Question: I just got a new puppy! I’m thinking about having her spayed, but I’m very nervous about the procedure. When is the best time to have it done? Someone told me to wait until she is at least one year old or even let her have a litter of puppies first. They said that waiting will help calm her down. Will she get fat after surgery? What should I do?
Answer: That is a great question! There are lots of good reasons to have your new pet spayed. Here are my top five:
1. Help control the pet over-population. There are many unwanted dogs out there due to “accidental” litters.
2. Help prevent “pyometra” or uterine infections. These infections can be fatal without intervention in the form of costly emergency surgery and medical therapy.
3. Prevent certain types of cancer (such as mammary cancer) later in life. Having your pet spayed before her first heat cycle reduces the risk of these types of cancer by 93%! If you wait until after the first heat cycle, but before the second heat cycle, the risk is still reduced by 75%.
4. Younger animals heal more quickly after surgery and have fewer complications.
5. Spaying can actually have positive behavior benefits. Females that are not spayed can have more erratic, aggressive or moody behaviors. These can occur especially around the time of her heat cycles.
It is important to remember that spaying and neutering your pet may slightly decrease their natural metabolism. Weight gain can be avoided by regular exercise and close monitoring of their diet.
In conclusion, we recommend spaying (and neutering) your pets between 4 and 6 months of age. Pipestone Veterinary Services thoroughly examines all of our patients immediately prior to surgery, and use the safest anesthetic drugs and monitoring techniques. We also recommend blood-work that will check for any conditions that may put your pet more as risk for going under anesthesia. All of these things will help minimize her risk to the lowest possible level. Don’t hesitate to ask your vet what their normal procedures are.