Spaying Cost?!?!?!?

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cisco9510's picture
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Holy Cow! Just got the estimate from our vet for spaying my baby girl, as it is getting to be close to that time and I wanted to be prepared. And I must say i almost passed out at the 2 estimates....

I called the local spay and neuter clinic and it is 1/5 th the cost!

Has anyone ever gone to one of these clinics?

http://www.spayaz.com/pittsburgh-pa/

I mean I want it done right - but I also don't want to take out a second mortgage on our home to pay for it. Plus Cisco will have to be neutered as well before I know it...

Opinions please- (Good or Bad) I have a tentative appointment - but I can cancel up until 48hrs prior.

I would have to drive almost an hour each way (its about 35 miles)(4 hrs total) but at this point even with the gas it would still be far far less money~

I know it is ridiculous the cost of spaying a dog! I have to get Paris done within this next month and I'm really not looking forward to it. They are so sad looking afterwards.

The good new is for you if Cisco has both his testicles down it will be much cheaper!

cisco9510's picture
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Des- I literally almost vomited in my mouth (ew gross visual but true...)

I love her and I want what is best - but that just shocked the crap outta me- I am going to call some other local vets and get estimates... I love their vet so much and she is reasonable on everything else..

Cisco are both down (well coming down i guess) Neuter there is even reasonable - I just don't get it - the neuter is only about 15 more than at the clinic but the spay is over 5x more!!!! Yikes!

Do you mind if I ask you what they charge at both places? It has been awhile since I've had one spayed. I'm thinking that I will be paying around 300-400 for the spay if I remember correctly. I'm hoping it hasn't gone up past that. Unfortunately for me I have to take Paris into the vet to have the expensive one done. She had a very hard time coming out of anethesia with her emergency C-Section. I would hate for anything to happen to her.

Control_Freak's picture
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Cisco....how much is your vet charging (if you don't mind me asking)  Have you checked with other vets?  My mother in law used a spay/neuter clinic on her 4 yr old shar pei that had one litter and she died the next day of internal bleeding.  I know the risk is there no matter what but it was a really hard thing to have to deal with afterword. 

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O and by the way I saw that the clinic was in pittsburgh...I lived in Monaca for a year while I went to college...what part of PA do u live in?

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$300 - 400???  You're KIDDING?  I guess there is at least one perk to living in the cornflelds of Indiana, then...spay and neuter costs are nowhere near that here. My regular vet charges $50 for spays on females up to 50 lbs and $65 for females that weigh more than that.  He will NOT perform the surgery if the dog is in heat, like some say they will for a higher price.  He charges $40 to neuter males, no matter what their weight is.  However, my county has been actively trying to get people to spay and neuter to hold down the population of strays, unwanted litters and ferral cats that they got a Federal Grant to subsidise the costs, and you can get a spay/neuter certificate from the Humane Society for $14, which includes a rabies shot.  They have a specific vet/animal hospital (St Francis Animal Hospital) that honors the certificates, and without the special price, St Francis charges $100 for spaying.  I always thought that was high, or it is for around here anyway. 

You would be wise to get the after surgery pain meds if they offer them, too.  Ziva was groggy the day she came home.  Slept all night and most of the next day.  Laid around on the couch on a pillow with a blankie over her all day the 2nd day, but was up and acting like her regular self by the 4th day after surgery.

cisco9510's picture
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445-518$ was the estimate....I was expecting in the high 2's tops with what neutering costs...

That is a scary story control-freak and I know it is a risk - but i believe this is affiliated with the emergency vet clinic in monroeville... 86 and 118 include the pain meds at the clinic

I live in Monessen.. Dont know if you are familiar with that= I know where Monaca is- Small world huh????

we still have a couple weeks til we have to make a decision-- alot of the other vets wont spay her because she is not a patient - the Washington County humane Society does it as well for a fee... but we dont live in washington county anymore since the mov e across the river....

