We often get this question, “Should I spay or neuter my French Bulldog?” First off, let’s be very clear. The word spay refers to sterilizing a female and neutering refers to sterilizing a male. Spaying and neutering has become popularized for reducing the overall pet population and keeping animals out of shelters. Which we agree is of high importance. What this article will do is inform you about the various other options for preventing unwanted French Bulldog pregnancies and the various procedures to do so.
Spaying and neutering is the removal of a females ovaries/uterus and a males testicles as way to sterilize your French Bulldog so he/she cannot reproduce. This route removes the major sources of sex hormones estrogen and testosterone that your Frenchie normally has in her/his body possibly effecting his growth & development and may cause potential health problems. Below is a table taken from Parsemus.
Impact if I Spay or Neuter My French Bulldog :
Realize not all Frenchies will have issues after being spayed or neutered. There are some breeds more prone to issues such as Rottweilers, Vizlas, and Golden Retrievers. However, I ccurrently annot find anything specific to French Bulldogs. For those of you who would like to keep the natural flow of hormones in your Frenchie’s body but want to prevent pregnancies as well there are other options than the traditional spay or neuter.
Hormone Sparing Sterilization Options For Female French Bulldogs:
An Ovary Sparing Spay (OSS) removes the uterus and cervix but leaves the ovaries in tact which removes bleeding during heats and the risk of infection of the uterus (pyometra), as long as ALL of the uterus is removed. However, stump pyometra may occur if some uterine tissue is left.
Tubal ligations may also be performed but it’s often not recommended as the risk of pyometra may still occur.
Behavorial Advantage & Disadvantages for Retaining Ovaries for Females
“It is earth-shattering to consider that some of the cancers we have been battling may have been enhanced by early neutering instead of the reverse.” Based on the research available, it is clear there are a number of health benefits of the sex steroid hormones. This benefit varies with age, sex, and breed. Therefore, although surgically altering your dog to be unable to breed is the responsible choice for most dogs, it is in the best interest of each individual patient for its veterinarian to assess the risks and benefits of removing the ovaries versus the options like a ovary sparing spay and to have your veterinarian advise you on what is appropriate for each individual pet at each stage of its life.
Dr. Villalobos, a well-respected veterinary oncologist
Hormone Sparing Sterilization Options For Males:
We have all heard of vasectomy’s for human males but did you know it’s a method of sterilization is accepted by the American Veterinary Medical Association for your French Bulldog male as well. To clarify, what they do is cut or tie the vas deferens preventing the transport of sperm. Your Frenchie will still have interest in females in heat and will have testicles and appear to be intact. The health risks going this route include testicular cancer, perineal hernia, and enlarged prostate later in life. Therefore they will typically treat these via castration if needed. You can see technical on how the procedure is performed here.
There is a possibility that the traditional neutering may decrease territorial aggression but increase anxiety which may be expressed as aggression.
Conclusion on Should I Spay or Neuter My French Bulldog?
The goal of this article wasn’t to tell you what to do but to inform you of the various options to sterilizing your Frenchie so you can do your part in preventing unwanted pregnancies. In addition, here are some resources to dive deeper.
Facebook group with training modules on OSS and vasectomies:
Find a Vet to perform alternative sterilization surgery:
1. Belfield WO. For a more normal life for a pet: a partial spay (hysterectomy). Vet Med Small Anim Clin. (1972) 67:1223–4.
2. Torres de la Riva G, Hart BL, Farver TB, Oberbauer AM, Messam LL, Willits N, et al. Neutering dogs: effect on joint disorders and cancer in Golden Retrievers. PLoS ONE.(2013) 8:e55937. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055937
3. Beauvais W, Cardwell JM, Brodbelt DC. The effect of neutering on the risk of mammary tumors in dogs—a systematic review. J Sm Anim Pract. (2012) 53:314–22. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2011.01220.x
4. Trabuco EC, Moorman PG, Algeciras-Schimnich A, Weaver AL, Cliby WA. Association of ovary-sparing hysterectomy with ovarian reserve. Obstet Gynecol. (2016) 127:819–27. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001398
5. Schiff JD, Li PS, Schlegel PN, Goldstein M. Rapid disappearance of spermatozoa after vasal occlusion in the dog. J Androl. (2003) 24:361–3. doi: 10.1002/j.1939-4640.2003.tb02683.x
6. McMahon AJ, Buckley J, Taylor A, Lloyd SN, Deane RF, Kirk D. Chronic testicular pain following vasectomy. Br J Urol. (1992) 69:188–91.
7. Fossum TW, Hedlund CS. Surgery of the reproductive and genital systems. In: Fossum TW, editor. Small Animal Surgery. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier (2007). p. 702–44.