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Ask the vet

PUBLISHED: 19:56 15 July 2016 | UPDATED: 19:56 15 July 2016

English Cocker Spaniel puppies, three weeks old

English Cocker Spaniel puppies, three weeks old

Silense

Andrew Wills, veterinary surgeon and owner at Toachim House Veterinary Surgery, on spaying your dog

Q: I’m a bit worried about spaying my dog – can you advise?

There are many different points of view with regards to spaying your dog. These can vary from person to person, and even practice to practice. At Toachim House we like to keep it simple, and ultimately we want to do the best for your dog.

Neutering female dogs, although done routinely, is a very serious operation. This is why we only perform laparoscopic (keyhole) spays. We believe it is a safer and the far better option for you and your pet. While in season (three weeks) your pet must be kept away from all unneutered male dogs, unless a pregnancy is planned. There is the obvious mess that inevitably will come with a season.

Pregnancy in young females can be very traumatic for them, as their bodies are not fully developed. Every time a female has a season, the chance of mammary tumours is increased by four times. Even after the first season a young female can develop a pyometra (infected womb), which is a life-threatening condition. This would require emergency surgery to remove the infected uterus, which can be costly.

A female dog doesn’t have to have a season or a litter of puppies before she is neutered. If you wish to breed from your dog, that is completely your choice, however, there are many dogs already looking for homes in the crowded rescue centres.

We would always advise having homes lined up for any new arrivals as litters can be anything from one puppy to five or six plus! As with castration, weight gain can be an issue after spaying, however regular exercise and weight checks will help keep an eye on your dog’s size and weight.

The benefits of keyhole spays include less invasive surgery, as only two very small incisions are made, causing far less discomfort than traditional spays. There will be less need for restricted exercise afterwards, making it ideal for lively, bouncy dogs. Shorter anaesthetic time and quicker recovery from the operation makes it a safer procedure. Neutering your dog is completely your choice as an owner, but we recommend neutering your dog, male or female, at around six months. w

If you would like more information about keyhole surgery or you would like to see testimonials from owners, call us on 01795 531313.

www.thvs.co.uk

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