Skip to Content

When to Spay a Sheltie: Health Benefits and Risks (2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

when should a sheltie shetland sheepdog be spayedReady to make the best decision for your Sheltie’s health? Discover when the optimal time is to spay your beloved furry friend. A recent study provides evidence on choosing a desexing age with the fewest health problems in Shetland Sheepdogs.

Find out how this decision can potentially prevent cancer, pyometra, and other serious conditions.

Key Takeaways

The Sweet Sheltie

The Sweet Sheltie
When it comes to the lovable Sheltie, you’ll find that they’re a sweet and affectionate breed. Known for their gentle nature and loyalty, Shelties make wonderful companions for individuals or families alike.

Their temperament is typically friendly and eager to please, making them highly trainable dogs.

In terms of grooming, Shelties have a thick double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and shedding. They also benefit from routine exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Proper socialization during puppyhood is important for shaping their behavior as adults.

While owning a Shetland Sheepdog can be rewarding in many ways, it’s essential to consider the cost of ownership including vet bills, food expenses, grooming supplies,and potential spaying procedures when determining if this breed is right for you.

Your Shetland Sheepdog’s Health

Your Shetland Sheepdog
Taking care of your Shetland Sheepdog’s health is essential for ensuring a happy and vibrant life.

  • Dental disease: Regular dental care can prevent pain, infections, and other health problems.
  • Infections: Dogs can be susceptible to bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections that may require treatment.
  • Parasites: Internal and external parasites can cause various health issues in dogs.

Spaying or neutering your Sheltie also plays a significant role in their overall health. It helps prevent certain diseases such as uterine infections and testicular cancer. However, there are risks involved with the procedure including surgical complications and an increased risk of urinary incontinence.

Discussing the benefits and risks with your veterinarian will help you make an informed decision regarding spaying/neutering alternatives for your beloved pet.

General Health Information for Your Shetland Sheepdog

General Health Information for Your Shetland Sheepdog
Your Shetland Sheepdog’s general health is of utmost importance to ensure a happy and fulfilling life.

  • Dental disease
  • Infections
  • Obesity
  • Parasites
  • The decision to spay or neuter

Regular veterinary check-ups and proper care can help prevent these issues from arising or manage them effectively if they do occur.

Dental Disease

To maintain your Shetland Sheepdog’s overall health, regular dental care is essential.

Signs of dental disease include:

  • Bad breath
  • Swollen gums
  • Difficulty eating

Treatment options vary in cost.


To prevent infections, regularly clean your Sheltie’s living area and keep them up-to-date on vaccinations.

Types of infections include bacterial, viral, and parasitic.

Symptoms vary depending on the infection.

Treatment involves medication or surgery if necessary.

Prevention is key to avoiding complications such as cancer or heart disease.


Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for your Shetland Sheepdog’s overall well-being.

Obesity can be caused by overfeeding and lack of exercise. Signs include excessive weight gain, lethargy, and difficulty breathing.

Treatments include diet management and regular exercise to help your dog lose weight.

Prevention involves feeding appropriate portion sizes and providing ample opportunities for physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.

Risks of obesity in Shelties include an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, joint problems, and decreased lifespan.


Protecting your Shetland Sheepdog from parasites is an essential part of keeping them healthy and happy.

  1. Types of parasites that can affect your Sheltie
  2. Common symptoms of parasite infestation to watch for
  3. Prevention methods to keep your dog safe from parasites
  4. Treatment options and deworming schedule for addressing parasite infections

Spay or Neuter

When it comes to the general health of your Shetland Sheepdog, one important aspect to consider is whether or not to spay or neuter them.

Spaying and neutering can help prevent certain health problems such as:

  • Bone and joint problems
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Thyroid problems
  • Eye problems

Genetic Predispositions for Shetland Sheepdogs

Genetic Predispositions for Shetland Sheepdogs
Shetland Sheepdogs, like other dog breeds, have certain genetic predispositions that can influence their health.

  • Multidrug resistance
  • Heart disease
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Eye problems
  • Lupus

Understanding these potential risks can help you make informed decisions about the timing of spaying your Sheltie to ensure their overall well-being and minimize any potential health complications in the future.

Multidrug Resistance

Shelties may be genetically predisposed to multidrug resistance, a condition where bacteria are resistant to multiple antibiotics.

Heart Disease

To understand the health risks associated with spaying a Sheltie, it’s important to consider their genetic predispositions, such as heart disease.

Heart Disease




Bleeding Disorders

If you own a Sheltie, bleeding disorders may be a concern.

Common symptoms are:

  • Easy bruising
  • Prolonged bleeding from wounds

Treatment depends on the cause, but may include:

  • Medications
  • Transfusions

Some bleeding issues are inherited in Shelties, so discuss screening with your veterinarian.

Managing any risk factors can help prevent complications.

Eye Problems

If your Sheltie is predisposed to certain genetic conditions, one area of concern may be eye problems.

