Our Guide to Spaying Gundogs
It’s a question that you will hear thrown about the gun room many times. Should I spay my gundog? Spaying Gundogs despite what people say does encourage further good health in the long run. Although there are cons to spaying gundogs, the benefits in our opinion far outweigh them. For many years now vets throughout the UK and elsewhere have been recommending the routine spaying of all bitches and there’s good reason why.
Vets in the UK state that spaying you gundog will help protect her from life threatening illnesses and diseases. Most commonly, these being mammary cancer and pyometra.
Spaying Gundogs: How common is mammary cancer & pyometra in Gundogs?
Unfortunately the risk of your unspayed gundog developing mammary cancer is relatively high. Most sources state that 26% of all unspayed gundogs will develop mammary tumours at some point in their lives. The figures go on to also suggest that around half of these will further develop to become malignant.
Research also suggests that whilst mammary tumours in dogs spayed before their first season is negligible, the risk increases by approximately 8% before her second season before then rising to 25% thereafter. As these figures explain, if you delay spaying your gundog until after her second season, it is then too late to reduce the risk of mammary tumours.
Pyometra for those of you who don’t know is an infection of the birches uterus or womb. Pyometra tends to develop in older bitches but is not uncommon in younger ones. When a bitch develops Pyometra, pus quickly builds up inside the uterus which then leads to the uterus becoming swollen and inflamed. Pyometra is also known as being the silent killer in bitches and this is because sometimes the cervix remains closed and therefore you may not notice any discharge. As a result of this, Pyometra can be diagnosed in its later stages when treatment is not effective leading to death.
The benefits and disadvantages of spaying gundogs
The over all evidence of spaying your gundog early in life for the protection against mammary tumours is rather weak. We do know however that spaying your gundog later in life may be less likely to offer protection than spaying at an early age. More research is needed into the link (if any) between spayed gundogs and mammary tumours.
Spaying your gundog at any age does however offer your bitch almost complete protection agains Pyometra. As we have already mentioned, research suggests that the risk of developing Pyometra increases with age and this is why we would recommend spaying gundogs.
There are also other benefits to spaying gundogs. Other than the health benefits we have already discussed, spaying your gundog also alleviates the worry of your bitch becoming pregnant.
Now before you pick up the phone to book your bitch into the vets, there are some disadvantages to spaying that we must cover. Some research in spaying gundogs has shown that it may actually be disadvantageous to their health. Studies have show that a bitch that has been spayed is at increased risk of developing joint problems, several types of cancer, temperament issues and urinary incontinence.
Spaying Gundogs: Our Conclusion
Everyone is going to have a different view on whether or not spaying gundogs is overall beneficial. Until more research is done into this subject, no one will know the true answer. Whether or not you decide to spay your gundog is up too you. In our opinion, we’re convinced that spaying gundogs is the way forward purely for the prevention of Pyometra. Pyometra as we have already discussed is a nasty infection and one that can be a silent killer. If we can prevent our gundogs from developing Pyometra, it can only be a good thing.