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Thread: Should I spay or neuter?

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  1. #1
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    Arrow Should I spay or neuter?

    Should you spay your male and female cavalier? In most cases, the answer for the responsible dog owner is 'YES'.

    For females:

    • One key reason why is that an uspayed female has a one in four chance of having malignant mammary tumours in her lifetime if she isn't spayed by her second heat cycle and is virtually guaranteed never to have this risk if spayed BEFORE the first heat cycle (a 7% chance if you wait til after the first heat).
    • Mammary cancer is one of the most common cancers in female dogs -- accounting for more than 50% of the cancer tumours in females -- and 50% of mammary tumours are malignant.
    • Also, unspayed female cavaliers are at a significant risk of the frequently fatal uterine infection, pyometra -- more than a one in three lifetime chance with cavaliers having one of the highest rates of all, according to a Swedish study on pyometra incidence by breed using insurance statistics. The only way to try to save an affected dog is a very costly emergency spay
    • Giving birth is a high risk activity for both mother and pups -- there's a significant risk of death to the bitch. Dealing with an emergency is generally extremely costly
    • And very important: this breed is under serious threat due to general poor health from indiscriminate breeding. Home and puppy farm breeding ignoring the MVD breeding protocol is what has made heart disease endemic already. Please leave breeding to the health focused breeders with a knowledge of genetics, many generations of health history in their breeding dogs, and who are responsible enough to do the (costly) health tests -- cardiologist, MRI, eye, orthopedics -- any caring breeder knows they must do.


    TV3 vet and Daily Telegraph columnist Pete Wedderburn explains why neutering is health protective for males, too:

    • "Testicular neoplasia is the second most common tumour in the male dog. As well as preventing this, early neutering also prevents prostatic disease (benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis/prostatic abscesses, prostatic cysts and paraprostatic cysts). Prostatic hyperplasia starts at 1-2 years of age with 95% of dogs affected by 9 years of age."
    • Neutering stops marking (spraying urine inside) in the majority of male dogs as well as unwanted humping behaviour, and gets rid of the strong urine smell
    • Neutering curtails most roaming behaviour and accidents (generally due to males smelling females in heat up to a mile distant). The majority of dogs in pounds and hit by cars are unneutered males
    • The actual figures from a UC Davis vet study: 94% reduction in roaming -- 66% reduction in mounting -- 63% reduction in inter-male aggression -- 59% reduction in urine marking
    .

    For a detailed discussion about spaying and neutering, with board members' personal experiences, see this thread: http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/a...p/t-24662.html

    A more detailed look at why to spay females: (from Los Angeles vets Mar Vista, http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body...nine_spay.html)

    Sterilization of the female dog is commonly performed surgically via the "spay," in which both ovaries and the uterus are removed. It is a major surgery, though a commonly performed one. This web site hopes to address the usual questions owners have regarding this procedure.

    WHY ALL FEMALE DOGS SHOULD BE SPAYED

    MAMMARY CANCER

    A female dog spayed before her first heat will have a near zero chance of developing mammary cancer. After the first heat, this incidence climbs to 7% and after the second heat the risk is 25% (one in four!). It is easy to see that an early spay can completely prevent what is frequently a very difficult and potentially fatal form of cancer.

    But is it too late if a dog is already past her second heat? No, in fact spaying is important even in female dogs who already have obvious tumors. This is because many mammary tumors are stimulated by estrogens; removing the ovaries, the source of estrogens, will help retard tumor spread.

    Spaying removes both the uterus and both ovaries and is crucial in the prevention as well as the treatment of mammary cancer.

    SIMPLE CONVENIENCE

    The female dog comes into heat every 8 months or so. There is a bloody vaginal discharge and attraction of local male dogs. Often there is an offensive odor. All of this disappears with spaying.

    WHAT IS PYOMETRA?

    "Pyometra" is the life-threatening infection of the uterus which generally occurs in middle-aged to older female dogs in the six weeks following heat. The hormone "progesterone," which primes the uterus for potential pregnancy, does so by causing proliferation of the blood-filled uterine lining and suppression of uterine immune function. It is thus easy during heat for bacteria in the vagina to ascend to the uterus to cause infection. The uterus with pyometra swells dramatically and is filled with pus, bacteria, dying tissue, and toxins. Without treatment, the pet is expected to die. Despite her serious medical state, she must be spayed quickly if her life is to be saved.

    THIS IS AN EXTREMELY COMMON DISEASE
    OF OLDER UNSPAYED FEMALE DOGS!

    PYOMETRA IS NOT SOMETHING WHICH "MIGHT" HAPPEN;
    CONSIDER THAT IT PROBABLY WILL HAPPEN.

    The older unspayed female dog has an irregular heat cycle. There is no end of cycling comparable to human menopause. If you still decide against spaying, be very familiar with the signs of pyometra. (These include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, excessive thirst, marked vaginal discharge).

    For more information on pyometra: http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_pyometra.html.

    NOW THAT WE KNOW WHY IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO SPAY,
    WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENS?

