Should I Let My Dog Go Through Heat Before Spaying? Your Carmel Animal Hospital Explains

One Heat Cycle Before Spaying?  Your Carmel Animal Hospital Explains

One of the best things about working at our Carmel animal hospital is that I frequently get to meet new people that have just gotten their very own puppy.  These are always very exciting visits with lots of education about various dog health topics and behavioral issues.  One topic we always discuss is spaying or neutering the dog.

Why should I spay my dog?  If you have to ask this question, you haven’t visited the Humane Society for Hamilton County.  I do a lot of work for the Humane Society helping to provide surgery for the pets without families yet.  The pet overpopluation problem is most obvious reason, but there are many others that impact your personal dog too.  I often see intact female dogs at my Carmel animal hospital that develop a uterus infection.  This is a life-threatening problem and can be eliminated by spaying.  A recent study from the University of Illinois veterinary school showed that dogs that have been spayed live an average of 28% longer than intact female dogs.  Not having to deal with bleeding and a diaper for 2 weeks twice a year is also nice.  I recommend spaying for every dog unless they will be used for breeding, as a working dogs, or show dog.

When should I spay my dog?  I recommend spaying your dog at 6 months of age.  This surgery can be performed younger and often is for dogs adopted out of shelters to ensure they don’t send 6 more puppies back into the shelter, but 6 months is ideal for your pet.

Should I let my dog go through one heat cycle?  The answer is NO for most dogs.  The more heat cycles your dog goes through increases the chances for developing breast cancer later in life.  If you spay the dog at our Carmel animal hospital before the first heat, you essentially remove any chance of breast cancer.  There is one common reason we recommend that you do allow one heat cycle to occur with your dog.  Some dogs develop a skin fold over the vulva that can trap urine and moisture which leads to skin infections later in life.  This will be examined at our Carmel animal hospital to determine if this potential problem exists.

Like Bob Barker always said, “Have your pet spayed or neutered.”  For more information on our Caring Hands, Compassionate Hearts, click on this link to your Carmel Animal Hospital.