Love Is In the Air
When it comes to our dog’s private parts, everyone seems to have their own opinion. Let’s sort out the facts from fiction.
Fact: Entire dogs are at greater risk of disease
Dogs that are not desexed are at increased risk of a number of diseases. Entire females are at risk of breast cancer. Dogs have breast tissue (or mammary tissue) extending from their chest to their abdomen. Have a look for yourself – each nipple has mammary tissue beneath it. The risk of this disease increases the more times she comes into heat, the first time being around 6-7 months of age. Her risk is lowest if she is desexed before she goes through any heats at all. Entire females are also at increased risk of getting life threatening infections of the womb (uterus), painful infections of the mammary tissue and other types of cancer. Pregnancy itself comes with risks, including nutritional deficiencies, difficult birthings that may require veterinary intervention or even a caesarean.
Entire male dogs are at increased risk prostate disease, cancer of the testicles and scrotum, testicular infection, and development of hernias. These diseases can be life threatening, requiring veterinary intervention later on in life. That’s much more expensive than getting your animal desexed as a puppy!
Fiction: Desexing before dogs are one year old stunts their growth
This is simply not the case. Their adult size and body shape is not altered by desexing. This is true even for larger breeds that still have a lot of growing to do after 6 months of age. Desexing animals at the recommended age (5-6 months) means that their reproductive structures such as the testicles, and ovaries are removed, and so will not grow any further. These animals also tend to have smaller scrotums and vulvas. These changes are not associated with negative effects.
Fact: Desexing dogs can help improve their behaviour
This is true, but only to a point. Females on heat and entire males tend to run away in search of a breeding partner. Entire males may be more aggressive than desexed ones, particularly if a female on heat is nearby. They are also more likely to mark inappropriately (such as urinating on your brand new couch!). The risk of these behaviours is reduced in desexed animals, particularly if it’s done at a young age. It is important to be prepared for these behaviours if you do choose not to desex your pet. Remember that desexing is not a replacement for training your pet – you will still need to teach them basic manners such as sit and not biting, and your bouncy puppy will still be bouncy after being desexed.
Myth: Females need to have a litter
We have already outlined the health risks. In addition to this, there are already more dogs and cats than there are caring homes to put them in. Puppies and kittens are hard work - be ready for sleepless nights and taking time off work to care for mum and the babies!
If you have more questions about getting your pet desexed, or would like to book your pet in for desexing please feel welcome to get in touch with us!