When To Spay Chesapeake Bay Retriever

I’m sure it’s sometimes hard to believe how quickly your female Chessie has grown from a boisterous pup to a more socially adjusted young retriever. At this age, it is usually the time to decide about spaying. But when do you spay a Chesapeake Bay Retriever?

A Chesapeake Bay retriever should be spayed between 6 to 9 months, preferably before she comes into her first heat. Spaying is the removal of the productive organs that will prevent the female from becoming pregnant. Spaying a female retriever eliminates breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.

Spaying your Chesapeake Bay retriever to prevent unwanted pregnancies is a good idea, but what does the procedure entail, and what are the benefits, risks, and disadvantages?

At What Age Should A Chesapeake Bay Retriever Female Be Spayed?

The best time to spay your Chesapeake Bay retriever female is between 6 to 9 months of age. Spaying before your retriever comes into her first heat is also preferable. Spaying a female before she matures diminishes the chance of her uterus becoming diseased or other severe conditions that can affect more mature females.

What Does Spaying A Chesapeake Female Entail?

The spraying procedure (ovariohysterectomy) is when the reproductive organs of your female retriever are surgically removed. The reproductive organs include the two ovaries, the uterine horns, and the body of the uterus. After the operation, your female will not have heat cycles and will be unable to become pregnant.

Are There Health Benefits To Spaying A Female Retriever?

There are many health benefits and advantages to spaying your retriever. They are:

  • Preventing your female from going into heat (estrus) means she will no longer have days when she would bleed and will not attract unwanted males.
  • She will no longer have the hormone fluctuations which cause false pregnancy after the heat period.
  • Spaying prevents the threat of uterine infection (pyometra)
  • Breast cancer can be prevented, and there is a less than 0.5% chance of cancer in females that are spayed before they first come into heat
  • The elimination of uterine and ovarian cancer
  • Females that are spayed generally live longer than those that have not been spayed.

Are There Disadvantages To Spaying A Female Chesapeake Bay Retriever?

Although spaying is considered the best option for the overall health and longevity of your female Chessie, there are some disadvantages.

  • Spaying will reduce your female’s metabolism, so ensure your dog has healthy, balanced food and lots of exercises. This will prevent obesity.
  • Spaying before maturity could result in an increased risk of a knee injury. This is due to bone growth which is stimulated by female hormones.
  • There is a chance of urinary incontinence that affects middle-aged and older females.

Spaying your female Chesapeake Bay retriever will not cause any changes in her personality, playfulness, affection, or intelligence.

What To Expect Of The Spaying Procedure?

Knowing more about the procedure your female Chessie is going to undergo will set your mind at ease. However, consulting your veterinarian is always best.

How Long Is The Spay Procedure?

The veterinarian will thoroughly examine your Chessie before the procedure to ensure she is in good health. The procedure will require general anesthesia, which usually takes 20 to 90 minutes to perform.

The organs can be removed with a traditional scalpel or laparoscopically (with surgical lasers). The incision is closed with skin glue, sutures (stitches), or surgical staples. Some veterinarians use dissolving stitches that do not have to be removed.

After the procedure, your retriever will spend a few hours in the hospital. This is to monitor her recovery from anesthesia and to assess her general condition.

Are There Any Dangers To Spaying A Female Retriever?

Spaying a female dog is considered a major operation. Because the operation requires anesthesia, there is always a risk of complications. However, with modern anesthetics and monitoring equipment, this risk is significantly reduced.

Recovering From The Spay Procedure

Your veterinarian will give you some instructions regarding feeding and taking care of your female retriever after the operation. Be sure to keep her warm and calm and give her lots of love. Ensure that she gets lots of rest. Most females will start feeling better after 24 to 48 hours of the operation. However, full recovery can take between 10 to 14 days.

You must check the incision daily for any signs of infection. Any redness, discharge, swelling, or foul odor must be reported immediately to the veterinarian. Also, ensure your female Chessie is eating and drinking and is not lethargic, which could be a sign of infection. Should this be the case, take her to the emergency veterinarian for immediate care.

During the recovery period, it is best to keep the female calm and not allow jumping that could cause the incision to open. Also, be aware that your dog might chew on or lick her stitches. If this happens repeatedly, it is best that she wears an Elizabethan collar (E-collar) or cone to prevent her from disturbing the wound. You can take your dog for leash walks, but she may not swim, bathe, and no running.

Removal Of Wound Stitches

After 10 to 14 days, you can take your female retriever back to the veterinarian for a check-up and for the removal of stitches if necessary. This is an excellent time to discuss any issues or concerns that you may have. The veterinarian will again give you guidelines regarding feeding and exercising your female now that she has fully recovered.


A female Chesapeake Bay retriever should be spayed between the age of 6 to 9 months before she comes into her first heat. Spaying your female retriever has many health benefits but also a few disadvantages. The spraying procedure is performed under general anesthetic, and the female will take 10 to 14 days to fully recover.

After the operation, taking good care of your female Chessie will ensure a good recovery. Keeping her calm and preventing her from licking or tugging at the stitches is essential. Once she has recovered, ensuring that she eats a balanced meal and gets plenty of exercise will help her to maintain a healthy weight. Spaying is the best for your female retriever.

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