West Highland White Terrier Club of America

The Case for Spaying and Neutering

Most reputable breeders sell their "pet quality" puppies with the agreement that the animal will be spayed or neutered. These puppies are sold at a lower price than the "show prospect" puppies, even though they have the same excellent pedigree and have received the same care and attention.

The basic disposition and temperament of your dog will not be changed by removing his or her reproductive capability. Neutering a male can make him more tolerant of other males, but neither neutering nor spaying will by itself turn your Westie into an obese, lazy animal ... that is the result of excess food and insufficient exercise.

Benefits of spaying include not having to worry about accidental breedings, the stress and inconvenience of confining the bitch in season, risky "mismating shots", and unwanted puppies. The spayed bitch will not develop uterine infections or tumors of the reproductive system as do so many older unspayed bitches.

Neutered males will not be stressed and upset by the scent of bitches in season, and are less tempted to escape or wander or be distracted from their family and work. The neutered male will not develop testicular cancer, and the risk of prostate cancer is lowered.

Some veterinarians like to do the spaying or neutering at a fairly young age (five or six months). The procedures and anesthesia have improved over the years so that is now safe to have the surgery performed at this young age.

The American Kennel Club permits spayed or neutered animals to participate in all phases of obedience, tracking, earthdog, agility and junior handling, but not in most conformation classes.

***Disclaimer***

Any information contained on this site relating to various medical, health, and fitness conditions of Westies and their treatment is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own veterinarian. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing a Westie's health - you should always consult your own veterinarian.