Spaying - contentious issue?(18 Posts)
We rehomed a three year old small breed bitch at the beginning of the year. Very hard at first but now couldn't imagine life without her .
She's not neutered and, at our vet's advice, we waited until she'd had a season with us (so we knew exact timings of her cycle) before booking her in for the op, which is in a few weeks' time.
No issues here from my side, we have neutered rescue cats and I am strongly pro the op in general, however during general dog-walking chit chat in the park we encountered some pretty strong opinions about keeping dogs intact. It's not something you really hear about cats, imo, and I was a bit shocked by the feelings involved.
Just wondering if this is common in the dog owning community and whether you had yours spayed? If so why/why not? As a bit of further background, we are due to the inbreeding in the breed we have, our vet told us that our dog wouldn't be able to give birth without a c-section . So we are not looking to have puppies, sadly.
Thanks for your thoughts!
Whoops, should read
'As a bit of further background, DUE to the inbreeding in the breed we have, our vet told us that our dog wouldn't be able to give birth without a c-section'
I've never heard anyone recommend not spaying a bitch - to avoid phantom pregnancies, mammary tumours and pyometra, primarily, but also having them coming into season regularly, which is a huge pita all round
What on earth is anyone's reason not to go ahead?
Thanks for your reply, and I agree with you! The arguments were that it changes an animal's personality, it's a cruel and unecessary major operation and (I have discounted this one) that 'we wouldn't like it done to us'
The only reason I would keep an intact bitch is if I was planning to breed and I would only breed if it was a proven good example of the breed. For me I would want a proven show winner or something proven in its field with every relevant health test before breeding and I would never breed from something that can't give birth naturally. This is why I don't breed
I also have seen many mammary tumour and pyos in incact bitches and couldn't be bothered to deal with these in my own dogs so chose to neuter. I proberbly see 3-5 pyos a week and they are usually very ill and sometimes die.
The op itself is quick and I've never really seen any side effects except in my own dog who is prone to weeing when excited and hasn't been let out frequently enough- but she is a genetic disaster anyway and it wouldn't stop me doing it again.
I also could not be bothered to deal with seasons, not walking for weeks and potential leakage so this was another reason.
Again, personal choice but I would for me the risks are too great for me not too.
Well I have had a hysterectomy and will be forever grateful for it, so that answers that
I think it's becoming more common to not go for the blanket neutering approach, particularly for male dogs where the benefits are much less clear cut than for bitches. I also think vets are starting to not always recommend spaying/castration at the earliest opportunity so even when the intent to neuter is there the dogs do stay entire longer. I'd have kept my three boys entire (despite the fact they'll never be bred from) if I didn't have a bitch who, despite being spayed, drives entire dogs dolally. I would though always get a bitch spayed unless I was seriously campaining her (showing) and lots of other factors lined up to mean that I'd consider breeding from her. The benefits of spaying for bitches are much more obvious, reducing the risk of mammary cancer and completely removing the risk of pyometra.
However it's also becoming much more common for the average dog owner to want to breed and I think that has a bearing on a lot of people choosing not to get their dogs (particularly bitches) done.
Yes it did change my dogs personality and thank fuck it did! I have honestly never come across such a 'naughty' dog. We couldn't let him off the lead. Ever. He would chew anything that was left on the floor, wee on the carpet, hump anything that moved etc. Since the day he had the op 3 years ago he has not done any of these things. He is much more happy and chilled out.
As for would you like it done to you, well if I was never going to have more children then yes I would quite like my periods to stop! Especially if I couldn't interact with other humans every time I came on in case they might hump me!
There are various reasons not to dive straight in to neutering. Particularly in large breeds, incontinence is a known issue. Neutering reduces/removes some healths risks ... but increases others. In coated breeds like mine, coat care can become extremely difficult. I am convinced that the huge push for neutering and doing it early is a big reason for the drop in popularity of my breed in pet homes.
Managing in-season bitches is not a desperately difficult thing with a bit of common sense, as long as you don't have males at home (entire or not, some castrated males will still mate a bitch). Neutering/not neutering does not equate to breeding/not breeding.
For those reasons, I take the view that I do ensure bitches are neutered by about 7 or 8 years of age, as this is when pyometras become more likely. However, I do tend to wait until then, so that if the above issues do occur, then the time dealing with them is lessened.
Fortunately, vets don't seem to be quite as pushy about having bitches neutered before they have even matured enough to have a season these days. It was always strange to me that vets advocate spaying mid-cycle to lessen risk, but many were gung-ho about neutering bitches who hadn't had a season yet and could potentially have been just days from their first.
The only arguments I've heard re not neutering a bitch is more about when they are done ie early or after a few seasons. Mine was just over 2 when she was spayed, and had 3 seasons. The reason was I mistimed booking her in after her second season and it was too close to her next one. I've not seen any problems with her, but a friends dog was done after her first season (a lab) and she now needs to take pills as she was having wee accidents all the time It is something I had read about, but didn't really think about when mine was done. I was more worried about her having an adverse reaction to the anaesthetic.
Thanks all for your responses. We'll go ahead and I'm glad to see that the general consensus is the same as my thoughts, but thank you Whitney168 for your comments as I didn't know some of that info.
Harley - I agree with you about random park humping
With dogs it is up for discussion but not bitches. They need to be spayed. The risk of mammary cancer is horrendously high in unspayed bitches, plus there is risk of infection of the uterus, phantom pregnancies etc...
7 years ago we adopted an unspayed oldied. She was riddled with mammary tumours. So sad. Here is the poor little sausage after a double mammary strip.
In fact, my experiences with her prompted me to write a blog about breast cancer in dogs www.dfordog.co.uk/blog/dog-mammary-tumours-cancer.html
You can't really see in that pic but she was sewn up from top to tail like a bag of grain. She had to endure that op twice as it still came back.
Just a quick update: she was spayed today and has come back to us slightly doddery but in one piece! She's sleeping now and a bit shaky but has calm and warm blankets. Thanks again all for the advice.
LimeJellyHead I hope your girl is ok now, she certainly seems in good hands
Awww, that's good news. Warmth and security and she'll soon be grand. You did the right thing... no doubt about it.
Our Darcey passed away this summer at the grand age of about 15 years old. The last part of her life (with us) was lovely. She died a happy girl xxx
Aww Lime, that made me cry. 😢
What a lucky girl she was, to find you.
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