It is common to neuter a Shiba Inu these days. This is a surgical process where your Shiba dog is sterilized, with the testicles removed. In the course of the neutering, your Shiba Inu is placed under general anesthesia. While neutering is majorly seen as a means of controlling population burst of dogs, there is a lot more your Shiba Inu can gain from being neutered.
The ideal age to neuter your Shiba Inu is when it becomes 6 or 7 months old. Typically, you can neuter your Shiba Inu at just any age; however, 6-7 months is the safest window to carry out this surgery. This reduces the risks associated. Neutering your Shiba Inu will reduce its vulnerability to diseases as it gets older and also reduce its levels of aggression.
We agree neutering is of immense benefit to your Shiba Inu. However, neutering can be devastating for your Shiba Inu when done wrong. There is a lot for you to know to make the transition seamless for your Shiba Inu. What should you do before neutering your Shiba Inu? What should you do after the surgery to improve the wound healing? What food and water regimen is ideal for your Shiba Inu after neutering/spaying? This and many more, we will learn in this guide.
The Best Age for Both Male and Female Shiba Inus
For female Shiba Inus, it is ideal to spay them in the 4-6 month. For male Shiba Inus, you can neuter them in the sixth or seventh month. There are significant risks of carrying the neutering after this window.
Your Shiba Inu may display some behavioral defects; it could be marked, while not forgetting the possibility of escape. More also, it is well cheaper to neuter your Shiba Inu when it is younger.
Should I Neuter/Spay My Shiba Inu?
We are regularly bombarded by owners of Shiba Inus with questions over if they should neuter/spay their Shiba Inus or not. Well, we will admit there are two sides to neutering/spaying your Shiba Inu. There are the benefits and then the risks. Let us look at them.
Benefits for Neutering/Spaying
Reduces Behaviors Like Territory Marking and Leg-shifting
Hormones power most habits in Shiba Inus (male or female). We have seen that Shiba Inus have a penchant for marking their territories.
This is done by lifting their legs when they pee. Intriguingly, a Shiba Inu tends to leave a favorable impression on the opposite sex when it sprays its urine high.
No doubt, this can be upsetting if done indoors as it is an obvious menace. Neutering can reduce this habit, being hormonally inspired. It makes sense neutering your Shiba Inu before they start such leg shifting behavior.
If you wait till a year or two before you neuter your Shiba Inu (by that time it would have started marking territories), then it would be unlikely for the Shiba Inu to stop that behavior even after neutering.
Reduces Health Vulnerabilities
No one enjoys his dog sick, right? One of the predominant advantages of neutering your Shiba Inu is reducing the risks of health diseases.
Most intact dogs are very vulnerable to enlarged prostates. This manifests in your Shiba Inu struggling to urinate or unusual bowel movements.
All these health risks can be significantly reduced when you neuter/spay your Shiba Inu. For male Shiba Inus, neutering reduces the possibilities of prostate infections and prostate cysts. For female Shiba Inus, spaying reduces the risks of ovarian tumors and uterine cancer.
Neutered Shiba Inus are Less Aggressive
The chances are high that your Shiba Inu will display heightened levels of aggression or domination if unneutered. They will readily jump into brawls with other dogs or destroy your home.
Do you know that a male Shiba Inu can smell a female Shiba Inu that is in heat as far as 5 miles away? Yes, a female Shiba Inu in heat releases a pheromone smell that can easily be picked up by males miles away. Your male Shiba Inu would do just anything to get to such a female to mate.
You would notice overexcited behaviors from your Shiba Inu like pacing about, jumping at stuffed animals, and whining. They can get violent and troublesome, resorting to biting in this hormone-driven craze.
Also, if it is not spayed, there is a solid possibility of your female getting aggressive or escaping to breed in such heat windows. In all, when your Shiba Inu is spayed or neutered, you can have peace that a huge chunk of the destructive behaviors in your Shiba Inu will be eradicated.
Refocuses the Energies of Your Shiba Inu
With that obsessive sex drive eliminated by neutering/spacing, your Shiba Inu will refocus all the energy (it would supposedly expend on reproduction and mating) to you. Your Shiba Inu will be less aggressive, get into far fewer fights, and will not be on the eager lookout for mating partners.
Your dog will then give you (and your family) more loyalty and attention. Don’t you like it this way?
Cons to Neutering/Spaying
It Could Disrupt the Process of Maturation
We have noticed that neutered/spayed Shiba Inus don’t mature as those that are intact. To avoid this disruption, make sure to consult your veterinarian if neutering/spacing is specifically beneficial for your Shiba Inu.
Take note that neutering is not ideal for all Shiba Inus. It works excellently for some, while some Shiba Inus are better off not being neutered/spayed at all.
