Dog Spaying and Neutering - Why Spaying and Neutering is So Critical to Dog Health

What is the difference between dog spaying and neutering?

So spaying is for females. It's when we remove the ovaries and the uterus. And neutering is for males. It's when we remove the testicles.

Dr. Julie Mosher
Haines Road Animal Hospital

How does dog spaying or neutering impact the health and wellbeing of my pet?

Spaying and neutering are essential for the overall health of your pet. Spaying females can very much decrease the risk of breast cancer and uterine cancer. It can also reduce the risk of pyometra, which is a potentially deadly infection of the uterus. So, it's very good to prevent that. For males, neutering can also decrease prostate issues and also still reduce cancer risk as well.

How soon should I bring my pet in to see a veterinarian to get my dog spayed or neutered?

That's a great question. So, there's still some controversy among veterinarians. Some say to spay or neuter dogs around five to six months, and I believe that it is the case in smaller dogs. But in the case of some of the bigger dogs, I lean towards one year or 18 months because some orthopedic surgeons have found that if you wait for skeletal maturity before spaying and neutering, they are less likely to have some orthopedic conditions later on in their life.

What will my veterinarian need to know about my dog before spaying or neutering?

Before spaying and neutering, your veterinarian may want to make sure that your dog's vaccines are up to date. The reason behind that is because anytime we have a dog hospitalized or having surgery in the clinic, we want to make sure that we protect them from diseases. We will also want to go ahead and do a complete blood panel to make sure that your animal is a good candidate for anesthesia. So, we will look at his or her kidneys and liver values, we'll listen to the heart, and we'll make sure that the anesthesia will be safe for your dog.

How long will it take for my dog to recover from being spayed or neutered?

So in general, one to two weeks. Some male dogs act like nothing happened the next day, but it is essential to remind your animal that they did just have major surgery, and we do have to keep them pretty calm the next one to two weeks after surgery.

What care should I be prepared to provide at home while my dog is recovering from their spay or neuter surgery?

Great question. So, we will go over this in detail after the surgery itself, but you should create a nice, quiet space for your dog, and you should minimize activity for about two weeks. Sometimes, you will have to give pain medications orally, and sometimes an antibiotic. With these medications and some TCL, these animals heal very well.

If you still have questions and would like to reach out to us, call us directly at (727) 351-8478, email us, or reach out on Facebook, and we will get back to you as quickly as possible!

Dog Spaying & Neutering - FAQs

Dr. Julie Mosher
Haines Road Animal Hospital

Does my dog have to be spayed or neutered?

I highly recommend having your dog spayed or neutered.

Why is spaying and neutering a dog so important?

It can make them be healthier and have a far better quality of life. It decreases the risk of cancers such as ovarian and uterine, and testicular cancer. It also helps prostate issues in male dogs, and it reduces the risk of a very deadly infection of the uterus called pyometra in female dogs.

Should I let my dog have a litter before I spay her?

I would recommend not doing that. Breeding animals can be complicated. Also, I used to work at a low-cost spay-neuter clinic as well, and so I've seen that we have a significant overpopulation of animals. I would recommend that, if you love your dog, spay her before her first litter so she has less of a risk to have breast cancer.

My dog urinates all over the house. Will spaying or neutering help?

Spaying or neutering can help because sometimes testosterone and estrogen can affect marking. However, if his is happening, I highly recommend that you bring your animal to the veterinarian because there can be some other medical conditions as well.

If you still have questions and would like to reach out to us, call us directly at (727) 351-8478, email us, or reach out on Facebook, and we will get back to you as quickly as possible!

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