by Ms. Dany Canino
SOME ANSWERS TO THAT IMPORTANT QUESTION
WHAT IS SPAYING? "A surgical procedure in which the uterus and ovaries are removed from the female animal.
WHEN SHOULD IT BE DONE? "Preferably before the first heat cycle or even as early as 4 months.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE? The procedure involves identifying, isolating, and ligating (suturing) the vessels to the two ovaries so they can be safely removed. Then the vessels to the uterus itself are identified, isolated, and ligated. The layers of tissue under the skin incision is closed with an absorbable suture material and the skin incision is closed with a suture material that needs to be removed in approximately 10 days.
SHOULD SHE GO THROUGH ONE HEAT CYCLE FIRST? This is a misnomer in that; most people are of the belief that if the female doesn´t go through one heat cycle before being spayed she will be stunted in growth. Truth is that your animal´s size is determined by its genetic makeup. It´s not going to be bigger if you don´t spay nor smaller if you do.
SHOULD I CONSIDER BREEDING MY FEMALE FIRST? This one is multi-faceted in answer. Making the decision to bring puppies into the world carries with it a lifetime responsibility. You have to be prepared to be with, and care for, those pups until they are old enough to go to new homes, and then you have to make sure that their new home is a valid, safe one where the pup will be able to live out its life.
There are many breeds of dogs that are affected by different genetic problems. You would have to be a professional breeder to know what all of these defects are and, therefore not breed certain animals that have these defects. You would have to know what the two dog´s family trees are, and how to read them. If you purchased your dog from a pet shop it probably originally came from a puppy mill. That means that the genetic makeup of this dog will be hard to trace because puppy mills oftentimes breed brother to sister and mother to son, but they don´t always "fess up to this" and papers are quite often doctored up. That´s why the American Kennel Club has had to close so many of these places down. Without the necessary genetic background you would have no idea what problems you might be bringing into the world of dogs. The same applies if your dog is a mixed breed. You´d have no way of knowing what that dog´s genetic background really is. Therefore, how would you know which dog would be safe to breed to?
WILL MY FEMALE GET FAT IF I SPAY HER? There is no reason for your female to gain weight after being spayed. As long as you feed her normally, (not too high in protein or fat, and not too many snacks) and if you give her some exercise she should remain slim and trim. Hormonal changes in your dog´s body offer no bearing for weight gain. Owners are responsible for their dogs weight.
HOW SOON AFTER BEING SPAYED CAN I EXERCISE HER? The day after your female is spayed she can be taken for a nice easy walk. By the 2nd day you can resume her obedience work if she is in training. By the 3rd day you´ll begin to notice that your female is acting perfectly normal again and by the end of the week you and she can resume doing all the normal things you´ve always done together.
WILL MY FEMALE RESENT BEING SPAYED? She won´t even know it´s been done. Female dogs are not like human females. They don´t have a biological clock ticking and, they don´t ever miss not being a mother.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE VALID REASONS FOR SPAYING MY FEMALE? One of the main reasons for spaying your female is for her health. When a female is spayed you drastically reduce her chances of having certain types of cancer such as; uterine cancer, mammary gland cancer, and ovarian cancer. If spayed before her first heat cycle she has a 0.5% chance of developing mammary tumors. After the first heat cycle her chances rise to 8% (16 times more). After the second heat cycle her chances rise to 26% (52 times more). Considering these statistics, it would stand to reason that spaying your female could prolong her life.
Another valid reason would be to prevent her from accidentally getting bred. The neighborhood "Romeo" whose owners have not had him neutered doesn´t visit a spayed female. A spayed female doesn´t turn your white carpet or bedspread into a multi-colored painting.
Every year millions of puppies and unwanted adult dogs are put to sleep at animal shelters. These animals are a direct result of people that wanted their female dog, (or their children) to experience "birth" just once or, they just wanted that "one puppy" that would be just like their dog. Genetically speaking, the only way that you can be guaranteed that puppies out of your female would look just like momma is to breed your dog to itself. Any dog you choose to breed her to will bring into the breeding his own genetic makeup. Therefore, the resulting pups may not be anything like your female. Sometimes people want to breed just because friends and neighbors have said they would love to have a dog just like yours.
NONE OF THESE REASONS ARE VALID ENOUGH REASONS TO BREED YOUR FEMALE.
If you bought your dog from a professional breeder and this dog was sold to you as a "pet/non breeding stock" you need to spay her. If she was purchased as a potential show dog, you need to contact your breeder for a re-evaluation of your dog in order to make a valid decision.
All things considered, you should leave the breeding of dogs to the professional. A spayed dog can still be shown in Obedience, Tracking, Agility, and as a Registered Therapy Dog.
I hope this question and answer article will help you to make a conscious decision. Feel free to discuss this important decision with your Veterinarian, because next to you, (he´s) your dog´s best friend. If you´re still undecided, have your female evaluated by a professional breeder of your breed to see if your dog is worthy of being shown and also being bred. If your dog turns out to be an exceptional specimen, you should show her so that she can prove she´s able to defeat dogs of her kind. Only then, and only with proper guidance should your female be bred. She has to prove that she, and/or her pedigree are worthy of being reproduced.