Close X

Home ยป Lifestyle

Should I Have my Dog Spayed?

Love to read your Q&A. I have a two-year-old Pekinese. She has not been spayed. No pups. Should I have her spayed? Thanks Ursula. Ursula...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  May 3rd 2009


Love to read your Q&A. I have a two-year-old Pekinese.
She has not been spayed. No pups. Should I have
her spayed? Thanks Ursula.

Ursula
Cape Town, South Africa

Until recently it was an article of faith among veterinarians that spaying and neutering dogs and cats is always in their best interest. That faith has been shaken somewhat in recent years, but it is my opinion that the benefits of spaying your dog likely will outweigh the possible negative factors.

Spaying your dog will eliminate her risk of pregnancy, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer. She will be less likely to get lost or be struck by a vehicle while seeking trysts. She will be less likely to be injured in fights or while mating. Spaying your dog will prevent her from contracting sexually transmitted diseases (it’s true–dogs can catch VD!). She will be less likely to suffer from a common and deadly infection of the uterus (or remnants of the uterus) called pyometra.

Dogs that are spayed before their first heat cycle have their risk of breast cancer reduced by nearly 100%. It is too late for your dog to reap this benefit, but it is an important piece of information.

Be aware that spaying is not completely risk free. Spayed dogs may be at higher risk of obesity and urinary incontinence. Some studies have linked surgical sterilization to increased rates of knee injuries (although not in Pekingese) and certain types of cancer. The surgery itself carries a very slight risk of complications.

Like so many things in life, the benefits of spaying your dog must be weighed against the risks. In my experience, the benefits of the procedure decisively outweigh the risks for the vast majority of dogs. I suspect that yours is among them. If you’re not planning on breeding her, then I would recommend that you have her spayed.