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Health check and rabies jab yesterday. Punk did great as only she can.
My concerns were weakness and maybe pain in back end, heart as always, vision and starting to see odd behaviors ie staring at the wall, intermittent confusion( getting lost in the bathroom).
Vet was impressed with her overall condition. Some lack of muscle tone but not bad considering her age and coming off an injury. Definite aversion to having her hips or thighs checked so there is pain there but given her history with vets they opted to save it for another day.
Eyes looked good, vet commented that a bit of old dog blurry but no real issues. Heart is a bit erratic but sounds strong, lungs sounded clear. Mammary all looked good no lumps or bumps. Lump on her neck is definitely just a cyst. Skin, ears and coat all good. Stomach was normal. She's doing good for an old girl.
They gave her benadryl before vax to avoid any histamine response and I took the night off to stay with her. Said to continue benadryl for 48 hours and watch for any other symptoms.
They want her back in a week for Lepto shot, a week after that for distemper.
They will try again to get blood at those appointments. They don't push fearful dogs. It's their policy.
Quote for her spay is 900 or so, but that includes the blood work and meds.
I am opposed to further vaccines. I do not think they are needed.
They also want her on trazadone for future appointments, just to make sure she is fine and gave me probiotics to add to her food and see if that helps with her sore belly after meals.
So, thoughts? Advice?
 

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$900 seems like a lot for a spay, even converted to US dollars. I think I paid $275 USD for Willow's spay. Maybe more because of age-related risks?

Also just curious, why are you having her spayed now? Honestly asking because I'm curious, not to criticize.
 

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$900 seems like a lot for a spay, even converted to US dollars. I think I paid $275 USD for Willow's spay. Maybe more because of age-related risks?

Also just curious, why are you having her spayed now? Honestly asking because I'm curious, not to criticize.
The quote says 418 for the spay, plus 85 for a mature fee. It is more involved in any fully matured dog. The blood work is 165 plus 32 and the taxes are 100.

As to why now, I wanted her done at age 2 but was unable to locate a vet that would consent to putting her under with an undiagnosed heart issue. They could not diagnose her because she was terrified and crappy handling by poorly trained vets kept making it worse.
Her heats have always been erratic and problematic. For a few years she was in heat every 4 months or so which must have been **** on her body, then she had a few split heats, then she went almost 10 months without a heat.
At her age pyometra is a real concern and saving her life should she get it would be traumatic and expensive, with no guarantee.
 

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I think that the heart sounds strong is a positive if you do the spay.

Xerxes has a heart murmur that our vet tells us will require an EKG or ultrasound or something if we ever want to do his teeth. And I'm not sure that's necessary - I personally would be comfortable proceeding without. He's an incredibly active boy, quite the little athlete - so maybe I'm kidding myself.

I would be worried about pyometra too. Any idea on the likelihood of an intact female her age developing it?
 

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She sounds like she’s doing good to me. I’m not big on vaccines beyond the puppy series. With your situation, it’s weighing the likelihood of pyometra against the risk of heart complications. I’d have to study up on it again before I made a decision. It’s not something I’ve had to worry about with all males these days.
 

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I think that the heart sounds strong is a positive if you do the spay.

Xerxes has a heart murmur that our vet tells us will require an EKG or ultrasound or something if we ever want to do his teeth. And I'm not sure that's necessary - I personally would be comfortable proceeding without. He's an incredibly active boy, quite the little athlete - so maybe I'm kidding myself.

I would be worried about pyometra too. Any idea on the likelihood of an intact female her age developing it?
As far as I know, shepherds are not a real high risk breed for pyo but she is still a 10 year old that has never been bred so it's a significant risk.
I think at this point, if I do there is risk and if I don't there is risk. Surgical complications or a life threatening infection.
 

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As far as I know, shepherds are not a real high risk breed for pyo but she is still a 10 year old that has never been bred so it's a significant risk.
I think at this point, if I do there is risk and if I don't there is risk. Surgical complications or a life threatening infection.
I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer. I think it comes down to your personal philosophy. Most females I know of are fixed by this point, but she’s already made it this far.
 

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In my opinion- no vaccinations- they can do titers and leave her alone.
And no spay. I actually had a 9y.o going through emergency spay due to pyometra. She did fine and lived till 14+y.o.
And then I had another 9 y.o that went through a surgery after a bloat with her spleen removed and she had some heart issues so I didn’t want her to go through another surgery because she got something like pyometra.. it sure looked like it...and I was able to fix her and she lived till 11+ years and even went through another heat cycle with no problems.
 

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Honestly it's certainly your decision but I wouldn't spay if it was my choice. I'm scared of pyo risk but at that point and with other concerning behaviors and such well it wouldn't be on the top of my list. Of course I can imagine feeling horrible if something did happen due to pyo and it was emergency surgery to save her. But with mental and physical quality of life concerns and I know this probably sounds terrible, euthing for pyo at an old age before other health concerns got too bad would not be the worst way to go. But the mental impact on you may be strong and that could be a reason to go through with it. There is a high risk with surgery being an older dog with heart issues. Plenty of random old shelter dogs are altered all the time though and they seem to do just fine. Plenty of dogs also stay intact until they die with no health issues.
 

