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Dog sterilization: what complications can be and when to sterilize [table

Bitch sterilization

You are wondering if it is worth deciding on bitch sterilization?

I suppose most pet owners have considered this procedure.

For many people, behavioral changes and symptoms related to animal fertility turn out to be a big problem.

Despite the obvious advantages, the procedure is sterilization of the dog It also has disadvantages - in this article I will explain what they are.

I hope that thanks to him you will make a decision with more awareness and conviction - or not to sterilize the dog.

  • The ovarian cycle of the bitch
    • The follicular phase
    • Corpus luteum phase
    • Table: Ovarian cycle in bitches
  • What is dog sterilization?
    • Dog sterilization when?
  • Advantages of the sterilization of bitches
    • Contraception
    • Imaginary pregnancy in a bitch
    • Neoplasms and diseases of the genital organs
    • Phisical comfort
  • Preparation for the dog sterilization procedure
  • Complications bitch sterilization
    • Narcosis
    • Wound healing
    • Developmental disorders after early sterilization
    • Urinary incontinence in a bitch
    • Obesity in bitches
    • Hormonal disorders after sterilization
  • Sterilization of a bitch, convalescence
  • Feed for a bitch after sterilization

The ovarian cycle of the bitch

During the breeding season, a bitch has only one ovarian cycle, which is why we say that they are seasonal animals monoestral.

In the course of the ovarian cycle, we can distinguish the bubble phase, in which follicles grow (i.e. follicular phase) and the luteal phase (i.e. luteal phase).

The follicular phase

The follicular phase can be divided into two main stages:

  • proestrus (3-10 days), which is accompanied by swelling of the vulva and endometrium and a large amount of bloody discharge,
  • estrus (2-15 days), in which ovulation occurs, the swelling of the reproductive organs is reduced, the discharge turns pink (it is commonly said that it looks like meat washings) and this is the period of male acceptance. During this period, we have the best chance of fertilizing a female when planning pregnancy. The duration of the estrus phase is assumed to be 9 days, however, depending on individual and racial characteristics, the time limits for this phase may vary between 3 to 21 days.

Corpus luteum phase

After the follicular phase comes the luteal phase in which we specify metoestrus and dioestrus.

Metestrus (about 7 days) is the phase of development of the corpus luteum, during which, after possible fertilization, the embryos are transported to the uterus and the bitch is prepared for pregnancy.

This phase then goes into phase diestrus (55-65 day) during which the uterus is prepared to support and nourish the pregnancy.

At the end of this phase, the bitch makes a nest and prepares for delivery.

At the end of this phase, the corpus luteum also dies and the bitch enters her period anestrus, that is, the so-called sexual rest, or the heat-free period.

Table: Ovarian cycle in bitches

Phase of the ovarian cycle Duration Image of the ovaries Image of the genital organs Behavioral changes
Vesicular proestrus3-10 days (Wed. 5)Development of ovarian folliclesSwelling of the vulva and the lining of the vagina and uterus. A large amount of bloody discharge.Male non-acceptance
Vesicular estrus2-15 days (Wed. 9)Ovulation and possible fertilization of eggsGradual reduction in swelling of the vaginal mucosaMale acceptance
Corpus luteum metestrus~ 7 daysDevelopment of the yellow bodiesTransport of the embryos to the uterus after fertilization has taken placeNo interest in the male
The corpus luteum of the diestrus55-65 daysMature yellows, regression towards the end of the phasePregnancy or not. The uterus is ready to support and nourish the embryo. At the end of the phase, labor occurs. In the absence of pregnancy, the phase lasts a few days longer.At the end of the phase, the bitch is preparing the nest. In the absence of pregnancy, symptoms of lactomania may appear,
Sexual calm anestrus3-7 monthsLack of activity

What is dog sterilization?

When planning a hormonal blockade or sterilization of a bitch, this is the time when the veterinarian can plan the procedure owariohysterectomi, that is, removal of the uterus and ovaries for permanent contraception in bitches.

