Can A Dog Be Too Old To Neuter: When is it too late to neuter a dog? – Spaying and Neutering Information
You probably never expected to have “the talk” as a dog parent, did you?
As dog owners, we are responsible for feeding and caring for another living animal, and part of that responsibility includes having your dog spayed or neutered or breeding responsibly.
I am the proud dog mom of two dogs: Lola, a Yorkshire terrier, and Ruger, a Weimaraner.
Ruger came from a shelter, and most shelters spay or neuter all animals before giving them up for adoption.
Ruger is neutered, but Lola is not. At least not yet.
She’ll be gone soon because none of us will be able to survive another of her heat cycles. (And, of course, it’s the responsible thing to do.)
Spoiler alert: even if the other dog is three times smaller than them and they can’t do anything, neutered dogs like Ruger still hump female dogs in heat.
What is the difference between neutering and spaying?
Female and male animals are sterilized using the terms “spaying” and “neutering,” respectively. In order to keep things simple, the word “neutering” is often used for both male and female animals.
Spayed or neutered dogs live longer, healthier lives. A simple surgical procedure is required.
Your dog will be able to return home the same day, wearing the “cone of shame” collar and receiving pain medication.
What exactly is neutering?
Male dogs are completely castrated, unlike human males who have vasectomies that leave the testicles in place.
That is, the entire testicles are removed through a small incision.
That’s why it’s so simple to tell the difference between neutered and intact male dogs.
What exactly is spaying?
The ovaries and, in most cases, the uterus are removed when a female dog is spayed.
This disables her ability to reproduce as well as her heat cycles. Heat cycles are the equivalent of a woman’s menstrual cycle in animals.
Female animals are also allowed to return home after surgery but must wear a “cone of shame” to avoid licking the surgical area.
The Elizabethan collar, by the way, is the proper name for those “cones of shame” (E-collar).
Pet owners refer to them as “cones of shame” because their dog has usually gotten into some mischief that necessitates a trip to the vet.
Even though the procedure is straightforward and quick, it should be performed by a veterinarian or a reputable animal clinic.
Why Should You Have Your Dog Neutered or Spayed?
Neutering and spaying your dogs have numerous behavioral and health benefits. Heat cycles in female dogs can be messy and inconvenient, especially if you have another dog who humps her at all hours of the night when you’re trying to sleep.
Male dog neutering has been shown to reduce aggressive behavior and make both sexes calmer. Spaying and neutering can stop dogs and cats from doing things they shouldn’t, like marking their territory with urine, humps, biting, jumping, and roaming.
The most important benefit of spaying and neutering is that it greatly improves your dog’s health and length of life.
Male dogs can get cancer in their testicles, and female dogs can get cancer in their breasts or uterus.
Spaying or neutering greatly reduces the risk. Yorkshire terriers and other small dogs are particularly susceptible to breast cancer. I had another Yorkshire terrier before Lola. Selphie was my first dog as an adult, and her name was Selphie.
I had no idea that dogs could get breast cancer, and despite the vet’s repeated recommendations, I never had Selphie spayed. Selphie was diagnosed with breast cancer later in life.
She developed a tumor near the end of her life, and the vet couldn’t tell if it was on her uterus or her bladder. The vet spayed Selphie while she was having surgery to remove the tumor (which was luckily on her uterus; bladder tumors are inoperable).
She was 14 at the time, and while she survived the surgery, she never fully recovered and died of kidney failure later that year at the age of 15.
While Selphie did not die from the breast cancer directly, the vet told me that it weakened her immune system and made it more difficult for her to fight off the other health issues she had.
I’ll never forgive myself for not spaying her when the vet first suggested it, and just writing this has reminded me that I need to get Lola spayed as soon as possible.
Will my dog be in any discomfort?
Your dog will be sedated and will not feel anything during the procedure. They may be groggy when they wake up and return home due to the medication.
Do you remember those viral videos of people with their wisdom teeth removed? It’s the same concept, except dogs can’t talk or say amusing things.
After the surgery, your dog should be in no pain, but there will be some discomfort for at least a few days.
The bigger issue is keeping your dog calm while the incision heals, which takes seven to ten days. Some dogs end up rupturing the stitches, requiring additional surgery to repair.
That’s where the E-collar comes in handy. Its bulk at the dog’s neck keeps the incision from being licked. Because it’s difficult to maneuver while wearing an e-collar, some dogs become calmer.
If your dog despises the collar, many pet stores sell softer versions that look like travel neck pillows for humans.
As a result, your dog will be uncomfortable for a few days, but not in excruciating pain.
When Should You Have Your Dog Spayed or Neutered?
There is a myth that female dogs should go through one heat cycle before being spayed, but most veterinarians have abandoned this belief in recent years.
To help prevent breast cancer and urinary tract infections, it is now recommended that female dogs be spayed before their first heat cycle.
After the age of eight months, males can be neutered. Some veterinarians, on the other hand, prefer to wait until the dogs have stopped growing.
They believe testosterone is linked to bone growth and that neutering a dog prevents them from reaching their full potential because testosterone production is reduced when the testicles are neutered.
How Much Does it Cost to Neuter or Spay Your Dog?
Because vet prices vary by region, it’s difficult to give an exact region.
My veterinarian estimated that spaying Lola would cost $200.
Prior to surgery, some older dogs must have blood tests to ensure that they are healthy enough to survive.
Many local humane societies offer spaying and neutering vouchers or low-cost clinics.
Even though the price may seem high at first, you may be able to add years to your dog’s life and save money on expensive medical procedures in the future.
Spaying or neutering your dogs can help them get along better if you have more than one at home.
Even if your dog is an only child, the surgery may improve his or her behavior.
Can a dog be too old to be spayed or neutered?
Older dogs may believe that they are too old to be spayed or neutered. My dog was spayed when she was 14 years old, and she survived the surgery.
Thanks to new techniques and safer anesthetic drugs, the surgery is completely safe for all dogs, no matter how old they are.
Blood tests are sometimes required for dogs over the age of seven to check kidney and liver functions, which are required for anesthesia.
Spaying your older dog has far more advantages than disadvantages.
What is the Appropriate Age for Neutering or Spaying a Dog?
Many veterinarians agree that spaying or neutering a puppy at the age of eight months is safe and recommended.
The sooner you spay or neuter your dog, the easier it will be for you and your family.
After the spay or neuter surgery, any behavior problems or accidents that happen when house training (like marking) can be stopped or lessened.
Does Spaying or Neutering Cause Obesity in Dogs?
There’s also a myth that spayed or neutered dogs will gain weight after surgery.
Although not all dogs do it, it is possible. After spaying or neutering, the metabolism slows down.
Your dog can, however, maintain a healthy weight with proper diet and exercise.
Some people who want to adopt shelter dogs express dissatisfaction with the cost. Before allowing an animal to be adopted, shelters spay or neuter them and give the dog’s first vaccinations.
That alone will save you around $400. Adopting a shelter dog is not only a fun thing to do, but it also saves you money on vet bills.
Adopt a dog from a shelter if you don’t want the added responsibility of deciding when and if to spay or neuter your puppy.
They will have already had the surgery, and you will not have to worry about it.
Spaying and neutering dogs help cut down on the number of unwanted dogs and give your dog more years of a happy life with you.