Spaying is the term used for the bitches removal of the reproductive organs and neutering and or castration for the male dogs. It is a consideration to be made that not only products the dogs from having unwanted litters and pregnancy risks but also for health reasons.
The age at which the dogs should be done is divided with some vets pro neutering at 6 months whilst other prefer to do later to ensure dog has matured and developed. As an owner the choice is yours, do seek vets advice, do your own research and make an informed choice on what is right for both you and your dog.
It is a worrying and anxious time for owners when they drop their dogs off at vets and many come online to our Facebook group to chat to pass away the time and feel supported. Don't worry about feeling anxious it is human nature and what makes you a special owner, but the time will go quickly if you keep busy and your dog will soon be home.
Spaying (Ovarohysterectomy) is the removal of the reproductive organs of a female dog, specifically the uterus and the ovaries. Vet's advice varies on when this procedure should be performed. Some vets recommend that a bitch is spayed at six months old, before her first season, others recommend three months after the first season. Spaying reduces the risk of infections such as Pyometra, cysts and cancer of the womb and ovaries. It also reduces the risk of mammary tumors. If spaying takes place before the first season the risk of being effected by mammary tumors is said to be reduced by 99%, after the first season the risk is reduced by up to 95%.
Despite this reduced risk some dog owners are concerned that early spaying affects the hormones that not only play a part in the reproductive development of the dog but also their physical growth and maturation. Spayed bitches at any age can occasionally develop urinary incontinence later in life.
Keyhole spaying (Ovarectomy) is now an option offered by some vets. This is the removal of the ovaries through two smaller incisions. The Ovarectomy is less painful for the dog and because the wounds are smaller recovery time is quicker. This procedure is not carried out by all vets at present. Please check here or ask your local vets if it is available.www.veterinarylaparoscopy.com . According to the following study there is no increase risk of pyometra by leaving the uterus in place. "Making a Rational Choice Between Ovariectomy and Ovariohysterectomy in the Dog: A Discussion of the Benefits of Either Technique"
To read about a member's experience of her Cockapoo having a keyhole spay please read Beau's keyhole spay operation.
Neutering or castrating a male dog is the removal of the testicles. As with female spaying there are the benefits of not producing unwanted puppies and it can reduce roaming in male dogs. There are also health benefits such as removing the risk of testicular cancer, reduction in prostrate disorders and hernias. Vets advice again varies although some are neutering around the age of six months,whilst others prefer to wait till the dog has matured which would be around 12 months. It is worth considering the risks to the health of male dogs from neutering before making a decision on when to have it done.
The following document details the benefits and risks to the long term health of dogs when spaying and neutering.
Most vets normally provided an after care sheet or given your verbal instructions.
Both bitches and dogs will need to come home and sleep in a quiet place. Do not be alarmed if you dog is not interested in anything but sleeping or does not want to eat. Sometimes they make shake or whimper. This is usually the anaesthetic wearing off.
The vets sometimes issue plastic cones, this is to prevent the dogs from licking at their stitches. Owners are now finding using baby vests ( modelled by Henry below) or medical pet shirts much more comfortable for the dogs to use. See here: www.dfordog.co.uk/medical-pet-shirts.html
As owner you have to ensure that they don't get at their stitches which can lead to infections or complications and that they do not jump or climb stairs during their recuperation period. It is the most difficult part as cockapoos are lively dogs.
Your vet normally sees you for a follow up appointment to ensure the dog is healing nicely.
If concerned at any time always seek advice from your vet.
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