Historically, working dogs haven't been desexed for two reasons: to see if they will be good workers and potential breeding stock; and the belief that they will become ‘lazy' after neutering. The former is certainly true, but the latter has no scientific backing, and neutering can offer many advantages - in both the health of your dogs and with management issues.
Pet dogs are usually desexed at 6 months of age but there is no reason why we can't neuter working dogs later in life, after they have proven themselves to be superb dogs or merely average. As long as they are otherwise healthy we are happy to do routine desexing up to 6 years of age.(We can still desex at a later age, however pre-anaesthetic bloodwork is recommended to rule out underlying disease that may make an anaesthetic risky).
ADVANTAGES OF DESEXING BITCHES
- Bitches won't come on heat - so no mismatings, and less bitches on heat means less time shut up or being watched like a hawk. And once one bitch comes on heat all the others tend to follow!
- Mammary tumours are less common in speyed bitches
- Less time lost with bitches out of work due to unwanted pregnancies
- No risk of pyometra
- No false pregnancies or vaginal prolapses
- Risk of constipation is reduced - bitches that are prone to constipation often get worse at the time of heat
- No mismating injections - the cost of mismating drugs is now very high - around $240 for a 20kg bitch
Females have a different metabolic rate after desexing and may put on weight more easily - this might be a benefit for some of those dogs that are hard to keep condition on! If they are already ‘good do-ers', then simply be prepared to feed less.
Older bitches (>8 years) that get in pup are more at risk of developing whelping problems - uterine inertia (lack of contractions), dead pups, milk fever etc.
Bitches that have been accidentally mated can still be desexed in early pregnancy, four weeks after they have finished their heat.
ADVANTAGES OF DESEXING DOGS
- Reduced risk of prostate disease and testicular tumours
- Reduced risk of constipation due to enlarged prostate
- Reduced territorial aggression, fewer bite wounds
Young, healthy male dogs can be neutered any time.
DISADVANTAGES OF DESEXING DOGS
- While we take every care, there is always some risk associated with general anaesthetics and surgery
- The desexing procedure is irreversible - so no going back!
- Convalescence following surgery - bitches and dogs will both need to be rested for 10 days following surgery until the sutures are removed.
If you have any questions about desexing or other health matters, please feel free to contact us at the Feilding clinic.