Chances of Urinary Incontinence in Your Shiba Inu
While this is not common, neutering your Shiba Inu can lead to urinary incontinence. This condition is most likely to occur when the neutering surgery is executed prior to the full development of the Shiba Inu’s bladder.
This, therefore, increases the possibility of the bladder leaking with your Shiba Inu aging due to the bladder muscles being not as strong as normal.
However, your Shiba Inu shouldn’t be suffering this condition if you neuter it around 6 months.
Comes with Health Risks
Yes, we pointed out that neutering or spaying your Shiba dog reduces its vulnerability to health conditions. Yet, this same neutering exposes it to other conditions.
A neutered Shiba Inu could have heightened risks of suffering conditions like hypothyroidism, osteosarcoma, and even cognitive impairments.
However, the good news is that these health conditions are extremely rare among neutered Shiba Inus.
Is the Surgery Painful?
No, the surgical process is not painful for your Shiba Inu. This is because the dog will be fully anesthetized so that they are numb to the pain.
However, there are cases your Shiba Inu will experience discomfort. In all, there isn’t significant physical harm to be suffered by your Shiba Inu from spaying/neutering.
What Should You Do Before Surgery?
Your veterinarian will layout the therapy process for you when neutering your Shiba Inu. He will give you specific instructions on how you should feed your Shiba Inu prior to the surgery. Commonly, it is recommended that you shouldn’t feed your Shiba Inu at least 8 hours, leading to the neutering surgery.
This span is aimed at reducing the possible nauseating effect that can result from the anesthesia. Nonetheless, there is no problem if your Shiba Inu drinks water before the surgery.
Your veterinarian should also run through the medical history of your Shiba Inu before the surgery. He would factor in any underlying health condition or if there are current medications for your Shiba Inu. The purpose is to ensure that your Shiba Inu is healthy enough for the surgical process.
How to Care for Your Shiba Inu After Surgery?
After the surgery, there are things you should do to make the transition (from an intact dog to a neutered dog) easier for your Shiba Inu.
Here, we will examine how you should feed it and the water rations it should drink. Also, how would you help the wound healing?
Food and Water
Your Shiba Inu is likely to be hungry after the surgery. This is because most veterinarians will stipulate that you should not feed your Shiba Inu 8 hours before the surgery. The reason behind this is the sedation and muscle relaxants that would be offered to them during surgery.
We recommend that you wait a bit for the effects of the anesthetics to reduce before you get to feed your Shiba Inu. Also, these drugs applied in the course of the surgery can also affect the gastric motility of your dog. Giving your dog a brief stay-away from food will help all these effects decline.
After this span, you can feed your Shiba Inu. You can’t feed it its usual quantities just yet. It is advisable to feed your Shiba Inu half of its normal ration. So if you usually feed your dog 3 cups per meal, you should be reducing it to 1½ cups in the first meal after the neutering surgery.
It will be better to feed your Shiba Inu meals rich in protein. They should be canned or wet as they would be easier (based on softer consistency) on the Shiba Inu, being that it is recovering from the surgery.
Your Shiba Inu will most likely be tired after the surgery, so such foods that save it energy (expended on chewing dryer foods) are more suiting. You can also resort to dog treats that are also rich in proteins if you notice that your Shiba Inu is struggling to take its normal food.
There are cases where your dog will refuse to eat anything when you get home. There is no need to force the meal on the dog. It is best to wait to the next day as by then it would have recovered better from the direct effects of the drugs and stress of the surgery.
Your Shiba Inu shouldn’t drink excessively after the surgery. When you get home after the surgery, give your Shiba a small quantity of water. Drinking too much at once after the neutering surgery can cause it to vomit.
You can revert to the normal quantities you feed your Shiba Inu 24 hours after the surgery. By now, the appetite of your Shiba Inu should have recovered.
If you notice that your Shiba Inu is struggling to feed 48 hours after the surgery, then all is no longer well. You can then reach out to a veterinarian.
What can you do to improve the healing process of the surgical wounds? You can use a dog cone to protect the site of the incision. Typically, your Shiba Inu could chew on the wound, bite it, or lick it in a bid to alleviate the symptoms that come with it. Sadly, this can worsen things.
This is where a dog cone becomes a valuable asset. Such dog cone can be placed around the neck of your Shiba Inu to prevent these. A dog cone looks more like an inverted lampshade.
You can get a dog cone from a pet shop, although most veterinarians will give you this cone after the surgery. A stiff collar is fine, although a softer collar is preferable to enhance the flexibility, making it easier for your Shiba Inu to reach its water and food.
Following the surgery, you can wear this dog cone on your Shiba Inu for about a week. This sustains the sutures, downsizing the risk of reinfection. By preventing your Shiba Inu from biting, licking, or biting the surgical incision, it enables the wound to heal faster.