Zivas dad you are so lucky to only pay that! I wish they did that here we have a terrible problem with ferrel cats and to many puppies filling shelters.

The cost of earcropping around here is about 1000.00 for a puppy which is a heck of a lot higher than other areas. Some people are shocked when they get that bargin puppy from the paper uncropped thinking they are saving money then they go to look for a vet to do the surgery.

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Evie and I just went through this same scenario -- our vet's estimate here in SF was up to $850 for under 40 pounds and up to $950 for 40+ pounds(ouch!). At the same time the local spca clinic was having a special for the month of February of no-cost. Still, it was something of a hard descision for me -- ultimately it came down to simple research. I told myself that if I could find any negative reviews whatsoever for the spca's surgical staff I'd cough up the cash eventhough I thought the price was/is outlandish. But luckily, in the end, nothing turned up wrong in my searching with the clinic at the spca and we went ahead and had it performed last monday the 7th.

 

My advice would be to do the same -- just research the clinic in question -- you're likely to detect it if there's anythign fishy.

 

I made a promise to Evie that she'd have the best life that I could provide and I also have the(sometimes false) notion that more expensive is always better but in this scenario I'm glad that I went to the clinic. Now I can spoil her in other ways;)

 

She's now almost fully recovered -- her belly wound has healed up nicely and she's just about ready to run full-bore(I gave her a full 10 days off). 

 

One thing I would recommend is something like this: http://www.amazon.com/MWI-Bite-Free-Collar-SIZES-MEDIUM-5in/dp/B000O5JWV4/ref=pd_sbs_k_3

That's the one Evie has and she didn't mind it much.

 

Only my opinion, of course.

 

-d.

jeshykai's picture
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D -- what is this vet that quoted you that?! My eyes bugged out, literally, at that cost!

Here are the ways that I know that clinics cut cost so they can have the "cheap" services offered.  I want you to consider this, and the money involved, and then think of the decision.  I am no way speaking for or against either choice, just sharing what I know in my area to be true and most likely it probably holds true every where.

When you see the higher estimates, they may or may not, explain the surgery to you in detail.  I have found the vets that charge the $$ will have more educated staff, will have surgery rooms that are properly kept clean and sealed, will have the higher costing monitoring devices (checking oxygen levels, heart beat, temperature) and will use heating devices to keep the dogs temperature up during surgery (without these heating pads and/or heating blowers the dogs temp will go down due to the anthestic).  After the surgery, they probably have additional heated cages for the dogs to wake up in.  This makes the whole process of being under easier on them.

A clinic will have none of these things.  They will be more "old school" in that their rooms are old and their equipment is old.  They probably use a heating pad during surgery and a machine to check oxygen levels.  Heart beat and temp can be taken manually (I used to do it) and monitoring is still there.  When the dog or cat wakes up it probably is in a standard kennel on a blanket.  This is just a reality of how to be cheaper.

I have worked in both surgery styles and for the most part, neither has shown me to do anything above or under the other.  HOWever, I know that this breed has a tendency to have complications and I just wouldn't put them in the clinic environment for fear of if a complication occurred they just wouldn't have the support needed to deal with it.

Here are some things you can try to argue off your bill to cut down cost with your current vet -- it is more common now for vets to insist on bloodwork before surgery.  Some vets may forgo this if you ask.  Honestly, if your dog is young -- its probably going to come back clean and thats a 200$ cost right there.  Pain injections after the surgery are unnecessary for a young dog.  It isn't pleasant, but if anything, oral would be sufficient.  Asking to cut that out, 40-50$ saved.

Especially since Raven's ears have just been done, I'm sure that the vet that cropped her probably ran bloodwork.  You should be able to use that if the vet really wants to have a panel to confirm she's healthy.

