I need some help or may be some words of comfort about spaying my puppy. I have a three months old Shih Tzu and am planning to have her spayed when she reaches 4 months. (I heard it is best to have it done between 4-6 months cause they heal faster when they are young). I did some research on it, it looks very scary and I am terrified that she will be in a lot of pain afterward. Can someone share your experience with me?
Also I asked my vet how much they will charge for the procedure and it will cost $250, whereas if I take her to a vet at an animal shelter it will only cost $60. Is there such a hugh difference with the service? I don't know if it will be as safe at the shelter. I just don't want my puppy to have a lot of complication afterward. It will break my heart if I see her in pain cause I love her dearly. Need your suggestion. Thanks!
While spaying is a surgical proceedure and ALL surgical proceedures involve risk (going under anesthetic always does) the benefits, especially for a pet owner, far outweigh the minimal risk that is involved.
To start, she'll come into season every 4-12 months (depending on the breed, line she's from, and individual female). A heat cycle lasts 21-28 days. While most girls can only be bred from days 10-17 this is not always 100% accurate (I have a couple of girls who ovulate on day 20-24 and I have a friend who has a girl who ovulates on day 5) - so you have to be extremely careful to keep her away from unwanted boyfriends. It takes SECONDS for two dogs to mate and the risks of a small girl having a bigger boys puppies are huge. The number of females that die whelping puppies is A LOT bigger than the number who die while being spayed.
For about a month she will probably drip blood (which means you either crate her, seclude her from the family, or invest in panties that you need to keep clean and keep her clean to avoid infection). She'll be moody, grumpy, barky, whiney... most girls want to find a boyfriend (this is mother nature calling - don't think it's sentimental) and some will do anything they can to find one (tunnel out of your yard, shoot out open doors, howl, cry). Your pet in season is not going to act like your pet normally will when her hormone levels are under control.
Then a bigger issue presents. Every heat cycle a girl has she risks Pyometra (a uterine infection where the uterus fills with pus) - and the risk is actually great if she's NOT bred. Pyometras are pretty common and very scary because if YOU don't know what to watch for, you'll likely have a dead dog. The treatment is usually spaying - which holds a greater risk when the dog is sick and it needs to be an emergency. It always won't be $250 - it would be more like $750-1000 for an emergency spay to treat a Pyometra. Then even after you have to watch and make sure she doesn't still have some of the infection in her system.
Spaying elliminates the risk of Uterine cancer and drastically minimizes the risk of mammary cancer.
It's okay to be nervous about a surgery. But spaying is the most routine possible surgery. There will always be horror stories. But the percentage of spays that "go wrong" is TINY. It's probably like the number of appendectamies that go wrong in people. Or less.
Price... ask what your vet does for the proceedure - ask to see the break down of what they will charge you for. $250 isn't unreasonable for a spay. My guess is that they have all the machines to monitor everything (heartrate,they probably intibate...). They probably also require the pre-op bloodwork up. Most cheaper spay/neuter clinics just knock the dog out and spay them. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as they do a lot of spays, and usually the vets that do them are volunteers who are skilled t spays. Your clinic is probably charging you for the use of the machines and I'd assume bloodwork. The cheaper spay/neuter clinic is charging you bare minimum because they are trying to encourage spay/neuter - and they don't do anything extra. Find out if that $60 includes take home pain management. Ask your vet the same thing.
I don't know your breed as well as others might. So I'll leave advice in that department to them. It ultimately depends on your comfort level as she's your dog. If you like and trust your vet that counts for a lot.
She'll be sore for 24-48 hours. Most of my spays, I have trouble keeping the dog down for the 5-10 days they recommend. They are usually their normal self within 6-12 hours of being home. I always get the take home pain management and my vet always sends antibiotics home (a couple of days worth) to avoid infection. They don't include that in their spay/neuter price - they offer to each individual. I always take them.
Good luck. And congratulation on being a responsible pet owner! Your dog will thank you when she doesn't have to go through heat cycles and the mood swings and discomfort that go with them!
