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Non Surgical Contraception
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Having your dog spayed isn't the only option if you want to prevent unwanted canine pregnancy. Today there are contraceptive drugs available that can prevent unwanted dog reproduction. Drugs such as these are excellent options for those who want to prevent unwanted canine pregnancy while still retaining the option to breed in the future.
Surgical Contraception Options
Before, the only way to prevent unwanted canine pregnancy was to have your dog spayed or neutered. Dog spaying involves removing the reproductive organs from females; neutering involves castrating males. Dog spaying is an invasive procedure that is very painful for female dogs, especially if they are spayed at an advanced age (vets recommend female dogs be spayed between the ages of five and seven months). Dog spaying can also involve serious complications, including internal bleeding and systemic infection.
Tubal ligation is a less invasive surgical procedure that may be performed on female dogs. Having your dog's tubes tied is usually just as effective as a full hysterectomy, but in rare cases the surgery can fail, allowing your dog to become pregnant anyway.
Canine castration is a less invasive procedure performed on male dogs to remove the testicles. Complications of dog neutering are usually less severe than the complications of spaying; castration is also a less costly surgery as it takes less time to perform. Recovery from canine castration is also generally fast and relatively painless.
Pros and Cons of Surgical Contraception
Dog spaying and neutering has both its advantages and risks. Pros of surgical contraception include:
Behavior problems, including roaming, aggression, and sexual behavior are reduced.
In female dogs, heat cycles are eliminated.
Medical problems associated with the reproductive system are prevented.
A spayed or neutered dog will never contribute to pet overpopulation.
Surgical contraception does not cause the side effects associated with contraceptive drugs.
Cons of surgical contraception include:
Spaying and neutering cannot be reversed.
Though the surgery is relatively safe, the complications involved can, in rare cases, lead to death.
Contraceptive Drug Options
Contraceptive drugs for dogs are relatively new on the market. Nevertheless, there are some options available if you're interested in trying contraceptive drugs as an alternative to spaying or neutering.
Cheque Drops, which are also sold as Mibolerone, are a liquid oral contraceptive. They should be administered to female dogs daily for thirty days before the heat cycle begins.
Possible side effects of Mibolerone include:
Liver damage
Infertility
Increased risk of vaginal infection and indoor wetting
Body odor
Skin problems
Vaginal distortion
Personality and behavior changes
Ovaban is a birth control pill for dogs which should be administered at the beginning of the heat cycle. Possible side effects of Ovaban include:
Uterine infections
Mammarian cancer
Breast enlargement
Weight gain
Changes in coat
Both Ovaban and Mibolerone are reversable, which makes them a good option if you'd like to prevent pregnancy in the short term but breed your dog in the future. However, it can be very difficult to know when your dog's heat cycle begins in order to administer the drugs at the proper time, especially since dog heat cycle are often irregular.
Neutersol is a method of chemical castration for male dogs. Neutersol is injected once into the testicles and causes permanent sterility in puppies aged three to ten months. Older dogs may need up to sixty days to experience the full effects of a Neutersol injection.
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