 

I hope this helped you.

cisco9510's picture
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thanks jes... I will look into cutting costs- I do understand the pros and cons- but i want what is best for her....

cisco9510's picture
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well here is my estimate

young preanethetic profile 75

pre med injection surgery 15

CATH/IV   20

IV fluids duriing surgery 12

pain injection 18

OVH 183

laser fe 50

BP Check 20 (really?????)

AVID plus reg 45 (is this the microchip?)

Pain Meds 7

Collar 23" 18

flouride treatment 5

ok what is optional here to get costs down ? I can go about 275$ maybe 300

jeshykai's picture
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Fluids? Even the most high end vet I worked for wouldnt do IVs, if anything maybe subq... Why does she need this? (question for vet)

Avid is the chip.. I just don't do those personally..

What are they lasering?? Ask for plain sutures

What fluoride treatment for her teeth!?! She's a puppy!!

Call around. 300$ is standard price in my mind, so it's not crazy but they just seem pushy on some of this to me..

cisco9510's picture
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Thanks jes you're the bomb!!!!! I will make the call tomorrow!!!!~

cisco9510's picture
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also have been reading reviews on the clinic and has not been one bad one so far- i am going to keep looking into that as well~

jeshykai's picture
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See if you can tour it! Like I said, am not against them just wanted you to know what I do.

Lemme know what they say!! Baha.. my family and friends (non tech) favorite line is "well my friend said..."

Lady Kate's picture
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Mandy.. is there  university near you that specializes in veterinarian education? The students are carefully monitored and probably better care is given there than anywhere else..

You have time for Raven.. do some research and find the best care for your dollar.. I think those prices are outrageous.

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Yes, the Bay Area is quite pricey, seemingly everything is 5x the price as elsewhere -- we like to call it the 'Pay Area' ...uff-da.

 

Anyway, while we're on this subject I read this article the other day on OVE vs OVH. Was wondering if anyone had any experience with the OVE. Anyone?

 

Thanks much.

 

-d 

 

D thanks for posting this article. I never thought twice about taking them in to having it done or asking what they did for that matter. I have to spay Paris within the next month and I will definitely ask about this. I have a few vets that I use for different things so I will check with both. I have a feeling one of them will be up on it and the other not so much. Great info, thanks for posting.

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RND - I was wondering how you were going to handle Paris and Romeo (would be properly named when Paris puts on her "special" perfume). I used to board one or the other when I had two active. I boarded one of my females once with a local kennel whose owner became a friend of mine. Her reaction when I called to board my Dobie female for three weeks while she was in season - "Oh, Thanks. I'm sure all of the males here will serande her."

Cisco9510 - isn't Raven just a little young yet? According to her profile she is only 19 weeks. I agree with one question in that your vet would have done the bloodwork on her just 7 weeks ago (or so) when her ears were cropped. Is it really necessary so soon?

I don't know what the current prices are around here, but will likely find out soon. It has been about a decade since I have had a female spayed. I have not yet done Princess as I had Red neutered. The Min. Schnauzer males were very interested during the last cycle, especially the one in the crate next to Princess (I have no mercy). But, I was not worried since I had the stepladder well hidden.

I seem to always be telling stories, and this is no exception. Time frame 1991, I had been back down in the Valdosta area for a little over a year, and was living in a rented townlhouse in Valdosta. My late sister had driven over on a visit, and as accustomed brought her two female Min. Schnauzers with her. Sara, a very small black Schnauzer, weighing only about 10 pounds was in heat. Hans my red male was intact.

Marolyn let the two girls run around loose in the house, and Hans took an immediate amorous interest in Sara. He tried to cover her, but every time he did, she would disapper under him. You can imagine a male Doberman, even a smallish one like Hans at 66 pounds trying to cover a 10 pound 10 inch tall Min. Schnauzer. He would step over her and then look around wondering where she went. Well, Sara was the one brilliant Schnauzer I have ever known. She jumped up on a foot stool and turned around presenting herself to Hans. Marolyn and I laughed at her for about 10 minutes all but rolling on the floor. She then put Sara up, muttering words like "Little Hussy".

