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Spaying or Neutering Your Chihuahua

Spaying or Neutering Your Chihuahua

Introduction

Spaying or neutering your Chi is the surgical sterilization procedure used to make sure your pet is no longer able to produce offspring.  Spaying is the word used for female dogs, and neutering is the term for male dogs. 

While you may love your Chi very much and believe they are the most sweetly adorable little dog in the world it is not always the best idea to let them breed.  The cost to society of unwanted animals and the health risks for your pet are both to be considered.

The other consideration if you own a female Chihuahua is the risk involved with breeding and whelping.  Small dogs like Chis often have difficulty giving birth and end up having caesarean sections.  The added trauma for your dog and the added cost to you in this situation is considerable.

Benefits of Neutering 

Neutering your male Chihuahua can have medical and behavioural advantages.  The male hormone, testosterone, accounts for some of the aggression issues and roaming tendencies that male dogs are famous for.  Removing a dogs testicles removes the source of testosterone production so your little boy may be calmer and less likely to leave home looking for a girlfriend.

From a medical point of view, neutering your Chi is very beneficial.  Male dogs can develop testicular tumours so, obviously, removing this body part eliminates any future possibility of this.  Also testosterone can feed the growth of other tumours, specifically perianal tumours, so eliminating this hormone production has its own health advantages.

Also, a significant portion of unneutered male dogs, Chihuahuas included, develop prostate disease.  Testosterone is the culprit here as well.  Helping your little boy achieve the best possible health for the whole of his life is important.

Benefits of Spaying

As an owner, dealing with your female Chihuahua’s heat cycle two to three times a year can be reason enough to have your dog spayed.  Having to keep your little girl away from all the boys who want to get close to her while she is in heat is also a big hassle.  Besides these owner benefits your female Chi can reap significant medical benefits as well.

Mammary tumours are reduced by up to 95% in spayed dogs compared to unspayed females.  Getting your pup spayed sooner rather than later is also important.  If your Chi has more than two heat cycles the benefits in terms of reduced mammary tumours is lessened.

Older female dogs are also subject to problems with ovarian or uterine cancers.  Surgical sterilization for female dogs involves the removal of these reproductive organs, thus making these forms of cancers a non-issue.

The other concern is pyometra, where the lining of the uterus becomes infected with bacteria.  If the cervix closes the uterus cannot drain and the dog can become seriously ill.  By the time you notice a problem, spaying your dog is the only option.

When to Spay or Neuter

Discuss with your veterinarian when the best time is to spay or neuter your Chi.  Many veterinarians recommend the age of six months as an ideal time, but doing the procedure earlier is always possible.

Six months is a good time to spay or neuter due in part to the developments going on in their mouths.  It takes until about the age of six months for your Chi’s baby teeth to fall out.  If they don’t fall out on their own they may need to be removed.  If left in they can become impacted or, at the very least, make keeping teeth clean a challenge due to overcrowding.  Removing baby teeth needs to be done under an anaesthetic, so doing it at the same time as a spay or neuter makes sense for your Chi. 

Whether or not you decide to spay or neuter your Chi, consider the behavioural and medical benefits carefully before making your decision.

 

 

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