One of the most important questions Maltese owners need to ask themselves is whether they want to neuter their dogs. This is a very emotional topic and there is a lot of wrong information about it on the internet. So should you neuter your Maltese, and if so, at what age?
You should neuter your Maltese if there are no health or medical issues against it. Not only will you avoid unwanted pregnancies, but you will also prevent some serious diseases. The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. The right age to neuter your Maltese is 4 to 6 months. So you should neuter your Maltese before the first heat.
So, if there are no important reasons against it, you should neuter your Maltese. And you should do it before the first heat, so ideally at the age of about 6 months.
But what are the advantages and disadvantages of neutering Maltese? And are there differences between male and female Maltese? We answer these questions in this article. We will also present alternatives to neutering that you can consider for your Maltese.
Finally, we will explain at what age you should have your Maltese neutered and what costs you should expect for this procedure.
Table of Contents
Should I Neuter My Maltese?
Deciding whether or not to neuter your Maltese is a tough decision. There are many opinions and controversial discussions about this.
Even in the veterinary discussion, there is no unanimous opinion on this subject. Some researchers advocate neutering in all cases, others only in exceptional cases.
Some researchers consider neutering necessary before the first heat, others recommend waiting until growth is complete.
These many different, but scientifically quite reasonable opinions make it even more difficult for dog owners to make a decision about neutering. However, the concrete decision of whether to neuter your Maltese or not always depends on the individual situation of your dog.
In any case, it makes sense to talk to your vet about the topic of neutering at an early stage. Your vet can best evaluate your Maltese and his personal situation and make a qualified decision.
The American Veterinarian Medical Association recommends the neutering of dogs. Especially to avoid unwanted litters, which in the worst case have to live a sad life as street dogs or even get euthanized.
But they also recommend neutering to avoid certain diseases and minimize behavioral problems caused by the breeding instinct.
Benefits Of Neutering A Maltese
Maltese neutering comes with some advantages and disadvantages. It is important that you know these advantages and disadvantages in order to make a qualified decision after consulting your vet.
Let’s first look at the advantages of neutering your Maltese. Here we have to distinguish between male and female Maltese. Except for the fact that neutering Maltese increases their life expectancy for both genders.
In the next chapter, we will look at the disadvantages, again divided into male and female Maltese.
Benefits Of Neutering A Male Maltese
The benefits of neutering a male Maltese are mainly in changing his behavior and preventing certain diseases. In detail, neutering of male Maltese has the following advantages:
- Eliminates the small risk of testicular cancer
- Reduces the risk of prostate disease
- Reduces the risk of perianal fistulas
- Makes the dog calmer and eliminates its reproductive instinct
- The encounter with a female dog in heat is much more relaxed
- The procedure is done after only 15 minutes and is quite low risk
- Could reduce the risk of diabetes
Benefits Of Neutering A Female Maltese
There are also some benefits of spaying for female dogs. As with the male dogs, these are also in the behavior and the prevention of diseases. In detail, these are the following advantages:
- Significantly reduces the risk of mammary tumors
- Reliably eliminates fertility
- Reduces the risk of perianal fistulas
- Eliminates the reproductive instinct
- Prevents typical behavioral changes, discharge , bleeding and false pregnancy
- Stabilizes the psyche by preventing severe hormonal fluctuations during heat
- Eliminates the risk of ovarian tumors and uterine infections or suppurations
- Reduces the low risk of uterine, cervical and ovarian tumors
Downsides Of Neutering A Maltese
As with almost all medical procedures, there are disadvantages as well as advantages. You should also know the disadvantages before making a decision.
However, talk to your vet about which of these disadvantages really apply to your Maltese. Let them advise you whether the advantages or the disadvantages predominate.
Also with the disadvantages, you have to distinguish between male and female Maltese.
Downsides Of Neutering A Male Maltese
Many studies have investigated the effect of neutering on dogs. For some diseases, an increased risk was found in neutered dogs.
It is important to know that some of these diseases are very rare. Therefore, an increased risk does not mean that it is very likely that your Maltese will get these diseases.