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My pleasure rnd, the article seems logical and everything but it would be nice to get a opinion from an actual practicing vet on the subject. please let us know what they say.

 

thanks so much.

 

-d

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I haven't even read all the following posts past your's and Jes' last one, but that is totally ridiculous. 
They slapped on every charge they could think of.  She doesn't need a cath/IV, no pre-op blood, I don't even know what the laser is, Avid?   That's just nuts.  A large dog spay shouldn't cost that much, even in the best of hospitals.  HEY spay and neuter people!!  Um, what's wrong with this scenario?

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Hummm I'm thinking I should move to the states haha!  Everything is pretty expensive up here...we paid $730 (including tax) to get dakota spayed and have her tail re-docked, the spay alone was around 500.  it was 399 for the surgery, 67 for the IV and her pre-op was 73 but my vet waives that fee if you get the pre-op the same day as the surgery.  I called about seven different places in the area and this one was the cheapest, with the exception of the humane society which was 150 but the waiting list for bitches was 8 MONTHS!  No way we were waiting that long! 

How old is Raven?  I know there are different schools of thought on how old the dog should be, but I thought that was more an issue with males.  Dakota was a few days shy of 7 months when she was done. 

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My vet said anytime after 5 months (she was born 9/26)- The breeder said after her first heat and to wait til cisco was older for his neuter so he could fill out- I dont know what to do- we were going to have spayed the first week of march... She is about 40 lbs right now just under... so it will be the higher cost by the time we go...

I am still weighing my options... My ex had josey spayed at about 5 months prior to her first heat and she was fine... He took her to this clinic as I just got in touch w/ his best friend and asked him if he could ask dom where we took her because i couldnt remember since he handled it.

I just want whats best for the pup but I can't afford to board her or him for days on end and then pay for both surgeries. I can afford to care for my dogs but I can't go into excess money with extra boarding etc. Especially when the vet feels its fine to do it before her first heat....

Im so confused! I just recieved an email back from vet overnight as well and they have it down to 350 - i could prob get another 75-95off if  i tell her i dont feel she needs the bloodrk and the pain injection during surgery as jess had suggested... so that would be in my ballpark. I am going to call her this morning and ask her some things= i would feel better taking her to vet and knowing she is going to be well cared for... 

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I have always waited until at least after the the first heat. However, most ofter I have not done it until the dog was mature, unless I was going to let them breed. (Of the 10 females I have had, I have only bred 2).

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So many things to think about- I just have to be mindful of our situation w/ the pups and our finances and take all this info into account! Thanks for all you input guys I appreciate it a lot!

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My friend is a foster for boxers thru animal freinds in Pittsburgh and also thru another shelter. I know she is knowledgeable about all things doggy so I gave her a buzz. She has fostered dogs post-op from here and this is the vet that most of the shelters use in the area to have lost cost care and surgery. She said she is confident that everything would be fine and that is where her Capone was neutered and her Bella was spayed. Both Purebred AKC Boxers...

I am still going to research and weigh opinions about when and where to do it...

I also found these reviews online among others on kudzu and yelp... but this is making me lean towards this place a little more.

I am going to call and ask to speak w/ a vet there and ask about procedure and after care while she is there that are cause for concern for me...

http://www.zootoo.com/vets/zip15147_pittsburghspayvaccinationclini/reviews-zpagez1-srb96073

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It's good that you are researching this out so thoroughly.  Perhaps you can help someone else in your area make a similar decision using the results of your research.  Good luck finding the right place/right price.

cisco9510's picture
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Thanks Paul! This is a big decision and I want what is best for my little peanut!

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Thats insane!  Our old vet was known for being very pricey but it was well worth it in my opinion and even with Athena's gastroplexy it wasn't that expensive!  Also, I think you could probably get away without the bloodwork but IMO I think you should opt in for the pain injection and aftercare pain meds.  If it was you having your girlie parts taken out wouldn't you want the pain medicine?

