Surgical Neutering of the Male Dog

By Catherine DeGeorge Posted in Pet Health Care / No Comments »

Surgical neutering of the male dog is important in helping dog owners to control the male dog’s aggressive behavior. By doing the surgical neutering, it becomes possible to control the dog’s restlessness, which might have caused so much agony for the owner and hence, neutering corrects such activity to the benefit of the dog owner.

When the dog is in puppy stage, the dog may be subjected to the surgical neutering technique. This way, the hormonal impact is highly minimized in male dogs.

The surgical neutering of the male dog helps to prevent the incidences of prostate gland diseases. The prostate enlargement is more common with male dogs but with surgical neutering, the incidences of prostate enlargement are minimized.

Without this procedure, the adult male dog may have difficulties during defecation and constipation may occur due to the increased size of the prostate gland.  However, one has to rule out the feed borne constipation, like lack of fiber in their diet, before resorting to the fixation of prostate enlargement as a cause for this. Fortunately, neutering causes shrinkage of the prostate gland.

In surgical neutering, the incision is placed in front of the scrotum and the testicles are removed in a surgical manner using aseptic techniques. The wound need not be closed except the tying up of the cord after cutting of the testicle.  However, in two to three days time, as a routine tissue reaction, some swelling may occur in the scrotum.

Septic shock may occur if the surgical site gets infected with microbial infections and in these cases, the wound needs a thorough dressing procedure and the patient needs to be continuously monitored in a clinical environment. Once antibiotics are administered, the will recover in a satisfactory condition.

Take note that local animal organizations perform the surgical neutering when the stray male dogs are captured by them. This helps to reduce the over-population and needless “putting down” of dogs.

Spaying of the Female dog

By Catherine DeGeorge Posted in Pet Health Care / No Comments »

Spaying of the female dog is undertaken to control the unwanted pregnancy. It reduces the aggressiveness of the dog helps to control the population of stray animals.

Spaying is a surgical procedure that removes the ovaries from the female dog. Experienced veterinarians are required to do the spaying procedure and post-operative care is to be given more emphasis.

If proper control measures are not taken after the surgical operation for the removal of the ovaries, then infections may start setting in and the animal may develop peritonitis and then toxemia sets in, causing unwanted health problems.

Death of the dog may even occur, if the dog is not provided effective and proper veterinary care.

A female dog generally comes into heat once every eight months or so. During this period, there is bleeding from vagina which attracts the male dog but the spaying activity prevents all of this.

A female dog that is spayed before the occurrence of first heat will have almost a zero chance of development of mammary cancer, which is more common with the dogs that are not spayed. Older dogs that have not been spayed may often get signs of increased thirst, anorexia, and vomiting that are so common with pyometra.

Pyometra is the presence of pus in the uterus.  Once pyometra occurs, it involves many discomforts to the animal and the therapy can be quite expensive. Fortunately, pyometra is totally prevented by spaying because in the case of spaying, you are removing both ovaries and the uterus.

Benefits to Spaying and Neutering Dogs

By Catherine DeGeorge Posted in Pet Health Care / No Comments »

Another question that seems to always come up with new dog owners is the decision to spay or neuter their dog…

The terms spaying and neutering are related to the surgical approaches of sterilization in case of females and males respectively.  Spaying and neutering of dogs is highly recommended if you don’t want to breed the dogs. Accidental pregnancies that are not wanted can be highly minimized by these procedures.

However, these procedures need to be carried out by a qualified veterinarian because anesthesia is required, along with proper surgical procedures.

Spaying helps to prevent occurrence of pyometra, which is a common reproductive disorder in female dogs.  In male dogs, the neutering helps to prevent the occurrence of prostate enlargement or cancer.

By spaying and neutering, the male dog’s desire in search of female dogs in heat is highly minimized hence wandering of the male dog is reduced. The animal becomes calm by these surgical remedies. Territorial behavior is also highly minimized in male dogs.

Spaying of your female dog before the occurrence of first heat is the best remedy to avoid the incidence of breast cancer. Research has proved that if the dog is spayed after the first heat, the chances of occurrence of breast cancer is higher. Therefore, younger dogs should be given these operations to avoid complications in future.

Many veterinarians prefer the spaying and neutering of dogs only at the age of five to six months. However, these can be performed even at the age of three to five months. Postoperative care needs to be followed meticulously to avoid the occurrence of infections by microbial organisms.

