Spaying & Neutering FAQ?s:
Other health benefits of neutering include the prevention of certain types of hernias and tumors of the testicles and anus. Excessive preputial discharge is also reduced by neutering.
Mammary Cancer Prevention:
A female dog spayed before her first heat will have a near zero chance of developing mammary cancer.
After the first heat, this incidence climbs to 7% and after the second heat the risk is 25% (one in four!). It is easy to see that an early spay can completely prevent what is frequently a very difficult and potentially fatal form of cancer.
Pyometra is the life-threatening infection of the uterus that generally occurs in middle-aged to older female dogs in the six weeks following heat. The hormone progesterone, which primes the uterus for potential pregnancy, does so by causing proliferation of the blood-filled uterine lining and suppressing uterine immune function. It is thus easy during heat for bacteria in the vagina to ascend to the uterus and cause infection. The uterus with pyometra swells dramatically and is filled with pus, bacteria, dying tissue, and toxins. Without treatment, the dog is expected to die. Despite her serious medical state, she must be spayed quickly if her life is to be saved.
- This is an extremely common disease of unspayed female dogs.
- Without treatment the dog will die.
- Treatment is expensive.
- Treatment involves surgery in a potentially unstable patient.
- Spaying prevents the whole thing.
The older unspayed female dog has an irregular heat cycle. There is no end of cycling comparable to human menopause. If you still decide against spaying, be familiar with the signs of pyometra, which include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, excessive thirst, marked vaginal discharge.
The female dog comes into heat every 8 months or so. There is a bloody vaginal discharge and local male dogs are attracted. Often there is an offensive odor. All of this disappears with spaying.
What should I expect after the procedure?
Some nausea may occur in the first couple of days after surgery and it would not be unusual for the dog to refuse food for a day or two after surgery.
A cough may persist for a couple of days as a result of the tracheal tube. This should not persist longer than a couple of days.
The scrotum is often swollen in the first few days after surgery, leading some people to wonder if the procedure was really performed. If the dog is immature at the time of neutering, the empty scrotum will flatten out as he grows. If he is mature at the time of neuter, the empty scrotum will remain as a flap of skin. Sometimes the incision is mildly bruised. Most male dogs are eager to play by the day after surgery but, to keep the incision intact, it is best to restrict the dog from boisterous activity for the first week.
Activity should be restricted during the week following surgery. Excessive activity can lead to swelling or fluid accumulation under the incision. If a fluid pocket does form, it should resolve on its own after a few weeks. If a fluid pocket forms and drains liquid from the incision, the dog should be re-checked with the veterinarian.