Spaying your bitch
If you do not want to have puppies from your dog then the best age to spay is either before the first season or 2-3 months after the first season.
- Tumours – this has been shown to dramatically (80-90%) reduce the chances of getting mammary tumours in later life. After later seasons it makes little difference.
- Pyometra – this is a serious condition whereby the uterus fills with infection and your dog becomes seriously ill. If the cervix remains closed the uterus can rupture leading to peritonitis. Peritonitis is a life-threatening condition and always requires surgery.
- Diabetes – spayed bitches are far less likely to develop diabetes
- False pregnancies – it is common for unspayed bitches to develop a hormone imbalance 4-6 weeks post season when they produce milk, make nests with bedding, nurse toys and become withdrawn and inappetant. This often worsens with age and may make them more prone to a pyometra.
- Behavioural – spayed bitches are far less likely to stray looking for a male dog when in season
- Spaying is an intra abdominal operation that does, like any other kind of procedure under anaesthetic, carry some degree of risk although this is a routine procedure and surgical complications are extremely rare. Please see section under male dog for operative care.
- Incontinence – very occasionally spayed bitches will develop a slightly weak bladder in later life leading to them leaking a little urine when laid down or in their bed. This is very simply treated with some drops that go into the food when needed and should not really a factor to be of concern when considering whether to spay or not.
- Weight gain – spayed dogs will tend to gain weight unless you are careful and reduce the amount of food fed slightly. Our FREE weight control clinics are designed to help throughout your pets life or phone us for advice on 01722 412211
- Coat changes – some breeds, especially long haired such as Setters, Retrievers and Spaniels can become very fluffy following spaying.