What happens during a dog’s examination?

By Catherine DeGeorge Posted in Pet Health Care / No Comments »

It has been brought to my attention that many new dog owners are unsure of what happens during their dog’s visit to the veterinarian, so I decided to cover a few basics of what to expect at your dog’s examination, rather than begin our discussion of heartworm…

The first thing that you need to know is that there may be several other animals at the vet’s office when you go for your appointment so it’s very important that you arrive with your dog on a leash so as not to cause any disruption.

Just like when you visit your own doctor, they will ask to weigh your dog. This is sometimes tricky as most dogs do not want to sit in one place long enough to get an accurate weight. Coax your dog onto the scale and command it to sit and stay, while the scale calculates the weight.

Next, you will be taken into an examination room where your dog will be placed on a table for their examination.  The table is then typically raised up so that your dog is at the level of the vet.

Your dog may try to jump off the table during the examination, so try to distract them by simple scratching behind the ears, or whatever makes them most comfortable. This way, the dog’s attention is somewhat diverted from the examination procedures that will be carried out in a systematic manner.

Many dogs are uneasy about the procedure, but there are also obedient dogs which will remain calm during an examination.  In either case, your dog should be given some patting and praises.

Many owners (or vets for that matter) provide some treats to distract their dogs.  However, it all depends on the trainings and the effective follow up procedures by the owner for the maintenance of such reflexes during the examination.

Many of the examination procedures require frequent movements of the dog’s body, therefore, muzzles may be required for some dogs if they have a tendency to object by biting the veterinarian doing the examination of the dog.

As a pet owner, you will need to observe your dog closely during the examination to rule out any abnormal activity by the dog.

Restraining your dog in a proper manner during the clinical examination will be highly appreciated. Such control will be of extremely helpful for the effective examination of the patient by the concerned veterinarian in the pet clinic.

If your dog gets distracted or restless during the examination, then one may even use one of the various electronic equipments on the market, which will make a sound that is audible to the dogs’ ears. Such devices may prove be helpful in the proper distraction of the animal during the examination.

Your vet may also have an assistant accompany them in the examination room, in which case, you will have help in restraining your dog if needed.

The final thing to remember is that pet clinics deal with all kinds of dogs day in and day out. Therefore, do not feel embarrassed if your dog acts out of character during an examination. The vets have seen it all and are used to handling all different personalities and situations.

Did you get a new addition to your family for Christmas?

By Catherine DeGeorge Posted in Pet Health Care / No Comments »

Many people are telling me that they got new puppies for Christmas, which is just wonderful news.

Congratulations if you are one of those lucky people! You are in for a bundle of fun and joy!

But along with the fun comes responsibility and this raises a many important questions for new dog owners…

Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to address some of these issues in my upcoming posts, such as:

Common questions about vaccinations

One of the most common questions is whether a dog needs to be given vaccinations within the first few weeks of their life

While vaccinations should be a top priority in the early weeks of a dog’s life, the truth is that dogs need not be vaccinated until five to six weeks of age.

It is important that they receive the parvoviral vaccine used to kill viral infections, and a vaccine for the measles disease may be given.

Is there any need to give rabies vaccine to dogs? Yes, it is a must to go for the anti-rabies vaccine for dogs

What precaution does one need to undertake when this anti-rabies vaccine is given to the dog? The rabies vaccine is typically given at thirteen to fifteen weeks of age, and should to be repeated in fifteen months, and then administered once every three years.  It is important that the dog is given this vaccine.

Is there any need for canine distemper vaccination in case of dogs? Yes, there is a specific requirement in the case of dogs for the vaccination against the canine distemper.  This disease is quite prevalent in most countries

Is there any vaccination against leptospirosis and at what age should this be administered?   This vaccine should be given at six to eight weeks of age, again at ten to twelve weeks, and again at thirteen to sixteen weeks of age.

Another common question is whether a dog is to be given bordetella disease vaccine and lyme disease vaccine. No, these vaccines are only optional.  But the parvoviral vaccine should not be given in first week of a dog’s life because it will interfere with maternal antibody levels.

Which raises the question… Can a pregnant animal be vaccinated? Yes, the pregnant animal may be vaccinated against viral diseases two to three weeks prior to expected delivery date. This helps to provide maternal antibodies to the newborn.

That should get you started but next time we’ll discuss the importance of heartworm vaccinations.