Spaying female dogs is a common practice that involves removing the reproductive organs completely. There are several reasons and benefits of spaying including the reduced risk of breast cancer. When you adopt a dog from a shelter, the pooch is already spayed or will be done after adoption.
Apart from the benefits, spaying has several physical effects and consequences. These effects can also be used as clues to find out if a female dog has already been spayed. A lot of people wonder whether dog nipples shrink after spaying. Today, we try to find the answer to this concern and discuss the effects of spaying on nipples.
Do Dog Nipples Shrink After Spaying?
All the dogs, male and female, have nipples around their abdomen area. They can have anywhere between six and ten nipples in general and some dogs have an odd number and not a symmetrical row of nipples on the two sides. A lot of breeders recommend waiting for the first heat cycle of the dog to get it spayed. However, it is a general idea to get it done when the female dog is six months old.
Before spaying, at the time of the heat cycle, the mammary glands of the female dog swells and nipples are enlarged. Once spayed, the nipples shrink and get the shape and size they had before the heat cycle. However, the extent to which this happens often depends on the age of the dog and the number of heat cycles it has experienced before getting spayed.
Spaying does cause shrinkage of nipples in dogs but the actual effects depend on several factors. This is because each heat cycle triggers hormonal changes affecting the dog’s mammary glands. The mammary tissues of the dog also change with age. So, the amount of change you notice in a dog after spaying is not uniform or predictable.
Dog Nipples After Spaying – What You Should Know?
Your dog undergoes several changes, behavioral as well as hormonal, after spaying. One of the biggest changes you notice is with the mammary glands of the dog. Before spaying, the female dog experiences swollen nipples during the heat cycle, pregnancy and lactation. Once spayed, the dog’s mammary glands, vulva and nipples get smaller in size resembling those of intact females.
However, not every dog undergoes such changes. If your dog is spayed before her first heat cycle, it is possible that the nipples shrink to their pre-pubescent state. But if it has undergone several heat cycles before spaying, you can’t predict the change in nipples. The dog experiences hormonal changes during heat cycles that cause the nipples to swell.
If your dog is old when spayed, it might have undergone changes in its hormonal tissues with multiple heat cycles and have permanently enlarged nipples. Such dogs might not experience a change in nipples after spaying. After so many heat cycles and pregnancies, it is difficult for the nipples to return to their original size and they become swollen permanently.
Dog Nipples Swollen After Spaying
Spaying is a major surgery and has several implications and risks. While most healthy dogs develop no problems and get normal after surgery, some dogs experience complications including skin irritation, pain, fever and reaction to anesthesia. These signs should get better with time and resolve on their own or with medications.
One of the biggest risks associated with spaying is an abdominal infection which can cause the mammary glands and other areas near the surgery to swell. The dog’s nipples can swell and even show discharge. If you see anything unusual as such, it is a good idea to visit the vet and confirm whether the dog has something wrong.
Female Dog Swollen Nipples
There are several reasons for swollen nipples in female dogs. If the dog is not spayed, it undergoes hormonal changes during each heat cycle, affecting its mammary glands. These changes cause the nipples to swell. As the dog undergoes multiple heat cycles, the tissues of mammary glands change and the nipples get permanently enlarged.
Another reason for swollen nipples in female dogs is lactation. Nipples get enlarged during pregnancy and after giving birth to puppies to feed them. Apart from these, there are several other causes of swollen nipples in female dogs. Dog owners should keep a watch on the changes and signs to detect any underlying problem in its early stages.
Swollen Mammary Gland In Spayed Dog
Spayed dogs don’t experience heat cycles or hormonal changes which means swelling of mammary glands and nipples is less common in such animals. However, if your spayed dog has swollen mammary glands, it can be a sign of a serious problem and should be reported to a vet at the earliest. The most common cause of swollen mammary glands in dogs is Mastitis. It is a bacterial infection affecting the nipples and can prove to be life-threatening if not treated on time.
Though rare, this disease can affect male dogs and spayed dogs. Mastitis makes the mammary glands swell and they even leak pus. A vet can treat Mastitis with antibiotics and warm compresses to soothe swollen nipples. Another serious reason for swollen mammary glands in spayed dogs is cancer. While the risk of cancer is quite low in spayed females, it can still affect them, particularly if the dog was spayed later in life.
Dog Inverted Nipple Infection
Inverted nipples are a natural occurrence in dogs and not a matter of concern. They don’t cause any discomfort or pain to the dog but are vulnerable to infections as sebum accumulates easily inside them. It is important to clean them on a regular basis to keep them free of any such implications. If not properly cared for, inverted nipples develop bacterial infections like mastitis.
This is an inflammation of mammary glands most common in lactating dogs but can also affect spayed as well as male dogs. This infection can occur in different forms with varying signs and symptoms. Dogs affected by mastitis experience pain and discomfort with visible signs in the nipple area. The most common symptoms include discharge from the nipples, redness and swelling of the nipples accompanied by pain, fever, lethargy and others.