When to spay or neuter a Boston Terrier


When to spay or neuter a Boston Terrier. Boston Terrier Society.
Bella hanging out on Emily.

Now that you have your new puppy and they are starting to mature many people start wondering when is the appropriate time to spay and neuter your Boston Terrier. The best time all depends on if you want to breed your dog or not. 

When Emily and I got Bella back in 2009, we were unsure if we wanted to try to have Boston puppies with her or not. So we waited to spay her until she was older.

When I realized how much a Boston Terrier could go for at the local Pet Store, I thought I could make some easy money with puppies…Emily talked me out of the money making idea.

When to spay or neuter a Boston Terrier?

Most veterinarians recommend spaying or neutering your Boston Terrier around 6 months of age. If you are wanting to breed your female Boston Terrier, you should wait until at least her second heat cycle to breed your dog, then spay.  

What is a Spay and Neuter

Spay (Females)

A spay is a surgical procedure that removes your dog’s ovaries and uterus. This is very similar to a hysterectomy that is performed in people. Your dog will no longer have heat cycles or be able to have puppies. 

Neuter (Males)

Neuter is done on male dogs where the testicles are removed. This prevents your dog from getting a female dog pregnant.

It is not similar to a vasectomy performed in male humans as a vasectomy only prevents sperm from reaching the appropriate place to be distributed. Neuter completely removes the testicles a vasectomy does not.   

What will spaying or neutering too early or late due to a dog

Spaying a dog too early does predispose them to urinary incontinence later in life. This is usually seen in spayed female dogs who have trouble holding her urine during the night.  Dogs with urinary incontinence regularly will wet the bed during the night. This can be easily treated with a pill or bladder supplement given daily.  

If you wait until after your pets first heat cycle, there is a chance that your dog may develop mammary cancer later in life. Studies have shown that spaying before the first heat cycle, typically around 5-6 months of age almost eliminates any chance of mammary cancer. The earlier in life, you spay your dog the best for decreasing the potential for mammary cancer.


What are the costs?

The cost of spaying or neutering your dog will depend on where you live. If you live in a big city, they usually charge a little more than a country veterinarian does. The typical costs of a spay is $200 to $300. And the average price for a neuter is $150 to $200.

Other factors affect cost. Most veterinarians recommended pre-operative bloodwork to check liver and kidney function before surgery as well as pre and post-op pain medications. All of these are an added expense to the medical cost. 

Pre-Op Blood Work

Pre-op bloodwork is highly recommended even in very young dogs because they could have been born with a congenital defect that could potentially cause severe to fatal results if not caught beforehand. It is not very common, but it does happen.

Some dogs just develop slower and may not handle the anesthesia well. If any abnormalities are observed on the bloodwork, then the veterinarian may adjust anesthesia accordingly or even use a different kind altogether. 

For dogs found to have a liver or kidney defect or their parameters are not where they should be then anesthesia that is metabolized by the lungs may be a safer bet.   

Overweight or pregnant

There are also usually added cost for overweight dogs, dogs who are currently pregnant or dog who are undergoing a heat cycle because it takes more time and is much more labor intensive to especially if you are trying to save puppy lives.  

Low-cost clinics

There are low-cost clinics that can do the procedure at a discounted rate. These non-profit organizations are usually funded by the state, and they do not have to charge as much for the procedure. Low-cost clinics may also have minimal monitoring equipment and often will not do surgery on large breeds or overweight patients. 

To find a low-cost clinic near you visit ASPCA. This is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. On their site, you can type in your zip code to find a low-cost clinic in your neighborhood. Click here for the ASPCA low-cost clinic finder.


Why should you spay or neuter your Boston terrier? 

Spaying your Boston Terrier before their first heat cycle will all-but eliminate the chance of mammary cancer. It will also prevent them from getting a uterine infection called pyometra.  

Pyometra is basically when the uterus gets infected and fills with pus. If left untreated, the female Boston could become septic resulting in death. 

Neutering a Boston terrier will decrease behavioral issues and will usually prevent your dog from escaping from your yard. 90% of dogs who escape from their yard are intact males out looking for a female in heat. Furthermore, it decreases testosterone and can help with overly aggressive males.  

Final thoughts…

Spaying or neutering your Boston Terrier certainly has its pros and cons. But not spaying or neutering can also say the same. In the long run, spaying and neutering have been shown to help your Boston live a very healthy and happy life. Most of the side-effects seen as a result of spays or neuters are mild and very treatable. Some of the side-effects observed in fully intact males and females can be severe or fatal. 

Not all dogs who are left intact will end up with these symptoms, but the chances are increased significantly, and there really is no way to know if your dog could succumb to things like pyometra, ovarian cancer, testicular cancer, or even prostate trouble. 

Talk to your Boston Terriers veterinarian so they can help you figure out what you can do to keep your furry little pal happy and healthy for years to come.

Are you thinking about spaying or neutering your Boston? What are your biggest concerns?

References:

Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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