Why Should I Neuter My Bitch?

If your bitch is not going to be used for breeding then it is recommended that she is neutered at approximately 6 months of age.


Females - Spaying


Female dogs usually go through puberty at around 6 months of age.

The Procedure

Spaying involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries. This will stop your bitch from coming into season and she will no longer be able to have puppies. It is a routine procedure which involves your dog being with us in the surgery for the day and can be done any time after your dog is 6 months old. Your dog will be given a general anesthetic for the operation to be performed. An incision is made in the abdomen, the uterus and ovaries are removed and the remaining tissue tied off. Following the operation your dog will be given antibiotics and painkiller by injection and your dog will usually have recovered from her anesthetic by about 3pm. Most dogs are back to ‘normal’ within 24 hours but they must be reasonably restricted until their sutures are removed 10-14 days later. She should not be allowed to jump up as this can stretch her wound and cause the sutures to break. Occasionally the dog will develop an infection at her operation site. This is rare but as with all wounds it can happen and is usually due to the dog licking at her sutures. A 'buster' collar is supplied routinely when your dog goes home for use as necessary. This operation cannot be reversed.

Reasons to get it done

There are many health advantages to getting your dog neutered. Many female dogs will become very unsettled and can even go off their food if they are in season. They will also spot blood for 2 -3 weeks whilst in season which can be very inconvenient. Some bitches will exhibit nesting behavior and begin to mother their toys. This is known as a false pregnancy and can be very distressing for the bitch. Older bitches that are entire can also develop an infection in their uterus. This is known as a pyometra. It is serious and can be fatal. The only curative treatment for this condition is surgery to remove the infected uterus. This can be an expensive surgery and carries extra risks as the animal tends to be older when pyometra develops and can also be quite ill before they are diagnosed. Spaying also reduces the probability of our dog developing mammary tumors later in life.

Disadvantages

Occasionally bitches may gain weight following neutering but this is easily controlled by appropriate exercise and diet. Later on in life some neutered bitches can develop some urinary incontinence however this problem is easily controlled using medication. In some breeds of dog their coats can become duller following neutering but this a minor problem in comparison with the advantages.