What is spay or neuter?

This is a topic that I am sure is going to get quite the criticism. Everyone is going to have a different opinion on this subject. But since I am a breeder I have unaltered males and females. I start working with my dog at a young age and it helps me in keeping my dogs on their best behavior. I’m not going to say it is easy but it can be done. Some dogs are harder than others but all can be successful if you give them a great foundation and continued education. I think of it of giving them the keys to succeeding instead of setting them up to fail. This is my theory for almost everything I do with my dogs. If you ever need help I believe that each dog is also going to let you know as an owner when the right time will be.  I am always willing to talk to all my customers about any issues you may feel must do with Spaying or neutering behavior. I have long felt that doing the early spay/neuters that so many rescues and shelters push is SO harmful to the animals to which it’s done, and here is some documentation. I am all for using surgical sterilization to control the breeding of unwanted or mix breed pets, and purebred puppies sold to “pet” homes, but I urge people not to rush to have this done too early.

Although reproductive hormones cause mating behaviors that may be undesirable for many pet owners, these hormones also affect your pet’s overall health and can be beneficial. Removing your pet’s ovaries or testes removes these hormones and can result in increased risk of health problems such as urinary incontinence and some types of cancer. Talk to your veterinarian about the benefits and risks of the sterilization procedure so you can make an informed decision.

Surgical sterilization
During surgical sterilization, a veterinarian removes certain reproductive organs.

  • Ovariohysterectomy, or the typical “spay”: the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus are removed from a female dog or cat. This makes her unable to reproduce and eliminates her heat cycle and breeding instinct-related behavior.
  • Orchiectomy, or the typical “neuter”: the testes are removed from a male dog or cat. This makes him unable to reproduce and reduces or eliminates male breeding behaviors.

Surgical alternatives to traditional spaying and neutering
The procedures described above are the surgical procedures routinely used to spay or neuter dogs, but some pet owners opt for one of these alternatives:

  • Hysterectomy: the uterus and part of the fallopian tubes are removed from a female dog or cat. This makes her unable to reproduce, but her ovaries remain and will produce hormones.  This may not eliminate the dog or cat’s behaviors associated with the breeding instinct.
  • Vasectomy: only the vas deferens, which conducts sperm from the testes, are removed. This procedure makes the dog or cat unable to reproduce, but his testes remain and will produce hormones. This may not eliminate the dog or cat’s behaviors associated with the breeding instinct.
  • Ovariectomy: the ovaries are removed from a female dog or cat, but the uterus remains. Similar to ovariohysterectomy, this makes her unable to reproduce and eliminates her heat cycle and breeding instinct-related behavior.

The Benefits of Spay/Neuter at Younger Age for both Male and Female

  • Surgery and anesthesia times are shorter
  • Faster recovery from anesthesia and healing
  • Fewer surgical complications

Now for the Risks
Male and Female:

  • 3 to 4 times higher risk of bone cancer if sterilized before maturity (dog finished growing)
  • Greater risk of hip dysplasia if sterilized before 5 months of age
  • Greater risk of ALC ruptures if sterilized before maturity
  • Risk of uneven bone growth that may lead to altered conformation and increased stress on bones and joints if sterilized before maturity

Female:

  • 2-5 times greater risk of blood-vessel cancer of heart or spleen (hemangiosarcoma)
  • Greater risk of urinary tract infections caused by immature genatalia
  • Greater risk of urinary incontinence, especially if spayed before 3 months

Male:

  • Nearly doubled risk of blood-vessel cancer of heart (hemangiosarcoma)
  • 2-4 times greater risk of prostate cancer (yes, you read that right!)

Although reproductive hormones can cause mating behaviors that may be undesirable for many pet owners, these hormones also affect your pet’s overall health and can be beneficial. Removing your pet’s ovaries or testes removes these hormones and can result in increased risk of health problems such as urinary incontinence and some types of cancer. I believe that if you train your dog and have your dog’s respect you will find it easier than neutering or spaying our Aussie. Please talk to your veterinarian about the benefits and risks of the sterilization procedure so you can make an informed decision.

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