    It is very important that the patient has not been fed in at least 8 hours. Anesthetic medications commonly induce nausea and vomiting can be very dangerous in a sedated patient (vomit can be inhaled/aspirated leading to pneumonia).

    A preoperative evaluation is performed; blood work is recommended for older females. An intravenous catheter may be placed to facilitate the administration of anesthetic drugs, for any fluid administration, and for use in case of emergency. This necessitates shaving a small patch of skin on one of the legs.

    Should you notice such a shaved patch, this is undoubtedly from an intravenous catheter.

    A tranquilizer or other pre-anesthetic medication may be administered to ease the induction of anesthesia. A special medication is given intravenously to induce sleep. This medication is called an "induction agent" and lasts only long enough to establish the maintenance of anesthesia by the inhalant anesthetic (gas). Once the pet is asleep, an tube is placed in the throat to insure that a clear airway is maintained through out the procedure.

    Sometimes a cough is noted for a couple of days after surgery. This may have been caused by the tube in the throat. Such coughs only last a couple of days; anything that persists longer should be re-evaluated.

    The tube is hooked up to a special machine to deliver a specific concentration of inhalant gas mixed in 100% oxygen. A special technician is assigned to the monitoring of this pet so that the concentration of inhalant gas can be changed, color, heart rate, respiration and other parameters are followed.

    In the surgical prep area, the abdomen is shaved and scrubbed. The bladder is emptied and the patient is moved to a surgical suite, where she is draped with special clothes or papers to isolate the area where surgery will take place.

    An incision is made on the midline of the abdomen, and the three points where the ovaries and uterus attaches are tied off and cut. The abdomen is checked for bleeding and two or three layers of stitches are placed to close the incision.

    It is helpful to know that should the skin stitches come out, there are two layers below holding everything closed. Sometimes skin stitches are not placed but if they are present, you will need to return in 10-14 days to have them removed.

    The anesthesia technician continues monitoring until the pet dog wakes up and coughs out the throat tube. The patient is kept in an observation room until she is able to walk.

    Our hospital feels strongly that a night in the hospital is important to an uneventful recovery. This night in the hospital is analogous to strict bed rest, just what you would expect to be needed after a major abdominal surgery. This night also allows for proper administration of pain medication for a longer time period as well as a post-operative check up with the doctor the morning after surgery.

    WHAT TO EXPECT AT HOME:

    Most spay patients go home the next day as if nothing had happened though some will need pain medication for a few days.

    Some nausea may occur in the first couple of days after surgery and it would not be unusual for the pet to refuse food for a day or two after surgery.

    As noted above, a cough may persist for a couple of days as a result of the throat tube. This should not persist longer than a couple of days.

    Dogs who show a propensity to lick their stitches will need an Elizabethan or "E" collar to restrict access to the stitches. This is not very comfortable for the dog but must be used strictly until the stitches are out and the incision is healed.

    Activity should be restricted during the week following surgery. Excessive activity can lead to swelling or fluid accumulation under the incision. If a fluid pocket does form, it should resolve on its own after a few weeks. If a fluid pocket forms and drains liquid from the incision, the dog should be re-checked with the veterinarian.

    SPAYING IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT
    PREVENTIVE HEALTH MEASURES
    THAT CAN BE PROVIDED FOR
    A FEMALE DOG OF ANY AGE.

    WHAT ABOUT BEHAVIORAL CHANGES?

    The female dog's reproductive tract is dormant for most of the year. It only activates for the three week period of heat. This means that from a behavioral stand point, the female dog acts spayed most of the time. It is unlikely that any change will be evident.

    HEALTH BENEFITS FROM SPAYING
    ARE TOO IMPORTANT TO IGNORE.
    PLEASE CALL FOR SPAY SCHEDULING
    FOR YOUR FEMALE DOG.

    There are several web sites on the importance of spaying and neutering.
    If you wish to browse another web site with information on this topic you might visit:

    http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/cheetah...nal/index3.htm
    Also see:

    http://www.peteducation.com/article....&articleid=926
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  2. #2
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    Default Should I spay or neuter?

    From the professionally certified trainers who run the excellent training resource website, Diamondsintheruff.com :

    Why sterilise your dog? Why not?

    BEHAVIOR IS THE NUMBER ONE KILLER OF DOGS!!
    Most bites to humans are by UN-NEUTERED MALES.
    The largest percentage of roaming dogs are UN-NEUTERED MALES.
    The largest incidence of dog to dog aggression is in UN-NEUTERED MALES.

    MYTHS


    1. MY DOG WILL GET FAT AND LAZY.
    With the right amount of food and exercise, your pet will not become fat. He will require fewer calories to maintain proper weight and should be fed less - he will be less expensive to feed! A dog's laziness or inactivity depends on his personality and temperament.

    2. IT'S IMPORTANT TO LET A FEMALE HAVE ONE HEAT PERIOD.
    One season is one extra risk of unwanted pregnancy. She will be temperamental, will drip on your floor, and will attract a yard-full of waiting suitors. There is no proven benefit to waiting.

    3. SPAYING IS DANGEROUS.
    When done by a licensed veterinarian, routine spay/neuter surgery is actually less dangerous than the stress and danger of complications possible in pregnancy.

