What happens to unspayed dogs? Expert Advice

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Mammary cancer is relatively widespread in unspayed female dogs, the ASPCA notes. However, this cancer is much less common in pooches spayed before attaining physical maturity. Spayed dogs also have zero chance of experiencing uterine or ovarian cancer. On top of individual medical conditions, leaving female dogs unspayed allows them to breed, contributing to canine overpopulation issues.

Unspayed dogs go into heat, or estrus, roughly two times each year during their fertile years. When female dogs are in season, it may be apparent to observers, with a variety of key behavioral and physical indications. Some clues of estrus are bloody vaginal emissions, frequent urination, swollen reproductive organs, excessive vocalization, restlessness, anxiety and unusually vigilant behavior. If your pooch is around males of the opposite sex, you may notice her assuming a sexual stance as if to suggest mating activities. This conspicuous position involves raising the rear area and tightening up the hind limbs.

The typical age for sexual maturity differs depending on breed type, and bigger canines tend to be later bloomers than smaller ones. Unspayed dogs usually go into heat anywhere in the range of 6 months to 2 years in age. Once they go into heat, their bodies are fully capable of reproducing. The ASPCA recommends spaying female dogs prior to 6 months of age. Today, altering is often done much sooner than 6 months — often as early as 12 weeks and sometimes earlier. Consult your veterinarian regarding a suitable time frame for your pets spaying.

Intact dogs are no more aggressive than others, but other factors need to be taken into account

As pet owners, we see the commercials that tell us to spay or neuter our pets to control the stray animal population. When we adopt from a humane society or rescue shelter, all the animals have already had the procedure done.

But many owners who have to get it done on their own usually don’t and don’t realize that there are many other reasons to have your pet spayed or neutered.

Male dogs that are not neutered can develop a prostate enlargement that can ultimately cause difficulty with urinations and bowel movements. They can also develop infections of the prostate. Other medical conditions that can occur are testicular cancer and tumors around the anal area that require surgery.

Female dogs can get much more life threatening conditions if they are not spayed. They can get an uterine infection, called pyometra, that requires emergency surgery. If this condition is untreated or surgery is not done as soon as possible, the infection gets into the bloodstream and becomes fatal.

Female dogs that aren’t spayed can also get mammary tumors. About 50 percent of these mammary tumors are malignant and spread to the lungs. Spaying a dog before her first heat cycle decreases her chances of developing mammary tumors to almost 0 percent.

Male cats usually do not remain intact long enough to develop any medical problems related to not being neutered, but a male cat that isn’t neutered poses issues for your household.

Male cat urine has a very potent odor and male cats that aren’t neutered usually will begin spraying in the house around puberty time. Neutering at this time helps decrease the odor of the urine.

Female cats also can get pyometra like dogs. They get mammary tumors as well, but, unlike dogs, 90 percent of their tumors are malignant. These tumors are very difficult to remove completely and spread quickly. They usually occur at a fairly young age, too.

Some of these health risks are actually initiated early in the animal’s life. For mammary tumors, they can be triggered with their first heat cycle when they are between six months to one year of age.

We want our pets with us as long as possible and do not want them to develop an illness that could have been avoided by having our pets spayed or neutered.

Emily Coatney-Smith is a veterinarian at Far Hills Animal Clinic. The clinic has been in business for more than 40 years. It is a small animal clinic that specializes in dogs, cats, and exotics. It is located at 6240 Far Hills Ave. in Centerville. In Other News

About the AuthorDr. Emily Coatney-Smith© 2023 Dayton Daily News . All Rights Reserved. By using this website, you accept the terms of our