View Full Version : To spay or not to spay SM dog?

29th November 2010, 01:23 AM
Hello pretty people and cavies. I have a little question.
Blondie is 3 and 1/2 now, and not spayed. I have heard about the risks of ovarian/uterine cancer and specifically pyometra in female unspayed dogs as they get older so I was considering spaying Blondie in january..
In your experience, has spaying a mature dog affected weight? Anyone else
here had a mature dog with SM spayed? How did it affect your dog?
Just trying to outweigh benefits/risks etc..
She has already been through a lot this year and I really just want to weigh my decisions carefully. Any advice, please let me know.

29th November 2010, 09:22 AM
I was recently told by Clare Rusbridge a good reason for not neutering Dylan was that it would keep his weigh down (he has no weight problem) as the meds he is on make him ravenous. There were no benefits to neutering as regards SM.

I would however spay a female as you say, specifically for the risk of pyometra but that's my personal opinion. I spayed Poppy because Dylan is entire.

As regards weight, you may have to reduce her calories after spaying. You could introduce some vegetables if she is still hungry.

29th November 2010, 01:44 PM
I spayed Daisy just after she turned three.
My main reason for neutering was the risk of passing on SM to a puppy,even from an accidental mating so we went ahead and had it done without any problems.
One year later she's gained two pounds...(more likely due to her inability to exercise)
Her coat has changed in texture,but nothing that can't be managed with some products and a furminator.We trimmed her to reduce the discomfort of grooming..
At the end of the day,the main reason to spay is to avoid the risk of unwanted puppies,Daisy was never meant to be bred from,she was only ever a much loved family pet,but we just found the risk of unwanted pregnancy,however small,was just unacceptable for a bitch with large syrinxs.
Now that she's free from the tyranny of being in season,we can just concentrate on giving her the best possible quality of life for however long she has left.

29th November 2010, 05:29 PM
Unwanted puppies are a non issue here.. but i would spay only for pyometra. However, Blondie has an extremely bad MRI and it is a miracle she is dealing so well that she so far hasn't needed the meds. It's why I'm extra hesitant to change
things in her body as to not reach a "breaking" point.
She is very thin and I think it contributes to her dealing so well.
I don't know what an extra two three pounds of "pressure" may do...
I haven't in depth discussed it with Dr. West.. I'll try to do so on my next appointment...
At what age are they most at risk for pyometra?? Sins; where you worried about pyometra at all?

29th November 2010, 07:50 PM
I wasn't overly worried about Pyometra at the time,but the advice from quite a few long established breeders was that it's better to spay as an elective procedure than deal with an emergency pyometra.As far as I know,the risk increases with age.
You're right to take into consideration the risk of pyometra,I think anyone with a bitch would be wise to do so.
In your situation,I would opt for a spay while your girl is physically strong and capable of sailing through surgery.Certainly,talk to your vet about it. It would be far worse to have her undergo anesthesia and surgery in later years if she were to develop a murmur or have spent years on heavy duty medication.
She shouldn't gain weight if you monitor her food intake and constantly check her weight.
For me,it's still a steep learning curve when it comes making those decisions..

1st December 2010, 06:45 AM
Thanks.. I guess the consensus leans more toward the spaying.
I'd have to say i would feel terrible if she would ever get pyometra because i was too overprotective to spay her when she was younger...
I'll get final confirmation from my neuro and then i guess snip snip it will be...
Poor girl... Is it a pretty simple procedure?

1st December 2010, 10:38 AM
It's a routine procedure.
They seem to be fairly comfortable after 48 hours and pretty much recovered within the week.Naturally,you'll feel so sorry for her after bringing her home,but after the first day,you'll just have a sense of relief that it's over and done with.
Your reasons for spaying are absolutely valid and genuine...and I would imagine your vet would agree with you.I feel my own decision was right in our situation and even though I hated putting her through an elective surgery,we now have peace of mind,no unwanted puppies and no risk of pyometra.

