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Spaying and Neutering – FAQ’s, pros and cons

Pet over-population is a real problem, with unwanted puppies and dogs being euthanized every day. Although there are always pros and cons to any procedure, spaying or neutering your new puppy is always recommended. It is one of the most responsible choices you can make as a pet owner. The health benefits of spaying or neutering your puppy are also important to consider.

What is involved with ‘Spaying’ or ‘Neutering’? We use the term ‘Spay’ when we remove the ovaries and uterus of the female dog. We use the term ‘Neuter’ when we remove both testicles from a male dog. For any surgical procedure, optional blood work can be performed (to screen for abnormalities in the blood that could indicate organ dysfunction) at an additional fee. Pain medication is used and the puppy is given intravenous fluid therapy, then placed under a general anesthesia for the procedure. Once the ovaries/uterus or testicles are removed, the incision is closed using sutures that are under the skin and absorb over time. We monitor our surgical patients very carefully throughout their stay make sure they are recovering without complications.  Usually, your puppy will be able to go home the same day, so that he or she can spend the evening in the comfort of their own home. We recommend that the puppy be given several days to recover (a week for a spay), with leash walks only and no jumping or stairs. Your puppy should wear a cone so that it cannot lick at it’s incision as it heals as this can cause infection and dehiscence.

Pros to Spaying and Neutering – There are many advantages including avoiding unwanted heat cycles and puppies, minimizing roaming behaviour, and the great reduction in several kinds of cancers including mammary (if spayed before first heat cycle), uterine and ovarian cancers for female dogs and testicular cancer for male dogs. Neutered male dogs are also a lot less likely to have problems with their prostate gland as they get older. Spayed female dogs will not get dangerous uterine infections (pyometras) that can be life-threatening.