Dog Health & More
Tuesday April 3rd, 2012
A spay surgery prevents dogs from getting pregnant by removing both the ovaries and the uterus. It's not as simple as the neuter surgery the guys get--in fact, it's major surgery--but your darling girl will only be affected for a few days, maybe a week. Afterward, she'll enjoy many health benefits and neither of you will have to deal with her being in heat. Can you say, "freedom"?
Unless you plan to responsibly breed your female, spay her. Think you can just keep away unwanted suitors? Even experienced breeders get "oops" litters: dogs will jump gates, bolt through doors, dig under fences, and jump out of cars to mate. Like teenagers going to the prom, when dogs with raging hormones get together at the wrong time, you could have undesirable consequences.
The benefits to your dog are considerable:
Remember, unspayed female dogs go into heat about once every eight months and it lasts for as long as three weeks each time. And they don't go into menopause. They regularly go into heat for their entire lives--unless they're spayed.
She can be spayed any time after eight weeks of age, and preferably before her first heat for the best health benefits. The first heat cycle occurs somewhere around six months of age, depending on the breed.
Presurgical blood work is usually offered to make sure your dog is healthy enough for surgery and doesn't have any unknown conditions that would affect the choice of anesthesia. Typically, young and healthy dogs don't need it, but it's a good idea to have a baseline reference for future blood work.
Follow the directions your clinic gives, but generally speaking the dog should not eat for at least eight hours before the surgery, because the anesthesia can cause nausea. Some veterinarians ask you to stop all food starting at midnight the night before the surgery. Drinking water beforehand is fine, however.