1st December 2010, 02:05 PM
There is a lot of useful information concerning on this thread:-


I understood spay or neutering can cause weight gain as their metabolism drops. So obviously cut back a bit on food and keep up exercise. I also understood from previous threads there are health benefits for sm males to be neutered as they are less likely to get excited.

1st December 2010, 02:36 PM
I understood spay or neutering can cause weight gain as their metabolism drops. So obviously cut back a bit on food and keep up exercise. I also understood from previous threads there are health benefits for sm males to be neutered as they are less likely to get excited.

Yes you are right Tania - even in a situation where they are not living with entire bitches, there are always going to be some in the local area. Cavaliers tend to be a bit oversexed anyway :o I think it definitely does calm them down - they can still be playful and enjoy life to the full, but if you see an entire dog and a neutered dog there is a definite difference.

Excitement increases the pressure which is the last thing you want for an affected dog.

Even when you are out and about and meet other dogs, neutered dogs behave in a much calmer manner.

There is NO reason for a neutered/spayed dog to become overweight, even with limited exercise capabilities. You can reduce food, add things like rice cakes - very low in calories but fill them up, avoid dog treats and biscuits, give them raw veg etc.

If you don't allow them to gain weight in the first place, then you won't have to battle with their weight. They do tend to change shape - but that is not a problem it is the excess weight that is the issue.

Obviously in bitches the biggest health concern [other than unplanned puppies] is Pyometra, but it also greatly reduces the odds of mammary tumours.

Unless there is a clinical reason not to neuter or spay [perhaps with a severely affected dog if you are looking at very short term palliative care only] then it is sensible to get it done. :thmbsup:

Kate H
1st December 2010, 04:45 PM
Even when you are out and about and meet other dogs, neutered dogs behave in a much calmer manner.

Not if they are anywhere near my Aled! Even neutered dogs will dash across the park to try mounting him (much to the embarassment of their owners!), although he's neutered. Unfortunately, there are plenty of ways of decreasing testosterone but no way of increasing it so that Aled, who has low testosterone levels, apparently smells to other dogs like a bitch in season. Neutering doesn't change everything! As to neutered dogs being calmer, this depends on their learned behaviours before they were neutered. If bonking cushions (or other dogs at home), or marking territory, has become a habit, neutering won't change much. Oliver is not neutered and is the most laid back Cavalier I have ever met, happy and fearless as per the breed standard. Apart from the fact that I used to show him, I have always been reluctant to have him neutered in case, as its advocates claim, it changes the dog's temperament. I don't want Oliver's temperament changed!!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

1st December 2010, 05:37 PM
Aled is obviously the exception that proves the rule!!

I think you can raise testosterone levels homoeopathically - PM me if you are interested?

3rd December 2010, 05:33 PM
I spayed Scarlett, my girl with SM, this past summer. I haven't noticed any changes in her temperament or SM symptoms. The only change I have seen is that she is a much better eater, as she was very finicky before. I also had concerns as to how the surgery would affect her synptoms, but there has been no noticeable change and she came through the surgery just fine! She is 3 years old.

8th December 2010, 01:49 AM
Thanks Holly, that is very helpful to know... I tend to over worry about everything, so it's nice to know your girl didn't have more symptoms after spaying.

8th December 2010, 08:34 PM
I liked reading this thread, a lot of good information about spaying and neutering in general. My breeder told me to spay after my girl's first season. Here I read a few people not spaying/neutering at all, or waiting until they are as old as 3 before doing it. Now I am not sure if I should wait longer for my little one?

My last dog was a Rottweiler with hip dysplasia. I neutered him at 10 months old, and regretted it. He lost so much muscle mass after that and made his condition worse. So I am a believer in keeping dogs intact for physical purposes. If my dog had SM, I would be worried about spaying. I would get a few opinions from a few different vets and maybe even some cav breeders to see.