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I have 2 dogs who have not been neutered/spayed. My 8 year old female German Shepherd has not been spayed. I have 3 younger male dogs 2 of which where neutered at 12 months old and one who is only 9 months and not neutered. Mya came into heat at least once before both my older 2 boys where neutered and they where just kept separate for a few weeks and all was good. However, I was away this weekend and my youngest male was home with the rest of the family. My shepherd is in season and was at the perfect time in the season for mating.

Somehow on Saturday the door separating the 2 dogs was opened and the 2 dogs where together for over an hour. Plenty of time for her to get pregnant. I have been onto the vet and she told me the only thing I can do now to avoid a litter of unplanned for mixed breed puppies is to spay her now. She said she can't even check if she is pregnant for at least 3 weeks and by then if she was pregnant the pups would have already started to look like dogs. Am I doing the right thing by getting her spayed now? Is there any added risk because she is a senior dog or because she is in season? I'm worried I am not doing what is best for her.
 

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Yes, there are increased risks with anesthesia in a senior dog. Yes, there are increased risk of carrying a pregnancy to term in a senior dog.

Personally, I would spay her. I would do preop bloodwork, make sure she has an IV catheter and correct monitoring, and get her spayed. At her age she is already at increased risk of uterine infection (pyometra).
 

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Gsdsar makes an excellent point that there is a risk either way. But, I also do understand your concern about having her spayed now when she is in heat and also her age. There is still the possibility that she could not be pregnant. I would consider waiting provided I would be okay with her having the puppies and could find homes for them. At her age, according to this article Guessing How Many Puppies a Dog Will Have - Pets she would probably only have a small litter.
 

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I would spay, but I would wait for about 2-3 weeks, the puppies would be a little older, still not the size of grapes, almost all the weight gain is in the last three weeks of pregnancy. Spaying in heat means a lot more bleeders to be cut off, longer under anesthesia. Some vet tech can chime in as to whether their might be more or less complications if we wait until the heat cycle is over and the spay.

Personally, I think the risk for a senior bitch who has never had puppies before to have a first litter at 8 years is higher than the risk of anesthesia in an 8 year old bitch.
 

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As stated, she is already at risk for pyometra. I have spayed every one of my older females after they have had litters....blood work and an experienced vet who you are comfortable with ....early pregnancy spays are not uncommon. IMO it is much safer and better all around to spay her as soon as the vet feels comfortable doing it.


Good luck - you should be fine!


Lee
 

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Am I doing the right thing by getting her spayed now? Is there any added risk because she is a senior dog or because she is in season? I'm worried I am not doing what is best for her.
Your last sentence just struck me. It makes me think if the dog knows she is pregnant, what would that do to her emotionally especially if she wants the puppies? Just a thought, and I do understand your dilemma.
 

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If you have a 24 hour vet clinic with a reproductive department, I would call and ask to speak to someone in the reproductive department. Explain the situation, that you want her spayed, but you want to do it at the best point with regards to your bitch, and ask them when it is safest to spay.

Frankly, I am afraid I do not trust your average general practitioner to know the answer to this. Yes, yes they do emergency spays, but they might just do them whenever they owners get them in, and do not truly consider what point will be easiest on the bitch. Ask a reproductive specialist.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Than you everyone for your replies. I had a lengthy discussion with a specialist today and we decided to go ahead an neuter her straight away. As someone said in the below posts if we waited longer she would realize she is pregnant (if she was pregnant) and that might have emotional effects on her. She was neutered this morning and is home now and in good form. She got a lovely dinner of tasty chicken and has decided that she would rather sleep on the floor then in any of the beds but what ever makes her comfortable :)

It was to early to know if she was pregnant but it's what was best for her and now we won't have to worry about any similar accident in the future!
 
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