A spay, also known as an ovariohysterectomy, is a surgery performed by a veterinarian. During surgery, a female's ovaries and uterus are removed. A spay surgery can be performed on puppies as young as 8 weeks old. This type of surgery is performed for several reasons and it’s important to understand some of the outcomes of having your puppy spayed.
Pain, internal bleeding or infections are possible side effects post surgery.
After your puppy has been spayed she has a greater chance of staying healthy throughout her life. Spay surgery prevents her from developing breast cancer, ovarian and uterine tumours or deadly bacterial infections. Your dog will no longer be able to reproduce, which eliminates stress or injury that results from carrying and giving birth to puppies. Your puppy will not be in pain due to ovulation. In addition, puppies have a faster recovery following a spay surgery than an older dog.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, “Dogs spayed prior to five months of age may be slightly more likely to develop hip dysplasia and cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture, particularly those breeds that are already predisposed to these diseases.” In addition, puppies spayed before five months old may have a greater risk of becoming obese later in life. A dog spayed before three months of age may also have a greater risk of suffering from urinary incontinence; however, it may be controlled with medical treatment.
According to the ASPCA, some studies have indicated that dogs who are aggressive to their family may be more aggressive after they are spayed. “This could be caused by a decrease in oestrogen and oxytocin, both of which may have calming, anti-anxiety effects,” reports say. It is also noted that dogs that are spayed may be less irritable as they will no longer experience hormonal changes.
There are long-term effects of spaying your puppy. After surgery, your puppy will not be able to have litters when she is older. According to the Humane Society of the United States, "Many people are surprised to learn that nationwide more than 3 million cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats.”