jenn May 22nd, 2011
I’m not looking forward to altering my dog. Unfortunately, spay day is fast approaching. Sigh.
*the spay link is graphic… pictures of innards.
I know it’s against the grain and might ruffle a few feathers, but in general, I am not for “fixing” dogs. At least not mine.
I have always felt that it is our responsibility, as her owners, to make sure that she doesn’t get a chance to become “with puppies”. I’m not saying it’s not the boy dog’s owners responsibility too, because it totally is, but first and foremost, it’s ours. And really, it’s pretty darn easy to prevent. Dogs come into season on a (mostly) regular schedule. In general, they start bleeding least a week before they will accept a male. At that moment, you slap on the diapers and put the pup in 24/7 lock down for the next month. Completely doable. Been there, done that. Heck, Rain’s first estrus happened while we were at the slabs, a place notorious for roaming males and unplanned pregnancies.
We started discussing the pro and cons almost immediately after she came into our lives. We researched and talked about the increased risk of cancer (osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, etc.), incontinence, weight gain, possible mood changes, and surgery complications if we do modify her. The pros are mostly obvious. It would mean less stress for us, a lower chance of breast cancer, no chance of her dying from pyometra (an infection of the uterus), and of course a 0% chance of an unwanted litter.
In addition, Rain requires more run around outside time than my previous dogs who were quite happy chilling and snoozing until it was time to go hunting. It feels cruel keeping her on lock down for the length of time needed to guarantee 100% that there wont be any pups. This reason has more weight than almost all of the others. What good is a long life if she has to spend 1/6 of it on restriction?
We had decided, when she was about two months old, to wait until she had had her first reproductive cycle and was a year old to spay her. It seemed to be the best way to negate the negative effects. But, now that time is here, and I am not happy about it.