To Neuter or Not to Neuter!
- Prevents bitch having puppies and false pregnancies
- Normally eliminates inconvenience of seasons and stops the bleeding and behavioural changes.
- Early spaying (before 1st season) drastically reduces the chances of mammary tumours later in life.
- Completely removes the risk of Pyometra (uterine infection and a serious threat to all ages which can be fatal.
- Helps with hierarchy problems but must spay lower ranking bitch only.
- Temperament changes are possible with some bitches becoming more docile.
- Small risk of urinary incontinence in early spaying but this can be treated easily.
- Spaying, though routine, is major surgery. It is very uncommon but occasionally a haemorrhage can occur. There is also a small risk of problems within the skin wound.
- The older the bitch is at the time of spaying (this should be around 9+ months) the greater the risks involved.
- Recovery can take several days and it can take several weeks for her to heal. A follow up visit 7-10 days after spaying is necessary to remove the stitches.
- Possible weight gain but if diet is properly adjusted and after spaying and appropriate exercise is given this should not be a problem.
NB CASTRATION IS NOT SUITABLE FOR ALL BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS AND NEEDS TO BE CONSIDERED CAREFULLY.
- Prevents the dog causing unwanted pregnancies
- If done early prevents straying, leg lifting and territory marking
- Prevents Testicular cancer (common cause of death in older dogs)
- Reduces the risk of Prostrate cancer
- Can cure hierarchy problems – between two males – so long as ONLY the LOWER ranking dog is neutered. This widens the gap between them and allows the higher ranking dog to take the top dog spot. NEVER neuter both – dogs are never equal.
- Aggressive behaviour especially towards other dogs is usually reduced after castration.
- Dominant/over amorous sexual behaviour is also normally much reduced. This results in less straying and helps to reduce traffic accidents.
- Neutering is not a cure for all problems. It can help but also it could make no difference whatsoever:
E.G. It is unlikely to make any difference to: Wild and unruly behaviour or dog to dog/people aggression. And never to: Destructive behaviour and separation anxiety.
- As with spayed bitches, castrated dogs can also experience changes in temperament, some becoming much quieter/docile.
- As with spaying there is a possibility of weight gain after castration, but if diet is properly adjusted and controlled and appropriate exercise is given this should not be a problem.
- Too late (around 12 months – peak of testosterone production) possible leading to a hormone driven “thug” dog for life.
- Too young (around 7 months) risk dog will be thought of as female by other males due to not developing a proper masculine body and masculine behaviour. Vets do not usually castrate till around 9 months old.
- Recovery usually takes 1-2 days with a follow up visit to remove stitches 7-10 days later.
NB Neither of these procedures are reversible! If there is any possibility of requirement to breed from a bitch at a later date or of having a dog at stud then neutering is not an option!