Charlotte Peltz Living with Your Dog "Spay? She'll get Fat!! Neuter? Oh NO!!" brought to you by Joy Beckner Artist/ Bronze Sculptor

Living with Your Dog

Spay? She'll get Fat!! Neuter? Oh NO!!

Yeah, you are probably right. She'll get fat. But, it is probably not going to be because she was spayed. It will be because she was overfed and under-exercised! Spaying usually occurs at about the same time that the big growth period ends and the need for excessive quantities of food ends. But, all too often owners forget that and continue to feed the same quantities. They also do not make note of the reduced activity of the now maturing, once nonstop, puppy.

In class the other day, two females almost two years apart in age both showed signs of gaining weight. One person commented that it was because the older one was spayed. "Ahem. Both are from the same household, one spayed and the other one not, so run that by me once again?" A change in schedule resulting in reduced exercise, but without reduction in food was the culprit!

Hormone changes can take place, but the result is just the same -- too much food for the needs of the animal.

But, why spay? Oh, let me count the reasons. Unless the female is an excellent example of her breed, and has been proved free of the crippling diseases inherent in her breed, she should not be bred. If her origin is unknown that is even more reason, since knowledge of her parents and the genetic predisposition for certain health problems is unavailable and trouble is just around the corner. The trouble, of course, will be experienced by the owners of the pups, and the pups themselves as they mature and develop the health problems that were hidden in those genes.

Pyometra is an often deadly infection of the uterus that only seems to become apparent when it is life threatening. The suffering on the part of the bitch doesn't begin to justify avoiding the spay operation. Incidentally, that operation, when performed by a qualified veterinarian, will be done with gas anesthesia, with a very small incision and the result is very rapid recovery. Furthermore, pyometra usually results in spaying, but with the unfortunate complication of the dog having to fight a raging, life-threatening infection! Additional benefits are not having to deal with a bloody mess for three weeks every six months, false pregnancies, the "boys" banging on the door, and Her Wonderfulness trying to help them in anyway she can!

As for the boys themselves, they should also have something extremely worthwhile to contribute to their breed, be evaluated for health problems and properly matched with a female of compatible pedigree. But very few animals meet those requirements!

A neutered male is still a male and will still guard the house, (as will a spayed female presuming each would do that anyhow,) but he will be less inclined to want to pick a fight with any other male dog he sees. He will be easier to keep at home where he CAN guard the house rather than trying to escape any chance he gets to check out the chicks. And, that rather socially unacceptable humping anything in his path behavior is brought under control. Furthermore, the health problems of the male species are also reduced or eliminated completely, and he does deserve having the chance to live a long, healthy life.

As for either of them becoming lethargic couch potatoes, that is up to their owners much more than the hormones. Feed properly, maintain a schedule of adequate exercise, and train your animals so that they are well behaved and can accompany you for walks or rides in the country.
[Please see Charlotte's Recommended Reading.]

"One can measure the size and moral progress of a nation to how she treats her animals." Mahatma Gandhi.

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