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Things to avoid – Dogster

by Bella Woof

Those accustomed to daytime game shows on television will fondly remember Bob Barker ending each episode of the game. price is fair By telling your audience to have their household pets spayed or neutered. He usually preceded this advice with the rationale that doing so would help control pet numbers. With millions of pets being euthanized each year, it makes sense to neuter female dogs for population control. But it is not the only result.

There is a well-known truism that is still talked about from time to time. This means that one unneutered female dog and her unneutered offspring, left alone, can produce 67,000 new dogs within six years. That's what it is. This is a broad generalization problem based on geometric progressions. These are fun and surprising thought experiments, but if they were true, there's no doubt that dogs would be occupying every habitable space on Earth by now.

Problems with unspayed female dogs
Overpopulated dog shelters are just one potential problem. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Why should I have my female dog spayed? Here are three scary things that can happen to your female dog as she gets older if you leave her alone.

  • Breast tumor/breast cancer
  • perianal fistula
  • Pyometra

Breast tumors and breast cancer

The cancer known in humans as breast cancer disproportionately affects intact female dogs. These numbers are alarming and perhaps easier to understand than thinking about a world where uncontrolled breeding practices are prevalent. According to the Society of Veterinary Surgical Oncology, mammary tumors develop in 23 to 34 percent of intact female dogs. There are two main types of tumors, also known as neoplasms, classified as malignant and benign, that plague the mammary glands of older female dogs.

Although the specific and actual causes of benign mammary tumors and malignant cancers remain unclear, there is clear evidence of a link between mammary tumor growth and the hormones produced during the female dog's estrus cycle. Mammary tumors in female dogs appear to require the presence of sex hormones to begin growing, but once the tumor has developed, sex hormones are no longer required. these Tumors can affect major parts of the mammary gland. The connective tissue that connects the glands, milk ducts, and the area surrounding each gland.

Malignant tumors spread easily. FSince male dogs have 8 to 10 mammary glands, aggressive breast cancer in an unspayed female dog can be a death sentence at any time, especially between the ages of 5 and 10 years. Standard contraception – ovariohysterectomy – in front dog's The first oestrous cycle or estrus virtually eliminates the risk of mammary tumors.

perianal fistula

Although much less common than mammary gland tumors, they are more common than tumors of other reproductive organs in female dogs, especially the uterus and ovaries. Perianal fistulas are another health problem that can be avoided with early neutering. Like mammary gland tumors, perianal fistulas tend to develop as female dogs age and are most common in dogs over 7 years of age.

What is a perianal fistula? Also known as perianal furunculosis, it is a condition in which abnormal connections or tunnels form between the two sets of tissues around the anus. Female dogs with perianal furunculosis may have difficulty defecating, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. The unnaturally connected tissue forms a small hole around the anus that can easily grow, dilate, leak, and become infected.

Problems with unspayed female dogs
Dogs in heat will find ways to suppress their urges. (Photo by his Aidras on Flickr)

Basically, these fistulas constantly ooze, bleed, and emit a terrible odor. To resolve, medical treatment is required, ranging from antibiotics and antiseptics to radical dietary changes and, in some cases, surgery, including removal of the tail. For those who choose not to spay their female dogs due to the cost of the surgery, the cost is minimal compared to the cost of treating a perianal fistula. Dogs that are spayed have a reduced risk of developing this condition later in life.


Pyometra is the most common outcome of female dogs left unharmed, surpassing mammary tumors and perianal fistulas. Additionally, the easiest way to prevent this is to have your dog spayed. What is pyometra? Simply put, it is a condition in which pus accumulates in the uterus. Secondary infections that occur when a female dog develops pyometra are even more dangerous to the dog's health and require immediate treatment to prevent death.

How does this begin? During a standard oestrous cycle, white blood cells do not enter the uterus while the lining of the organ thickens in preparation for pregnancy. If you are not pregnant, the lining is not shed and excreted like in the human menstrual cycle, but is absorbed back into the body over time. After several consecutive heat cycles without pregnancy, cysts may begin to form in the remaining endometrial lining. When the cervix closes and bacteria are present in the uterus, an infection can take hold.

Most cases of pyometra begin within eight weeks of the end of the estrus cycle, and the severity of symptoms varies depending on whether the cervix is ​​open or closed. Closed pyometra has been likened to appendicitis in humans and can become life-threatening with little warning. Pyometra is easier to detect when the cervix remains open. Similar to perianal fistula, it is associated with significant leakage. As the infection progresses, pus becomes more visible and drains from the affected dog's uterus through the vagina.

pregnant dog resting on white bed
We provide the best veterinary care and nutritional advice for pregnant female dogs. Give prenatal vitamins only as recommended by your veterinarian, and never give your dog human prenatal vitamins. ©TatyananGI/Getty Images

Avoid the problem of unneutered female dogs! Get your dog spayed!

There are alternatives to complete reproductive sterilization, including partial sterilization and simple hysterectomy. This procedure virtually eliminates the dog's risk of pyometra, but leaves the ovaries producing sex hormones that promote the growth of mammary tumors. It is completely safe for the majority of normal, healthy puppies to undergo a standard ovariohysterectomy within the first eight weeks of life. The word “early” has different meanings depending on the size and breed of the dog.

Depending on size and breed factors, dogs may have their first heat cycle as early as 6 months of age or as late as 24 months. There is no rule that says a cat must be spayed at 8 weeks. Spaying your cat before her first heat maximizes the health benefits. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of early spaying, you should at least talk to your dog's veterinarian about spaying your female dog by the time she is two and a half years old. This is the point at which studies show that ovariohysterectomy no longer has an impact on breast tumor prevention.

About the author: Melvin Peña trained as a scholar and teacher of 18th-century English literature, then honed his research and writing skills on puppies and kittens. He enjoys making art, hiking, going to concerts, as well as captivating audiences with his operatic karaoke performances. He has a 2 year old female Bluetick named Baby and his Coonhound mix. His online life is conveniently summarized here.

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