In detail, the following risks of castration of male Maltese are known:
- Increases the risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessels
- Increases the risk of hypothyroidism, in which the thyroid can no longer produce enough thyroid hormone and release it into the bloodstream
- May lead to cognitive impairment in old age
- Triples the risk of obesity
- May increase the risk of orthopedic problems
- May cause problems with vaccinations
- Medical interventions are generally never without risk
Downsides Of Neutering A Female Maltese
There are also some disadvantages in female Maltese, which have been described mainly by scientific studies.
Here it is also true that an increased risk does not automatically mean that there is also a high probability that your Maltese will suffer from one of these diseases.
The following disadvantages of spaying female Maltese are known:
- Risk of infection after surgery
- Restricted freedom of movement for a few days
- The cost of neutering is higher for female Maltese
- Increased appetite
- Sometimes incontinence occurs after the operation
- Triples the risk of hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland produces and releases less thyroid hormone
- Increases the risk of obesity
- Increases the risk of harm infections
- Doubles the risk of urinary tract tumors
- Increases the risk of vaginal problems
- Can lead to orthopedic problems
- May lead to problems with vaccinations
What Is The Best Age To Neuter My Maltese?
The best age to neuter a dog depends on its breed, physical condition, and health. For Maltese, this means neutering them between 4 and 6 months of age, although you should rather wait until just before 6 months.
You often hear that you should wait until after the first heat before neutering a dog. However, this is not correct!
It is best to neuter your Maltese before the first heat. This not only reduces the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy. And believe me, such an unwanted pregnancy can happen quickly.
It also drastically reduces the risk of some serious diseases. Also, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends in their spaying and neutering brochure to neuter before the first heat.
However, you should wait until your Maltese’s bones are fully developed before neutering. Talk to your vet early about neutering your Maltese. He will be able to tell you the right time for your Maltese.
How Much Does It Cost To Neuter A Maltese?
The cost of neutering can vary greatly. There are big differences in the costs for male and female dogs. Also, your place of residence and the selected clinic or veterinarian have an influence on the cost of the procedure.
To give you a rough estimate of the cost, you should expect amounts between $40 and $400.
For male dogs, you can expect a lower cost of $40 to $150. However, spaying female dogs will not cost less than $150.
This difference in cost between male and female dogs is simply because the procedure is much more complicated and time-consuming for female dogs. Of course, you will have to pay for this extra effort.
To save money, you should get quotes from several reputable veterinarians and veterinary clinics in your area. However, make sure that the provider is reputable. You don’t want to put your beloved Maltese at unnecessary risk just to save a few dollars.
Are There Alternatives To Neutering A Maltese?
If you decide against neutering your Maltese, there are also alternatives to this procedure. However, you must know that the alternatives are not permanent solutions, but must be refreshed regularly.
For male dogs, there is a possible alternative to traditional neutering with the implantation of a hormone chip. With this method, your dog will have a chip placed under his skin in the neck that contains deslorelin.
Deslorelin is similar to the gonadotropin-releasing hormone and ensures that your four-legged friend becomes infertile. It takes several weeks for the castration chip to take effect.
Since testosterone production is reduced by the steady release of deslorelin, the chip affects your quadruped’s reproductive drive just like a normal castration.
For female dogs, there is the option of hormone injection. Such a hormone injection can be administered to female dogs as a short-term solution.
However, it must be injected every 3 – 6 months, which does not make it a permanent solution. The health risk is also very high with this solution. So we must rather advise against hormone injection.
It can be a hard decision to neuter your Maltese. Although there is much to be said for it, there are also some good arguments against it.
Even in veterinary medicine, there is no unanimous opinion on this subject.
Therefore, you should discuss with your veterinarian whether neutering makes sense in the case of your Maltese or not. Mostly it makes sense to have your Maltese neutered because this has many advantages.
Even though there are many opinions here as well, the best age for neutering is about 6 months. The Maltese is then already relatively far grown but is still before the first heat.
Whatever you decide, we wish you only the best for you and your Maltese!