The Edmond Sun

Features

November 26, 2012

VET Q&A: Should I really spay my dog?

EDMOND — Q: I have a female Rottweiler that is just 15 weeks old and my veterinarian just gave her the last puppy shots. He says it is time to think about getting her spayed. This seems so young. I do not want to contribute to the overpopulation problem, but neither do I want to cause any problems for Kadi now or as she ages. What do you recommend?

A:
I would say your veterinarian is “right-on” with his recommendation. We now try to spay dogs somewhere between 4-6 months of age. Kadi likely will start to cycle or go into heat at around 6-8 months of age. Shelters are doing spays on strays at 8-10 weeks of age.

Multiple studies have been done and none have provided any scientific evidence for any detrimental effects, now or in the future, for early spaying.

On the other hand, spaying before the first heat cycle can help Kadi in a number of good ways. Mammary cancer tops the list. A female dog that is spayed before the mammary glands ever “see” estrogen, has greater than a 200-fold decrease in her developing mammary cancer as she ages. If she cycles once the mammary cancer incidence jumps from less than 1 percent to greater than 8-9 percent. Multiple cycles can increase it to 26-27 percent or one in four dogs likely to develop mammary cancer.

Many female dogs, especially at an older age, develop a pus-filled uterus (called a pyometra) about a month after they cycle. This is a life-threatening condition and has to be treated as an emergency surgery. You do not want this to happen when Kadi is 8- or 10-years-old. It is totally avoided if she is spayed early on in her life.

If not spayed, Kadi will go into heat every eight or nine months. It is difficult to deal with if she lives in the house simply because of the bloody vaginal discharge. If she is left outside, the chances are great that she will breed and have a litter of puppies. Her breed usually has 8-12 puppies per litter. This is a lot of responsibility, and definitely contributes to the already hundreds of thousands of homeless pets. Even if you find all of them homes, that is 8-12 homes that might have been able to rescue a pet from a shelter.

Other, more minor health problems that can occur in a non-spayed female dog include uterine torsion, vaginal hyperplasia, prolapse of the uterus to the outside and vaginal, ovarian or uterine cancers.

Some argue that she should cycle a time or two before being spayed- to help her “mature” or have a better “personality.” Some argue that the urethra or vulva will not develop properly. Absolutely no evidence exists to support any of these misconceptions. The urogenital tract has been shown to develop normally in multiple studies when female dogs were spayed anytime between 8 weeks and up to 6-7 months.

The surgery itself usually takes less than an hour. Complications such as excessive bleeding, anesthetic reactions and a drop in blood pressure are possible. These are, however, rare, and in most cases they can be reversed.  With the advent of the use of gas anesthesia, these problems are even less likely to occur. Your veterinarian will review the entire process with you prior to her surgery, including the procedure for getting her ready for surgery, the fasting, the surgery, recovery and after care. Ask away until you understand the entire process. The end result of her being spayed is certainly worth your time and investment.

DR. M. MARGARET KING, a longtime Edmond veterinarian, is a guest columnist. If you have any questions for her, email them to mkekdoc@sbcglobal.net.

1
Text Only
Features
  • jc_Earp Marlin 2 - photo credit Noel Winters.jpg Shootout of a sale

    An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 60.
    Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 11.6.12 Mother and Cub (2).jpg UCO forensic researcher answers key question

    After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
    “You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Karan & Rwanda.jpg Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs

    Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
    Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How to care for your pet without breaking the bank

    It’s a shame furry friends can’t pay for themselves. Though wagging tails after a long day at work may make pet ownership seem worthwhile, a happy pup won’t stop those bills from rolling in at the end of the month. Thankfully, quick and easy ways exist for dog owners to cut down on costs.

    July 28, 2014

  • MS_new pastor_Page_1.tiff Local church welcomes new pastor

    For one of Edmond’s newest pastors, faith and family intersect on a personal level.
    Sam Powers, pastor at Edmond 1st United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St., and his family arrived in mid-May and his first Sunday in the pulpit was the second one in June. He and his wife Sheryl Heaton Powers, have two children — Kyla will be an eighth-grader at Cheyenne Middle School and David will be a fifth-grader at John Ross Elementary.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • MS_Andy Billups.jpg Local man relies on experience in July 4 emergency

    Andy Billups just happened to have gained experience as a combat zone firefighter/medic while he was serving as a civilian contractor in Iraq.
    The Edmond businessman just happened to have a friend with a place on Grand Lake where he has been viewing Independence Day fireworks for a number of years, and he just happened to be there July 4.
    And he just happened to be relaxing on a hammock when he heard a some kids making a commotion.
    Located two blocks east of Disney on State Highway 28 in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain Range in northeast Oklahoma, the 59,000-plus surface acre Grand Lake is known for its state parks, marinas, restaurants, motels and fishing.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • -1.jpg 5-year-old learns valuable lessons

    It is never too soon to learn about giving and receiving. An Edmond 5-year-old recently learned about both.
    Kendall Kingry will be entering kindergarten at Will Rogers Elementary this fall and she is already looking forward to November.
    “I get to go to Disneyland in November,” Kendall said.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • peach formatted.jpg Hard year for peaches doesn’t dampen summer tradition  

    A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they’ve come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.”
    Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, might beg to differ. Even so, Porter is known for its peaches, and every year thousands of people flood this town of about 600 residents to taste and celebrate the local crop during the three-day Peach Festival.
    Like the aging water tower, Porter’s peach industry isn’t as vibrant as it once was.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Final step to train toddler with baby on way

    Q: Using your advice, I successfully toilet-trained my daughter by age 16 months. It is now three months later and we are still using diapers at naps and nighttime. At her nap, which lasts several hours, she fully soaks her diaper. At night, she is taking off her diaper prior to falling asleep, wetting the bed after she goes to sleep and then crying for us when she wakes up in a pool of pee. Is this a sign that I should begin night training? I'm hesitant to do this because I am 8 months pregnant and don't relish the idea of waking up several times a night to take her to the bathroom and tending to a newborn as well. I would prefer to continue using diapers until she is old enough to get out of bed and take herself to the potty (even a potty in her room). Is this unrealistic? Or should I just deal with the extra night wakings and start taking her to the potty a few times a night now? If not, how do I keep her diaper on at night?

    July 25, 2014