Ask the Vet | Common questions about spaying your dog


Spaying a Dog is the surgical procedure that involves the removal of the uterus as well as the ovaries. The medical term used for spaying is Ovariohysterectomy or OVH. Spaying refers only to the procedure of sterilization of a female dog. Castration refers to neutering of a male dog.

In Macau I have had to re-spay more than 200 animals that have been spayed incorrectly. Please make sure your vet does OVH’s and don’t just tie of the uterus or remove the ovaries. I have had case were the dog was said to have been spayed and just opened and closed, so check your vet!!

A female dog has her first heat cycle when she is six to nine months old. The heat cycle occurs twice per year, and this is when the dog can get pregnant. Spaying can prevent pregnancies.

What’s the Best Time for Spaying?
Spaying is recommended at any age of your dog. However, the best time for the procedure is before your dog has her first heat cycle. This will make the procedure less complicated.
It’s not recommended to spay the dog while she is in heat or pregnant. The procedure may lead to complications.

How Long Does Surgery Take?
This surgery is an uncomplicated procedure if you know what you doing. The vet will make an incision and remove the uterus and the ovaries. In the least complicated case, prior to the dogs first heat cycle, the procedure takes up to 10-15 minutes.

Are There Sterilization Surgery Complications?
Sterilization may have complications including infections or hemorrhage. The anesthesia may create complications, especially if the dog is older or has a medical condition.
The dog may experience recurrent heat cycles if the ovaries are not properly removed as I commonly see in Macau.

How Do I Care for the Dog Post-Surgery?
The dog will be released from the vet hospital on the day of the surgery. She will feel no discomfort and can put up with the pain. However, she should be less active for the following two weeks. Make sure she doesn’t lick the wound and check the wound to make sure it’s not red or swollen.

What Behavioral Changes Can I Expect?
Spaying will change your dog’s behavior. She will be friendlier and less active. You will no longer have to put up with the behavior changes related to the heat cycles. Dogs with aggressive and dominant behavior may also become more quiet and obedient.

What Are the Spaying Health Benefits?
After the removal of the ovaries and the uterus, your dog will not be able to have any more litters and she will not have heat cycles. She won’t be at high risk for reproductive system or mammary cancers and uterine infections.

What Are the Drawbacks of Sterilization?
Spayed dogs are prone to joint problems, cancers and thyroid disease. A sterilized dog is more likely to suffer from bladder incontinence.

What is Spaying through Laser Surgery?
Spaying may be performed with a laser beam as well. The surgery is faster, less painful and the bleeding is minimal. However, the surgery wounds will take longer to heal.

What is the Spayed Dog’s Diet?
There is a special diet from Royal Canin recommended for spayed dogs. Your pet is susceptible to weight gain after the procedure, so you will have to take care of her diet to prevent other health complications related to heart conditions or joint problems. Remember that spaying alone doesn’t make your dog fat.

What Are the Dog Sterilization Surgery Costs?
A dog sterilization procedure should cost between USD1000 – 3500 depending on the size. Laser surgery spaying procedures may cost more, because the equipment is pricier.

Hope this helps and congratulations to the all the animals that got spayed this month at our hospital
Till next week,
Dr Ruan

Ask the Vet:
Royal Veterinary Centre
Tel: +853 28501099, +853 28523678
Fax: +853 28508001

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