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My vet keeps telling each time I visit that if I am not going to breed my Sadie Mae, then I should get her spayed, as it has all kinds of health benefits. Personally, I don't want her being cut open and having her reproductive system removed, along with all the necessary hormones, anymore than I want it done on myself. I get the uncomfortable feeling that they push this simply for money.

Is there REALLY a huge HEALTH benefit to having a female spayed? Online, I see varying opinions and some quite frankly scare me about operating on her. I want her to live a long and happy life, as we all do. I want what is best.

She is now 4 years old. Please let me know what you think. I feel very unconvinced of the necessity.
 

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personally I choose to keep my dogs intact. The most recent research tips the health benefits in favor of being kept intact.

However, there is a very real risk of pyometra in intact females, which can be life threatening. If you decide to keep you girl intact, please make sure you are familiar with the symptoms and have an emergency fund set aside.

Personally, If I had a bitch, I would consider an ovary sparing spay. No uterus - no risk of pyo. No messy heats, but you get the benefits of keeping the hormones around. It might be a bit harder to find a vet that does this (look for vets that specialize in reproduction or sports medicine, or check with your closest veterinary school)

If you do decide to do a full spay, it might be a good idea to hold off just a few more years... A study on rotties a few years back found that bitches spayed AFTER 6 years were almost 5 times as likely to reach age 13 than bitches spayed before 6 years. This is in line with longevity studies in humans who had to undergo hysterectomies before vs after age 50.

https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/100301g.aspx
 

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i getting mine spayed soon. she's almost 2 years. i just wanted her to mature first. becides that i don't think it matters much either way. i personally don't like blood all over the house and would like to be able to board her in an emergency where she can play with other dogs.
 

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No vets near us do this surgery. I may wait a few years. It is a tough decision pyo is very real and mammary and I just saw a dog with mammary tumors which are very real also.
 

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It is a tough decision. I went through so much research trying to decide this for my gal. There are pros and cons on both sides. It basically came down to how my household ran. I chose to do a spay between the 2nd and 3rd heats, along with a gastropexy, since she was open and under anyhow. She is a very very active girl and an ounce of prevention was my thinking.

Reasons why we spay
1) my intact male in the house. For a couple of weeks he would do nothing but sing songs of love. Training was worthless and sleeping was tough.
2) yikes, what a mess. Even with bloomers and pads. And my gal was getting frustrated with being confined to a crate for a good part of the day.
3) special events came up and we had to miss them due to them falling in the month my gal was in season.
4) my gal seemed to go through a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. Some dogs can sail through a heat without a problem but during my gal's second heat she started acting like an angsty teenager. This might have improved with age, but I didn't want to see her get doggy PMS again...if that is what it was.
5) After her 2nd heat she seemed to have grown to her full height. Of course our dogs still grow a bit even after their second year filling out and gaining muscle, but it was good timing to get it done at about 18 months.

sooooo many things to consider. If I didn't have the intact male in our home I might have done an OSS and leave one ovary..one heat a year, approx.
 

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We left our Aussie intact because her heat cycles were really easy and we knew we could be responsible about not letting her breed.

She was five years old when the pyometra happened. Even though we caught it early, she was very sick and it was touch and go. Plus, her spay ended up costing over $1,500.

It just is not worth the risk, since so many intact females will get this infection.
Sheilah
 
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