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Spaying Your Female Dog: Timing, Process, and Myths

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Whitney has over 10 years of experience in dog training, rescuing, and healthcare.

Prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

Prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

Spaying a Dog

I love all dogs, but that doesn't mean that I want puppies. When you adopt a dog from a shelter, the dog is already spayed or will be shortly after adoption. However, you may still have questions about the whole process. The best thing that you can do to ease your insecurities is to make sure that you know everything you can about the surgery.

It is actually an important surgery because it will truly reduce the risk of breast cancer and it will reduce the risk of an unwanted pregnancy by 100%. Spaying your female dog can feel scary for the owner. Below is the basic information that should hopefully help you ease any worries about having your precious pup spayed.

When to Spay a Female Dog

There are a lot of breeders who recommend that you wait until after the dog's first heat to get the dog spayed. This is because many people believe that a female dog is not fully done growing until she has her first heat—when she becomes an adult, so to speak. By spaying too early, some theorize that you prevent the dog from maturing to its full size. (I believe that a dog will grow to its full potential no matter when you spay, but it's up to you whether you believe it or not.)

Otherwise, the main concern is spaying the dog before the first heat. Some vets will spay females as early as six weeks old given that the puppy weighs more than five pounds, but most vets wait until the puppy is at least six months old. By spaying before the dog's first heat, you prevent an unwanted litter and you give your pet more protection against developing breast cancer in the future.

The actual stats on preventing breast cancer are as follows:

  • A dog spayed before her first heat has a mere 0.5% risk of developing breast tumors later in life.
  • A dog spayed between her first and second heat has an 8% risk of developing breasts tumors.
  • A dog spayed after her second heat has a 26% chance of developing breast tumors, which is the same as a dog who is not spayed.

The only time that you want to wait until after the first heat is if your female puppy has severe vaginitis, as it may be resolved by letting her go through one heat cycle before spaying her.

If you wait too long, your dog's odds of developing a uterine infection greatly increase. If you do not have the dog spayed by the time she's five years old, her odds of a uterine infection are pretty high. The treatment is to surgically remove the uterus, but if you don't notice the signs of the infection early enough, then there may not be anything the doctor can do.

Sometimes, you can get your dog spayed during her heat, but very few vets will actually do it as it is more complicated (and expensive) during the heat. I personally waited it out until my American Pit Bull Terrier was about eight months old before I had her spayed, trying to get as close as I could to her first heat without actually having to experience it.

Spay sealed with surgical glue

Spay sealed with surgical glue

What Is the Process of Spaying a Dog?

Although it is a pretty routine and basic surgery for vets, for a pet owner, it can be scary knowing that your beloved pup is going under anesthesia and having major surgery. It will calm your nerves if you understand the process.

The basics involve your dog being put under general anesthesia just like a human would be using a breathing tube in the trachea that is connected to the anesthesia machine. Your dog's heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure will be monitored throughout the procedure, as well.

Your dog will be positioned on her back on a heated surgical table. The hair on the abdomen is shaved and the skin is cleaned with a surgical scrub. Using a scalpel, the vet will make an incision, and depending on the size of the dog the incision will vary between one and a half inches to four inches long. The vet will locate the uterus underneath the bladder and follow each horn of the uterus up to each ovary. Then, using clamps and sutures, the vet will tie off the blood vessels before he/she cuts the uterus and ovaries free to remove them.

The vet will then suture the abdominal muscles back together, and then sutures or glues the skin back together. The anesthesia is turned off, and the vet techs will watch your dog as she slowly wakes up where she will be moved to a recovery kennel.

Sick and laying on the covered couch after getting spayed

Sick and laying on the covered couch after getting spayed

What Happens After the Surgery?

Depending on your vet, they will either require that you leave your dog overnight or they will allow you to pick up your dog later in the evening. Some dogs will show some signs of discomfort after the surgery, but not all will.

In most cases, your dog will act completely normal after the surgery, but you want to monitor what the dog eats due to the anesthesia. Sometimes dogs will react to the anesthesia just like humans do. Many vets will recommend that you half the dog's normal diet for the first meal. It took about three days for my APBT to fully recoup her surgery, as she got sick drinking water much less eating an ice chip. It will typically take about 10 to 14 days for the incision to heal.

What are the risks of spaying your dog?

For the most part, the biggest risk is death from an unpredictable anesthetic reaction, excessive bleeding, or abdominal infection. It is extremely rare for a healthy young dog to die as a result of being spayed. Other complications can include fever, pain, skin irritation the sutures, or reaction to the anesthesia (typically throwing up).

Myths About "Fixing" Your Dog

A few myths associated with spaying and neutering dogs include the following:

  • She will no longer want to protect her family or home. (Protection is a natural instinct that cannot be taken away by removing hormones. The actual extent of the protection trait will depend on genetics, environment, and training.)
  • She will get fat and lazy.
  • She will either stay a puppy or revert to puppyhood forever.
  • It's expensive. (Remember spaying your dog once prevents a full litter of puppies that you have to feed, care for, and find homes for.)
  • She'll be sad and upset with me because she can't have a litter of puppies. (She doesn't want the puppies. You do. Your female dog will not act or behave any differently if you breed her once or if you never breed her at all. It's all animal instinct, and if you remove the hormones, for the most part, the instinct is gone.)

