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Desexing your dog

此資訊已過期,不保證資訊準確性 更新於: 2008-11-18 刊登者: taiwaiexotic

Desexing your dog

Desexing or “spaying” of female dogs is an important routine surgery. We strongly recommend that all female dogs should be desexed, unless in exceptional circumstances. The scientific name for desexing a female dog is called “ovario-hysterectomy”, which means surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus.

This operation is performed with your dog under general anaesthetic and your dog will not feel pain during the surgery. After surgery, injectable and/or oral pain-killers will be given to minimize post-surgical pain.

Why should we desex female dogs?

1. Socio-ethical reasons

If you do not intend to breed from your dog, it is best to have her desexed to prevent unwanted pregnancies and puppies. If you just want to have the “fun” or the ‘educational’ experience of witnessing the birth and rearing of puppies, please think twice. You may just be contributing to the surplus of unwanted pet dogs.

Try visiting the dog kennels in AFCD or SPCA. There are too many stray and abandoned dogs awaiting euthanasia! If you really want to breed from your dog, ensure you could find a good home for each of the puppies and be prepared for a lot of hard work and commitment. 

2. Medical reasons

a. Womb infection ( uterine infection or “pyometron”)

This is a very common and serious problem in older female dogs. Infection of the uterus or “pyometron”, which means “pus in uterus”, is almost usually fatal if untreated. The tendency for dogs to develop pyometra is related to their unique reproductive hormonal cycle. 

Most uterine infection occurs 4-8 weeks after a heat period, and signs include vomiting, increased water intake, poor appetite and dullness. Dogs that have uterine infection just look very sick. In some cases, the belly may swell up due to the increased uterine size (full of pus!) or you may see discharges from the vagina.  

Diagnosing and treating uterine infection is expensive and stressful (to the dog, the owners and the vets!). X-ray, blood tests, ultrasounds are required for diagnosis and IV drips, antibiotics, and surgery are usually required to treat your dog. Your dog will be required to be hospitalized. Surgery involves removing the uterus and ovaries – desexing. Despite intensive treatment and surgery, your dog may still die, as uterine infection could lead to blood poisoning (“sepsis”) and kidney failure. Surgery to remove the uterus – though could save her – is risky when her condition is poor with the infection. So don’t wait till this happens – have her desexed when she is healthy!

b. Mammary cancer

As in humans, there are some dogs which are genetically more prone to having mammary tumours. These tumours can be benign or malignant, though malignant mammary cancer is less common. The problem with benign tumours is that they can grow to a very large size if not removed early, and after removal, there is a tendency to recur. We see a lot of older female dogs with mammary tumours. For female dogs with malignant tumours, the outlook is very poor as most will die from the cancer and treatment is very difficult. 

Research has shown that female hormones stimulate mammary tumour growth in dogs genetically prone to having mammary tumours. Female hormones is secreted by the ovaries. Research has also shown that the chances of having mammary tumours increase four folds after the first oestrus cycle in the female dog. Therefore, in genetically susceptible female dogs, the chances of having mammary tumours will increase with more oestrus cycles. 

Hence, desexing your dog – which includes removal of the ovaries --- will decrease the chances of mammary tumours in your female dogs. 

When is the best time to desex your dog?

In our opinion, maximal benefit for decreasing chances of mammary tumours could be achieved when your dog is desexed before her first oestrus cycle (ie about 5-6 months old). However, if your dog is older than that, they could still be desexed. In older female dogs (5 years and above), we recommend a consultation, body check and possibly pre-surgery blood tests. 

Call for an appointment for the desexing of your dog. Do not feed your dog after 11 pm on the night before the surgery date. Water still can be given overnight. Withdraw water in the morning. 

On the day of surgery, bring your dog to the clinic between 9-10 am (depending on your exact appointment time). In routine cases, the dog can be discharged in the same evening. 

Do not hesitate to call us for any details or advice. 

To know about desexing or spaying, you can learn more from the internet or reference books.

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