Should you have your German Shepherd spayed? Spaying dogs is the most effective pet birth control method. Not only does this procedure control pet population, but it can also come with health benefits. However, it also comes with some health risks.
What are the advantages of Spaying Dogs?
The medical term for spaying is Ovariohysterectomy – the procedure that involves the removal of the animal’s ovaries and uterus. There are different benefits of spaying dogs and here are some:
No More Heat Period Problems
Let’s face it. Things can get pretty messy when a female dog goes into heat. There are droplets of blood everywhere. Heat periods of dogs can happen for as long as three weeks, and unless you’re putting a dog diaper on your female, traces of blood can get scattered around your home and furniture.
Female dogs in heat also smell attractive for intact male dogs. Males will follow female dogs-in-heat around. Neighbor dogs may sneak in your property to mate with your female. If two or more males sense a female in heat, they may engage in a fight.
By spaying your German Shepherd, these problems will be eliminated.
Spaying Dogs Come with Health Benefits
Aside from stopping reproduction and the problems that come along during heat period, having your German Shepherd has some health benefits too including:
- Prevents Pyometra, which is a deadly uterine infection.
- Prevents false pregnancy, which can make your German Shepherd’s body believe that it is pregnant – causing the tummy and teats to grow. False pregnancy can also make a dog suffer from maternal aggression – making her overprotective of a toy, sock, or whatever it is she’s treating as her pup.
- Partially protects dogs from mammary cancer.
Spaying Prevents Your German Shepherd from Breeding
Well, if there are no ovaries and uterus, then no puppies will be conceived. Dogs do not really need to give birth and have puppies in order to feel like “complete” female dogs. Breeding and taking care of young puppies entails a lot of hard work, and if you do not think you can handle it, it will be best to leave the breeding to the breeders.
Not only is it helpful for you, but it also has a long-term benefit for homeless dogs. By not contributing to the overpopulation of dogs, there are higher chances for homeless dogs find their forever homes and get adopted.
Disadvantages of Spaying Dogs
While having your German Shepherd spayed sounds like a great idea, it still comes with a number of disadvantages. Nothing is black and white, and spaying dogs can come with problems as well.
Health Risks that Come with Spaying Dog
Spaying dogs has a lot of benefits, but it can come with some health problems like the following:
Having your German Shepherd spayed doubles her risk of obesity. The ovaries produce hormones, and when they are removed, there will be changes in your German Shepherd’s hormonal make-up and metabolism – causing her to gain weight. Obesity increases the chance of your German Shepherd to suffer from health problems including heart disease, arthritis, pancreatitis, diabetes, and more.
You can prevent your German Shepherd from being overweight by adjusting and changing her diet.
Having your German Shepherd spayed decreases her chance of developing mammary cancer. However, spaying increases the risk of hemangiosarcoma, adeadly cancer that invades the blood vessels. Research found that the reproductive hormones somehow help protect female dogs against this disease. The study reported that spayed dogs are 5 times as likely to suffer from hemangiosarcoma of the heart and twice as likely to develop hemangiosarcoma of the spleen.Sadly, German Shepherds are prone to acquiring this disease.
When dogs have the main source of their reproductive hormones removed, their risk of hypothyroidism increases by three times. The loss of hormones has been seen to upset the endocrine system – causing weight gain and lethargy. This condition can be treated by giving your spayed German Shepherd thyroid supplement as maintenance.
Complications of Anesthesia
Dogs who are to undergo surgeries often need to be put on general anesthesia – spaying being one of them. According to records, about 20% of spay surgeries have at least one complication like infections, abscess, and bad reaction to the anesthesia. But, only less than 5% of the cases are serious.Some dogs do not wake up after being under general anesthesia. And about 1% of dogs who went under anesthesia result to death.
Should You Have Your German Shepherd Spayed?
The decision on whether you should have your German Shepherd spayed is really up to you. Weigh the pros and cons of spaying.
If you want to have your German Shepherd spayed but are worried about the risks, there are ways to minimize them. Always have your German Shepherd’s blood checked before putting her under anesthesia. Delay spaying up until your German Shepherd is fully-grown. You can prevent your female from becoming overweight by changing her diet. As for hypothyroidism and hemangiosarcoma, you can talk to your vet to discuss how these things can be avoided or managed.