Shetland Sheepdogs can be prone to various eye issues due to their genetics.


If your Sheltie has been diagnosed with Lupus, understanding the genetic predispositions is crucial.

Symptoms, diagnosis, causes, treatment options and prevention should be considered for managing this condition in Shetland Sheepdogs.

Taking Care of Your Shetland Sheepdog at Home

Taking Care of Your Shetland Sheepdog at Home
When it comes to taking care of your Shetland Sheepdog at home, there are several important points to keep in mind.

  • Routine care, including proper diet and exercise, is crucial for maintaining their health.
  • It’s also important to be aware of any changes in appetite, behavior, or physical appearance that may indicate a potential health issue.
  • In case of emergencies such as shock or poisoning, knowing how to respond quickly and appropriately can make all the difference in ensuring your dog’s well-being.

Routine Care, Diet, and Exercise

When caring for your Sheltie at home, focus on:

  • Providing a healthy diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Grooming
  • Vaccinations
  • Heartworm prevention

These practices will keep your dog’s health and happiness in top shape.

What to Watch For

Keep an eye out for any changes in your Sheltie’s:

  • Appetite
  • Weight
  • Energy level
  • Behavior
  • Skin or coat condition

Also monitor their urination and defecation patterns for any abnormalities such as discharge or swelling.

Watch out for signs of lethargy or pain during incision healing.

Office Calls

During office calls, you’ll discuss your Shetland Sheepdog’s routine care and address any health concerns with your veterinarian. This is an important opportunity to ensure the overall well-being of your beloved pet.


In emergencies, it’s important to be prepared to take immediate action and provide necessary care for your Shetland Sheepdog at home.

  • Shock
  • Heatstroke
  • Bloat

Should I Spay My Sheltie?

Should I Spay My Sheltie
If you’re considering spaying your Sheltie, it’s important to weigh the potential benefits and risks.

Spaying has numerous advantages for both your dog’s health and behavior.

It can help prevent uterine cancer and mammary tumors, as well as reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy.

Additionally, spaying can improve behavior by reducing aggression related to hormone fluctuations during heat cycles.

On the other hand, there are some risks associated with spaying such as surgical complications like infection or bleeding, potential changes in behavior or an increased risk of obesity later in life due to hormonal changes.

The ideal age for spaying a Sheltie is typically between 6-9 months old before their first heat cycle but after they’ve finished growing.

The Pros of Spaying Dogs

The Pros of Spaying Dogs
Spaying your Sheltie has several benefits that you should consider.

First, spaying prevents estrus or heat cycles, eliminating the mess and inconvenience associated with it.

Second, spaying greatly reduces the risk of unwanted pregnancies and can help prevent certain types of cancer such as mammary tumors.

Lastly, by choosing to spay your dog early on, you can save money in the long run by avoiding potential veterinary costs related to reproductive health issues.

Prevent Estrus

To prevent estrus, spaying your Sheltie offers several benefits:

  • Less vocalization
  • Less marking
  • Less roaming

Prevent Pregnancy

By spaying your Sheltie, you prevent unwanted litters and pups that may end up in shelters. Consider spaying’s financial, medical, and ethical benefits over unexpected breeding.

Reduce Cancer

Reducing the risk of cancer is one of the key advantages you’ll gain by spaying your Sheltie.

  • Decreases the risk of mammary cancer
  • Reduces the risk of uterine cancer
  • Provides long-term health benefits

Reduce Pyometra

Spaying your Sheltie can help prevent the development of pyometra, a potentially life-threatening infection in the uterus.

Pyometra is defined as an infection that occurs when bacteria enter and multiply within the uterus.

Female dogs who haven’t been spayed are at higher risk for developing pyometra due to hormonal changes during their heat cycles.

Some common risk factors for pyometra include age, breed, and previous uterine infections or diseases.

Symptoms of pyometra may include vaginal discharge, lethargy, loss of appetite, increased thirst and urination, abdominal pain or swelling.

Treatment typically involves surgical removal of the infected uterus (hysterectomy) along with antibiotics to combat any remaining infection.

The best way to prevent pyometra is by spaying your Sheltie before she reaches her first heat cycle.

Save Money

Save money by spaying your Sheltie.

Spaying eliminates the costs of caring for unplanned litters and reduces veterinary bills.

Improve Coat

Although spaying may help improve your sheltie’s coat when she’s older, the evidence is mixed on whether it makes a significant difference in:

  • Thickness
  • Shedding
  • Shine
  • Health
  • Dandruff

The Cons of Spaying a Dog

The Cons of Spaying a Dog
When considering whether to spay your Sheltie, it’s important to be aware of the potential cons.

One potential risk is anesthesia, as with any surgical procedure there’s a small chance of complications related to the administration or recovery from anesthesia.

Another con that some owners report after spaying their dogs is an increase in aggression or behavioral changes.

Additionally, there’s a possibility of developing urinary incontinence after being spayed, although this tends to be more common in larger breeds rather than Shelties specifically.

