Spaying is a common procedure performed on dogs. Its risks are low, and its benefits are thought to be long-lasting. However, when it comes to bulldogs there is sometimes a pause. Unfortunately, there are a variety of myths about this procedure that falsely claim spaying a bulldog can cause a variety of health concerns, including weight gain and temperament problems, but the opposite is true. Spaying a bulldog can improve their health in several ways.
Mammary cancer, more commonly known as breast cancer, is a threat that bulldogs face at an elevated level, compared to some other breeds. The precise reason for this increased threat is not known, but there is a suggestion that the hormones found in female bulldog are a significant contributing factor.
As these hormones run rampant, they start to promote the growth of tumors within the breast. Although not all these tumors are cancerous, some can be. Breast cancer in the animal can prove fatal, or at the very least cause serious health concerns, and long-term treatment, including chemotherapy or radiation.
Unfortunately, dogs that are not spayed in the early years, are at an even higher risk for this cancer once they become older. Spaying your dog blocks, or controls, these female hormones to help lower your dog's risk of forming this type of cancer.
For pet owners, one of the first indications of pregnancy is an enlarged belly. However, a bulldogs' belly can swell for reasons beyond pregnancy. When the dog is in heat, it goes through a four-cycle process. During these cycles, hormone activity goes into overdrive, and the result of this increase can include an expansion within the abdomen region.
The hormone spike also causes other changes, including enlarged breasts, reduced appetite, and in some dogs, lactation. In some dogs, their temperament even changes, as the dog can become protective as if they were guiding their child. To the average person, it seems the dog is pregnant.
Heat is normal, but there are some dogs who repeat this heat cycle several times. Repeating the cycle often can start to become troublesome for the dog, but it can also bring about stress and concern for the owner. Spaying a bulldog that has had this experience will eliminate the heat cycle and keep the pet more comfortable.
If you are thinking about spaying your pet, talk to veterinary professionals in your area to get options and treatments.