The process of making your retriever incapable of producing puppies is what spaying and neutering is all about.
It is the surgical sterilization of your puppy with spaying referencing the removal of the ovaries and uterus of your female retriever, while neutering has to do with the removal of the testicles of your male retriever.
Some dog owners opt for this either because are not interested in breeding their retrievers or they cannot handle the extra responsibilities that come with heat cycles of especially female retrievers, something that can be indeed daunting.
Let’s explore when it is appropriate to spay and neuter your dog and what the pros and cons are.
When Is The Right Time To Spay Or Neuter My Retriever?
Due to the risk of spaying or neutering your dog at a young age, including hip and bone issues, it is recommended that you do this when your retriever is at least 1 and a half years old, especially if it is a large breed.
However, the average age you can undertake this medical procedure is when your retriever is 1 year old.
Doing it earlier than this cuts off access to hormones that they need for healthy development and can lead to joint problems and hypothyroidism in both male and female golden retrievers, and a predisposition to various forms of cancer in female golden retrievers.
What Are The Pros Of Spaying And Neutering?
Spaying your female golden retriever can prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the risk of mammary, uterine and ovarian cancers.
Spaying also prevents your female retriever from contracting a life-threatening condition called “pyometra”, an infection of the uterus, that will subsequently require an emergency spay procedure to remove the uterus. You can lose your dog otherwise.
Neutering your male retriever reduces the risk of testicular and pancreatic cancers, and as well reduces the risk of your retriever getting an enlarged prostate later in life.
It is also common in non-neutered male dogs to try going out there in search of female dogs for mating purposes, neutering them will decrease this behaviour and reduce the risk of you losing your dog.
What Are The Cons Of Spaying And Neutering?
Health Risks Associated with Joints
Health risks such as joint issues, particularly hip dysplasia and cranial cruciate ligament tears, are likely to be experienced by your dog after spaying or neutering, especially if the procedure is done before your dog reaches 1 year or even 6 months.
Your dog is likely to experience these issues because cutting off the sex hormones proves detrimental as they are critical to the development of healthy joints and also because golden retrievers are already prone to hip and thigh issues, thus the procedure significantly increases the risk.
Hip dysplasia causes extreme pain to your retriever. It is the situation when the thigh bones, also known as the femur does not fit with the pelvis properly. The pain this causes your dog increases over time.
The main ligaments in a dog’s knee joint are the cranial cruciate ligaments. These are very susceptible to tears, causing so much pain to your dog. This can result in arthritis over time.
Development of Cancer in Spayed Female Retrievers
Your spayed female retriever is highly likely to develop such cancers as lymphosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, mast cell tumor and mammary cancer. No matter your dog’s age when the procedure was done, these risks are high.
Thus, you should spay your dog when it is absolutely necessary. Also, it’ll be of great help to your dog if you delay the process as long as you can to slightly reduce these risks.
How Much Am I Likely To Spend On A Spay Procedure?
Spay surgery is one of the most expensive procedures vets undertake, so you should be prepared to dig deep into your pockets if you want this for your female retriever.
Spaying is usually much more complicated than neutering and can cost between $300 and $500 for a golden retriever. This is dependent on your location and the clinic.
However, there are other clinics where you are likely to pay less. You should make all the necessary research to know where will be best for your retriever. Your vet can also recommend some of the best clinics for you.
Deciding whether to spay or neuter your golden retriever can be very challenging. Regardless, do not spay or neuter when your dog is less than a year old as that can come with unwanted health risks, some of which might kill your dog.
You should be certain you really want this for your dog and talk to your vet to fully understand what the procedure entails and all the risks involved before you decide.
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