Spaying Your Female Dog

Spaying your female dog is a surgical procedure to prevent your dog from roaming, looking and calling for a mate and having unwanted litters of puppies.

Spaying your female dog involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus. It also reduces sexual behaviour, prevents mammary and ovarian cancer and reduces the risk of phantom pregnancy. By removing the uterus and ovaries, you prevent an infection called pyometra.

Spaying Your Female Dog

Before Surgery

Our vets will perform a thorough clinical exam on your pet to ensure that they are in good health and fit for surgery. A medical history will also be taken. Our vets will ask you about any pre-existing conditions, vaccinations status and any previous anaesthesia. As each pet is different we may decide to run a pre-anaesthetic blood test, which gives us a clear indication of your pet’s overall health. We advise that your dog is fasted from 8 pm the night before the operation to prevent reflux of the stomach contents entering the lungs (pulmonary aspiration of the stomach content)

About the Operation

The procedure is quick. A sedative and pain relief is given prior to surgery to make your dog is comfortable and pain-free. It involves the removal of ovaries and uterus through a small incision on the midline. Your dog will have stitches in her skin that will have to be taken out 10-14 days after surgery.

When to Spay your Dog

We recommend spaying small dogs at 6 months before their first heat and large and giant breeds between 9-12 months; this is to let the skeleton to grow and form properly. It can be done later in life if you are planning for her to have a litter of pups however the risk of anaesthesia increases with age along with an increase in behavioural problems associated with your dog reaching sexual maturity. Spaying your dog early reduces the risk of mammary cancer. This risk increases with every heat she has.

What are the Risks?

With any type of surgical procedure, there is some risk involved. Our vet will carry out a full health check the morning of the procedure to ensure your dog is fit and healthy for surgery. Constant monitoring by our nurse during and after the surgery using the most up to date monitoring equipment ensures these risks are as low as possible.

Going Home

After surgery, your dog’s appetite is reduced. She may not want to eat her full dinner; this is normal but we do encourage her to eat a little. She may appear quieter than usual; this is perfectly normal and she should be back to normal the following day. We will carry out a post-operative check to make sure the wound is healing nicely and make sure there is no inflammation three days later.

She will need to have her stitches taken out 10-14 days after the surgery. Your pet will go home with a buster collar to prevent them licking at their stitches and it must stay on until the stitches are due out. However, if you are in any way worried about your dog don’t hesitate to contact us. You will need to keep your dog as quiet as possible while the stitches are in place. Any running or jumping could cause a stitch to burst which can result in a hernia; this usually needs another surgery to correct it.

Advantages

  • Prevents roaming for a mate
  • Reduces unwanted litters
  • Reduces sexual behaviour
  • Prevents an infection in the uterus called a pyometra
  • Prevents mammary and ovarian cancer
  • Reduces calling for a mate
  • Reduces the risk of phantom pregnancy

Disadvantages

Possibilities of weight gain so we do recommend reducing the food by 10%. There is a small risk of bitches developing urinary incontinence.

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