Spaying Your Dog Can Have Health Benefits, But Can It Also Be Dangerous? The Risks And Benefits Of Spaying Your Dog
Spaying is a common surgical procedure in dogs. It can have health benefits for your dog, but not without risk. What can you expect when getting your dog spayed? A spay is the colloquial term for an ovariohysterectomy. Pyometra is an infection of the uterus caused by uterine exposure to the hormone progesterone during diestrus. Pyometric pyometras often occur 2-3 months after a heat cycle. 1 in 4 intact female dogs will get a pyometra by the age of 10. Mammary tumors occur in 23-34% of intact male dogs. Half of all mammary tumors are malignant. Dogs who are spayed before the heat cycle have a much lower risk of developing a mammary tumor. Waiting to spay after multiple heat cycles reduces the benefit. False pregnancy is an unusual but non-life-threatening complication of the estrus cycle. The most common clinical symptom of false pregnancy are enlarged mammary glands. Breeds of which false pregnancy may be more common include Caucasian shepherds, German shepherd, mastiffs, and Rottweilers. Ovarian remnant syndrome occurs when there is still functional ovarian tissue after a dog is spayed. Treatment typically involves surgically removing the remaining ovarian tissue. Dogs suffering from ovarian remnant syndrome will show classic signs of heat. Dogs are given a 10-14 day exercise restriction after their spay. Dehiscence is when the incision fails to heal properly. It opens back up. It may require a second surgery and a second time under anesthesia for veterinary attention to clean out the open incision and re-open the surgery site. Urinary Incontinence is an involuntary loss of control. Bone growth varies in the dog. If a spaying is done before 6 months of age in large breed dogs, an increase in joint disorders have been observed in some studies. Most veterinary clinics will treat a Spay surgery as an ‘outpatient’ type of procedure. Elizabethan collars stop your dog from chewing the incisions. Your veterinarian can give you more insight about the risks and benefits of spaying your dog. Your Vet's goal is to improve your pet's health and help provide options to reduce health risks for your pet. .