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Thoughts on spaying senior gal??

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#1 gcv-border


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Posted 18 May 2012 - 06:24 AM

I am dealing with a senior girl, still at the local AC, that we (BRBCR) will have vetted before pulling her. One question is whether or not to have her spayed at her age, but her age is unknown since she was picked up as a stray. She has slightly cloudy eyes and bad tarter, a little plump and very poor coat condition. We think she is older than the 6-8 years listed on her intake papers. We have asked for an opinion from the vet that the AC/SPCA uses, but have not yet heard anything (4 days later).

Any thoughts about this? Pull her and get her spayed later once she is in better condition, spay her? Don't spay her at this age? (is there an age at which it is better not to spay?) or go ahead and have her spayed while she is getting vaccinated and blood tested for release?

Thoughts and pros and cons?



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#2 mum24dog


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Posted 18 May 2012 - 06:41 AM

The older she gets, the more the chance of her developing a pyometra increases so get her spayed as soon as the vet considers her fit enough.

I found this

A study in Sweden, where elective spaying is rarely practiced, found that overall 25% of the females in the study developed pyometra by 10 years of age, and it is expected the risk would continue to increase in even older females. The risk varied considerably by breed, with some breeds having a 10% rate of pyometra and others up to 50%. Risk increased with age for all breeds. (I can get the study reference if you want.)

Unfortunately the boat sailed long ago on any possible reduction in the risk of mammary cancer.

You may want to wait until you know what stage of her oestrus cycle she is at but you may not have the luxury of time. You can't always trust adopters to keep their promises.

#3 Liz P

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:25 AM

Call your own vet and speak with him/her about the risks of keeping an older intact bitch. I personally would not want to risk emergency surgery to take care of a pyo. At that point they are generally sick and debilitated with toxins from the bacteria flooding their blood stream, There is a very real risk of not surviving surgery. However, you need to weigh out the risks and benefits of surgery for the individual dog.

#4 OurBoys


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Posted 18 May 2012 - 10:18 AM

I would pull her and have a vet BRBCR uses give her a full exam including a blood panel and go from there. If she has a serious illness (heart worms, diabetes, etc.), you will probably want to get a handle on that before getting her spayed. If the vet feels she's able to be put under anesthesia, you can get her teeth cleaned the same time she's spayed.



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JJ (RIP 10/8/2014), Jake, Josie

#5 gcv-border


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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:05 PM

Update on this senior girl: I received the report from a vet examination that occurred yesterday. She has a few more issues: heart murmur, dental disease (we already knew that), and a round and distended abdomen which is somewhat tense on palpation, and signigicantly matted fur with a urine odor. The vet thought s/he felt a scar on the abdomen (spay scar?) But she was HW negative. Yay.

We were able to pull her because of a wonderful foster family, that is experienced with dealing with senior dog issues, agreed to take her. We will get better vet work done - how serious is the heart murmur?, blood panel, fecal, maybe Xrays for the abdominal issue and start brushing her teeth or using the enzymatic plaque reducer (hoping it helps) to attack the tartar until we know if she can handle anaesthesia. I am hoping that the abdominal scar is from a spay, but I think it needs to be visualized instead of just 'felt'. And, of course, she will be brushed and shampooed and/or the mats will be cut out if necessary. We will also need to determine her TBD status.

I am so glad to get her into a caring home. She may have a very limited time, or she may live for several years, but she didn't need to be at the shelter.



"Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog."  Charles F. Duran

#6 DeltaBluez Tess

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:40 PM

I had Tess spayed after her last litter so she was about 9 or so. At that age, I tend to spay them to increase their odds of living a longer life. Better safe than dead.....they live a short enough life as it.

I did Border Collie rescue (and still do) and we had an older bitch that came in with pyo...it certainly hit me hard that it spaying was the way to go. It was about 15 or so years ago, the smell, the pain, the swollen dog, all was horrible.
Diane Pagel
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Carnation, WA

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