It is difficult to pay attention to any other topic these days, but life does go on and familiar decisions must still be taken, and familiar feelings do resurface.
In the coming weeks we will try to explore different angles of pets and corona. Meantime…..
I know, there are so many good reasons to neuter your dog. We did it with Tongka. But…. I really resisted.
Its just so…….. unnatural!
Whatever you decide, we hope this guide helps.
Thank you so much,
Sidra, David and Tongka
Not sure if spaying or neutering your dog is a good idea?
Sterilization or castration is a very common practice in many countries and is considered by many experts as a responsible choice by dog owners who do not wish to deliberately reproduce their pet.
Here is some essential information on sterilization.
Sterilization (for females) or castration (for males) is a surgical procedure which makes the dog unable to reproduce. Typically, in females this surgery involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus and in males the removal of the testicles. The surgery is always performed under total anesthesia and requires a short recovery period, during which the dog needs special care.
A dog can be neutered – and in some cases it is advisable to do so – when we want to improve the dog’s health.
For example, if the dog has problems with prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate is quite frequent in mature age), it is preferred to castrate him to decrease the amount of testosterone that enlarges the prostate rather than eliminating the gland.
Another reason to castrate the dog is testicular neoplasms, which can cause pain by enlarging.
In addition to these clinical reasons, there is also the need to intervene on the behavior of the dog which in extreme cases can push for castration: the tendency to escape. In fact, there are dogs that do not just fall in love with a dog, especially during heat, but that take on harmful behaviors (cries constantly, licks on the ground, does not eat) and that, if not wisely followed, could cause damage to the same dog during his escape attempts.
Here it is necessary to castrate the dog to keep it more peaceful, less prone to escape.
What does castration involve from a behavioral point of view?
There is no doubt that testosterone acts as a behavior modulator and that males of many species react more impulsively to certain stimuli.
Castration does nothing but reduce the dog’s impulsive response, but does not cancel it.
A neutered dog will therefore have a higher “tolerance” threshold, determined in part by the absence of testosterone and in part by the psychological state of the moment, past experience and a myriad of other factors.
In short: the dog’s behavior can be traced back to its own characteristics (breed, background, experiences, educational skills of the owner ..) on which it impacts – in a more or less different way – the presence of the testicles.
There are some behavioral reasons that, duly discussed with a behavioral veterinarian, can lead to considering castration as a therapeutic strategy.
Castration works by reducing certain sexually dimorphic behaviors such as urinary marking, aggression towards male dogs and the tendency to go away from home.
Be careful though, the effects of castration can be very variable and strictly dependent on the age of the dog and the component (not manageable with the intervention) learned of these behaviors.
In fact, the belief that an aggressive dog can become calmer with castration is wrong. It is important to understand that castration will not be useful if education and training are not taken.
The sterilization of a female dog is certainly much more widespread than castration: the main reason is that the female risks becoming pregnant and giving birth to many puppies during her life.
For this reason, sterilization is used to avoid several dogs in your house and the recurring problem of having to find an adoptive family for newborns when you can not afford yourself.
In addition, the health of the dog must be taken into account. In fact, a female dog can become pregnant every 6 months. It is a common opinion of veterinarians that the dog should have one or two litters throughout its life because many pregnancies could weaken her and give rise to serious health problems.
However, the reasons for bringing your dog to sterilize, can be other.
It must be considered that, after sterilization, the period of heat disappears, as well as menstrual losses. It also significantly reduces the chance of male dogs entering your garden to mark the area when your female pet is in heat.
But the benefits don’t end there: female dog sterilization also protects the pet from any problems related to the ovaries and breast cancer.
Furthermore, the sterilization of a female is also an altruistic decision. In fact, sterilization is common in kennels that host stray dogs, to prevent them from reproducing and therefore increasing the number of dogs without a home. So, unless you’re considering breeding pedigree dogs, sterilizing a female means having fewer puppies to place, so as to offer existing dogs greater opportunity to be adopted.
If you have decided to sterilize your dog, you should do it before puberty, or around 6-9 months of age. Large and giant breeds mature later than smaller dogs, therefore puberty will also reach a slightly older age. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best time to do this on your puppy.
It is important not to sterilize the dogs before three months of age, as this could lead to complications for their health. However, getting the puppy spayed before the age of four can reduce the risk of uterine infection.
Also, remember that pregnancies in old age are dangerous for the dog, therefore, if you have not sterilized the dog when she was young, you could do it later, to reduce the associated risks.
Compared to male castration, sterilization of the female requires a little more attention in the post-operative course. Even if the most recent surgical techniques have greatly reduced the days of convalescence, the dog will have to remain in absolute rest for 48 hours and gradually resume normal activities.
In addition, the spayed dog can suffer from urinary incontinence especially in certain breeds, which manifests itself as urine leaks during sleep. The condition is controllable with drugs, effective if administered continuously or in cycles.
As your vet will explain, a series of changes occur in the dog’s body after sterilization or castration. Such changes may be more evident in males. Sterilization will not change the dog’s personality, but will change its behavior related to sex hormones. Many owners also note that after sterilization, their dogs tend to be more relaxed.
In addition to the hormonal changes described above, metabolic changes may also occur. Due to the slower metabolism, dogs have a greater tendency to gain weight after sterilization. It is therefore important to pay special attention to their nutritional needs to make sure they don’t become overweight.
If you decide to sterilize your pet, it is essential that you are aware of his changed nutritional needs. After the operation, your dog can gain weight in a few weeks or a few months. It is important to talk to your vet about the weight it should have and how to regulate food intake taking into account sterilization. You should therefore offer food designed for sterilized dogs, able to guarantee the right nutritional balance.
Sterilizing the dog is an operation with few risks. Today’s surgical techniques are much less invasive than many years ago. However, each dog is different and each breed is different. It is important to speak with the vet who can assess the situation on a case-by-case basis.
Although there is an ideal age for operating the dog, you can sterilize an adult dog under veterinarian’s advice.
Remember that sterilization is not a method of solving all dog behavioral problems.
After sterilization the dog undergoes metabolic changes to be taken into account. In fact, it is necessary to adjust meals both in quality and quantity.