The Doctors: When Is the Best Time To Have a Dog Fixed?
Nicole is a new pet owner who recently adopted an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy named Toby. She wrote in to The Doctors because she wanted to know when the best time to get Toby neutered is. Should she wait until he hits puberty or do it while he is still a puppy?
The Doctors called on the help of veterinarian Dr. Courtney Campbell to take on the question.
Reasons To Have a Dog Spayed Early – Prevents Mammory Cancer
Dr. Campbell said it comes down t0 the dog and the type of breed the dog is. He said there have been to few studies on different breeds of dogs to determine the absolute best time for each breed but he suggested getting Toby neutered while he is a puppy because it will stop him from roaming, vocalizing too much and marking his territory with his scent. For female puppies, Dr. Campbell said the most important reason to get them spayed early is because it greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer in dogs.
“If you see mammory cancer in a dog who was spayed early her life, it would be super, super rare,” Campbell said.
One of the biggest reasons to have a dog fixed early in their life is to stop unwanted pregnancies. According to Dr. Campbell, millions of dogs are euthanized each year because of unwanted pregnancies.
While all those are good reasons to have the dog spayed or neutered when they are young, Dr. Campbell said recent studies have shown waiting until the dog is 8 to 12 months before fixing them can prevent other types of cancer. He said what it really comes down to is talking with your veterinarian to make the best possible decision for the dog.
How Veterinarians Neuter a Dog
A lot of pet owners probably worry what happens to their dog when they drop the dog off to be neutered so Dr. Campbell explained how it works with both male and female dogs.
For the male dog, he said they will first check the dog to make sure he is healthy then take a blood sample to make sure the anesthesia will work. Next, they make a small incision in the abdomen and remove the testes and a few blood vessels.
For female dogs, the same steps are taken expect the entire genital tract for the female dog is removed through the abdomen.
Dogs Do Not Go Through Menopause
Dr. Jennifer Ashton wanted to know if the dogs will go through menopause after being fixed and Dr. Campbell said they do not. They will go through the cycle for the rest of their lives if they are not spayed but they will never reach menopause. Although the dog might exhibit symptoms like weight gain, with five percent of dogs getting incontinence, Dr. Campbell said you won’t see any of the other symptoms.