I heard that I should let my female dog have at least one litter?
There is no evidence based science to suggest that allowing a female have a litter before she is spayed is good for her. It appears to have developed from opinion rather than hard facts.
Why should I get my dog(s) neutered?
There are many health and behavioural benefits to having your dog neutered.
- For females reduced risks of certain cancers, potentially fatal womb infection (pyometra) and the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and subsequent puppies. It will also prevent a female from going into heat. A heat cycle can cause un-neutered male dogs in the area to visit your home in pursuit of a mate. Gatherings of male dogs like this can cause fights etc.
- For males it can reduce risks of certain cancers, territorial behaviour and curb the risks associated with straying as they search for a mate such as unwanted fighting and road traffic accidents.
What age can I get my puppy neutered at?
Each animal is an individual and the age for neutering depends on a few factors. The below is a general guideline to follow:
1. Small breeds e.g. Jack Russell Terriers - 6 -9 months
2. Medium breeds e.g. Collies - 6-9 months
3. Large breeds e.g. Labrador Retriever - 9 -12 months
4. Giant breeds e.g. Irish Wolfhound 12 -18 months
(Giant breeds have to wait longer than other size breeds as skeletal development must be accounted for)
What should I have prepared for my dog when they come home?
As your dog has undergone a general anaesthetic they will need monitoring for the next 24-48hrs.
For their first evening home they can be given a light meal and water. Don't worry if they don't eat straight away, they may be feeling a little "off" after the anaesthetic. Their eating habits should return to normal by the day after their surgery.
Additionally, they should recuperate in a warm and enclosed space. An area like a utility room, bathroom or garden shed - provided they have lots of warm bedding - is ideal.
Your dog needs an enclosed area to reduce the chances of over-exertion and therefore the risk of serious damage to their surgical wound. So no jumping up on furniture!
Toilet breaks should be on a lead to reduce the risk of over exertion.
No long walks until stitches are removed.
- Gold standard restricted exercise period for females is 12-14 days as they've had major abdominal surgery i.e. until their stitches are removed.
- Gold standard restricted exercise period for males is 12-14 days i.e. until their stitches are removed.
Will my dog have to go home with a cone collar?
Yes! This is very important part of your dog's recovery. We have options of a traditional cone/buster collar or an inflatible buster collar which we will send your dog home wearing.
Healing can be an itchy process so we don't want your dogs to be able to access their wound as they may be inclined to lick and chew at it as it heals - this can cause infection and wound breakdown. Also, dogs have been known to be incredibly stupid and chew their surgical wound completely open!
Please know that it is against our advice to remove the cone/buster collar before stitches are removed. If, for whatever reason, you do decide to remove the cone/buster collar before the stitches are removed make sure your dog is under constant supervision.
Therefore, it is vital the cone/buster collar remains on your dog at all times. In fact removing the collar for walks and dinnertime can have a negative impact on your dog's mood. They get excited that it is removed only for it to be put back on again. If you leave it on they will get used to it and only need to wear it until stitches are removed - patience is key.
Can I hold my dog after the surgery?
You can continue holding your dog post-surgery, just be mindful of the surgical wounds.
- The male's wound is on the midline of his lower belly.
- The female's wound is on the midline of her belly.
Will my dog be in pain post-op?
Your dog will have received painkillers during their stay with us here at O'Dowd Veterinary. We will discharge your dog with some liquid painkiller too. We will show you how much to give and for how long upon discharge. If your dog won't let you give it into their mouth directly; try and mix it with a small amount of their daily food and allow them to eat it. You may then give them the rest of their daily food allowance once they have received their medication.