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I will definately get the after care pain meds. but what i dont get is the presurgry/duringsurgery pain injection- she will be asleep!

I want to educate myself on all of this and make the best decision so more phone calls and more googling etc... I have plenty of time.

I do have one question - why is it that some people (breeders,vets, owners) say to wait until after first heat? I have heard many different answers to this one...

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I took rocky to a Spay/Neuter clinic for this exact reason.  My Vet gave an estimate of $480 and I almost fell off my chair.  I researched and talked to friends and found a local clinic for $60 and took him there.  A co-worker's daughter works at my Vet's office and said I made a good choice, they over-charge for that like crazy and it's exactly the same procedure at that clinic as they do there in the office. 

 

I had no issues, none of my friends had any and they seems to have a good reputation.  Look around, there are cheaper places that will do just as good a job as your vet.

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Thanks Lori for the reassurance. We are leaning towards the clinic- They said I can come tour the facility and i have heard nothing but good things about it thus far- my friend also said an old HS friend now works at a place in Pittsburgh - that has a bi-weekly spay and neuter clinic they take a certain number of dogs only and it is about half the cost of my low estimate... They are a regular vet office w/ emergency hours also....

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And .. just like we do when we go for the best crop available.. ask the patients themselves ( well the patient's people) word of mouth is by far the best advertising and the most beleivable

It's good that you have plenty of time to do all this.. I don't have an answer for you re: why some folks suggest waiting til after their first cycle.. but I'll betcha a bar of soap and a new ponytail clip some one will

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 oh kate yet again you have brought a smile to my otherwise dismal day away from my babies...

maybe pappy will give me the extra money for his granddog???? just a thought - may have to ask him!!!!

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The pain injection during surgery is given at the end of the procedure and its a long lasting pain medicine.  I believe it helps when they wake up immedietely and lasts for 12-24 hours

cisco9510's picture
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Thanks control-freak! I have lots to talk about with the vet when we consult today

Lady Kate's picture
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 What time is your appt?

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I always heard that spaying before the first heat cycle reduces greatly the chances of uterine cancer.  Maybe those things I read were a little biased, but I had Ziva spayed at 6 months old before she reached her first heat, and I certainly dont regret it.  I went through a couple of heat cycles with inside doberman females before, and it was NOT a pretty sight.

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Thanks Paul that makes me feel better! And Kate its just a phone consult later today when she is done seeing patients to answer my questions....

I will let you all know!

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Gee Paul.. What do you have against every male within fifty sniffing miles coming to serenade the sweet senorita all night long??

Hey make sure you read the article that D&Evie posted the link for. Ask if they do this type of proceedure. This would be so much easier on the dog. I will be asking my vets it makes total sense. Easier surgery, easier on the dog.

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I will read that at lunch des - i havent had time - thanks for reminding me!!!!

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Correction Paul, it's not uterine cancer, the uterus is removed at surgery.  It's a hysterectomy that is done.  But because of the hormones that mature, it does help cut down on mammary tumors later in life.

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On OVH vs. OVE -- very interesting.  I was taught traditionally that the OVH is done (because I asked WHY) was because the chances for a pyometra are removed with the uterus.  Paul, in this also, it states that removing the uterus before first heat also prevents this from occuring as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyometra

I noticed in the article they did not discuss this.  I want to know if the OVE will also prevent this issue.

Pyometra is very serious and if not caught when it occurs, "Pyometra is an important disease to be aware of for any dog owner because of the sudden nature of the disease and the deadly consequences if left untreated. It has been compared to acute appendicitis in humans, because both are essentially empyemas within an abdominal organ." (for those who don't want to read wiki article).

