Are you thinking of spaying your Labrador? Spaying dogs may be a great idea for dog owners who do not want to breed their dogs. Not only does this come with health benefits, but it’s also a good way to control the pet population.
Ovariohysterectomy is the medical term for spaying. It is the procedure done to remove the ovaries and uterus of a female dog. In this post, we will talk about the things owners should know about spaying dogs. Should you have your Labrador spayed or not? What are its pros and cons?
Benefits of Spaying Dogs
There are different benefits of spaying dogs and here are some:
Getting Rid of Problems that Come with Heat Periods
It gets rid of “messy” heat periods. Heat periods can be messy. Your female’s lady parts will swell and secrete droplets of blood for a span of three weeks. These drops of blood can stain your carpet and furniture.
Not only do heat periods make a mess in your home, bu tit can also be a chaos inside or outside your homes. If you have an intact male dog (a dog who has not been de-sexed) in your household, he will most likely follow your female around to mate with her. Dogs who live nearby will also be driven to go to your house to try to mate with your female.And if you are not planning to breed, this can be a problem.
Spaying your female Labrador will get rid of these troubles.
Health Benefits of Spaying Dogs
Spaying has a lot of health benefits in dogs including:
- Prevents your dog from acquiring deadly infections of the uterus like Pyometra,
- Prevents false pregnancy,
- And partial protection against mammary or breast cancer.
Prevents Dogs from Getting Pregnant
No uterus? No puppies. Dogs do not need to reproduce to feel happy or “complete”. Breeding puppies is a lot of hard work, and it is simply not for everyone. If you do not want to contribute to the overpopulation of dogs, then having your Labrador spayed is something you must do.
Cons of Spaying Dogs
Most people think that spaying is the best thing to do for female dogs. But nothing is black and white. Spaying dogs can come with problems as well.
Health Risks of Spaying Dogs
While spaying dogs reduces their chance of getting Pyometra, ovarian and breast cancers, and more, the procedure can also increase the risk of different diseases and health issues like:
- Obesity – Spaying doubles the risk of obesity because the procedure’s long-term effects include a change in hormonal make-up and metabolism. The extra weight your Labrador can gain may lead to an array of health problems including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, and more. To prevent your Labrador from gaining too much weight after spaying, a change in diet may be necessary.
- Hemangiosarcoma–While spaying dogs decrease their chance of developing mammary cancer, it does, however, increase the risk of hemangiosarcoma, another deadly cancer. It was found that the reproductive hormones somehow help protect female dogs against this cancer. Spayed dogs are reportedly twice as likely to develop hemangiosarcoma of the spleen and five times as likely to develop hemangiosarcoma of the heart, compared to intact females.Hemangiosarcoma is common in Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and more.
- Hypothyroidism – Spaying dogs triples their risk of hypothyroidism. The absence or loss of reproductive hormones seems to upset spayed dogs’ endocrine system. This condition can trigger weight gain and lethargy. The good thing is, this can be dealt with by giving the spayed dog a daily thyroid supplement for the rest of her life.
- Possible Complications to Anesthesia – When a dog is to undergo an ovariohysterectomy, she needs to undergo general anesthesia. According to studies, about 20% of spay procedures have at least one complication like a bad reaction to the anesthesia, abscess, wound infection, and more.The complications are often minor. Only less than 5% of the cases are serious and only 1% result to death.
Should You Spay Your Labrador?
If you have no plans to breed, then go ahead and have your Labrador spayed. Spaying dogs is important if you wish to not contribute to the growing population of dogs in the country. Doing so comes with different health benefits for your Labrador.
As for the cons, you may take necessary precautions to ensure that the procedure and post-operation condition of your Labrador turn out fine.
- Have your Labrador’s blood checked before having her spayed.
- Do not have your Labrador spayed until she has fully grown.
- Change your Labrador’s diet after having her spayed to prevent obesity.
- And more.
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