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Males 

There are numerous advantages to having your male dog castrated.  This can be done from six months of age.  The benefits are behavioural as well as physiological.

Castrated males tend to make better pets, as they are more content and less interested in chatting up the females!  They are less likely to get loss or injured while in the chase.  They are also less likely to dominate other males so reducing the chances of a fight.  They tend to be easier to train as they concentrate more on what the owner is saying rather than worrying about their hormones!  Physiologically, castrated males will obviously not develop testicular cancer as both testicles are removed in the castration.

Prostate problems are very common in entire males as the hormones produced by the testicles stimulate the prostate.  Prostatic enlargement can cause constipation or problems passing water.  Enlarged prostates are more prone to infection and prostatitis is a very painful condition and can make the dog seriously ill.  Sometimes abscesses can develop in the prostate following infection and again these can cause severe problems. Prostates that have had years of hormonal influence from the testicles are also more likely to develop cancer and this is generally malignant.

Females

Female dogs will benefit from spaying.

There is the obvious advantage of no unwanted pregnancies and not having to keep your bitch locked up for two weeks every six months when she comes into season.

Following a season, some dogs develop a pseudo-pregnancy when they think they are pregnant.  This can cause them to mother a toy, rest and some even produce milk - obviously spaying would stop this.Females that are spayed before their first season reduce the risk of developing mammary cancer.

The risks following each subsequent season increase as the majority of cancers are under hormonal control.  A large percentage of mammary cancers are malignant so can be fatal if action is not taken rapidly.

Entire females can also develop a problem called Pyometra.  This is when the womb fills with infection.  This generally occurs after a season and the bitch will be lethargic.  She is often sick and will drink more than usual.  Antibiotics will not treat this infection so an emergency spay is performed.  This is at a much higher risk than a normal spay as the dog is already poorly but usually the operation is a success.

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