Spaying is typically a safe procedure but with any type of surgery or anesthesia problems can come up even with the best of care. My experience in the veterinary field has been (for the most part)you get what you pay for. Spay and neuter clinics are great for people who otherwise wouldnt be able to afford to do so but I have personally seen some low cost places use very inexpensive materials and they have dehisced (come undone). Again their is always risk esecially if they become to active after surgery and sometimes.... things just go wrong. I would ask your vet how many of his or her spays have dehisced and how long ago they were. Explain to them your questions and concerns. Every vet will tell you they have had some kind of complication and some/a lot are from owner neglect. Follow all their instructions after the procedure and for sure keep an e-collar on at all times. I alway here from the ones that come back in infected or swelling " we didnt use the e-collar because I never see her licking. I'm always around". You cant watch your pet 100% of the time just like no one can just sit their and stair at their child all the time. The overall benefits still outway the risks and their are plenty of great vets out their to choose from. Good luck and I'm sure she'll be fine. Just go into this being educated.
I work in a Vet Clinic and Assist in Surgery everyday. Go with a Veterinarian thats been around a while, maybe you know someone who has a Vet in your area that they trust. Have the puppy thoroughly examined and do a blood panel to see how the organs are working, if they are healthy they can handle the drugs that will be administered. I do think early aged surgery is in some instances is a good idea, but I would rather wait for my pup to be as mature as he/she can be. So I would wait till 6 months. The Veterinarian should be provideing Pain releif right after surgery and sending you home with some, if not ask for it. Cutting open the abdominal wall is cutting muscle, and this can be very painfull when they are simply trying to push out poop, so pain meds are a good idea. Over all, watch for basic good health everyday, There are suppliments also on the market to boost the immune system, way before surgery. Watch for things like exercise intolerances, getting tired easily for example, and strange breathing as well. Most Good Hospitals, will give you a tour, and show you the surgical suite, and show you all the monitors they will be useing. hopefully they hook animals up to IV fluids during surgery as well. Spay and neuter clinics, we call them chop shops LOL!Why? Becasue we get a steady flow of owners with simple complications.But I also see the need for them, or many people would not afford to have animals altered, so these clinics may not use some of the high tech equipment or Drugs that we would use, Our patients deserve the best, plain and simple, and people are paying for that.
When I look up into the sky, I think to myself, Wheres the ceiling?
My vet reccommended I let my dog go through one heat cycle to flush out her system of any bacteria...he said waiting will save her from bacterial infections down the road...the problem is she is now in her first heat...its been about a week and its terrible she is restless and sad..bleeding...keeping her in a diaper at night and in the kitchen during the day while im at work...I almost wish I would not have followed his advice and got her fixed a month ago before!!! It is a lot of work keeping her away from male dogs...she cries a lot at the door or window...is there anything I can give her to calm her a bit??? A friend sugested ibuprofen but I am not sure....????
I've had both my girls spayed. It's the anestesia you have to worry about, just like when we humans go for surgery. As far as the cost, well, I don't know what state you live in, but when I was in NY, there was a site called Muffin something ( you can google it) where you get a discounted certificate. If your vet accepts it, it will save you $$. Whatever state you live in, google (discounts on spaying) and include your state. You are sure to find one similar to Muffin.
Ohhhhh one other thing, you will need a protective collar after the surgery to prevent her from touching the incisions. The vets usually give you an uncomfotable cone for their necks.....forget that. they don't like it & it blocks their vision. Instead, get the soft doghnut-like collars. Get it before the surgery, so you have it when she gets out. And since you have your own, ask the vet to please remove the charge for their cone that you will not need. ( probably like $15- depending on the vet). If you can't find one in stores, go onine. They are always available. my friend just got one for her boy & she was so happy & releived to take that annoying cone off his neck.
Hi yinyee...I have a 6 month old Shih-Tzu (24 weeks) that was just spayed this week. She went in Tuesday morning, spent the night and we picked her up Wednesday morning. It's just like a child, they don't know what pain is - so they move around and don't have the chance of getting stiff, which makes the pain worse. Our vet is awesome and the assistants there love all the animals, she loves going in there. They sent us home with some "relaxing" meds to help keep her quiet - since she is such an active little girl. She never whimpered for pain, she continued to go to the door and bark for "potty time" and has done very well. We have to give her 1/2 pill just to calm her down some, she plays so much with my husband and I. Her incision is not even an inch long and looks wonderful. Not sure where you live, I'm in Ohio and my vet bill was $152 for everything and well worth it. I wouldn't use a clinic... I too have seen many problems from those places. Good Luck to you and I'm sure she will do fine.