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Dog Friendly Tips: Spaying

Most owners are not aware of the chain of events in a surgical procedure. The most common procedure is an ovario-hysterectomy, known also as a spaying operation. Having found the dog to be in satisfactory health for surgery, the vet may administer drugs to sedate, prevent excess salivation, and empty the stomach to prevent vomiting during the operation but this is not always advisable.

Spaying has little effect on the general characteristics of the dog.

The fact that some spayed bitches get fat is not in itself a valid argument against spaying. Unspayed bitches, too, get fat. Some of the most grossly overweight dogs are entire. They are simply overfed.

Spaying has little effect upon a mature dog. The dog does not have mating cycles and the urges that they bring. This may have a very slight effect on weight and personality. The reason for spaying some bitches young is to prevent the bitches of vicious breeds from becoming dangerous as they get older. If they are spayed as puppies, they tend to remain gentle.

Spaying a bitch has a number of definite advantages.

1. The dog is spared the risk of giving birth.

2. The owner is spared raising or having to destroy unwanted animals.

3. The owner avoids the annoyance of males surrounding his or her house, breaking into the gardens and marking their territory on your plants, and following your dog around.

4. The spayed female does not wander.

5. Spaying almost certainly prevents the formation of cancer in the breasts, which sometimes occurs in bitches three or four years of age and commonly in older dogs.

6. It also prevents metritis, the inflammation of the uterus, which afflicts unsprayed bitches.

There are also disadvantages in spaying.

1. An owner may someday regret that his or her female can't reproduce.

2. As spayed dog grow older they sometimes lose control of the bladder sphincter. But this can be corrected by giving medication occasionally.

Does spaying harm a hunting dog? Some of the greatest hunters ever known have been spayed bitches. In fact, it helps hunting dogs, because unsprayed bitches so often come into heat in the all-too-short hunting season. Because of this they often miss the training and experience that makes better hunters of the spayed bitches which are never incapacitated.

Months after a bitch has been spayed and returned home, dogs sometimes go about the house as if she were in heat. The owner should first look to see if the bitch is bleeding and swollen. If she is not, she is not attracting the males. Occasionally a chip of ovary, or even a whole ovary, may have been left. If ovaries are not entirely removed, a bitch will come in heat, copulate, but fail, of course, to conceive.

Very often a spayed dog that is thought to be attracting males actually is not. Another bitch in heat is probably the basic attraction. She may have urinated in many places about the neighborhood. Dogs smelling the urine detect nothing of the keep-away odor of normal urine and therefore conclude that the bitch in front of whose house they find it is in season. When she appears, the dogs attempt to copulate. She thinks they are playing, and if she has a mild disposition, she will not fight them as a bolder dog would.

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