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Should older dog be spayed?

Species: Dog
Breed: Chihuahua
Age: 6-12 months
Hi,

I have a 10 years old chihuahua, she has no obvious health issues other than the recently acquired inguinal hernia. I've booked an surgical appointment for hernia repair early next week. The vet also suggested to have her spayed at the same time, however I am a bit concerned. I have been told 2 years ago by my previous vet, who now is retired, that the risks involved in having her spayed outweighs the benefit.

I was wondering whether i should carry out with the surgery.

Thank you very much for your advice!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I would definitely agree with your current vet that you should have your girl spayed. In my mind the benefits by far outweigh the risks. If she is not spayed she is at risk for all sorts of conditions such as an infection in the uterus (pyometra), mammary cancer (breast cancer), uterine or ovarian cancer, and pregnancy related problems.

The concern with an older dog going under anesthetic is that if there is a health problem such as a kidney or liver condition then the anesthetic could make that worse. Your vet will likely be doing bloodwork before the anesthesia. If the bloodwork is normal then I would have no hesitation in going ahead.

If this were my case I would likely do the hernia repair first and then if all was going well with the anesthesia (i.e. blood pressure is stable and heart rate is good) then I would go ahead with the spay.

I hope she does well!
Dr. Marie


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.