View Full Version : Should I have my Cavalier speyed?

17th January 2011, 05:07 PM

We've got a six-year-old Cavalier bitch who is in very good health (no heart or other problems associated with the breed).

Our vet has recommended that she be speyed next time she comes into season to avoid future problems with infections etc. Should we go through with this, or is this a vetinary work creation scheme? We need to balance the stresses of an operation against future health problems.

Would appreciate the comments of other owners.

17th January 2011, 06:10 PM
Here's a thread: http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-23840.html

I have also read elsewhere that Cavaliers are more prone to pyrometra. I have a friend who had an unspayed 14 year old poodle who was healthy except she came down with pyrometra, and she had to be put down, they couldn't save her. BUT, all that to say, do what you feel comfortable doing, but I don't think the vet is "feeding you a line". ;) .

17th January 2011, 06:12 PM
Hi and welcome! Your vet is giving you good advice that is likely to greatly lower the risk of some things that could shorten your dog's life.

Spaying is a very wise idea especially at her age -- setting aside the ongoing risk of mammary tumours, one of the most common in female dogs (50% of all tumours, with a 50% malignancy rate), the main infection your vet is talking about is pyometra which is very common in cavalier females (above a 1 in 3 chance over the unspayed female dog's lifetime, one of the highest of a large group of dog breeds studied) and the risk increases the older they get. Pyometra often has few advance signs and what is there is typically missed by a pet owner. The infection is almost always life threatening, painful for the dog, often fatal, and the only solution is an extremely costly emergency spay and intensive care stay that will be massively higher in cost than a simple spay right now (according to vets, 5-10 times the cost of a normal spay o you would be thinking $1000-$3000) with no guarantee of survival. Read more here: http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_pyometra.html

So the low cost up front and general low stress of this surgery (I have had dozens spayed for my rescue with never a single problem) is great insurance against far higher vet costs down the line (and also removes the risk of an unwanted pregnancy -- that alone is a significant fatality risk for dogs and the older the female the more a risk).

As almost 100% of this breed develops heart issues, with half getting murmurs around the age of your own dog, doing a spay now while she is still without a heart murmur -- a risk for surgery -- is also wise. :) My only question is whether you might have misunderstood the vet? -- they never spay around the time of a season as that is more risky. The time to do this would be before she goes into season again or you will need to wait til several months afterwards.

18th January 2011, 07:53 AM
Thank you all for your advice