Last updated on September 23, 2022
When should an Australian Shepherd be spayed? Whether a dog should be sterilized or not has been going on for decades, while both sides have good arguments, sterilization certainly has many benefits, especially if you own a female dog.
However, many owners do not know when should an Australian Shepherd be spayed. This article will explore the spaying procedure and answer questions about when and why spaying should be done.
When should an Australian Shepherd be spayed?
An Australian Shepherd should be spayed once it reaches six months of age. The procedure should be done before the dog goes into her first heat. However, this applies only to those owners that don’t want any puppies at all. Otherwise, the dog can be neutered after she has gone into heat for the first time. So if you decide that your Aussie should have an offspring but want to spay her after that, it will be healthy for the dog too.
Spaying your Aussie before she has matured sexually is not advised because the dog’s reproductive organs are not yet fully developed at this age. Therefore, fixing a dog at a very young age can be very dangerous for the proper growth of the dog.
If you decide to let your dog go into heat, she can get expectant. So, if your Aussie becomes pregnant, you can spay her as early as five weeks after giving birth. But if she goes into heat without getting pregnant, it would be safe to fix her one month after her cycle ends.
Remember, when it comes to spaying, your veterinarian is your best friend, as he’s the one that will perform the procedure. However, please consult the pet doctor before taking any action. Also, bear in mind that many experts recommend spaying your pup once she becomes one year old.
What is spaying?
Spaying, or ovariohysterectomy, is the surgical sterilization of a female dog. The uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes are removed from the dog during this procedure. Hence, the dog is unable to breed. After spaying, your Australian Shepherd won’t produce hormones. Therefore, she won’t go into heat and will soon lose all interest in mating.
Doctors can also perform surgical sterilization on male dogs. This procedure is called neutering or castration. During neutering, the vet removes the dog’s testicles. It can be performed once the dog reaches puberty. What makes it easier is that male dogs don’t go into heat. Therefore, male Aussies can be neutered ad any time.
Besides surgical solutions, you can also sterilize a dog with chemical methods. For example, an injection that makes the dog infertile is administered. However, these techniques are not so popular. While spaying is permanent, vets should perform chemical sterilization every six months.
What are the risks and benefits of spaying?
Like any other surgical procedure, spaying brings both benefits and risks simultaneously. However, the number of benefits is more significant than the one of jeopardies.
First, let’s start with the negative side. So, these are the potential hazards that might occur as a result of spaying:
- Possible urinary tract infections
- Moderate risk of hypothyroidism
- Risk of bone cancer, but only if spayed before one year of age
- Possible reactions to vaccines
- Higher risk of blood vessels cancer
Now, let’s talk about the numerous benefits spaying your Australian Shepherd will bring:
- A well behaved, calm Aussie
- Decreased aggression
- No more heat
- Less uterine infections
- No risks of ovarian tumours
- Reduced risk of mammary tumours
- Lesser chances of perianal fistulas
- A longer, healthier life
- No unwanted puppies
- Decreased desire to escape and roam
- Long term money saving
As you can see, there are far more benefits from spaying than risks. So, if you have had any concerns, I hope they’re all resolved. Now you only need to decide whether you want to have more puppies or not.
The spaying procedure lasts from 20 to 90 minutes, altogether with anesthesia. Then, the dog is put asleep, and her reproductive organs are removed. The wake-up time is individual, but it should not take more than 30 minutes. Thanks to the drugs, the dog won’t feel any pain during the surgery.
The recovery period for a female dog is about two weeks. During this time, you have to take care of your Aussie girl. She must not be allowed to run, as there’s a risk of rupturing the stitches. The incision should not be extensive, and you must inspect it a couple of times per day. If you notice any changes, call your vet immediately.
Your Australian Shepherd will be confused and disoriented during the first day of the surgery. She might not react to your touches and commands. But, worry not; this is the anesthesia doing. Once your dog gets a good night’s sleep, she’ll be back to normal.
Also, monitor the food and water intake during the first day. Do not let your dog eat as usual. Instead, let her drink some water a couple of hours after the procedure. Then, you can start with regular feeding the next day. However, consult your vet too for this issue.
The spaying is a surgical procedure; it is normal if she feels some pain. The vet will prescribe pain killers and other medications. Make sure your Aussie girl takes them all. You don’t want the dog suffering. Comfort her by petting and spending time with her.
There should be no bathing during the recovery period. Water can cause numerous infections, which you must avoid. Also, you will have to prevent your gal from licking the wound. The best way to achieve this is by putting an e-collar on her neck. While this might be uncomfortable, remember it for the dog’s good.
So, now you’ve learned when an Australian Shepherd should be spayed. If you have no plans to reproduce your dog, spaying is the most humane thing. Besides calming your dog down, spaying will bring many health benefits. It will also decrease the number of unwanted puppies we see every day. So, call your vet and make the world a better place.