Spaying your Labrador has both benefits and drawbacks. Unless you want to breed your dog, spaying can be a great idea. Not only does this come with health benefits, but it is also a good way to control the pet population. However, it puts your dog at certain health problems, including obesity and thyroid issues and requires your apt attention to avoid them in your Lab.
Ovariohysterectomy is the medical term used to denote spaying of dogs. 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 the most important ones.
Getting Rid of Problems that Come with Heat Periods
It gets rid of “messy” heat periods. Heat periods can be chaotic. Your female dog’s parts swell and secrete droplets of blood for a span of three weeks. These drops of blood can stain your carpet and furniture.
If you have a male dog – who has not been neutered – in your household, he is most likely to follow your female around to mate with her. Dogs who live nearby may also be attracted to come to your house and try to mate with your female. This can be a problem when you are not planning to breed. Spaying your female Labrador helps get rid of these troubles.
Health Benefits of Spaying Dogs
Spaying has a lot of health benefits for dogs including,
- prevents your dog from acquiring deadly infections of the uterus, such as pyometra,
- prevents false pregnancy
- partial protection against mammary or breast cancer
Prevents Dogs from Getting Pregnant
Dogs do not need to reproduce to feel happy or “complete.” Taking care of puppies is a lot of hard work, and not everyone is ready to enjoy this demanding responsibility. 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 spaying dogs can come with problems as well.
Health Risks of Spaying Dogs
While spaying a dog reduces her chance of getting pyometra, ovarian and breast cancers, and more, the procedure can also increase the risk of different diseases and health issues.
- Obesity: Spaying doubles the risk of obesity because the procedure’s long-term effects include a change in the hormonal makeup 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 is necessary.
- Hemangiosarcoma: Spaying a dog decreases her chance of developing mammary cancer. It, however, increases 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 more likely to develop hemangiosarcoma of the spleen and five times more likely to develop hemangiosarcoma of the heart, compared to intact females.
- 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: When a dog is to undergo an ovariohysterectomy, she needs general anesthesia. According to studies, about 20% of spaying procedures result in complications associated with anesthesia. The complications are often minor. Only less than 5% of the cases are serious and only 1% leads to death.
Should You Spay Your Labrador?
If you have no plans to breed, then go ahead and have your Labrador spayed. Doing so comes with different health benefits for your Labrador.
You may take necessary precautions to ensure that the procedure and post-surgical condition of your Labrador remain free from dangers. 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.