Spaying my Sheltie - what to expect, etc

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Let's GO!!!!
Barked: Tue Oct 30, '07 3:49pm PST 
I'm not looking forward to the day I drop my little bundle of fluff off at the vet to be spayed. She's my first baby (first dog of my own) so I'm not sure what to expect for recovery time, changes in her behavoir

Any tips about the right age? I heard for Sheltie boys neutering at 1 yr is better than younger. Sadie will be about 7 months when I have her scheduled.

Lastly - is there any downside to not spaying? I mean, outside the obvious of watching her through heats and potential of an unplanned litter. A non-dog-owner friend asked me this and I was stumped for an answer.

Thanks in advance!

Barked: Tue Oct 30, '07 4:10pm PST 
Gio was neutered at 6 months, Romeo at 9 months.

I believe that if you do not plan on breeding or showing your dog, neutering/spaying earlier (6 months or older) is a better choice than leaving it later. Leaving a dog intact, whether male or female, allows for the development of less than pleasant habits. There are many behaviours that arise due to sex hormone production that, later in life, become more of a habit than a physiological compulsion. For example, a male dog left intact will begin seeking out females in heat ... this could mean digging or jumping to escape the yard, randomly deciding to go off exploring instead of listening to your commands, etc. If the dog is then neutered at a few years of age, those escape or seeking behaviours are more of a habit, so neutering will not necessarily stop them. The neutered dog may still have a desire to dig or jump or escape just because he has been doing it for years. Same goes with marking, dominance behaviour, and mate seeking.

Though of course there is a major training aspect associated with controlling those behaviours, but the need for that training is lessened when the hormone drivers are taken out of the mix before the bad behaviours are given a chance to develop.

There may also be health benefits to spaying and neutering, though the jury is still out on exactly what that entails. Some people will tell you risk of cancer increases with s/n, others will say it decreases. The trouble is that it is very difficult to control a scientific study on these sorts of situations that will account for all the variables associated with cancer development.

My personal opinion ... spay or neuter. Any time after 6 months is fine, though I prefer earlier instead of later to bring a halt to those bad behaviours before they start.

As for recovery time ... you will be told to keep the pup quiet for a while as the incision spot heals. That will be very difficult to do! Usually, the dog will be sore for a day or two, and then be right back to their normal puppy-self, jumping, bouncing and running. Crate the pup when you cannot supervise, don't let them run up or down stairs, or jump onto furniture. And keep an eye on the incision spot. Watch it for any redness or odd swelling.
Gray Dawn- Treader

Don't Tread on- me
Barked: Wed Oct 31, '07 10:46am PST 
Expect groginess. A little tired. (This may be what Gio posted, but I didn't have time to read his blog because I have to get off the web in a few minutes.)


Gone Too Soon - 1998-2005
Barked: Fri Nov 2, '07 10:52pm PST 
OK, here's a downside for you of not spaying besides behavior and puppies--PYOMETRA. Pyometra is a disease that can occur after a heat cycle, when a blockage can develop, causing poison to get into the system, much like appendicitis in humans. This disease is very serious and can kill a dog, and if it doesn't, it often is not caught early enough to not do permanent organ damage. I am sure that there is more information about this terrible disease online if you want to learn more. This disease does not occur in spayed females.

Brandy- (2/1994 - 1/2010)

Sleeping Beauty
Barked: Sat Nov 3, '07 2:47pm PST 
Brandy was about 6 months when she was spayed. We had to keep her on a leash when she was brought home (inside the house) because she was so hyper that we were afraid she would rip out her stitches.
Gray Dawn- Treader

Don't Tread on- me
Barked: Sat Nov 3, '07 3:07pm PST 
Let's not forget feminizing syndrome! That's what male dogs can get if not neutered. While they don't turn into a female, they become like a female, except they can't have puppies. The F syndrome makes an unuetered male dog grow nipples and become inheat (even atrcting ohter males!). I must have been neutered around 2 years because I mark. Mistress has even caught me humping Cookie sometimes.