As a pet parent, you constantly have to make decisions – and they aren’t always easy. When should you first bathe your puppy, how often should you feed them, how many times should you cut their nails or groom their hair are only some of them.
However, one of the toughest and perhaps most important things a dog owner challenges is deciding when to spay or neuter their Corgi. Some owners even question desexing because they think it’s too risky or their Corgi pup won’t be the same.
But that’s understandable. Opinions on this topic vary, and every vet will give you different advice. Luckily, we’re here to clear up any misconceptions about spaying and neutering.
So, if you’re wondering – ‘When to spay Corgi?’, or ‘When’s the best time to spay your Corgi?’ and ‘Are there any health benefits or risks of spaying?’ then this article is for you.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Explaining The Terms
Before we go further, let’s explain the main terms.
Spaying, neutering or desexing, are the surgical procedures in which an animal’s sex organs are removed from the body. That, of course, eliminates their ability to reproduce.
Spaying refers to female dogs, while neutering refers to male dogs.
For female Corgis, this means their ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus are removed in the procedure called an ovariohysterectomy. As for male Corgis, both testicles are removed, and the procedure is called castration.
When To Spay Corgi? What’s The Best Age To Spay Your Corgi?
There’s no definite answer to this question. Furthermore, there’s been a lot of controversy regarding the timing of spaying your dog.
Some say it’s never too early to spay your Corgi and that you can get it done after your pup turns two months. Others strongly disagree and recommend waiting six months to one year until your Corgi has fully developed.
Either way, the essential thing to remember is that sex hormones play a massive role in the development and growth of your Corgi. If you cut off the source of these hormones too early, it can jeopardize the long-term health of your dog.
That’s why the best thing to do is to wait until your Corgi has reached its sexual maturity.
When To Neuter Corgi?
Since we made it clear it’s best to wait until your dog is sexually mature, let’s see what this refers to:
The first indicator your male dog has reached its sexual maturity is the increase in sexual behaviors. Some of the telltale signs are roaming, mounting, and marking.
Male Corgis usually reach their sexual maturity between 6 to 8 months of age. However, deciding when to neuter male Corgi also depends on their physical maturity.
Now, physical maturity is best determined by your veterinarian, and it’s indicated by the closing of growth plates – soft areas located at the end of the long bones, mainly thigh or shin bone.
When speaking of Corgis, these plates are usually entirely closed by 18-24 months of age.
Because of that, the ideal time to neuter your Corgi is after they reach 18 months of age, at least.
When To Spay Corgi?
When talking about female Corgis, they reach sexual maturity once they go into their first heat cycle. The first heat cycle in female Corgis happens around 9 to 11 months old.
As for physical maturity, it’s the same as with male Corgis – around 18 to 24 months of age.
It’s crucial for Corgi parents to wait until their puppy – male or female – is at least 18 months old, as Corgis are prone to hip, joint, and back problems. Allowing your Corgi puppy to fully develop and grow naturally before desexing might help reduce or even eliminate the risk of future diseases and injuries.
Health Risks Associated With Early Sterilization
Recently, puppies were sterilized as early as 8 months of age. Well, at least it was standard practice for puppies in the shelter.
However, you might not know that these sterilizations were done by vet care professionals to help control the overpopulation of stray dogs. And it had a positive outcome; intake rates for shelters have fallen by 75% nationwide.
On the other hand, there have been a handful of studies conducted by several prestigious vet colleges about early spaying/neutering and health risks and benefits associated with it.
The studies have shown that early spaying and neutering may predispose dogs to cancer or certain orthopedic conditions. They also found that the risk of Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) doubled, and it developed at a younger age in dogs that were sterilized earlier.
One other study, conducted on over 1.2 million dogs, discovered that early sterilization could be linked to multiple diseases such as:
- Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture (CCL)
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries
- Abnormal bone growth and development
- Bone cancer
All of this directly indicates that sterilizing your Corgi at an early age may cause more harm than good.
Health Benefits of Neutering/Spaying Your Corgi
Besides unwanted pregnancies, there are many health benefits to spaying/neutering. One of those benefits is actually a longer lifespan!
