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Debate with friends on Spaying a Dog

August 25th, 2007, 12:22 PM
I have friends with a 6 year old female dog and it is not spayed. FYI - the dog has had pups (but prior to them owning it).

They claim their concern is taking their dog to vet because it is 6 and the costs associated with spaying and potentially other health problems could cause them extra costs they cannot afford. They are also embarrassed about going to a vet and bringing in a 6 yr old dog (they have had her for 3 years now and did not inquire if she was spayed).

Strangely the dog is very quite and plays well with other dogs and people - no signs of aggression (which I thought would be the case since it is not spayed).

Any thoughts or opinions on how to convince my friends to spay the dog. As a cat owner but overall love for animals, I'm thinking about the dogs welfare and that fact it brings so much joy to their lives, I can't understand why they would delay this.


August 25th, 2007, 12:39 PM
More than the aggression - which I associate more with intact males - it is the length of time it takes for the dog to get pregnant - seconds! - what do they do when she's in heat? Lock her up?
Maybe they're secretly hoping she'll get pregnant 'by accident', many people are ambivalent about fixing animals, again mostly males with male dogs, who think they would be somehow robbing them of their manhood.:loser: :loser:
If she accidentally got pregnant, they could easily be looking at hundreds of dollars of vet care, if something goes wrong. Plus vaccinating and finding decent homes for the puppies (if they are decent people).
There are many solid reasons to spay, other than the reproductive issue. Her overall health will be better and she will be protected from some cancers, such as mammary cancer. She will not have to go in and out of heat a couple of times a year, which can't be pleasant for anyone, and for what purpose?
Why don't you find them a low-cost spay clinic in your area and offer to take the dog in yourself?
I don't understand the embarrassement part, rescues see intact adults all the time and six is certainly not too old to spay, as long as the dog is reasonably healthy. Probably more about the money, it usually is.

August 25th, 2007, 01:08 PM
Pregnancy is more dangerous to her health than spaying. There are low cost clinics. They can even get pet insurance, wait 6 months, and the insurance will pay for the spay!

August 25th, 2007, 01:33 PM
I agree with Badger and Mia. She will be much better off getting spayed. She would avoid the health risks of breast cancer, uterine or ovarian cancer and pyometra. The only downside is spay incontinence which is easily controlled by inexpensive medication.

Here's a couple of sites for your friend to read:

August 25th, 2007, 01:45 PM
Another reason for getting her spayed, before she gets any older, is to eliminate the risk of pyometra, a life threatening infection of the uterus:

The pyometra is an abscessed, pus-filled infected uterus. Toxins and bacteria leak across the uterine walls and into the bloodstream causing life-threatening toxic effects, Without treatment death is inevitable.

Classically, the patient is an older female dog.


With each heat cycle, the uterine lining engorges in preparation for pregnancy. Eventually, some tissue engorgement becomes excessive or persistent (a condition called “cystic endometrial hyperplasia”). This lush glandular tissue is ripe for infection (recall that while the inside of the uterus is sterile, the vagina below is normally loaded with bacteria.). Bacteria ascend from the vagina and the uterus becomes infected and ultimately pus filled.


The usual treatment for pyometra is surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries. It is crucial that the infected uterine contents do not spill and that no excess hemorrhage occurs. The surgery is challenging especially if the patient is toxic. Antibiotics are given at the time of surgery and may or may not be continued after the uterus is removed. Pain relievers are often needed post-operatively. A few days of hospitalization are typically needed after the surgery is performed.

So basically, every time she goes into heat, she has an increased risk of developing pyometra. And a spay surgery now while she's healthy would be considerably cheaper than an emergency spay if she should happen to end up with an infected uterus. My dad adopted a stray that had to have this done and it was big bucks and very risky.

August 25th, 2007, 01:45 PM
thanks for the great suggestions......I like the idea of the pet insurance because they really can't justify not doing it and if they select a plan that includes spaying there is no excuse.....and I may just help them out and have her done myself...(what a nice friend).....

Cheers everyone! nate:thumbs up