Risks of spaying a dog – Is it safe?
Are there any risks of spaying your dog? Is the procedure safe? Why do all the veterinarians recommend it? Keep on reading to see if the risks of spaying a dog are real or not!
Neutering for male dogs
Neutering involves the removal of the testicles (and associated structures). This procedure, as in females, will make reproduction impossible and will eliminate the behavior associated with periods of intense hormonal activity. Keep in mind, however, that it always depends on the age and characteristics of each specimen, so the postoperative manifestations are not the same for all dogs. There is also an alternative procedure, vasectomy, but this is not common.
Spaying for female dogs
Spaying is the surgery by which the veterinarian removes the reproductive organs so that the female can no longer get pregnant and no longer enters the heat because she no longer has menstruation. Normally, the typical sexual behavior for each race disappears, but this is not always the case. Like neutering cats, the procedure can be done in two ways, with both operations being just as safe and effective:
- ovariohysterectomy – removal of the uterus and ovaries;
- ovariectomy – only the ovaries are removed.
When and why spaying and neutering is recommended
The classic age for spaying or neutering a dog is between 4 and 6 months, but there are several factors that the veterinarian will take into account, such as breed, when recommending such an intervention. Large dogs tend to mature sexually later than small ones.
The environment in which the animals grow is also important. For example, we take the case of a male and a female who are brothers, are the same age and live in the same house. In this situation, the operation should take place as early as possible, before the female enters the heat for the first time. On the other hand, if there is only one puppy in the house, it is not a rush.
Spaying and neutering are especially recommended to reduce the number of unwanted chickens, but these interventions also bring a lot of benefits to the health of your four-legged friend and can reduce behavioral problems, according to specialists from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (ASPCA).
When and why spaying is done
Most veterinarians recommend spaying before the female first enters the heat. The timing varies, but it usually happens at the age of 5-10 months. Sterilization before the female first enters the heat reduces the risk of her developing breast cancer. Also, according to ASPCA, sterilization can prevent the appearance of pyometra, a serious infection of the uterus, common in unsterilized and unpaired females.
At the same time, sterilization is the most effective way to avoid unwanted pregnancies or the occurrence of false pregnancies, which can lead to behavioral problems and the development of medical conditions.
When and why is neutering done
In the case of dogs, the breed is very important. Small and medium-sized dogs are usually neutered earlier, around the age of 6 months. Instead, for large dogs, veterinarians recommend the intervention at the age of one year and even later.
Experts at ASPCA mention that castration surgery can help prevent testicular or prostate cancer and certain orthopedic conditions. At the same time, neutered dogs tend to be less aggressive and do not even feel the need to run away from home to find females. Thus, they are safer because they no longer engage in fights with other males and the risk of being hit by cars decreases.
How to prepare your pet for spaying or neutering
Your quadruped will feel if you are agitated or worried. The first thing you should do before the operation is to keep calm and make him feel comfortable and confident that nothing bad will happen to him.
Then, at least 12 hours before the operation, make sure that the quadruped does not eat anything. He is allowed to drink, but not on the morning of the day he is scheduled. The veterinarian will also consult him before the operation and request blood tests and other medical examinations, which show that the animal is healthy and can withstand the operation well, without risks.
What to expect after neutering or spaying
There are several myths about spaying or neutering dogs, which is good to know, so as not to be influenced by them. The surest way to find out the correct information is to consult your veterinarian. If you want to deepen the subject, you can even ask him for recommendations for specialized reading and then ask him questions, if you have any questions. Here are some of these myths:
- the dog will gain weight – it is one of the most common information that specialists say is not true; as long as you give him the right food and in the right amount, the dog has nothing to gain weight; notes that, after the operation, the dog will need 20% less food than before the operation; at the same time, if he exercises regularly, he can keep in excellent physical shape; therefore, it all depends on how you take care of it, not the spaying or neutering operation;
- the operation will change his personality – the only thing that happens after the spaying or neutering operation is that the quadruped will no longer mark his territory all over the house and will not try to run away from home, looking for a partner; otherwise, your friend’s personality will not change at all, it will become neither more apathetic nor more aggressive;
- spaying or neutering is not healthy – experts say there is no good reason to believe so; no scientific study has shown so far that it is absolutely necessary for a female to have at least one row of chicks in order to be healthy or that a dog will feel less masculine, especially since he is not aware of his sexual identity and nor the ego.
