|Veterinary Statement Regarding Neutering of Dr Dogs|
|All Dr Dogs must be either spayed or
neutered as it directly benefits the dogs in two important ways:
Male Dogs: Castrating (removing the testicles) in a male dog helps prevent the development of dominant behaviour (which is not acceptable in a Dr Dog) and allows the dog to fully integrate into the human family environment. It also prevents the development in later life of prostate gland problems and certain types of cancer. Traumatic injuries, such as being hit by a car, are more common in entire male dogs than castrated or female dogs. This is due to the ability of the male dog to 'smell' a female in heat over a range of approximately 2 miles. When this occurs, the dog's natural desire to follow the scent can lead to the dog disobeying the owner and running away, thereby putting himself at risk. At this time the male dog may become more dominant in behaviour and therefore is not suitable to be a Dr Dog. A female dog in season outside a hospital may cause negative behavioural changes in an entire male inside the hospital.
Female Dogs: Spaying (removing the uterus and ovaries) a female dog before her second season reduces the chance of mammary cancer by 90%. Spaying also prevents the development of pyometra - a life-threatening uterine infection. Conditions which can appear in later life such as pyometra or mammary tumours require major surgery, often on a very sick dog and this is easily prevented with a relatively simple de-sexing operation at an earlier age on a healthy dog.
When a female dog comes into season they are highly attractive to entire male dogs and will actively seek a mate and often become 'moody'. These changes occur before it is obvious to many owners that their dog is in season and cannot be predicted.
It is not appropriate to use entire male or female dogs in the Dr Dog program due to the possible behavioural changes which can occur in both sexes around about the time a female comes into season.