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"Spayed" Dog not really spayed! Help!

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Olivia

1301690
 
 
Barked: Mon Sep 9, '13 12:03pm PST 
We adopted a dog in June and her paperwork said she was spayed. Well, guess what? Apparently the shelter vet was mistaken. Her behind looked slightly swollen last week and she was peeing more frequently, but I'm sort of a hypochondriac and talked myself into not reading too much into it because I was told she was SPAYED. Then overnight she started bleeding. I assume it's her first heat as they estimated her to be a year old and she's 40-45 pounds, so not a small dog. I've never had a female dog before, much less one in heat. So, the shelter has agreed to spay her at no cost, and will do it as early as 3 days from now, even though it is riskier. I'm going to consult with my own vet, too. We'll watch her so she won't be around intact males or mate, and I can deal with the mess and the smell and the obnoxious behavior (though I hate it and would rather not as I have two small children to deal with as it is). My main concern is avoiding false pregnancy. It sounds weird, but my husband is creeped out by dog nipples and breasts, and I really had to talk him into a female for that reason. I told him, "don't worry, she's spayed." Famous last words. How much riskier would spaying her this week be since it's so early in her cycle? If we wait, when can it be done (the sooner, the better, IMO). I can't even tell you how annoyed I am right now. WE DIDN'T SIGN UP FOR THIS!!!!!!
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Arya

Serious Face
 
 
Barked: Mon Sep 9, '13 2:30pm PST 
The clinic where I got Arya spayed said that they would do a spay in-heat for a really small dog, but wouldn't do it for a larger dog. If it's that risky, why chance it by trying to do it too early? It's surgery after all, wouldn't you rather minimize complications? Female dogs come into heat about every six months, and they say it's good to spay during the middle of her season after the hormones from estrus have subsided. I read 12 weeks after the first day of her being in heat.

I get that you're annoyed that the shelter was wrong about her being spayed, but they're still doing it at no cost to you... I guess I'm just not sure what the big deal is to get it done ASAP. The heat itself only lasts 21 days (she doesn't bleed the whole time, that's just when she's receptive to males).

Here's a nice article from a vet that may provide more information:
http://yarmouthvetcenter.com/yvcipedia/reproduction-and-genetics/s paying-dogs-in-heat.html

It sounds like a false pregnancy is much more likely because the hormones drop so suddenly when you remove the parts that are controlling them, and that it's better to wait until they subside naturally if that is a big concern. Honestly... I think it'll be much easier on your dog in the long run if you can endure the heat cycle for now.
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UCH Onyx TT,- CGC

Do you even- lift?
 
 
Barked: Mon Sep 9, '13 3:07pm PST 
I wouldn't have a dog spayed while she was in heat unless it was absolutely necessary. It does increase the risk of bleeding complications which can be fatal.

Spaying during a heat can also negatively affect hormone levels and, as Arya says, is thought to potentially cause a false pregnancy. Waiting until three months after her heat to allow her hormones to return to normal is probably your best bet.

Edited by author Mon Sep 9, '13 3:22pm PST

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Hazel

Spoiled Little- Girl
 
 
Barked: Mon Sep 9, '13 6:44pm PST 
I spayed Hazel in her first heat, and she came out alright. Maybe because she was a small dog??
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Sarah,- CW-SR,- CW-G1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
 
 
Barked: Mon Sep 9, '13 6:57pm PST 
One of the vets that works with the rescue I'm in will spay during a heat. It's not desirable, but in a rescue situation, it needs to be done.

Sometimes, when checking a rescue dog, vets will see/feel what they believe to be a spay scar. Sometimes they're right, sometimes they aren't. It's better for the dog (and cheaper for the rescue) to not put the dog under if she doesn't need to be. It happened to my family when I was a kid. Not a big deal- we put "flashy pants" on her and kept her clean. Once she was done, the shelter paid for her to be spayed for real!
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Delta

Play hard, sleep- well.
 
 
Barked: Mon Sep 9, '13 6:58pm PST 
I agree with Onyx. It's best to wait a little while after her heat. Shame on the shelter for lying to you. Grrrr...
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Sarah,- CW-SR,- CW-G1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
 
 
Barked: Mon Sep 9, '13 7:03pm PST 
I doubt the shelter -lied-. it makes no sense for a shelter (who is working to prevent unwanted litters) to knowingly adopt out an intact dog... It's more likely they believed her to be spayed and were incorrect. Could be her owner dropped her off and said she was spayed, or they thought they found a spay scar, but it was some other scar tissue (or belly button). It happens sometimes.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 10, '13 4:37am PST 
I'm with Sarah! Until you have worked in a shelter and dealt with all the dogs you don't realize how difficult it is to really tell whether a dog is or is not spayed, especially young dogs who have not had a heat yet. I don't know too many shelters that can afford an ultrasound or x-ray for each female dog, which is the only definitive way to tell.
There is a move on to have vets use some tattoo ink when suturing the spay incision, but it is not catching on very well, sadly. We have had several come in here where this WAS done and trust me, it makes life much easier.
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Sarah,- CW-SR,- CW-G1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 10, '13 7:52pm PST 
I have had a few fosters with the spay tattoo- even had a neutered male with a tattoo, but very rarely. Of course, most of the dogs that come into the rescue aren't fixed at all. Our vets don't do the tattoo, either. Wish they would!
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Trig

1306340
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 10, '13 8:35pm PST 
The low cost clinic I had Trig neutered at, and his mother was spayed at does a cute little green tattoo line for both the boys and girls. Whereas you can't tell with either of my girls, especially the fluffy one. It is recent though, as I have had dozens of animals spayed/neutered up there, and only in the last year have they started doing the tattoos.

As for the spay, wait. Yes, it is annoying to deal with a female in heat, but it would be more of a hassle and heartbreak if she had complications from doing it now.
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