Q&A — Allergies, Pedigrees and Spaying

Hello! Woof! Meow! Well it’s summertime and allergy season has arrived. Yes, dogs and cats are prone to allergies too, though it’s a more common problem with dogs. Many of these allergies result in skin inflammations that can lead to secondary problems such as superficial bacterial infections, hot spots and repeat ear infections. It’s always best to be pro-active with allergies, so if your pet is struggling with skin issues, you should try to get him/her to your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. Now, onto today’s question!

Question

We just got a puppy for our daughter. The breeder made us sign a paper to spay the dog before she is 12 months old. Our vet wants to do it at 4 months. What’s the difference and who is right? I’d rather not to spay her at all.

Answer

We have this question asked quite frequently. First of all, the paper you signed is most likely a binding contract to protect the breeder’s pedigree. If this is the case, you are obligated to have her spayed. The good news is that we believe it’s in her best interest. The question then is “when should it be done?”

There are many health advantages that come as a result of doing this alteration before she goes into heat for the first time. First of all, there is a significant reduction in breast cancer for dogs if spayed before the first cycle. Secondly, by removing the reproductive organs, you eliminate the possibility of ovarian cancer, cancer of the uterus and an infection of the uterus (known as pyometra). All of these diseases are life threatening and preventable if she is spayed.

Generally speaking, smaller dogs have their first cycle earlier. For example, a Chihuahua can start to cycle at 6 months of age, while a Mastiff might take a year and a half. So, we recommend that you get it done earlier, just to be sure her first cycle doesn’t sneak up on you. It’s also safer for pets to go through the surgery when they are young and fit. There are additional benefits to you as a pet owner that come with the spaying, including the elimination of bloodstains and the often annoying behavioral issues.

We wish you luck and hope you enjoy your new family member for years to come. God bless you, and God bless America!

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