---

In my opinion, the 24 hour shot isn't necessary for a breed of this stature.  You can give them liquid pain meds (oral) as they are waking up and it will be in effect by the time they go home.  However, like all things, it is up to you and your comfort level for how you want to handle it.  And, quite frankly, the dog!  I have known some spays to not even be phased by it, others to complain.  More often it is the smaller breeds that have issues.  We'd almost always send pain meds home with a maltese, for example, but if a lab was going home or a pit we'd make it optional.

You know Mandy, I was thinking, you could see how you like the clinic with Cisco's neuter.  A routine neuter is very simply and isn't a major procedure.  You can see how you feel you and he were treated and that can help you think about going back for Raven's procedure.

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that is an idea jes- she will be 5 months next saturday and he will be 6 months on the 5th of march (my birthday by the way :)) so we do have some time i realize - i just want to make a really informed decision - funny thing is for his weight - the neuter at clinic is only about 15$ cheaper than at my vet- and with the hour drive vs the 15 minutes to my vets- is it worth all that- lots to ponder...

I thankfully have some friends who are really involved in the pittsburgh shelters and fostering- and she is also gettin me tons of info on this place...

Thanks everybody for all the info, ideas and opinions!

You all rock!

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When we finally neuter Steve he will probably be 120ish+ pounds and THAT neuter is going to be expensive anyway I look at it!

It's great you're thinking now and not when it needs to happen, you aren't delaying it because of finances, you're considering it early so you have options.  I think it has opened up a great discussion in general, honestly.

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I think one reason we have traditionally waited until after the first heat was to allow her to fully mature. The first heat normally occurs around 10 months of age. (Princess was at 12 months) This allows them to fully mature and get the deeper bark. Same thing for the boys, even though they are capable of breeding at 6 or 7 months. That may or may not be factual, for I have never tested the theory by having early spaying or neutering.

I have a good friend who had his small breed puppy neutered at about 12 weeks, and Tippy always had the puppy like bark and never raised his leg. But that is what my friend wanted.

Jes they did discuss the pyometria, here is the copied and paste short version.

 

Fortunately, the incidence of uterine disease in dogs whose ovaries have been removed is exceptionally low. Pyometra (pus within the uterus) is the most common uterine disorder in unspayed dogs, but without the influence of progesterone, a hormone produced by the ovaries, it does not naturally occur. Hence, no ovaries, no pyometra. Furthermore, the incidence of uterine cancer is extremely low in dogs (0.4% of all canine tumors) - hardly a worry - and studies have shown that the frequency of adult onset urinary incontinence (urine leakage) is the same whether or not the uterus is present.

 

I'm excited to speak to my vets about it. Paris will be spayed within the next few months. They suggest doing it half way between their cycles and we certainly don't want to go through another one with her son around lol.

Rgreen you asked how I handled it the last time...Paris isn't ready to be bred until very late in her cycle usually around days 21-26 I know this for a fact because of doing all the progesterone testing we did trying to get her pregnant for 2 cycles in a row. So I had the 2 at home and ended up taking Romeo and having him boarded during the time where she was fertile and could actually get pregnant. Of course they were never left alone before this just in case and I still had to take all the precautions one would normally do. It was not easy and I hear that the male will get worse as they age. Romeo was less than a year old when she came in and was already extremely interested. I don't want to have to worry about it Paris is pass the age of having a litter so it is her turn to be spayed. I do dread doing it though they are so out of it after surgery and it takes awhile to recover.  This will be extremely difficult on Paris because of the stairs in our home and the fact she THINKS she cant be separated from me lol. I will probably end up sleeping with her on the main floor  so she feels  a little better...Spoiled rotten my baby girl is!

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Correction Paul, it's not uterine cancer, the uterus is removed at surgery.  It's a hysterectomy that is done.  But because of the hormones that mature, it does help cut down on mammary tumors later in life.

Thanks, Wendy, you're right. I was probably thinking mammary cancer and uterine infections and tossed the two together.....or whatever.  :)