Pyometra in a dog, seen during surgery. The uterus is distended with pus.
Pyometra in a dog, seen during surgery. The uterus is distended with pus. Image by Joel Mills [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Last week I removed one of the largest, most pus-filled uteri from a large breed dog that I have ever seen.

I’m a bit long in the tooth now, but I still found the whole procedure a bit scary given the size and vascularity of the uterus – and this made me reflect on the benefits of early neutering.

We routinely spay bitches in our practice from five months of age with minimal long-term complications, and it’s so much easier.

I am aware that recent research indicates early neutering may have some long-term implications in certain breeds, but the procedure is so much safer in young dogs, and anything that prevents them developing pyometra in later life has got to be an advantage.

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2 Comments on "I’d recommend early neutering"

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Lesley Bloomfield
1 year 9 months ago
It is my understanding that, while anecdotally there might be sound clinical reason to consider recommending the neutering of dogs & bitches to prevent the occurrence of specific harmful clinical conditions, in this day and age to do so without scientifically verified clinically evidence based evidence might be considered to be somewhat unprofessional. Until that clinical evidence can be verified through scientifically approved peer reviewed epidemiological research, both to determine whether or not neutering may be beneficial to long term canine health and/or at which specific age range this procedure might best be undertaken for that purpose, it is surely… Read more »
Mary Starling
Mary Starling
1 year 9 months ago
Evidence-based and peer-reviewed papers do indeed suggest otherwise. For example: and In these enlightened times surely it is possible to achieve some balance in blogs such as this. In a profession where freedom of practice and expression appears to be at least as important as regulatory frameworks and good practice guidelines, perhaps some colleagues who have a different view from the author would care to discuss? Granted, spaying of females does protect against uterine infection. However, Agria Insurance in Sweden (where this surgery is culturally unacceptable) have some very interesting data on pyometra rate by breed – given… Read more »

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