Dog sterilization when?

The best time to perform the sterilization procedure is one month before the heat of the bitch, or three months after it ends.

Advantages of the sterilization of bitches

Advantages of bitch sterilization


Why is the dog sterilized? Most of the owners I meet in my daily practice decide to sterilize the female in order to reduce the fertility of our pupils and eliminate the risk of unwanted pregnancy.

Sterilization prevents accidental pregnancies, and thus uncontrolled natural growth of dogs. We face a large problem of dog homelessness, and the surgical contraceptive procedure allows to reduce this phenomenon.

Imaginary pregnancy in a bitch

It should not be forgotten that sterilization eliminates the risk of occurrence imaginary pregnancy.

This ailment is not only burdensome for you, but also harmful to the female's health.

Imaginary pregnancies also affect the animal's psyche.

Neoplasms and diseases of the genital organs

In addition, by removing the genital organs, i.e. the uterus and ovaries, we avoid possible diseases of these organs, such as:

  • endometriosis,
  • pyomerexia in bitches,
  • cysts on the ovaries,
  • ovarian tumors.

In addition, early sterilization of the bitch almost one hundred percent protects her against cancer of the mammary gland, but the later the procedure is performed, the lower its protective function.

Phisical comfort

An additional advantage of the performed treatment is the psychological comfort - in my opinion, not only of the animal, but most of all of the owner.

Preparation for the dog sterilization procedure

Preparation of the bitch for sterilization

The bitch must be properly prepared for sterilization and inspected by a veterinarian.

Often, to qualify the patient for the procedure, additional tests should be performed, such as:

  • morphology,
  • blood biochemistry,
  • ultrasound examination,
  • X-ray,
  • EKG.
Bitch ultrasound examination

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, a any narcosis carries risks.

Complications bitch sterilization

Obesity may be one of the side effects of sterilization

Many pet owners have a strong concern about sterilizing their bitch. If we decide to sterilize the bitch, we have to reckon with the fact that it is not an ordinary procedure.


The sterilization procedure is performed in general anesthesia, and any narcosis and surgical intervention carries a risk of complications.

Wound healing

It should be borne in mind that wound healing is also an individual feature, some patients experience a period of convalescence exceptionally quickly and gently, others require daily visits to the office and antibiotic therapy after surgery for 7-10 days, and sometimes longer.

Developmental disorders after early sterilization

The subsequent side effects of surgical contraception in small animals have been studied.

It has been proven that the sterilization procedure was performed too early (before puberty, that is before 6-8 months of age, and in late-maturing breeds even up to 24 months) may take it developmental disorders in the structure of the skeleton if underdevelopment of the vulva in females.

Urinary incontinence in a bitch

Another risk is urinary incontinence in sterilized bitches in adolescence.

Obesity in bitches

In addition, sterilized females are exposed to a reduction in the level of metabolism and energy, which may result in excessive weight gain and obesity.

An additional factor predisposing to obesity in sterilized bitches is increased appetite and decreased activity, which is another side effect of sterilization.

Hormonal disorders after sterilization

There have also been studies showing that sterilized bitches are more prone to hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism.

Sterilization of a bitch, convalescence

Patient convalescence

The bitch requires sterilization after the procedure convalescence, intensive care and frequent visits to the office in connection with the antibiotic cover prescribed by the doctor and for the hygiene of the postoperative wound.

That's why when you decide to sterilize your bitch, plan it when you have more time for your dog at home.

Feed for a bitch after sterilization

Dog food after treatment

After the procedure is performed, it is worth switching to feed for sterilized bitches, which will protect the animal from possible obesity. You can learn more about sterilized dog food in this article.

If you still have any doubts, still hesitate or have any questions, I will be happy to help.

You want to know how much sterilization costs and how it differs from castration? I encourage you to read the article "Castration / sterilization of a dog and a cat. How much does the procedure cost and is it safe? "

You have your own experience with sterilization in bitches? Share them now in the comment below the article.

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