    4. STERILIZED PETS AREN'T GOOD WATCH DOGS.
    If anything, they are more content with home and family and are more devoted. The "bad" watchdog would be "bad" sterilized or not.

    5. BUT MY DOG IS PUREBRED / UNUSUAL / SPECIAL
    If you think your pet should be bred for any of these reasons, visit your local shelters. See the many special, beautiful dogs and the large number of purebreds there. 70% of these dogs will be killed. There aren't enough homes for them all. For every puppy you place, another goes homeless. Don't add to the tragedy.

    6. BUT MY DOG IS A MALE!
    While a female dog can have two litters per year, a male could sire that many in an afternoon! He can sense a female in season within a 2 ½ mile radius and will do anything to get to her. Neutered males are far less quarrelsome and more content to stay home with you.

    7. I WOULDN'T DO IT TO MYSELF, I COULDN'T DO IT TO MY DOG!
    Animals conceive and produce litters purely on biological instinct, and instinct which lasts for that moment alone. They don't feel deprived by sterilization, but an unsterilized dog will feel extreme frustration when in season or when they sense an in-season female is nearby. This frustration often leads to behavior problems and aggression.


    FACTS


    THE BENEFITS OF SPAYING & NEUTERING:

    1. THE MOST IMPORTANT IS TO PREVENT THE BIRTH OF UNWANTED LITTERS.

    2. YOUR PET WILL BE HAPPIER AND MORE CONTENT.
    An unsterilized pet is often anxious and frustrated. He or she may pace or whine, act aggressively or inappropriately to furniture or people. He is not happy inside or out, and is driven by something he cannot understand.

    3. IT CAN INCREASE YOUR PET'S LIFE EXPECTANCY.
    Spaying eliminates uterine infection and reduces the risk of mammary cancer. Neutering prevents testicular and prostate problems. In addition to the health benefits, your pet won't face the danger of being in fights, run over or exposed to diseases while on the prowl in search of a mate.

    4. CAN'T AFFORD IT? - YOU CAN'T AFFORD NOT TO!
    The cost of sterilization is minor compared to the cost of feeding and raising litters. If all goes well, the veterinary care of the dam and her litter will be substantial - and what if things do not go well? Problems in delivery could lead to Caesarian section, lost puppies or even the loss of the mother. A sterilized pet often requires fewer vet bills and, with the reduced food intake required, is less expensive to feed!


    Considering Sterilization for Your Pet?

    The benefits of spaying the female are immediately obvious:
    No hard-to-place puppies, No messy heat cycles.

    THERE ARE ALSO BENEFITS TO NEUTERING THE MALE (From a study by B. Hart, U.C., Davis):

    94% reduction in roaming
    66% reduction in mounting
    63% reduction in inter-male aggression
    59% reduction in urine marking

    http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/whyspayneuter.html
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #3
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    Default

    From TV3 vet and Daily Telegraph vet columnist and blogger Pete Wedderburn:

    What is the Evidence for Health Benefits of Neutering?

    For female dogs spaying obviously prevents pyometra, but the effect on mammary cancer is the most significant health reason for early spaying of bitches (before their first season).

    * Mammary cancer is the most common type of cancer in the bitch (52% of all tumours)
    * Around 50% of mammary tumours are malignant
    * Spaying a bitch at a young age dramatically reduces the risk of mammary cancer.

    Statistics showing the percentage risk of mammary tumours developing in the spayed bitch compared to the intact bitch:

    * Neutered prior to first oestrus: 0.05%
    * Neutered between first & second oestrus: 8%
    * Neutered after second oestrus: 26%
    * Neutered after 2.5 years or 4 oestrus cycles: No effect

    Therefore, if a bitch is neutered before her first season, she is 2,000 times less likely to develop mammary cancer than if she is left entire until she is three years of age.

    Urinary Incontinence

    Urinary incontinence is more likely to occur in bitches that are spayed at any age compared to bitches that are not spayed. However, the majority of cases respond well to simple treatment, and most people agree that this risk is much less serious than the alternative risk of malignant mammary cancer.

    Much research has been carried out on the effect of the timing of spaying on urinary incontinence and there are conflicting results. Some reports suggest that incontinence is less likely if bitches are spayed before their first season, while others suggest that the opposite is true.

    Male Dogs

    Testicular neoplasia is the second most common tumour in the male dog. As well as preventing this, early neutering also prevents prostatic disease (benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis/prostatic abscesses, prostatic cysts and paraprostatic cysts). Prostatic hyperplasia starts at 1-2 years of age with 95% of dogs affected by 9 years of age.

    Female Cats

    * Mammary cancer is the third most common form of neoplasm, though with a lower risk than in female dogs.
    * 80% of feline mammary tumours are malignant.
    * Entire cats are seven times more likely to develop mammary cancer than those spayed at puberty.

    Male Cats

    * Neutering reduces fighting behaviour by over 80%, significantly reducing cat bite abscesses, as well as reducing the risk of FIV infection.
    * Neutering also significantly reduces male urine marking behaviour.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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