Editor’s note: This article has been reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM. Dr. Ochoa is a graduate of St. George’s University with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine.
As a new dog owner, you want to do what is best for your Scottish Terrier. One of the first big decisions you’re going to have to make is whether or not to spay your female Scottie.
Having owned two female dogs who were both spayed as puppies, I am familiar with the decision-making process as well as outcome of having a spayed dog.
Should you spay your Scottish Terrier? Absolutely, yes! Unless you have plans to breed your Scottie, spaying is the responsible and beneficial choice for both you and your dog. Some of the benefits include improved health, better behavior, and a reduction in pet overpopulation.
While that’s the short answer, surgery is always a little scary no matter how minor or routine it may be. In this post I’ll talk more about the benefits, address some common concerns, and dispel a few myths about spaying to help put your mind at ease.
Benefits of Spaying Your Scottish Terrier
Health Benefits of Spaying Your Scottish Terrier
Spaying your Scottie can lead to several health benefits that contribute to a longer, happier life for your dog. Some health benefits include:
Prevention of Uterine Infections: Spaying removes the uterus and ovaries, which helps prevent uterine infections such as pyometra. This life-threatening condition can be costly to treat and may require emergency surgery.
Decreased Incidence of Breast Tumors: Breast tumors are unfortunately common in dogs, with about 50% of them being malignant or cancerous. Spaying your Scottish Terrier significantly reduces the risk of breast tumors. This proactive step not only promotes a healthier life but also prevents the potential emotional and financial strain of dealing with cancer in your dog.
Behavioral Benefits of Spaying Your Scottish Terrier
In addition to the health benefits, spaying your Scottie can also lead to several behavioral improvements. Here are some key advantages that can make life easier for both you and your dog:
No Heat Cycle for Spayed Female Dogs: Spayed female dogs will no longer experience heat cycles. This means that you won’t have to deal with the inconvenience and stress that comes with a dog in heat, such as frequent urination, spotting, or behavioral changes. A spayed Scottish Terrier will be more comfortable, and you’ll both enjoy a more relaxed home environment.
Less Likely to Run Away in Search of a Mate: Unspayed female dogs in heat may attempt to escape in search of a mate. By spaying your Scottish Terrier, you can reduce the risk of her running away and potentially getting lost or injured. A spayed dog is more likely to be content staying close to home, providing you with peace of mind.
Reduced Aggression and Competition: Unspayed female dogs may display aggression and compete for the attention of a male dog, which can lead to fights and injury. Spaying your Scottish Terrier can help decrease aggressive behavior, making her less likely to engage in fights with other dogs. This not only keeps her safe but also makes social interactions with other dogs and people more enjoyable.
Controlling the Pet Population
Another significant benefit of spaying your Scottish Terrier is its positive impact on controlling the pet population. Each year, millions of dogs end up in shelters or are euthanized due to overpopulation. By spaying your Scottie, you’re directly contributing to reducing the number of homeless dogs in need of homes.
To put this into perspective, consider that up to 508 puppies can be born from one unspayed female dog and her offspring in seven years. That’s a staggering number of puppies that could potentially struggle to find homes or end up in shelters. By spaying your dog, you’re preventing this exponential growth of the pet population and ensuring that fewer dogs face an uncertain future.
When to Spay Your Scottie
One of the most common questions dog owners have when considering spaying is when the ideal time is to perform the procedure. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, there are general guidelines to follow that can help you make the best decision for your Scottish Terrier.
It’s generally recommended to spay your Scottie around 6 months of age. Spaying at this time provides the maximum health benefits, such as a decreased risk of breast tumors and uterine infections.
However, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate time for your specific dog. Factors such as breed, size, and overall health can play a role in determining the optimal spaying age.
Ultimately, the decision of when to spay your Scottish Terrier should be made in consultation with your veterinarian. They can provide guidance and tailor their advice to your dog’s unique needs, ensuring the best outcome for both you and your pup.
