Neutering Of The Bitch - Bitch Spay / Ovario-hysterectomy
Common questions and answers
At what age should my bitch be neutered?
Bitches can be spayed from 5 months old. Some owners prefer to wait until after the first season. The operation is best done 12 weeks after the end of this season.
What if I want to breed from my bitch?
If you decide you would like to breed, we can only recommend that you look into the subject and consider your decision carefully. Breeding can be very rewarding, although a lot of time, effort and money can be needed. An inexperienced breeder may find they have taken on much more than they bargained for. Your local library should have books on the subject.
Why should I have my bitch neutered?
- Over her lifetime a bitch in season will have to be kept confined to the home for an average of 6 weeks a year for 13 years. Having her neutered allows her to have an extra 78 weeks or one and a half years active life!
- Neutering is the only way you can permanently prevent unwanted pregnancy and false pregnancy.
- Prevention of pyometra (pus in the womb) in later life
- If performed before the second season significantly reduces the risk of mammary tumours.
- Reduces the risk of diabetes mellitus.
Are there any side effects?
- Fluffy coat occurs in some breeds
- A very small percentage of bitches may develop urinary incontinence later in life. This is usually in the form of a small amount of “leaking” over night and can be controlled with medication.
I have heard that neutered bitches become fat.
Any dog fed more food than it needs for its lifestyle will put on weight regardless of whether it has been neutered or not. Neutered bitches have reduced calorie needs and sensible feeding and regular exercise will prevent weight gain after surgery.
Some people say that neutering my bitch will change her character.
Neutering your bitch should not change her character in any way. Bitches are neutered at an age when they are still young, they will continue to grow and develop physically and mentally as they would if they were not neutered.
Are there any risks involved?
Spay is the common term for ovario- hysterectomy, an operation to remove both ovaries and the uterus. This is performed under general anaesthetic. Any anaesthetic carries a slight risk to the patient and these risks may be increased if your bitch is old, ill or has any underlying conditions that we may not know about.
Risks can and are minimised by the use of up to date anaesthetic drugs which minimise side effects to the patient and a full health check by the vet prior to anaesthesia. Pre anaesthetic blood testing (optional), veterinary nurse assistance throughout the procedure and aftercare and cardiac and respiratory monitors from induction to recovery all help minimise the risks.
What happens on the day?
Your bitch will be admitted to the surgery early in the morning for the day. The vet will check her over for any signs of season or phantom pregnancy. If these are present the operation will be postponed. A health check will be performed and blood sample taken if requested. Once the blood results are checked, a pre medication drug will be given to relax her and prepare her for the anaesthetic. The operation will normally be performed between 10am and 2pm, although any emergency procedures that arrive that day may take priority. She will be observed throughout her recovery and kept in for the afternoon to rest. You will be asked to phone and given details of when to collect her.