Many puppy owners are unaware of the serious complications of spaying a puppy. Spaying your puppy is a time-sensitive procedure. You want to make sure that the time you choose does not cause complications of spaying. If done too early or too late, the procedure can cause more harm than good. There are other factors outside of age (or time) factor to be considered. Some of these include the size of the animal which is a factor of age/time, the breed, pre-existing health conditions in the animal’s lineage as well as the purpose of the animal. For instance — do you intend to breed it? Whatever the reasons for spaying your puppy, below are some of the complications associated with the procedure.
Cancer Related Risks
One of the key benefits of spaying is that it may decrease the prevalence of mammary cancer in certain breeds. This is especially so when spaying is done after your puppy has matured, which occurs after your puppy is at least a year old – which normally happens after she has undergone multiple heat cycles. While the procedure works to avert one form of cancer, if done too early it predisposes your puppy to another form of cancer. Hemangiosarcoma, cancer occurring almost exclusively in dogs, has been seen to be more prevalent in spayed dogs than their intact counterparts. The former are nine times more likely to suffer from this form of cancer compared to the latter. Spayed dogs are also likely to suffer lymphoma four times more than the intact ones
Behavioral Related Risks
Surgery whether in humans or animals can be a rather traumatic experience especially when done at a young age. This is apparent in female puppies that tend to always be around their handlers or owners after a spaying procedure. This phenomenon is known as separation anxiety. Behavioral changes may fall on the other end of the spectrum causing your pet to be overly hyper or aggressive post surgery.
Bone and Joint Related Risks
These are some of the most common risks associated with spaying. While they are not strictly caused by spaying, the procedure increases the chances of puppies suffering from bone development and joint-related complications. Two such complications that have been associated with spaying include hip dysplasia and cranial cruciate ligament tears (CCL). The former results in the affected mobility of animals and it is made worse by the excessive weight gain also associated with spaying. It is common for animals spayed at six months old or younger. The latter is common in animals spayed at twelve months or younger. CCL tears are caused by the uninhibited growth of the tibia causing a strain to the cranial cruciate ligaments.
Other complications of spaying a puppy that may result include urinary incontinence. This is the leaking or involuntary release of urine due to the interference of the sphincter muscles as a result of reduced estrogen levels in spayed dogs. Spayed puppies are also predisposed to infections, hernias, dehydration, depression, constipation, and bleeding as a result of loose sutures. It is important to constantly monitor your puppy post spaying for any health or behavioral changes that may be detrimental to its health.
Additional Information on Delaying Spaying for the Health of Your Dog and the Pet Anti-Breeding System:
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Also published on Medium.