Spaying Your Dog – Benefits, Surgery and Recovery

by Reena Bakir
spaying your dog benefits

The decision of spaying your dog is an important one to consider for any owner with a female dog who is nearing the age of maturity. Spaying your dog helps limit the number of unwanted puppies brought into the world, as well as keeps your dog healthy and safe from any complications and risks that come with pregnancy.

To fully understand the importance of spaying your dog, you must first understand the benefits it holds, the process of surgery and recovery, as well as the cost of the entire procedure.

What are the benefits?

spaying your dog benefits cost recovery

Spaying refers to the process of neutering or ‘fixing’ a female dog by removing her ovaries and uterus in order to stop her from going into heat or becoming pregnant. The surgery is often done between the ages of 8 weeks to 6 months before a female can enter her first heat cycle, but it can be done after. The benefits of the surgery are:

  • Prevents unwanted pregnancy. One of the clear benefits of spaying your dog is that she will no longer be able to become pregnant with puppies. Not only does this save her from many pregnancy-related complications, but it also limits the number of unwanted puppies brought into the world which you as an owner may not be ready to care for.
  • Stops heat periods. When a female dog begins to reach the age of maturity, she experiences what is called a ‘heat period’, which usually lasts for 2-3 weeks and occurs twice a year. When on these periods, your dog will have a bloody discharge which can stain on floors, carpets and furniture. The genitals area will also swell and begin emitting an unpleasant odour.
  • Lessens risk of breast cancer. If your dog is spayed before the age of 2 and a half years, she is less likely to develop mammary tumours and thus less at risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Improves overall behaviour. Spaying your dog would remove their need to ‘roam’, which refers to them straying far in search for a mate during heat season. Moreover, pets that are spayed are more likely to be more relaxed, limiting the likelihood of aggressive behaviour that is often caused by hormones.

The Surgery

It must be kept in mind that the surgery process for spaying a female dog is much more complicated than that for neutering males and is considered a major surgery. The cost of surgery can reach over £200, depending largely on the size of your dog, which is also a reason to get your dog spayed as early as possible!

Before your dog can go into surgery, your vet will probably conduct blood tests to make sure your dog is healthy enough. Dogs that are younger are typically less at risk of any complications and can recover faster than older dogs.

Your dog will be put under sedatives before the surgery begins, putting her under anaesthetics for the entire process. The spaying process is an ‘ovariohysterectomy’, a surgery which includes the removal of your dog’s uterus and ovaries. The vet will begin by making a small incision in your dog’s stomach and the reproductive organs will be removed through it, then the incision will be closed again with surgical glue or stitches.

Recovery

spaying your dog recovery

After-care for your dog after her surgery is crucial in making the recovery process quick and comfortable. You can discuss the administration of painkillers with your vet, but do not attempt to give your dog anything by your own judgement!

In order to stop your pet from biting or picking at her incisions, which will probably be itchy and sore for the next week, an Elizabethan collar can be put around their neck. After her surgery, your dog will feel disoriented and nauseous, so make sure you prepare a comfortable and safe sleeping area for her upon her return home, as he will be needing good rest. Make sure the space your dog is left in has no risks of injury, and don’t allow her to jump onto high furniture as jumping may tear at the incisions. Try to handle your pet as little as possible to avoid irritating her stitches.

When it comes to feeding, do not give your dog food or drink immediately after the surgery as she would still be feeling nauseous and might end up vomiting. Ask your vet when you can start feeding your dog again.

Do not bathe your dog or allow them to go swimming for at least two weeks after the surgery to avoid infection of the incisions.

If you see any odd swelling or discharge from the incisions appear after the surgery, you should consult your vet immediately to make sure your dog is not experiencing any infections or torn stitches!

 

 

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