When should I spay/neuter my dog?
Spay and Neuter surgery involves permanently removing the reproductive organs and sex hormones of the female and male dog to eliminate the chance of producing unwanted litters.
In cats, because of significant behavior issues, surgery is typically recommended between 4-6 months of age. This not only prevents unwanted kittens from being born, but can eliminate unpleasant marking (spraying) behavior in the male cat.
With dogs, however, the answer is “it depends”. There are several studies now outlining significant benefits associated with retaining sex hormones for longer than the typical 6-8 months of age which is when most dogs were commonly neutered/spayed. There can be health benefits associated with delaying this surgery to allow a puppy to fully mature, have their growth plates close in a normal fashion and potentially decrease the incidences of injuries and even certain types of Cancer. With this decision comes a responsibility to keep these animals under close supervision so as not to allow them an opportunity to run off leash outside of a proper enclosure. Dr Mary welcomes the opportunity to have this discussion with each individual client to make sure that the decision you make is right for your dog and your family. We believe in educating our clients and will make every effort to help you make decisions that will be in the best interest of the long term health and happiness of both you and your pet along the way. Please feel free to read a few articles on the topic of spay/neuter and feel free to discuss this with us at your next visit.
One recommended article written by Dr Chris Zink DVM,phD, DACVP,DACVSMR can be viewed here. Her thought provoking article is worth reading.
There are other options we offer to those who wish to prevent their dog from reproducing, yet still retaining potential beneficial hormones. We welcome discussion on Ovary Sparing Surgery (OSS) for the female dog.