If she is spayed after her first season but
before approximately 2 years old, the chance of her developing
such cancers is dramatically reduced but not fully eliminated.
The other major health advantage is the prevention
of pyometra a potentially life-threatening womb infection
which commonly affects older unspayed bitches. If a pyometra
develops, emergency hysterectomy must be performed, and
poses greater anaesthetic risks than when a young, healthy
bitch is routinely spayed.
Other advantages to spaying are the prevention
of false pregnancies and obviously unwanted
real pregnancies! And there will be no seasons, so owners
will not need to spend 3 weeks out of every six months seeing
off all the local amorous male dogs!
The potential down sides of spaying are that
spayed bitches are more likely to develop urinary incontinence
problems, and are more likely to gain weight. Both of these
complications can be addressed with medication for
the former, and strict diet control for the latter!
Thus, although there are positives and negatives
to spaying, the positives mean that common life threatening
diseases can be prevented.
Gemma was recently presented to
us with symptoms of a uterine infection (lethargy, vomiting,
increased thirst and a vaginal discharge). She was anaesthetized
and spayed as an emergency, and has fortunately gone on
to make an excellent recovery. No wonder shes smiling
Young BVSc CertSAM MRCVS.
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