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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!

My future in-laws have a 7 almost 8 year old Female GSD and they are tossing around the idea to have her spayed. They got the dog from a breeder as a retired show/breeding dog and she has had 3 litters in the past.

I guess some questions would be;

1. Is it even worth doing it at this point in the dogs life? Is she too old?
2. They're worried about incontinence after the surgery.

What are the pros and cons of getting the old girl spayed?

Thanks :)
 

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The only benefits I can think of is that if they have her spayed now they won't have to deal with her coming into heat, taking the chance of her getting pregnant, it can happen even as a senior citizen.

There's also the chance she may incur emergency surgery sometime during her golden years if she were to get something like pyometra.

But on the other hand, lots of bitches stay intact during their lifetimes without problems.

I guess if she were my dog, I'd have her spayed.
 

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I got Arwen spayed at almost seven as I had her under anesthetic anyway.
I was worried about pyometra.

Well she DID get spay incontinence. She developed a thyroid issue. And then, less than two years later she died of a hematoma. She was checked just prior to the spay for hemangiosarcoma with an ultrasound and there was nothing.

Was it the spay? Was it her time to go? Did the spay speed up her time to go? I will never know.

But, I do not think I will perform a surgery again as a preventative measure for some condition that might occur. Because it is hard when a condition comes out of a surgery that you performed to prevent another condition.

You do have to watch the bitch after each heat cycle and ensure she does not get sick just in case.
 

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We had Sneaker spayed when she was 8. She lived to be 14-1/2!
 

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any time you put a dog under general anesthesia it's a risk. i also think surgery and recovery is extremely hard on older dogs, just as it is for people. the risk here would not be worth the benefit if this were my dog.
 

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I had a labrador years ago that came to me as a stray. I had her spayed at 7; she developed "spay incontinence" for about 2 weeks immediately following the surgery (which I personally believe was nothing more than discomfort...in those days vets didn't prescribe pain meds). She lived to be 13 and had no issues. If it were my dog, and my vet felt the procedure would not present conflicting health risks, I would have her spayed. Much easier to do a spay on a healthy, middle-aged dog than an emergency pyo on an ill older dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thank you for the responses.

They had a little cockapoo that was spayed when she was 14yrs due to Pyometra and about 3-4 months later went into kidney failure and had to be put to sleep. I think they are also worried about pyo as well. Does having litters increase, decrease, or not effect the chances of pyometra?

I think their worries about keeping her intact are with her going in heat and the fellas start showing up along with the risk of pyo.

The worries about having her spayed is incontinence and her recovery from the surgery.

They will be taking her to the Vet soon and I'm sure they will talk with her too, I just wanted to ask here as well since I value everyone's input on these boards.

Thanks again. :)
 

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There is also mammary cancer.

Incontinence won't kill her. Pyometra and cancer could. I do not know the stats on pyometra and having had litters.

This is what I ask for from a vet before any dog is operated on:
*Pre-anesthetic bloodwork gone over with me prior to surgery
*Clotting time test (GSDs are prone to bleeding disorders)
*What/who monitors during surgery
*What anesthetic will they use - I ask for "old dawg" anesthesia that is used on sick/elderly (I believe that is often isoflourine - sp)
*If a dog is on any medicines or supplements I ask prior to the surgery if they will have any impact on clotting or recovery
*Pain management - I refuse NSAIDs given as pain management and for some of my dogs I ask for less Bup...whatever that is - it's a narcotic and seems pretty strong and mine seem to get gorked easily

After surgery I give the supplement DMG by Vetriscience. No idea if it does anything but I had a 15 year old dog recovery from bloat/torsion surgery with a bonus tumor removal and the vet said his incision healed like a 6 month old's spay!

I would also make sure she's eating good, nutritious foods before the spay.

Good luck to her!
 

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*What anesthetic will they use - I ask for "old dawg" anesthesia that is used on sick/elderly (I believe that is often isoflourine - sp)

That's was I was going to say..the Iso is great, as soon as you remove the mask, the dogs wake right up. Its a lighter anesthetic. Otherwise, there isn't anything wrong with spaying at that age.
 

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^^^ what Jean said

Pretty raw subject for me...as on Tues my 9ish year old hospice....no...I'll say palliative care...foster must undergo mammary tumor removal and spay....to hopefully save her/prolong her life. Because she also has other health issues...it is even more risky and we aren't sure she will come through it. But there is no alternative.
Her team of specialists have told me...without surgery...she will inevidably face tumor rupture leading to mass infection and if she ever survived that (not likely) cancer spread....and she is a huge risk for pyrometra on top of it.

If I had a healthy 7 year old...I would spay.
 

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I third the "Iso"!! That's what they will be using on Cheyenne.
 

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My PekaPom was spayed at 10 years old because of pyometra. Even though she went in dying, she came out perfectly fine. She recovered well and will soon be celebrating her 13th birthday. She always gets a clean bill of health (I get full blood work, CBC and thyroid panels run yearly on both my dogs along with a urinalysis. This gives me a look at their health inside and out so I can spot changes quickly and take action if needed.) so the spay hasn't seemed to have an ill effects on her. She was diagnosed with a low thyroid this past year but honestly I'm not going to blame that on the spay that happened like 3 years ago and it's certainly not killing her like the pyometra was. Considering the condition she COULD be in for a senior, I'd say I'm very happy that her only problem is a low thyroid. (Managed twice a day with a very reasonable priced pill) At least it's not something like diabetes/cancer! When we first got our new vet in SC they thought she was a 2-3 year old dog. She's started going there when she was 11. :thumbup:
 

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I thought that mammary cancer risk is improved if spayed before the first or second heat, after that, it makes no difference.
 

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i'm pretty sure that's right sue.
 

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i have a question: i have never had a female dog. i am thinking about getting a 10 yr old gs ( female) used for breedng. i have just heard of pyometra.. for that reason i was thinking of getting her spayed. but is 10 yrs. old too old.? does the number of liters she's had influence the likely hood of getting pyometra? i have just heard of spay incontinence . is that a
permanent condition or just temporary? do older female dogs get incontinence with or without spay surgery? thank you.
 

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i have a question: i have never had a female dog. i am thinking about getting a 10 yr old gs ( female) used for breedng. i have just heard of pyometra.. for that reason i was thinking of getting her spayed. but is 10 yrs. old too old.? does the number of liters she's had influence the likely hood of getting pyometra? i have just heard of spay incontinence . is that a
permanent condition or just temporary? do older female dogs get incontinence with or without spay surgery? thank you.
This is a 9yr old thread... best to start your own.
 
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