Some Veterinary info on STERILISATION

One of our members of the JHB Beagle Club is a vet, and has kindly written some articles regarding dogs’ health for us for the website…

I will be posting a new article every few weeks – so please keep a look out for it, have a read, and circulate to your animal loving friends :)





To sterilise or not to sterilise…an easy question to answer
Every year thousands of animals land up at various welfare shelters like the SPCA. Unfortunately more puppies are born every year than there are good homes available. This situation can be avoided by sterilising your pet.

Both castration in the male dog and spaying in the female are operations which need a general anaesthetic. Your dog must be fasted overnight before the operation to reduce the risk of problems on the operating table. Castrating male dogs is a relatively straightforward operation whilst spaying bitches is more difficult but is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures.
Both castration and spaying involve a single cut, into the belly of the female to remove the ovaries and uterus (womb), or in front of the scrotum of the male dog to take out the testicles. Your dog should be ready to come home on the same day as surgery, as soon as the anaesthetic has worn off. If there are any complications, your vet might keep your dog overnight to keep an eye on them.
The benefits of sterilising:

  •  Females – Spaying will stop the bleeding that occurs with every heat cycle and prevent any changes in behaviour associated with heat cycle. Females that are not spayed, but who do not have puppies, may develop false pregnancy or infection in the womb (pyometra) which can be fatal. Early spaying of females reduces the risk of them developing mammary cancer (breast cancer) later in life by about 80%.
  • Males – Some male dogs develop antisocial behaviour when they reach maturity. This may be in the form of aggressive or sexual behaviour – mounting other dogs or people. Uncastrated dogs, if left to their own devices, may patrol a wide area in search of a mate and can detect a female in season a long way away. A dog who wanders is far more likely to be involved in a car accident and getting lost. Castrating male dogs also reduces the risk of them developing diseases of the prostate or testicles in later life.

There are a number of myths about sterilising your pet that confuse people when they are making this decision. It is time to dispel these myths:

  •  Spaying will make my dog fat and lazy- this is not true! Once a dog has been sterilised its energy requirements can be lower which means that it requires less food. Monitor your dog’s weight in the months after the procedure and adjust their diet as necessary.
  • Neutered dogs can’t be guard dogs- this is not true! Neutering will lower the level of testosterone and therefore hormone associated aggression but does not reduce their ability to guard.
  • My female needs to have one litter- not true! It is an old wives tale that a dog needs to have a litter. By thinking this you are assuming a pet has he same emotional needs as a person. What she doesn’t know she won’t miss.
  • My dog is so wonderful I want another one just like it- not possible! There is no guarantee that a litter of puppies will have the same characteristics as the mother. Sometimes they may even get all her bad traits and none of her good ones.
  • It is expensive- the cost of neutering your pet needs to be compared to the health risks and the treatments thereof if your pet is not neutered. Many of the SPCA’s and other welfare organisations, like the CVC, will assist people with low income to spay/neuter their animals.

At what age should you spay or neuter? Generally this should be done at about 6 months of age and ideally before a female’s first season. If she has had a season it is recommended to wait 2-4 months before the procedure. Remember to fast your dog from the evening before the operation.

3 Responses to “ Some Veterinary info on STERILISATION ”

  1. Annemarie says:

    Good article! Breeding should ONLY be encouraged to improve bloodlines and breed standard.

  2. Vanessa venter says:

    I do agree , far more animals than good loving homes! Also too many breeders!

  3. Vanessa venter says:

    I would encourage peolple to adopt from their local shelter so many animals needing forever homes.

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