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Spaying a bitch: When is the right time?

Spaying a bitch: When is the right time?

Spaying a bitch: When is the right time?

You have weighed the pros and cons and decided to have your bitch spayed? Then it is now essential to determine the right time for the procedure. It is crucial for the development of the four-legged friend.

Before you have your bitch spayed, you should think carefully about when the procedure should occur. The age of the animal and the timing of the cycle are crucial. If the dog is still very young and has not yet been in heat, the castration can be carried out now (early castration). Otherwise, it is necessary to wait for the right time after the heat.

Necessary: This guide does not replace veterinary advice.

Early spaying of the bitch before the first heat

Female dogs usually come into heat for the first time between six and twelve months. In large dog breeds, the first heat may occur later. If you have chosen early spaying, the procedure should be done when hormone levels are as low as possible. 

Usually, this is between the fourth and eighth months, with enough distance from the first heat. This is important because when hormonal activity is high, the organs have more blood flow, which increases the risk of complications during surgery.

One advantage of early spaying in bitches is a lowered risk of breast cancer for your four-legged friend. However, some experts write that the procedure before sexual maturity can cause problems in the social behavior of the animals. 

A bitch matures through the first heat, becomes an adult, so to speak – this vital step would be omitted in the development of the animal with an early castration. Get good advice on this from the vet.

Neutering after the first heat

When it comes to the question, “Spaying, yes or no?”, many dog owners, therefore, decide to let their bitch go into heat at least once and thus wait for sexual maturity. This developmental phase usually lasts longer in large dog breeds than small ones. 

However, late spaying is associated with a higher risk of incontinence because the position of the bladder changes as a result of the procedure. Affected bitches can usually be treated well with medication, however.

In any case, you should wait at least two months after the first heat with the procedure until the hormone level of your bitch has returned to normal. A possible false pregnancy should also be overcome first.

Ideally, spaying takes place during the period of sexual rest between heat cycles, called anestrus. The anoestrus begins about eight to ten weeks after the heat and lasts five months. 

Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the exact timing. He will also weigh the advantages and disadvantages of an early or later castration with you.

Change of character after neutering

The so-called gonads, i.e., the ovaries, are removed from your bitch during spraying. Often the fallopian tubes, uterus, and cervix are also removed. Since the gonads are responsible for producing sex hormones, spaying can lead to changes in your pet’s temperament. 

The missing hormones can cause various changes in the behavior of your furry nose, from lethargy to increased biting towards other female dogs. Is your female dog already naturally inclined to more robust dominance behavior? If so, you should think twice about spaying your dog and consult your veterinarian beforehand.

Neutering: What costs do you have to expect?

The costs for neutering your dog are fixed in the German scale of fees for veterinarians. But: Depending on the region, there can be significant price differences. The sex and weight of your dog also impact the actual costs of castration.

Since the procedure is much more complicated for a female dog than for a male dog, the price for neutering is generally higher here. According to the scale of fees, between 150 and 500 euros are due, although these are only the pure labor costs of your veterinarian. In addition, there are costs for anesthetics, medication, and bandages.

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