Studies have found that the lifespan of altered dogs is significantly longer compared to the lifespan of unaltered dogs.
A study of the University of Georgia based on medical records of more than 70,000 dog patients found that the lifespan of male neutered dogs was 13.8% longer, while for female spayed dogs was 26.3% longer, all compared to intact dogs.
The other study by Banfield Pet Hospital conducted on over 2.2 million dogs found that neutered male dogs live 18% longer while female spayed dogs live 23% longer than unaltered dogs.
In addition, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America recommends that you spay/neuter your Corgi, and for good reasons.
For example, spaying your female dog reduces the risk of life-threatening uterus infections called pyometra. It also reduces the risk of tumors later in life.
Also, many veterinarians and breeders agree that it’s not so fulfilling or helpful for a female Corgi to have puppies. It is a significant event, and even if everything goes according to plan, there’s still a risk of serious physical problems or even death.
As for male Corgis, neutering removes the possibility of testicular cancer. What’s more, your dog most likely won’t develop prostate problems such as enlargement or other infections.
Myth: Many dog owners still worry that sterilization will make their dogs obese or lazy. Well, it can be true, especially for dogs with associated health problems. Even so, obesity in dogs is usually a result of too much food and inactivity. So, don’t obsess with it too much.
Behavioral Benefits of Spaying/Neutering Your Corgi
There’s no guarantee your Corgi’s behavior will change after the sterilization. It all depends on your dog’s history, psychology, and personality. On that note, behavioral problems that can be altered are the following:
Ultimately, the purpose of spaying/neutering is to prolong your dog’s life and make them healthier and happier.
Preparing Your Corgi For The Sterilization Surgery
There are some things you’ll need to do before your dog’s surgery to make their recovery comfortable and safe.
First of all, make sure to move your puppy’s crate further away from the stairs or any furniture, as they will want to jump on it. You may also want to bathe your pup because you’ll have to keep them out of the water for two weeks after the procedure.
It’s also a good idea to visit your vet a few days earlier, complete the necessary paperwork, and prepare all of your dog’s files. Don’t forget to inform your vet if your Corgi takes any medication or has recently been ill. Also, your Corgi should be fully vaccinated.
Lastly, don’t feed your Corgi after 9 pm the evening before surgery, and no food the following morning.
If your dog somehow eats something before the surgery, we strongly advise you to inform your vet. Your Corgi needs to have an empty stomach; that prevents him from vomiting and possible asphyxiation.
Post Surgery Care
After the surgery, your Corgi will probably spend the night at a shelter so the medical staff can monitor them. Nevertheless, if they allow you to take your Corgi home, you will need to crate them for the entire day after.
Therefore, make sure your dog is comfortable in the crate, warm them up with blankets, and give them their favorite toy.
In addition, don’t wash the incision. The stitches typically dissolve on their own. However, if you wash the wound, the moisture will speed up the process and cause them to dissolve much earlier.
Also, your Corgi may need a cone to prevent them from licking the incision.
Keep your Corgi separated from other pets, as they will probably want to play with your dog. Moreover, don’t let your Corgi run around, jump on the bed, or climb the stairs.
The essential thing to remember is to follow your vet’s instructions, give the meds as prescribed, and overall, keep a close eye on your Corgi. If you notice anything alarming like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or lifelessness, call your vet as soon as possible.
The decision of when to spay Corgi is going to be one of the most challenging decisions you’ll make as a pet parent. It’s vital to be well educated on the subject, and you should always consult with your veterinarian before making any health-related decision.
Don’t forget that there are many benefits of spaying/neutering your Corgi pup. The longer lifespan and a reduced risk of diseases are just one of a few.
Moreover, we advise you to wait until your dog has reached its sexual maturity before the spaying/neutering procedure. Thereby, you’ll reduce the risk of hip dysplasia, ACL and CCL ruptures, abnormal bone growth, and even cancer.
If done at the right time under the right conditions, spaying/neutering can be very beneficial for your Corgi, and it can make them happier and healthier for years to come.