Recovery time after spaying can vary from one dog to another, but there are some general guidelines to help you understand what to expect for your Scottish Terrier. Typically, the recovery process can be broken down into three main stages:
- Immediate Post-Surgery (24-48 hours): In the first 24 to 48 hours after the surgery, your Scottie may experience grogginess, mild discomfort, and a decrease in appetite due to the anesthesia and the procedure itself. It’s important to provide a quiet, comfortable space for your dog to rest during this time.
- First Week of Recovery (1-7 days): During the first week following the surgery, your Scottish Terrier should start to regain her energy and appetite. However, you’ll need to restrict her activity to prevent any complications or disruptions to the healing process. This includes avoiding running, jumping, or playing, and using a leash for short, gentle walks to eliminate.
- Second Week of Recovery (8-14 days): By the second week, your Scottie should be returning to her normal self. However, it’s still essential to monitor her activity and prevent any excessive strain on the surgical site. Most veterinarians will schedule a follow-up appointment around 10-14 days post-surgery to assess the healing progress and remove any sutures if necessary.
Generally, it takes about 10 to 14 days for a Scottish Terrier to recover from spaying. However, it’s crucial to closely follow your veterinarian’s instructions and keep an eye out for any signs of complications, such as excessive swelling, redness, or discharge from the incision site. If you have any concerns during the recovery period, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian for advice and guidance.
Cost of Spaying a Scottish Terrier
The cost of spaying a Scottish Terrier can vary depending on factors such as your location, the veterinarian clinic you choose, and any additional services or tests that may be required. Generally, the cost can range between $50 and $500.
If the cost of spaying your Scottie is a concern, there are low-cost or even free spaying options available in many areas. These options may be offered through local animal shelters, humane societies, or non-profit organizations dedicated to reducing pet overpopulation.
It’s worth researching and contacting these organizations in your area to find out if they can provide assistance or referrals for free or affordable spaying services.
Weight Gain Concerns
One concern that some dog owners have about spaying their Scottish Terrier is the potential for weight gain.
It’s true that spayed dogs are at a greater risk of becoming overweight. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that the health and behavioral benefits of spaying far outweigh this relatively minor concern.
Myths About Spaying
There are several myths and misconceptions surrounding spaying and neutering that may cause concern or confusion for dog owners. Let’s debunk some of these common spaying myths and set the record straight:
Myth 1: Spaying Will Change My Dog’s Personality
Spaying does cause hormonal changes in your pet, but it generally does not change their overall personality. If anything, you might notice a decrease in aggression, which is actually a positive behavioral change. Your Scottie’s lovable nature and unique quirks will remain intact after the procedure.
Myth 2: My Dog Needs to Have a Litter Before Being Spayed
There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that your dog needs to have a litter before being spayed. In fact, spaying your Scottish Terrier before her first heat cycle offers the best protection from certain diseases such as breast tumors and uterine infections. Spaying before breeding is actually more beneficial for your dog’s long-term health.
Myth 3: Spaying Will Cause My Dog to Become Lazy and Inactive
While spaying can result in a decreased metabolic rate, it does not cause your Scottie to become lazy or inactive. Maintaining a healthy weight and activity level is more dependent on proper diet and exercise than the spaying procedure itself.
As a responsible pet owner, you can help your dog stay fit and active by providing regular exercise and a balanced diet.
Myth 4: Spaying is a Risky and Painful Procedure
Spaying is a routine surgical procedure that is performed by veterinarians on a daily basis. While any surgery carries some level of risk, spaying is generally considered a safe and low-risk procedure for healthy dogs.
Your veterinarian will take every precaution to minimize any discomfort your dog may experience during and after the surgery. Pain management is an essential part of the process, ensuring that your Scottish Terrier is as comfortable as possible during her recovery.
Conclusion: Spaying Your Scottie Offers Numerous Benefits
Spaying your Scottish Terrier offers numerous benefits that contribute to her overall health, well-being, and quality of life.
By choosing to spay your Scottie, you’re taking a proactive approach to prevent potential health issues, promote better behavior, control the pet population, and demonstrate responsible pet ownership.
I encourage you to speak with your veterinarian about spaying your Scottish Terrier, ask any questions you may have, and make an informed decision that benefits both you and your beloved Scottie.