The biggest decision concerning health that needs to be taken once you bring a dog into your house is whether to spay or neuter him/her. Spaying or neutering is surgical sterilization, i.e., in female dogs, the uterus and ovaries are removed and in male dogs, the testicles are removed.
WHAT IS SPAYING OR NEUTERING?
Spaying or neutering your dog is a must for every animal. This is done to prevent pet homelessness resulting in the euthanasia of healthy animals. In India, we already face countless dogs and cats that are strays and live in the streets. Once we stop the reproduction of dogs, these numbers will decrease.
Spaying Vs Neutering, Are they The Same?
Spaying. A “spay,” or ovariohysterectomy, is a veterinary surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia. It involves removal of the female dog’s uterus and both ovaries through an incision made in the abdomen.
Neutering. Neutering, or castration, is the surgical removal of a male dog’s testes. Also performed under general anesthesia, it is a simpler surgery than a spay. An incision is made near the front of the scrotum, then the testicles are removed through that incision.
WHEN SHOULD MY DOG BE SPAYED OR NEUTERED AND WHY?
Veterinarians believe that all dogs need to be spayed or neutered after having their medical health assessed. It is desirable to spay or neuter dogs at a very young age to avoid unwanted pregnancy or health risks once they get older. In fact, it is established that your pet will be healthier if she never sexually matures. Adult dogs can also be spayed or neutered but the procedure might have its own post-operation risks and complications. Hence it is ideal to spay or neuter them at a young age.
Though these procedures can be done on puppies as young as a few months old, Poochles recommends that for female puppies to be spayed between 8 months - 1 year and for male puppies between 4 months - 6 months. However, If you elect to spay or neuter your dog, you should consult with your breeder and your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate age for this surgical procedure
BENEFITS OF HAVING YOUR PET SPAYED OR NEUTERED:
- 1) Longer life- Spaying or neutering your dog at a very young age will prevent tumors and some diseases. This ensures a long and healthy life for your pet.
- 2) Better behavior- Once spayed or neutered there is a very minimum chance that your dog might run away from the house. Sterilizing your pets at a young age will prevent aggression problems.
- 3) Solution for pet homelessness- Some might feel that it is sinful to not allow their pets to embrace their sexual desires but however, it has been proved that it is irresponsible if we allow our dogs to reproduce an unwanted amount of litter which will eventually be killed. There aren't enough homes to shelter them.
- 4) Research has shown that spaying or neutering dogs after they have passed through puberty has numerous immediate health benefits such as a reduction in orthopedic health problems, a possible reduction in certain cancers in specific breeds, and possible improved behavior.
HOW LONG WILL MY DOG TAKE BEFORE RECOVERING AFTER NEUTERING?
Some Clinics will take your dog in as an in patient after spaying while others will let her go home on the same day. You do may face slight post operative discomfort, but it usually doesn't last more than a couple of days. Animals have much higher pain threshold than us pampered humans :) so they will bounce back pretty quick.
That said, most clinics will prescribe pain medication to ease the discomfort and will recommend a follow up visit within a couple of weeks. It is definitely better to restrict your dog from too much exertion and going out unsupervised.
It is also important to prevent your dog from licking the operative area. This can be easily achieved with a medical cone collar.
Spaying or neutering can eventually solve the problem of pet overpopulation and also put an end to cruel puppy mills and breeders.