Have Cat Questions? Ask a Cat Vet Online.
Hello my name is***** and I am a licensed veterinarian with over 9 years of experience. I am hoping to help you with your pet today. Since I can’t physically exam your pet, I may need to respond with several follow up questions so I can best help you. Remember there is no limit on how many questions you can ask to in order to clarify any information I have provided regarding your pet. I just have a few initial questions to ask to gather some more information if you don’t mind? What breed of dog are you talking about? How old is your dog?
Yes I can help you . Not sure why the website is showing me categorized as a cat veterinarian, but I do work with both cats and dogs exclusively.
Okay I am working on your answer bare with me it may be a long response.
It seems like the contraversy on spaying dogs comes from 2 main papers that indicated that a group of dogs that were spayed or neutered later on in life were more susceptible to certain illness such as cruciate ligament disease, certain cancers, and certain hormonal diseases. However the studies were done on large breed dogs who are susceptible to those diseases anyway compared to other breeds. Many people have misinterpreted those results in some ways because they did not realize that the results just recommend those who don't plan to breed their females just to spay at a later age after one year of age because those studies showed that there was not a significant increase in disease in those breeds of dogs After one year of age. So I usually recommend to clients who have large breed dogs who they are not breeding that they spay after a year of age if possible. Another thing that those studies did not measure was the possible problems that occur in unspayed dogs. I have dealt with many issues of dogs having an infected uterus that is an emergency that could easily be avoided if the dog is spayed. Also mammary tumors are also common in unspayed females. I just recently performed a 5 hour surgery removing a very large mammary tumor from an unspayed 11 year old German Shepherd. So with your dog being a small breed and almost 11 months old I would definitely recommend getting her spayed since she is less likely to experience those above medical conditions and to avoid mammary tumors and an infected uterus.
She is a beautiful dog by the way. As far as obesity, I tend to see that more when female dogs are spayed at a younger age like around 6-8 months so she is less likely to have that issue. As far as the higher risk of cancer, as I mentioned that those studies only showed that relationship in large breed dogs like the Rottweilers and Golden retrievers. There was not a clear link in the smaller breed dogs like Shelties. Hypothyroidism is not a major risk at all with the surgery and even if it did occur it is much easier to treat then if she ended up with an infected uterus or mammary cancer which has more consequences then hypothyroid based on my experience. I have never had a dog that I diagnosed with hypothyroid have a near death experience. But i have dealt with many dogs that have died from an infected uterus because they were not spayed.
I definitely understand your concern about getting her spayed. Spays and neuters are probably the most common surgery I have done . I probably have done well over 1000 of those surgeries during my career as a veterinarian. Majority of dogs do well and act the same of a few days of recovery. Most surgeons don't place stitches on the outside so there is not need for an suture removal. Yes it is advised that you keep them quiet for the first 10 days if possible but I don't see too many issues with them open up their incision from activity. The most common issue I see is if they decide to lick at the area so that is why it is important that they have a cone on
Okay yes 15 months can be a good age the only thing I would be concerned about is since she already had her first heat at 10 months of age there is a possibility that she could go into heat again around that 15 month range . Usually dogs can go into heat every 6-9 months. So at 15 months that makes about 8 months since the previous heat cycle.
Let me know if you have any further questions
You are very welcome. Thanks for the rating. Looks like you figured it out. I think anything after 12 months should be fine you may just want to have her examined just prior to the surgery (within a few days) so they can determine if she is in heat. Because if she is it can make the surgery more challenging and risky and it is recommended you delay that surgery if that is the case.