Spaying (ovario-hysterectomy) is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs (ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes) of the female animal. Neutering (orchectomy or castration) is the surgical removal of the reproductive glands (testes) of the male animal. The outer is left, only the testes are removed. Appearance depends upon the dog's age at the time of the surgery.
Females should be spayed or neutered by 6 months of age. (before first heat is best, or 1 month after the heat is complete). Males can be done between 6-12 months. Currently some clinics are performing surgeries on animals as young as 12 weeks of age. Older animals can be done as long as they are in good health. All sterilization surgery is performed under general anesthesia by a licensed veterinarian. Spaying before having a first litter or heat cycle is usually a simpler procedure, However you can do this almost any time and at any age. The cost is usually around $175.00 for this surgery. Some states are higher, and sometimes you can find reduced rates during certain special clinic events.
The heat cycle for dogs is once or twice a year starting as early as 6 months of age. Duration is 3 weeks. The gestation period for dogs is about 63 days. Bulldogs however, may not have a heat cycle that young, it is common between 7-12 months,
Health Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Spayed animals no longer feel the need to roam to look for a mate. The result is that they stay home and have less chance of being involved in traumatic accidents such as being hit by a car. They also have a much lower incidence of contracting contagious diseases, and get into fewer fights.
In males, neutering decreases the chances of developing prostatic disease and hernias, and eliminates the chances of developing testicular cancer. It also reduces problems with territorial and sexual aggression, inappropriate urination and other undesirable male behaviors. Some people say to wait until a year on a male Bulldog so he can mature more.
In Females, spaying decreases the incidence of breast cancer (the rate goes down to almost zero if the spaying is done before the first heat cycle!). It eliminates the chance of developing a serious and potentially fatal infection of the uterus experienced by many mature unspayed animals (pyometra). Spay surgery also eliminates the heat cycle and associated mood swings and undesirable behaviors, messy spotting and the attraction of all available males to your yard.