DAIRY FLAT VETERINARY CLINIC PH 09 426 9535 DESEXING YOUR DOG THE FACTS AND THE MYTHS WHY SHOULD I DESEX MY DOG? There are a broad range of health benefits for your dog, and social benefits for you. MALE DOGS Older male dogs can suffer from prostate problems (in the same way as humans!) and tumours around the anus (perianal adenoma), these problems do not occur in the neutered dog as testosterone acts as an accelerant on abnormal cells in these areas. Testicular cancer cannot occur if there are no testicles! Roaming behaviour, both looking for girlfriends and territory, is reduced. This reduces the risk of your pet coming into harm’s way on the roads or on other people’s property. Dominant and socially awkward behaviours (leg mounting, urinating on every corner etc) are significantly reduced. FEMALE DOGS Spaying before her first season reduces the risk from breast cancer by approximately 98%. Spaying later in life still reduces the risk of development of breast cancer but by a smaller margin. Spaying removes the risk of pyometra – a very serious condition where an infection in the uterus can threaten your dog’s life if not detected and treated quickly. Removing the uterus and ovaries removes the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer. Spaying stops the oestrus behaviour so there is no need to keep your bitch away from other dogs for a 3- 4-week period, nor to have to deal with the bloody discharge that is a normal part of a bitch’s season. There is no chance of developing false pregnancies, which can make your bitch off her food, miserable and hormonal for up to 3 weeks following her season. No need to fend off unwanted suitors! Male dogs can sense a bitch on heat from literally miles away. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Should I allow my bitch to have 1 litter of puppies to settle her down before spaying her? There is no benefit to the bitch from having puppies, it has no effect on her personality – bitches which have had puppies may be calmer simply because they are a bit older and wiser than before! Your bitch will not miss what she has never had. Won’t it change my dog’s personality? Not in the slightest, if anything it will prevent your dog’s personality from changes as it becomes sexually mature so your dog will retain its puppyish outlook. Aren’t all desexed animals overweight? No; in some animals the metabolism does slow down following desexing, but with careful management of what your dog eats obesity can be avoided. This can be simply reducing the ration, feeding a diet specifically for neutered dogs or a low calorie diet. Will it stop my dogs fighting? Not necessarily, but in most cases it reduces the triggers that start fights and allows space for training methods to be used more effectively. Desexing alone should not be relied on to produce an instantly harmonious life where there has been fighting previously, but used in conjunction with training it can be very effective. What age should I have it done? Bitches should be spayed before their first season, approximately 6 - 8 months of age. Dogs should be neutered between 6 months (small dogs) and 12 months (very large dogs). If you are not sure check with one of our vets. My dog has a lovely personality and lots of people have asked for puppies from him or her, should I breed? If you can guarantee homes for each and every puppy, and can select a stud dog/ bitch with similar appealing traits to your pet then it may be worth considering breeding. Make sure that you have the support and advice you need if you are a first time breeder, and remember if it goes well it is fantastic, but if it goes badly you may loose not only the puppies, but also the bitch and end up with a vet bill to boot! This is a topic you should discuss in more detail with one of our vets.