Spay & Neutering Your Chihuahuas
Many people ask me why I sell my pups on a non breeding contract (spay/neuter) contract when they are sold as family pets. I always reply with, “are you planning on breeding this pup when it gets older, or do you want your pup to live longer?”
The most persuasive reason is that statistics show that dogs that are spayed/neutered live up to 4 to 5 years longer than dogs that are not spayed/neutered.
Spaying & neutering is called surgical sterilization. Spaying of females involves the removal of the entire reproductive tract (uterus & ovaries). Neutering of males is done by removing the testicles. Both procedures are performed using a strict sterile technique while the pet is under general anesthesia.
Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce the incidence of a number of health issues that can be very difficult or expensive to treat such as uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the chance of breast cancer, particularly of Pyometras in female dogs. Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease.
Males & females become more obedient when they are spayed and neutered. They aren’t looking for a mate to breed with and concentrate on the family members for companionship. No raging hormones to distract them. They won’t want to dig, jump all over, roam or lift their leg and want to mark (pee, mark their territory) all over the home inside and out. Males should be neutered between 5 and 6 months of age.
I have had some people tell me that if they neuter their male dog, that he will be less of a male. This is simply not true. You have to remember animals are not people and don’t think about those type of things. Dogs don’t have a concept of sexual identity or ego.
Many people think that their pup/dog will become fat and lazy after this operation, but this is not true. The pup/dog will become over weight only because of lack of exercise and excessive eating causing the pup/dog to become over weight.
Spaying & neutering your dog will not change their personality. Their environment and their experiences however may change them. As a pup matures in age, he tends to get less rambunctious and also tends to be calmer depending on the pup’s personality.
One quarter of the dogs in animal shelters are purebred dogs and the other are mix bred dogs. People abandon or surrender their purebred & mix dogs for many reasons. Most were purchased without a non breeding contract and the breeder that sold the dog didn’t state that the dog should come back to them if for any reason they couldn’t keep the dog. Many breeders/back yard breeders/CKC Reg’d breeders sell all their dogs with out any contracts and really don’t want to know how they are doing or who is purchasing the pup/dog.
Some people think it is better for a female to have one litter of pups before they are spayed. They think it will make them less active. Medical studies have proven the opposite. The ideal time to spay your female dog is before their first heat, between 6 months and 7 months and no earlier than 6 months. Spaying at a young age prevents uterine infections and reduces the incidence of mammary cancer. A spayed female is more relaxed and will not have the mood swings that an un-spayed female can have.
I have had some people tell me that it is unnatural to prevent their dog from having a litter or being used for a stud. We interfered with nature thousands of years ago when we domesticated dogs to make them our companions and family members. Without us, our pets would not live very long in the wild. Responsible breeders choose the best, healthiest and dogs that exhibit the breed standard to breed. They keep the good qualities of the breed strong and try not to have bad genetical defects in the dogs’ blood lines. So many people call themselves breeders, but they breed any pet quality or lesser dogs only because they feel it is their right. Some people cross breed dogs intentionally to see what the pups will look like. They don’t think about the pups that will be born.
Breeding Chihuahuas is a delicate task. C-sections are very high with the Chihuahua breed, because they are very small and because of the shape of the pup’s head being round and not oval. Many Chihuahuas have narrow hips as well. Chihuahuas don’t have large litters. They average 3 pups in a litter. If there are only one or two, they may grow so large that the female Chihuahua will need a c-section. If you don’t know what you are doing or aren’t able to be home when she starts her labour, you may loose the pups and the female Chihuahua as well.
I you came to visit my kennel, you would see how much work I exert on behalf of my dogs. Cleaning up after them is just the beginning. Puppies are more work than adult dogs. They are babies and just like human babies they eat, sleep and pee/poo for the first 5 weeks, then they start to explore and have to be in a safety zone area where they are safe. They will shred their papers and pee on the bed. You have to teach them at an early age and socialize them. You will do more washing of the beds/floors etcetera until they are sold and leave your home or you will have to work more on obedience training them if they are not sold at 3 months old. I operate this kennel because I love the Chihuahua breed, almost as much as I love my own children, even though sometimes I wish there was a changing paper fairy to clean up instead of me doing it 10 to 20 times a day.
Many people think they will find good homes for the pups after they have a litter. It is not that simple. As a responsible CKC Reg’d breeder, I know very well that you need to find the right home for each of the pups and sometimes you can have a pup for a longer time, because everyone has a different idea of the dog they want (colour/sex/size/temperament/personality), one which you may not have. I have had to reduce the price of many pups/adult dogs, so that I could increase the range of families that the dog would be most happy in. I am never in a rush to sell my dogs and I try to break even at the end of the year. I have come out at an annual loss of $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 because I happen to spend more money on my dogs and never hesitate to buy them the very best. My Veterinarian gives all my dogs yearly shots and dental cleaning exedra. I treat my dogs as if they were my children.
Back to spaying and neutering . . .
Spaying and neutering is not dangerous if you have a qualified Veterinarian. Spaying and neutering surgeries are the most common surgical procedures performed by Veterinarians. The procedures are performed under general anesthesia and medication is given to prevent the animal from feeling any pain. Dogs are usually fully recovered in just a few days and some act like nothing has happened after 6 hours post-op. The minimal risk associated with the surgery is far outweighed by the health benefits to the animal.
Spaying and neutering must be done with the pup/dog having a empty stomach, no water or food at midnight the night before the procedure. A Good Veterinarian will let you take the dog home after thirty minutes to one hour after the pup/dog has woken up. They will want the pup/dog to recover with you, in your home where it is comfortable and secure.
Females that are spayed after their first, second, or third litter of pups, tend to take longer to heal. As many of the females tend to go into a depression for two days up to two weeks.
Many Veterinarians insist that you purchase a cone (oval plastic or fabric Collar) to stop the pup/dog from licking the stitches and the incision area. Only 10% of pups/dog will lick or pay attention to the incision area. I tend to only use a cone on some of my pups/dog once the incision is three to four days after the operation, because as the area heals it can become itchy. But if I put a cream like Polysporin on it, it tends to be less itchy and they leave it alone.
When seeking a qualified responsible Veterinarian (not all Veterinarian are made alike) you must do your research. When spaying/neutering, any pup/dog, they DO NOT NEED to have IV or special anaesthetic or stay over night at the vet clinic. All those things are just extra billing for things that do not need to be done. The only time these procedures would have to be done is if your pup/dog was sick and you would never even think of putting your dog through any operation if it was to put your pup/dog’s life at risk and your Veterinarian wouldn’t want to do a spay or neuter if the dog was sick, unless it was to save the pup/dog.
Prices range extreme. I find smaller towns outside of the big cities are not as expensive, from $180.00 up to $380.00 for spaying and neutering. So phone around, just because it is more expensive doesn’t mean the pup/dog will have better care.
Laser surgery is more expensive, but there is less bleeding and a faster healing time for the pup/dog. So in the end, it is up to you. Many people buy their dog on a non breeding contract and still use their dogs for breeding. Then you have the responsible pet owner that has their male neutered between five and six months of age and female spayed between six and seven months of age. If you decide you don’t want your pup/dog to be neutered and you want to breed, make sure you tell the breeder who you are thinking of getting a dog from so that they can sell you the pick of the litter and never be in a rush. Make sure the pup/dog is registered and research the pedigree before you breed your Chihuahua. It is also not recommended for any one to breed a female Chihuahua under 3 1/2 lbs. Please do your research and make sure you have time off so you can take care of the puppies when they are born and have the finance to support your litter.
So all things considered, I hope you will do the right thing and spay/neuter your pup.