How Soon After Birthing Puppies Can a Dog Be Spayed?

by Victoria Lee Blackstone
    If a mother dog is still producing milk, there is a risk of contamination during surgery.

    If a mother dog is still producing milk, there is a risk of contamination during surgery.

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    Spaying your female dog offers many health benefits, including reduced risk of breast cancer, uterine infections and cancer and the messiness associated with estrus. While veterinarians recommend spaying before the first estrus cycle or pregnancy, this is not always possible. Whether you have an older female breeding dog or acquired a pregnant stray dog, spaying after giving birth to a litter of puppies is still beneficial, but some time must pass before it is possible.

    Weaning and Milk Production

    Spaying a recently pregnant dog is not recommended until the puppies are eating solid foods and the mother dog’s milk supply dries up. The incision made during the surgical procedure comes very close to the mammary glands. If the milk supply is not dried up, the chance of hitting a mammary gland and spilling milk into the surgery site increases. Weaning typically takes place between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Waiting an additional two weeks after weaning ensures the milk supply is dry.

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    About the Author

    Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist who propagates heirloom and native plants for her nursery. She has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, plant care sheets and magazine and newspaper articles. Blackstone studied botany and microbiology at Clemson University and is a former University of Georgia Extension Master Gardener Coordinator.

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