We have been working a lot with shetland sheepdogs or shelties for many years. Through all of our experiences, we discovered a lot of the various traits and characteristics of shetland sheepdogs or shelties.
Although every dog is different, according to most veterinarians, shelties or shetland sheepdogs should typically be spayed between the age of four and nine months old.
We know that dogs needed to be spayed for a whole host of different reasons. Some of the reasoning includes the positive outcomes such as reducing the risk for certain diseases and cancers for females. We are going to get into some frequently asked questions and give you everything you need to know about shetland sheepdogs or shelties and the details around their spaying!
What Does It Mean to Spay Your Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog?
Spaying means that you surgically remove reproductive organs for your dogs, such as the uterine horns, body of the uterus, and the ovaries. This procedure is used to completely eradicate the female heat cycles, reduce the risk to develop reproductive organ diseases, and prevent pregnancy. There are many different reasons to spay your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, and these are a few of the main ones.
Why Does A Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog Need to Be Spayed?
By spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are giving them more health and opportunities in the long term. Spaying refers to the surgical removal of the female reproductive organs for dogs.
This procedure gets rid your sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s ability to get pregnant and it also greatly reduces the risk of developing any reproductive organ diseases. This means that your shelties or shetland sheepdogs will have longer, healthier lives compared to if they were not spayed.
Should I Really Spay My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog?
Although this is completely your decision to make as a dog owner, the Humane Society states that around three million unwanted dogs are actually put down every year in US shelters. That is equal to approximately one dog for every ten seconds. Usually, these dogs are the unplanned children of family pets. In order to help do your part in keeping this from happening, you can spay your sheltie or shetland sheepdog.
Also, it is important to remember that spaying is a very normal and routine procedure or process for many dogs. It is considered to be an incredibly responsible decision and option that pet owners can make for their dog’s livelihood. To highlight the importance, many rescue shelters actually pay to spay all of the dogs when they are going to be given another home. With this, the shelters are actually helping prevent other dogs that were unplanned from the need to be put down.
In addition to all this, it is very important to recognize the health benefits that exist with spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog. Among the health benefits is lengthening the span of your sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s life.
Can I Do Anything as a Dog Owner to Lengthen My Sheltie Or Shetland Sheepdog’s Life?
The quick and easy answer is most certainly yes! Further, the answer relates to spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog! By spaying, you are giving your sheltie or shetland a much higher chance at a healthier and longer life overall. So long as you are alright with your sheltie or shetland sheepdog not reproducing, spaying them is definitely the way to go!
What Does It Mean for My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog to Be Intact?
An intact sheltie or shetland sheepdog is, in the most simple terms, a sheltie or shetland sheepdog that has not been spayed. This again increases the chance of your sheltie or shetland sheepdog reproducing in an unplanned fashion with males. It also increases the chances of your shetland sheepdog or sheltie developing diseases, which can consequently decrease their lifespan.
Is It Okay if I Don’t Spay My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog?
Technically, it’s okay not to spay your sheltie or shetland sheepdog since it’s your decision to make as the dog owner. However, the most responsible decision that you can make for your sheltie or shetland sheepdog is to spay them in order to prevent future dogs from needing to be put down due to the lack of homes for dogs in addition to decreasing the risk of disease for your dog.
Intact shetland sheepdogs or shelties, meaning shetland sheepdogs or shelties that have not been spayed, usually develop more aggressive personalities when they are adults when compared to those that were spayed. This is due to the higher hormone levels in their bodies. With intact shetland sheepdogs or shelties, they are also more inclined to get in fights with other dogs.
Generally, intact shetland sheepdogs or shelties are more motivated to roam and escape, searching for males since they are biologically inclined to reproduce. During these searches and escapes, your shetland sheepdog or sheltie also runs risks of getting lost and even getting hit by moving vehicles.
Regardless of you trying to keep your sheltie or shetland sheepdog safe or indoors in general, your dog will still be aware of males that are within several miles of them. You can thank their pheromones for that. You also need to be hyper-aware of your dog’s location in most all cases if they are not spayed.
Would I Be Cruel to Spay My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog?
Many people think that it is cruel to spay their sheltie or shetland sheepdog because you are essentially “de-sexing” your dog. You may think in an empathetic fashion and think that it would be cruel if somebody else were to “de-sex” you against you will, as it would be a violation of your rights. So the real question remains: How can we justify spaying somebody that we love?
It is important to realize that our shelties or shetland sheepdogs are certainly members of our family, but they are actually ultimately pets and not people. Most often, we find ourselves treating our shetland sheepdogs or shelties like our own children, but they will not grow up to leave us and live independent lives. They are ultimately domestic animals or pets that will not find partners, marry, and move out and have their own families.
What Are the Pros of Spaying My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog?
There are a lot of pros or benefits to spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog. Apart from preventing or lessening the horrible euthanasia of millions of unwanted dogs each and every year, spaying has plenty of health benefits for your shetland sheepdog or sheltie as an individual.
First, by spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are preventing them from ever getting ovarian cancer. With dogs that are not spayed, ovarian, uterine, and mammary cancers are actually relatively common, especially as your shelties age and get older. Treatments for these cancers involve chemotherapy at times if the cancer has spread.
Second, by spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are preventing menstruation, a natural process that is actually very inconvenient and messy as a dog owner. During menstruation, many male dogs come to female dogs in preparation for copulation, but by spaying your dog, you prevent this from happening.
Third, by spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are actually reducing aggression levels long term. Since your sheltie will have less hormones in their system, they will have less aggressive personalities long term. This translates to them getting into less fights with other dogs, which includes bigger dogs, meaning that you are reducing the risk of serious injury for your dog.
Fourth, by spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are reducing their risk of pyometra. Pyometra is a hormonal abnormality as well as bacterial infection. It often occurs after a heat cycle, or menstruation, where there is no fertilization and this causes the uterus horns to swell from their normal 3 ounce weight to 10-15 pounds. If this is left not treated, the uterus can actually rupture and spill the bacterial fluids into the abdomen, which causes fatal uremic poisoning.
The treatment for pyometra is usually very expensive and involves both hormonal as well as IV fluid therapy or complete ovariohysterectomy that costs up to $1,000. This risk is absolutely eliminated when you spay your sheltie.
Fifth, by spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are granting them a better coat. Although this may not be a deal breaker, since shetland sheepdog or sheltie hair grows in phases, this often inhibits hair growth during whelping and heat cycles.
Then, the coat looks thin and it even exposes the sheltie’s skin in various areas. To return to normal, it can take from two to four months, and some of the shelties never actually develop normal coats because of their hormones that are constantly cycling. When you spay your sheltie or shetland sheepdog however, they will have a very consistent coat, especially when compared to those shelties that were not spayed.