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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10446
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I am thinking of adopting a 3-year old Chow who was

Customer Question

I am thinking of adopting a 3-year old Chow who was malnourished, and had at least 4 litters already, given up to a kill shelter, rescued, fostered, and now I may be taking her. Can she get pregnant again? She is half the size a Chow should be - she is 35 pounds and half the height. Severely used and abused and when she could not produce anymore - she was taken to a kill shelter and rescued. She needs 2 surgeries - 1 for her eyes (need to do something with lids so eyelashes don't burn her eyes) and her throat is very narrow (needs widening). The rescue group will take care of these two serious operations. Thanks again.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. We need to be extra careful with pregnancies, so we'll need to connect you with the Veterinarian ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: I'm thinking maybe hip dysplasia later on because of several pregnancies at a very, very young age. Dog was 20 pounds last month - foster dad has her up to 35 pounds - but she is half the height of what a full grown chow should be. She is such a sweetheart - been through so much.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help with this concern about this poor girl.

It sounds as if she's been through a lot of bad things in her short life and that she'd be lucky to spend the rest of her life with you.

Unless she's spayed and her uterus/ovaries are removed, she theoretically could still become pregnant. Even though she's been malnourished and suffered, her reproductive system may still be functional, especially if she's taken care of.

Most shelters and rescue organizations that I'm affiliated with and know about will spay/neuter as part of their routine protocol. If she's in rough shape, they may wait until she's healthy to perform this procedure but it's something that I'd expect them to do.

Whether or not she might develop problems with her hips as she ages is something that we clearly won't know until she's older; however, keeping her on the lean side as opposed to carrying even a small amount of extra weight will help to reduce this possibility.

I hope this helps and that things work out with her. Deb