Spaying and Hunting Ability

Spaying does not make a dog lose its hunting abilities.

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Q. My husband has a German Shorthaired Pointer, and I would like to have her spayed. Unfortunately, all my husband's friends are telling him that she will lose her hunting ability after she is spayed. I disagree, but he doesn't think I am right. What is your answer to this?

Dr. Jon GellerA. The effects of spaying dogs have been well studied. A spay surgery is an ovarohysterectomy, in which the uterus and ovaries are removed. In general, you will see no significant changes in your dog after she is spayed. Due to the drastic change in production of progesterone and estrogen, there are some positive changes that can be expected. They are:

1. Inability to reproduce, or go through "heat" cycles

2. Protection against certain cancer, including mammary cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer

3. Protection against uterine infection (pyometra) or endometriosis

    Your dog will continue to enjoy hunting and other activities. You can reassure your husband that spaying your dog will provide many health benefits, without any significant downside.

    Best,
    Jon Geller, DVM

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    Billy Jean   Hither,, AP

    11/19/2007 4:24:46 PM

    Can we get an article from someone who isnt so biased towards fixing animals?

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    Ingrid   Clarksville, TN

    1/10/2007 1:55:51 PM

    This hits home. My husband has Beagles he hunts with and we have been arguing over this subject for 20 years. All his dogs are in tact and sometimes it is a mess when one of the girls is in heat. He keeps the males and females seperated but still they know one is in heat and they will bark all day and night.

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    Jean   Homer Glen, IL

    8/24/2006 7:04:09 AM

    I have 3 German Shorthaired Pointers and my oldest is spayed and she hunts almost every week end during hunting season. The other just had a litter of puppies, but I will have her spayed soon. The youngest one I am showing, so she can't be spayed yet. I'll breed her 1 or 2 times, than have her spayed. I have talked to many people that thought they would breed their dog, but either their dog got pregnant too young, or with the wrong bred. Breeding is not as easy as people think. I do O.F.A. x-rays, which certify their hips. I also do eye cerfs, which show no signs of genetic eye problems. Taking care of a litter properly takes a lot of time and effort. If someone isn't going to do it the right way, they should get the dog spayed or neutered. All the puppies from my liter are spayed or neutered, and they are great hunters.

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