When we introduce a new puppy to our friends and family, one of the first questions they might ask is: Is it spayed / neutered?. The reason why this question and others, such as: what is the best age to spay / neuter or what kind of consequences will it have on our pet?, is of paramount importance for our puppies’ quality of life.
“Scientifically” speaking, we can refer to the procedure in two ways: spaying for females and neutering for males.
One of the biggest benefits of spaying females in our country, whether stray or domestic, is that unwanted puppy overpopulation can be prevented. We can also prevent health problems that can occur at a later age such as tumors and uterine infections, which are very common in female dogs that have not been spayed when young.
On the other hand, male neutering helps us prevent behavioral problems, especially when our dogs are very dominant or aggressive, and it also prevents accidents, as it makes dogs less likely to leave their homes in pursuit of females in heat. In addition, testicular tumors and prostate diseases are prevented as well.
Pre and post surgery care are very important things to take into consideration for our furkids well being:
- The first important pre-surgical care before our puppy goes into surgery is to have him fast for at least 12 hours prior.
- In the case of a senior patient, it’s important to conduct a series of tests that have at least one general and biochemical blood count to find out our pet’s kidney and liver condition.
- Find a place where we can guarantee good management and handling of the equipment, as well as good sterilization standards to minimize any risk during surgery.
- Consider the anesthesia protocol the puppy has, as well as subsequent medications, such as pain relievers and antibiotics to treat wounds.
- After the surgery our pet should keep a little quieter for a week, however it is not necessary for him/her to have absolute rest.
- If necessary, take the recommendation to use the Elizabethan collar or cone.
Now, spaying and neutering is such a common and important procedure for our pets that we often hear erroneous data about what will happen if we have our furry kids go through it.
What are the myths and truths of spaying and neutering? Veterinarians Leonardo Solórzano and Dr. Susana Hernández from Innovavet Clinic, named a few:
- I will not spay or neuter my dog because it has never had a sexual relationship: Sexuality in animals works very differently from that in humans; Humans have sexual desire while dogs do it by hormonal stimulation and instinct. My dog won’t be affected at all if it never has a sexual relationship.
- If I spay or neuter my dog it will get fat: When a dog is spayed or neutered, it can often lower its metabolism, but if we, as responsible pet parents, look after their exercise and feeding, its weight will remain the same over time.
- My guard dog will stop doing its job if I spay or neuter it: our dog’s character is more than established since before our dog is neutered, his behavior does not depend solely on hormones.
- If I spay or neuter my dog it will become sad and sedentary: Our dog may become calmer due to old age or illness, but his hormones won’t control his behavior and how he has fun.
- My dog cannot be spayed until she has at least one litter: On the contrary, veterinarians recommend “pre-puberty” sterilization, that is, before their first heat; this way you can prevent mammary tumors and other complications that come with old age.
- My dog must at least mate once in his life: There is no negative consequence whatsoever from our dog not having any sexual intercourse. Moreover, we can spay / neuter our dog between 5 and 6 months old and thus prevent them from starting to mark their territory.