Risk of Anesthesia

You’ll face the risk of complications from anesthesia when you spay your sheltie. Though rare, anesthesia brings inherent risks that you must consider before scheduling the procedure.

These risks include:

  • Potential complications during surgery
  • Post-operative pain and discomfort for your dog
  • The need for careful monitoring during recovery to ensure a smooth healing process.

Risk of Aggression

When spaying a dog, there’s a potential risk of increased aggression towards other dogs.

However, it’s important to note that there’s no concrete evidence or correlation between spaying and aggression in dogs. Some anecdotal evidence exists, but conflicting studies make it difficult to draw definitive conclusions.

Spay Incontinence

One potential drawback of spaying a dog is the risk of developing spay incontinence, which refers to the inability to control urination after being spayed.

The incidence of spay incontinence varies among dogs, and certain factors such as breed and age can increase the risk.

Treatment options for this condition include medications that help control bladder function.

Prevention strategies are limited but may involve delaying or avoiding early spaying.

With proper management, most dogs with spay incontinence have a good prognosis for improved urinary control.

When is the Best Time to Spay a Sheltie?

When is the Best Time to Spay a Sheltie
Consider spaying your Sheltie between 6 and 9 months of age to maximize the health benefits and minimize potential risks.

Spaying before the first heat cycle can significantly reduce the risk of mammary cancer, a common concern in female dogs.

It’s important to note that each dog is different, so consulting with your veterinarian is crucial in determining the best timing for spaying your Sheltie.

The cost of spaying varies depending on factors such as location and veterinary clinic, but it’s essential to weigh these costs against long-term health benefits.

While there are non-surgical alternatives available, they may not provide all the same advantages as surgical spaying.

Factors to Consider When Deciding When to Spay a Sheltie

Factors to Consider When Deciding When to Spay a Sheltie
When deciding when to spay your Sheltie, there are several important factors to consider.

First, the optimal age for spaying is typically between 6 and 9 months of age or before the first heat cycle.

Second, it’s essential to understand the health benefits that come with spaying a Sheltie, such as reducing the risk of uterine and mammary cancer.

Lastly, it’s crucial to be aware of potential risks associated with spaying, including surgical complications and an increased risk of obesity or urinary incontinence.

Optimal age for spaying

To determine the optimal age for spaying a Sheltie, it’s important to take into account various factors that can impact their health and well-being.

These include:

  • Spaying before the first heat cycle
  • Spaying after the first heat cycle but before the second
  • Potential complications of surgery
  • Behavioral changes after spaying

Health benefits of spaying

When deciding when to spay your Sheltie, it’s important to understand the health benefits associated with this procedure.

Spaying can reduce the risk of uterine and mammary cancer, giving you increased peace of mind.

It also allows for more options in pet ownership and has been linked to an increased lifespan.

Risks of spaying

Before you decide to spay your Sheltie, it’s important to understand the potential risks involved in the procedure.

  • Surgical risks such as infection and bleeding
  • Potential behavioral changes
  • Increased risk of obesity
  • Increased risk of urinary incontinence
  • Potential health problems

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the potential risks and complications of spaying a Sheltie?

The risks of spaying include:

  • Surgical complications like bleeding or infection
  • Potential long-term impacts on health and behavior

Discuss these risks thoroughly with your vet to make an informed decision on what’s best for your Sheltie.

Can spaying a Sheltie affect their behavior or temperament?

Spaying a Sheltie generally doesn’t significantly affect their behavior or temperament.

While there may be subtle changes due to hormonal adjustments, the overall impact is minimal and can often be managed through proper training and socialization.

Is there a specific age range that is considered optimal for spaying a Sheltie?

The optimal age range to spay a Sheltie is typically between 6 and 9 months of age. This statistic highlights the importance of timing in order to maximize the health benefits associated with spaying while minimizing potential risks.

Are there any health benefits associated with spaying a Sheltie?

Spaying a Sheltie offers numerous health benefits such as:

  • Reducing the risk of uterine and mammary cancer
  • Improving behavior
  • Prolonging lifespan

It also helps prevent unwanted pregnancy and can lead to reduced veterinary care costs.

How long is the recovery period after spaying a Sheltie?

The recovery period after spaying a Sheltie typically lasts 7-10 days.

During this time, it’s important to:

  • Provide your furry friend with a quiet and comfortable space.
  • Monitor their incision site for any signs of infection.
  • Follow your veterinarian’s post-operative care instructions closely.


To ensure the best health for your Sheltie, it’s important to carefully consider when to spay your furry friend.

By spaying your Sheltie at the optimal age, you can potentially prevent serious conditions such as cancer and pyometra.

While there are risks associated with spaying, the benefits outweigh them.

Spaying your Sheltie can:

  • Prevent estrus and pregnancy.
  • Reduce the risk of cancer and pyometra.
  • Save you money.
  • Improve your dog’s coat.

Take the time to make an informed decision and give your Sheltie a healthier and happier life.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.