Join Date: Nov 2018
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I am sorry you are feeling this way. This topic 'spay/neuter' is always a sensitive one, and many vets have different opinions when it comes to it.
As far as I know if you do spay at an early age (less than one year old) there are risks of growth and development problems and also the risk of hip dysplasia is increased. However, keep in mind that does not mean you dog will have these problems! Early spay does not give a life sentence.
And if you spay at an older age (more than one year old), perhaps there could be more benefits when it comes to growth and hip dysplasia. However, spaying at an older age does not mean your dog will be safe from these problems!
Over all, by doing the spay surgery at any age, your dog is at a greater risk of becoming overweight and developing urinary incontinence.
Lately it has been said that spaying increases the risk of osteosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma. However:
Genetics are important, yes. But diet, nutrition, environment, lifestyle etc, do play a great role, even in diseases like dysplasia and cancer. It is important for you to keep an eye on these things throughout your dog's life, spayed or not. As I said before, the spay surgery does not come with a life sentence.
And there's another important question there: do you pretend to do a spay surgery or an ovary sparing spay (OSS)? Each has advantages and disadvantages.
IMO the traditional spay surgery (ovariohysterectomy) is the better one.
Regarding pyometra - the spay surgery nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra - as there is still the risk of stump pyometra. Spayed female dogs can get stump pyometras if any ovarian tissue is left behind during their spay and the uterus is removed. Further, when a uterine stump develops pyometra, diagnosis is often delayed because it is initally assumed that there is no uterine tissue remaining after a spay.
So why do I still think the ovariohysterectomy is better? Most importantly, because the risks of your dog developing some types of cancer after this surgery are very low.
Meanwhile, by doing an ovary sparing spay, your dog will remain at risk for ovarian and mammarian cancers. And as she will still be stimulated by reproductive hormones, there is an even GREATER risk of developing an infection of any remaining uterine issue (stump pyometras). Even if the surgery is done correctly. Why choose this surgery and still be at risk of cancer and stump pyometra? For me it's just a no.
When an ovariohysterectomy is properly done, your dog will not suffer from pyometra. The risks of mammarian and ovarian cancers are pratically nonexistent.
As for my experience, I had a Poodle who suffered from mammary cancer. Unfortunately I couldn't spay her because of old age and after every heat cycle her condition would get worse.
You said you feel like no one is 100% right -- your words reminded me of my vet's words. He said to me once, "veterinary medicine is no mathematics". It isn't a exact science. However, I think you should talk with your vet -- she knows your dog better than anyone here on this forum. Ask her your questions.
And please, keep in mind that you are doing the best for your dog - I'm sure of it. Don't be afraid.
Last edited by TheLittleDuke; 11-15-2018 at 01:38 PM.