by Shubha Bhavnani
(New Delhi, India)
Can I Have My Pearl Spayed? What Are The Risks?
I have a female cocker spaniel who is just over 2 years old. I am not sure that I will mate her at any time, however, I am not in favor of spaying her either.
Please advise me of the risks involved.
She is never let out of the house on her own. Will not spaying her or mating her create any health problems. Also please advise if I can spay her now, she has been in heat 3 times already.
What are the risks involved?
Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)
Yes, it's safe to have your cocker spaniel bitch spayed now if she's fit and healthy, but your vet is the best (more qualified) person to advise you on that.
Some breeders recommend having a female dog spayed once she's had her first heat to be certain that the bitch is fully grown. They believe that spaying before then could hinder the dog's growth.
However, not all vets subscribe to this theory and most recommend spaying a female dog before her first heat; between 4 and 6 months of age, however, a vet will spay a bitch at any age above 6 months.
If you put off spaying your bitch, it increases the risk of unexpected and unwanted puppies (even though you keep her on a lead you may not be able to stop the amorous advances of an eager large male dog - you just never know) and may increase the danger of uterine infections.
By having your dog spayed you will be removing these risks, as well as reducing the chance of reproductive and mammary cancers - not to mention the cessation of heat cycles (no mess) and undesirable behaviors, such as anxiety, howling, and urinating indoors.
Additionally, you (and your bitch) won't have to put up with desperate advances from male dogs driven frantic with the desire to mate!
Whilst having your bitch spayed necessitates major surgery, (and all the risks associated with that) vets consider spaying to be a fairly routine operation, and not life threatening at all.
I really recommend that you speak to your vet about the avenues open and available to you. He or she will recommend your dog's best options.