Spaying your Dalmatian is the most common method of removing the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy. It involves surgically removing the uterus, tubes and ovaries. After spaying, the incidence of breast cancer goes down, there is no chance of pyometra, and the female dog will no longer go through oestrous cycles - spotting blood and attracting males twice a year. Most spaying takes place between six months and one year of age. Tubal ligation is also used as a pregnancy control, but in that case, the chances for pyometra still exist, the breast cancer statistics remain the same, and she will still attracts males twice annually.
Most people prefer the ovary removal as a means of breeding control. In males, castration and vasectomy are used to prevent reproduction. Castration before puberty in males will inhibit certain aspects of growth, so it is advisable to perform this operation after the dog reaches its full growth. A vasectomy also prevents reproduction and does not carry the hazards of disturbing growth that castration does. A vasectomy leaves the male with normal mating urges, but without fertility.
In both males and females, birth control operations have been blamed as causes for weight gain and toning down behavior. But the bottom line of weight gain in most cases is the amount of food and exercise in the dog's routine. As to behavior modification, it's true that the animals won't breed.
Spaying and neutering have become more publicized in recent years because of public attention to unwanted animals in shelters. Unplanned litters by non-purebred dogs make up the bulk of the stray and unwanted population, but the issue has affected every purebred breeder in the country. As a result, most pet-quality dogs produced by breeders will only be sold on a spay/neuter contract with a limited AKC registration. The limitation on the registration means that the AKC will recognize the lineage by registration of the animal, but will not register offspring from a dog or bitch carrying a limited registration.
The greatest advantage of spaying (for females) or neutering (for males) your dog is that you are guaranteed your dog will not produce puppies. There are too many puppies already available for too few homes.
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