence climbs to 7% and after the second heat the risk is 25% (one in four). It is easy to see that an early spay can completely prevent what is frequently a very difficult and potentially fatal form of cancer.

But is it too late if a dog is already past her second heat? No, in fact spaying is important even in female dogs that already have obvious tumours. This is because many mammary tumours are stimulated by estrogens; removing the ovaries, the source of estrogens, will help retard tumour spread.

Spaying removes both the uterus and both ovaries and is crucial in the prevention as well as the treatment of mammary cancer.

 

 

PYOMETRA PREVENTION

"Pyometra" is the life-threatening infection of the uterus which generally occurs in middle-aged to older female dogs in the six weeks following heat. The hormone "progesterone," which primes the uterus for potential pregnancy, does so by causing proliferation of the blood-filled uterine lining and suppression of uterine immune function. It is thus easy during heat for bacteria in the vagina to ascend to the uterus to cause infection. The uterus with pyometra swells dramatically and is filled with pus, bacteria, dying tissue, and toxins. Without treatment, the pet is expected to die. Despite her serious medical state, she must be spayed quickly if her life is to be saved.

THIS IS AN EXTREMELY COMMON DISEASE OF UNSPAYED FEMALE DOGS. 

WITHOUT TREATMENT THE DOG WILL DIE. 

TREATMENT IS EXPENSIVE.

TREATMENT INVOLVES SURGERY IN A POTENTIALLY UNSTABLE PATIENT.

SPAYING PREVENTS THE WHOLE THING.

The older un-spayed female dog has an irregular heat cycle. There is no end of cycling comparable to human menopause. If you still decide against spaying, be very familiar with the signs of pyometra. (These include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, excessive thirst, marked vaginal discharge).

SIMPLE CONVENIENCE

The female dog comes into heat every 8 months or so. There is a bloody vaginal discharge and attraction of local male dogs. Often there is an offensive odour. All of this disappears with spaying.

NOW THAT WE KNOW WHY IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO SPAY,
WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENS?

It is very important that the patient has not been fed in at least 8 hours. Anaesthetic medications commonly induce nausea and vomiting can be very dangerous in a sedated patient.

A preoperative evaluation is performed. An intravenous catheter may be placed to facilitate the administration of anaesthetic drugs, for any fluid administration, and for use in case of emergency. This necessitates shaving a small patch of skin on one of the legs.

 

 

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pamela View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pamela Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 October 2008 at 2:48pm
Originally posted by suziwalsh suziwalsh wrote:

. It is a major surgery but a very commonly performed one, ideally performed while a female dog is still in puppy-hood, prior to her first heat cycle.
 
 
 There is a bloody vaginal discharge and attraction of local male dogs. Often there is an offensive odour. All of this disappears with spaying.

 

 

 
Thanks for posting this article Suzi ,but just would like to say that i dont agree with the spaying of a bitch before her first season .if any one would like to read the following link it out lines for me many reasons why to let a bitch have her first season  .http://www.doglistener.co.uk/neutering/spaying_neutering.shtml .There is alot of interseting reading on that link aswell as links to alot of other information to back up whats been said .
Also owning 3 intact bitches,  while there is a bloody discharge there is never an offensive smell , an offensive smell while a bitch is in season would indicate to me an infection of some sort .
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Pepper View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pepper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 October 2008 at 3:06pm
i can vouch for there not being an "offensive smell"
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pixie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pixie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 October 2008 at 5:35pm
Pamela, I find that quite interesting. Both my girls were spayed at six months by the advice of our vet. Brandy went through a stage of mothering balls of socks, teddies, slippers etc for a month or so after spaying, but then settled down well. Minnie never went through that phase, but I do think she displays many puppy-like tendencies still, at two years. I had never come across this theory before, but it does make sense.

As I never intended to breed from Minnie, as Brandy's was successful, and as I'm living with parents (who were quite straight about not wanting spotting, etc, in their home), I was happy to go along with the vet's advice. Now I'm wondering if I made a mistake...

If your dogs think you're the best, why ask for a second opinion?
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pamela View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pamela Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2008 at 10:52am
i really wouldnt worry about it too much pixie , ,loads of people have their dogs nutered at around that age , you have two heathy happy dogs , i didnt post the link to have people worrying about having had there dogs spayed before the first heat , but just to let people know who havent got their dog spayed / nutered and are  wondering what the best time for it to be done , that there is another side to the recommended age .

Edited by pamela - 12 October 2008 at 10:53am
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boxerbub View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote boxerbub Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 October 2008 at 12:49am
To anyone apprehensive about getting their bitches spayed before their first season we have always had our bitches done before the first season and never ever had problems or reprecussions from it.  There will always be "ifs" to everything those for and those against but I would far rather have a bitch spayed early before her first season than have that same bitch get out and "caught" and have a puppy bitch having puppies.
 
Believe me you only have to see the misery of a "puppy" having puppies once to realise that spaying before the first season is worth its weight in gold. 
 
Before anyone comes back at me over this, I didnt have a puppy bitch that had puppies, I took on two of the little bitches pups as she was so ill herself and hand reared them.
 
Helen


Edited by boxerbub - 19 October 2008 at 12:50am
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