We strongly recommend the routine spaying of bitches in most cases. The simple reason is because it helps to protect your dog from some very serious health risks – and in doing so, significantly increases her lifespan!
What is a spay?
A spay involves the removal of the dog’s ovaries, and usually the uterus (womb) as well. This prevents her from having any litters, and dramatically reduces her levels of sex hormones. It’s an outpatient procedure, meaning your dog will come in one morning, have her operation, and normally go home the same day. Most dogs are completely back to normal within a week, and often much sooner!
What are the benefits?
As well as being a totally effective contraceptive, spaying eliminates the risk of pyometra, a severe infection of the uterus. This is common in older, unneutered bitches, and is potentially life-threatening. Other benefits include eliminating the risk of ovarian cancer, plus, the earlier she is spayed, the lower the chance of mammary tumours (breast cancer). On average, a neutered bitch lives 26% longer!
Are there any risks?
There is a very slight increase in the risk of certain tumours and of immature genitals if dogs (especially larger breeds) are neutered before they are fully mature. There may also sometimes be coat changes, a tendency to put on weight, and possibly a higher risk of incontinence in later life. These are, however, much lower risks than the potentially fatal consequences of not spaying.
How can I find out more?
Pop in and have a chat with our vets!