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Veterinary Surgery: Spaying and Neutering in Dogs

Veterinary Surgery: Spaying and Neutering in Dogs

Reproductive surgery is an important part of preventive pet care, but what do you need to know about it? Here, our Nashua vets talk about what to expect with preventive veterinary surgery and how spaying and neutering your dog can help protect their health.

Spaying or neutering your dog, while being an elective surgical procedure, offers a number of benefits for your pup.

According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), around 6.5 million animals enter rescue systems or shelters across the United States each year. Did you know that less than half of these pets are successfully adopted each year.

Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the best ways to do your part to reduce the number of unplanned puppies born each year and lighten the load of shelters and rescues.

The Difference Between Spaying and Neutering Dogs

Neutering Your Male Dog

Neutering is often called castration and it involves the removal of both testicles from your male dog along with the associated internal structures. Once the procedure has been performed and the necessary recovery period has passed, your dog will be unable to father any puppies.

There are alternative options, like vasectomies, for male dogs. However, these options aren't usually performed. 

Spaying Your Female Dog

Spaying describes the removal of a female dog's reproductive organs, either by an ovariectomy (removing the ovaries) or an ovariohysterectomy (the removal of the uterus and ovaries).

Once your female dog has been spayed, she will no longer go into heat and will be unable to conceive puppies.

When should you bring your dog in for preventive veterinary surgery?

When deciding which age you should bring your dog in to be fixed, you will want to take a number of factors into consideration. Both procedures can be performed on puppies as young as a couple of months old. Traditionally, puppies are fixed by the time they are 4 to 6 months of age.

The timing of a spay or neuter for your dog will depend on many different things. Larger dogs mature slower than medium or smaller ones so they should be fixed later. Many vets recommend that females be spayed before they enter their first heat cycle. And, if you have adopted male and female puppies about the same age, have them spayed and neutered both before the female's first heat.

Your vet will be able to give you recommendations on the time frame for your dog's reproductive surgery based on their specific situation and needs. They will conduct a full physical exam and consult your dog's medical history before conducting the procedure to minimize the risk of complications.

Benefits of Spay and Neuter Pet Surgery in Nashua

Did you know that the benefits of spaying or neutering your dog go well beyond preventing unwanted puppies?

A spayed dog will have a reduced risk of developing mammary cancer and pyometra, two potentially life-threatening conditions. While it is not always the case, generally having your female dog spayed will put a stop to your female pup's instinctive breeding behaviors.

A neutered dog will have a decreased risk of testicular cancer as well as cut back on several undesirable behaviors. These include aggression, humping, howling, and roaming. All of this can help to prevent unfortunate events such as fights with other dogs or being struck by a vehicle.

Are there any risks associated with dog spay and neuter surgery?

While these surgeries and quite common and safe, they still should be performed by an experienced and qualified vet, as there is some small risk involved. This risk is not specific to spay and neuter surgeries. any surgery that involves anesthesia will have similar risks.

How to Help Your Dog Recover From Spay or Neuter Surgery

Your vet will recommend specific pain management and post-operative care for you to provide for your pup after surgery, but here are some general rules to keep in mind while your dog recovers.

  • Refrain from bathing your dog for at least 10 days following surgery.
  • For up to two weeks after the procedure, prevent your dog from running, jumping, or undertaking other strenuous activities.
  • Check your dog’s incision daily to ensure it’s healing correctly. Contact your vet if you notice swelling, redness, or discharge.
  • Keep your dog inside and away from other animals as they heal.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog or puppy scheduled for a spay or neuter surgery? Contact our Nashua vets to learn more about how to prepare for their procedure.

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