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It sounds like she got a really thorough going over with a good report. Just a couple things I can think of. Ask/insist for a titer for the distemper before deciding to give it. They have to take blood anyways so no biggie except that it’s a little bit more expensive than the vaccine. For the lepto, I would ask or find out how many lepto cases for your area and also ask your vet how many cases he has dealt with over the past year. Take that ans and figure in how much woods walking, puddle\pond drinking she does and your comfort zone with giving it and come up with your answer as to should or shouldnt she have it.

With the Trazadone, I dug up some info about it in this article. Pre-Hospital Sedation Options for Aggressive and Anxious Dogs • MSPCA-Angell.

They talk about the “chill” protocol which I thought just included all but trazadone. I have used on my boy minus the ace (my request) and the trazadone wasn’t part of it. I wanted you to read the concerns about the heart and look into that further and double check with the vet.

You’ve always done right by her so far so this won’t be anything different.
 

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Wow! You guys are awesome.
@Kazel just a couple of weeks ago I was having a discussion about Shadow and I said that at her age, and with her background, I have to think that it is doubtful an emergency would go in her favor. I love her to bits, but she is 10 and she's had a rough go of it. At some point I need to consider her well being and quality of life. Had that leg injury not healed I'm afraid I would have faced a terrible choice. And I feel the same way about pyometra. That's putting an old dog through a traumatic surgery. But she suffers a bit through her heats and that seems really unfair. I'm really torn about it. I don't really know what is best here.
I know someone is going to say she's ONLY 10!
@Heartandsoul I am so very grateful that you found that article! I need to have a serious chat with the vet about that and find out if it is safe or not.
The distemper I'm kind of iffy about especially because they only do the 3 way with parvo and influenza as well, the lepto I am leaning towards. There is wildlife everywhere here. We can't walk around the block without something. Bears, foxes, raccoons, deer all saunter around here like they own the place. I am surrounded by all manner of rodents. They have rats here! We walk a lot and are in the woods often.
Titers would probably be a bust, she has not been vaccinated since she was 1. I am not arbitrarily against vaccines, I just think they get over done.
@Dunkirk more great info! I need to ask some further questions. I know Sabi's vet was a bloody genius and light years ahead of his time. He was rather fond of upping the sedation and lowering the anesthesia, and he was the one who told me to never let anyone put my dogs under without an IV catheter in. He said once they start to get into trouble it's to late. We almost lost my Dane during her spay so I'm not at all blind to the risk here and I have a ton of serious thinking to do. I am very hesitant to disrupt the apple cart, she's been holding pretty steady and I need to decide if the gains will outweigh the risks.
 

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Most likely, she'll live to be 12 to 13, if you're lucky. I know there are exceptions- and hope for your sake she is one- but that's the average age for shepherds- really anything after 10 is bonus years - love on 'em all you can (I know you do).

I had a female with pyo at just 8, she was bred once, not a breed a risk (malinois) but she got it. I caught it very early, she was spayed and is fine (aside from the coat changes which I hate, but she's healthy and that's more important by far).

I'm a bit on the fence with the spay, even so.

If she's doing well with no signs of anything that will go terminal within a year, I think I would spay, now. Pyo is a huge risk in older females, I've seen studies showing at least 25% risk in most breeds- some breeds are higher. These studies were done in Europe with many unspayed females.

And this is especially true if the heats are hard on her- even in a healthy girl, heat cycles are trying times.There are a ton of hormonal changes and the body basically revs up for pregnancy whether bred or not. Ovarian cysts are a given. With time they often turn into pyo.

Yes, I'd spay now. You don't want to be in an emergency situation with her, and have to put her down just for pyo. That would be heartbreaking, I'm sure.

If you have a good vet, they'll lead you the right way. I don't know her anesthesia risks, in full, so make sure to get those prior to making this decision.
 

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I have trazadone on hand for my big boy. It just calms down some of the edge. It's not a major sedative. It's commonly used for post-surgical patients or dogs that need to rest to recover. I wouldn't worry about using it. It may not work at the vet, but it's a common sedative.
 

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The only sedative that worked on my anxious rescue so he could see a vet or be groomed, was Ace. He went from a biting mess to a cuddler, even with strangers, on Ace. He never had a bad reaction. They don’t use it anymore. My current male got Trazadone when he had surgery. I used it for a follow up office visit and it did nothing at all for him, even at the highest possible safe dose.
 

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It’s really hard to know what to do! That pyo threat is why I spayed Carly when she was 6. Who knows if it was even necessary. But she also was a really healthy girl when she had the surgery, so I didn’t have that worry.
 
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