Beyond these myths, it is good to remember that spaying is a bit more complicated than neutering because it is more invasive. For this reason, the recovery of your female may be slower than that of the male, but this is absolutely normal. Then, regardless of the sex of the quadruped, recovery will depend very much on his medical history, as well as the administration of anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics or antibiotics, as well as how you take care of him, both physically and emotionally. It is good to clarify all these issues with your veterinarian.
Then, if everything goes normally, you can take the puppy home on the day of the operation, but whether it is spaying or neutering, the quadruped will feel dizzy due to general anesthesia. In the first hours after the operation, it is essential to keep him under observation and consult a doctor if you see that something is wrong.
Three days after the operation, it will be the first check-up at the doctor’s, so that he can see how the animal recovers. The next check-up will be 10 days after the intervention. After this control, depending on the doctor’s instructions, you can take your dog for a walk, but only on a leash and wearing a tapered collar or a bandage in the incision area.
Another important aspect is that soluble or insoluble yarns can be used for the operation. If undissoluble yarns are used, the veterinarian will make an appointment to remove them, which will happen 7-10 days after the procedure.
Complications and risks related to neutering or spaying
Spaying or neutering is common operations and does not generally involve major risks. Complications may occur, however, due to other older conditions or due to general anesthesia.
Therefore, before the operation, make sure that the quadruped is subjected to thorough medical examinations, from tests to tests for allergies to certain substances contained in the serum used for anesthesia. All this is important to see if the general health is suitable for the intervention. If certain problems with the liver, kidneys or heart are detected, then it is recommended that they be resolved first and only then perform the operation.
At the same time, document yourself very well about the clinic where the operation will be performed, the doctors who operate and inform you about the postoperative period, so that you know exactly what to expect and act correctly.
Recovery of the dog after neutering or spaying
The quick and correct recovery of your four-legged friend, after a neutering or spaying operation, depends a lot on how you take care of him. In this regard, the specialists from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) have some recommendations for you:
- keep your dog away from other animals – during the recovery period, it is good to keep the dog in the house and avoid it coming into contact with other animals;
- make sure that the quadruped does not make an effort – for at least two weeks or depending on the recommendations of the veterinarian, do not let your puppy run or jump on the couch, armchairs or from them on the floor;
- make sure that it cannot lick the incision site – it is very important that the operation site remains sterile so that it does not become infected; put a tapered collar or use other methods that your doctor tells you, so that the quadruped does not lick in that area;
- check the incision daily – to make sure that the healing is normal, check the incision every day; if you notice redness, swelling, fluid leakage, an unpleasant odor, take your dog, urgently, to the vet;
- do not bathe them – at least 10 days after the operation, it is not recommended to bathe your dog, because, after contact with water, infections can occur;
- watch out for certain manifestations – if you see that the quadruped is not feeling well, that he is weak, has no appetite, has vomiting or diarrhea, contact your veterinarian;
- analgesics, only on the doctor’s recommendation – analgesics may or may not be necessary, so it is best to establish a treatment schedule with your veterinarian;
- notice the signs that the quadruped is well – if you see that it is lively, eat normally, most likely your dog is well; however, it does not allow it to stir very much until recovery is complete;
- give them special food – especially in the case of females, it is important to give the puppy food that he can digest more easily (neutering is less invasive than spaying); therefore, provide them with moist food or pastries.
Neutering or neutering is one of the most important decisions you will have to make, first of all, for the health of your dog and then, in order to avoid certain behavioral problems related to the hormonal changes that occur in the life of the quadruped. Remember that it is a simple procedure, which does not involve risks, and that it is essential to take into account the recommendations of specialists and not be influenced by what you hear, read or see left and right.