August 4, 2015

Should I spay or neuter my geriatric pet? Part 1

Posted in Haven Blog tagged , , , at 12:52 pm by havenoftheheart

Over the years I frequently run into elderly animals that have not been fixed. The question arises, do we spay or neuter the animal or do we keep the animal as is given the extreme age? Experience has taught me, however, that it is always a good idea to alter the animal even though it may be 15 or 16 years of age, providing that the health of the animal is sound, that it has a strong heart beat and that the general condition is such that the animal is not about to be euthanized in the next few months.

An example of this is a dog that I brought in from a disabled woman couple of years ago. She had called me for help as her 15 year-old dog had been bleeding vaginally for a week, her vet refused to treat the animal because she did not have the money up front to cover the fees.  She tried numerous avenues of help but none was available to her. She called me on a Sunday night so I immediately sent them to the Emergency clinic, where it was determined that the dog had a pyometra which was what I had suspected. Pyometra is an extreme infection of the uterus which frequently occurs in adult female dogs that have not been fixed. This was typical case. Sadly because of the clinics involved and where this lady was located, there was no 24-hour clinic available that had the means to deal with it, we had to transfer the dog to Toronto to a 24-hour clinic. The total cost for this dog exceeded $14,000. Crunch the dog survived the ordeal, did extremely well and recovered. But if that dog would have been spayed when the woman did have the money, which she told me she did save up enough but by that time her dog was about 8 or 9 years old, the vet had told her not to bother because the dog was too old to be spayed. But the dog at 15 developed a pyometra and ended up costing $14,000 to resolve.

So my point is, if Crunch survived a tricky surgery at 15, it would easily survive at the age of 8 or 9 or 10 years of age.

Crunch suffered a pyometra at 15 but survived the surgery and recovered.

Crunch suffered a pyometra at 15 but survived the surgery and recovered.

 

Also read For the Love of Crunch written by her owner.

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