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2008 Whitney


Alicia on November 09, 2018:

No worries she has had IV fluids during surgery.I had my my 6 month old pup spayed on Tuesday. She was back to normal the next day. They give medication to last for 24 hrs. I just put a plastic bag under a she as she might go in her sleep. Tomorrow she will be much better.Most dogs dont eat or drink till 24 hrs. after surgery

Lupe Mcmillon on July 31, 2016:

I just had my 8 month old dog spayed 2 days ago on friday, and I noticed the next day that she now has a saggy/loose stomach, she has never had a litter , is this common afterwards, I'm a bit worried and I will be calling the vet Monday

concerned puppy mom on April 11, 2015:

i got my dog right before she came in heat but it has been 3 weeks and she is still spotting blood is there something wrong with her or I she almost done. I am take her to get spayed as soon as she is done just not sure how much longer it is going to be.

suzie on March 10, 2015:

I gotten my 5 pound maltese fixed before her first heat cycle at 6 months, and she's fine. The surgery went well, the only problem i had was she got a yearn attract affection from the surgery but the vet gave her a shot of antibiotic. She's the same dog, she's fine and healthy. I recommended it. But that my opinion.

Sarah Carlsley from Minnesota on March 07, 2013:

Very useful. Our dog is 5 months and we're debating getting her spayed (well I'm debating - my husband doesn't want to) but I'm pretty sure she will be having the surgery. Thanks for the information here.

Olga on October 26, 2012:

i found coco took her to SPCA no one clamed her so I adopted her she was just doing fine they send her to a vet to get fix and now throwing up Dirhia and won't eat I took her back to the vet they gaved her fluids and a shot still not eating Dirhia and losing lot of weight please help coco

andrea on October 09, 2012:

Ally, I'm so sorry to hear about your dog passing. I was extremely terrified of leaving my Lily at the vet, for reasons such as that. I couldn't imagine what you are going thru. I hope everything works out.

judy chartrand on August 24, 2012:

Ally, wow, I am very sorry, I know you are torn to bits.

I would be. This is a problem. Of course you were doing what is usually done with females, as I did, and now I am having problems with my female 3 years later.

Sometimes we don't know if we are doing the right thing, and when we make a decision, something goes wrong. I know that my dogs trust me to protect them, so I have put off having my Mini Schnauzer neutered, because of the complications I had with my Vizsla's spaying. If something happened to him, I may not be responsible for lashing out at the vet, or worse.

One of the things I have learned in all my years with my pets, is that you cannot completely trust a vets decision. You must educate yourself on all things, as much as is possible, and then make the choice, I have had to do this many times, going against the advice of a vet, to find out later the vet was not aware of certain dangers of vaccines, and treatments. I am not a vet, of course, but I was a nurse, and I know that sometimes certain procedures are just as risky for dogs, as they are for humans.

Ally on August 23, 2012:

I just got my year old yorkie spayed, on Monday I was told by my vet that she had done well and was recovering well. I picked her up at 4:30 pm brought her home and she slept til about 8:00pm. I tried giving her water and tried to feed her but she refused both. I gave her rimadyl for pain and she fell asleep til 11:30 and was moaning in pain. I called the vet and was told it was normal and that all dogs react different. She got up at 9:00 am and drank water and used the restroom and seemed Okay. At about 12:15 she started crying so I took her to the same vet they immediately took her to the back to be checked. The vet came out and told me that she thought that my dog wasn't responding well to the pain killers and they were going to give her a shot of morphine and send her home with painkillers. The vet recommended blood work, about half an hour later the vet came and told me that my dog had stopped breathing and they had to perform CPR and had machines breathing for her. She said my dogs body went into shock from the surgery and she devolved pancreatitis and her heart was going into shock and she didn't think she was going to make it. She then asked if I wanted to euthanize her or allow her to pass on her own. She walked out of the room and said she would give me a minute and walked back in saying that my dogs heart had stopped. I was in shock and was upset. I loved my Ally more than anything in this world and wanted some kind of closure of how she passed away. Nothing made sense to me in how it all happened right away and nothing could be done to save her.

Mae on June 21, 2012:

I have a Maltese puppy...she will be three in August,can I still spay her???I don't want anything bad to happen to her...I don't even want to spay her,cause I don't want any complications.But I know that she needs to. My lab had a uterus infection and needed an emergency spay surgery.She almost died.She was five.Will this happen to my Maltese?

Judychartrand on March 19, 2012:

So there is no confusion to my comment, I meant to say she licks at her Vulva, not likes it.

Judychartrand on March 19, 2012:

Whitney, it is true that a dog if spayed too early will not develop properly, I am spending a lot of money on vet bills now because a vet recommended we spay or Vizsla BEFORE her first heat. Her Vulva is so small compared to the rest of her body, that it is hardly visible, and she keeps infections. I have to clean her every day, and she likes at it. When I exam the Vulva, I notice irritation. Obviously this specific vet did not practice his surgeries well, I also think that he may have left behind parts of the reproductive organs, because she also has infections and discharges, so therefore, not only would I not ever spay a female again before here first heat, but I would make sure the vet actually knew what he was doing. My poor little Abbi will have to endure discomfort for the rest of her life because of human mistakes. This is a good Post Whitney, because everyone should know what to expect. No one who truly loves their dog, will want them to be in any discomfort.

I also should mention as well, that larger dogs, seem to mature slower than the smaller breeds. So if a smaller dog was spayed before her first heat, she may not have these problems.

Tamara on March 14, 2012:

How can you tell if a dog has been spayed without going to the vet?

ann on March 01, 2012:

why my dog still bleeding after four days of spay. Thanks

Ashley on February 28, 2012:

So I have a chi-pom about a year old well she went into heat and I let her out to use bathroom and a random dog came into the yard and when I went outside toget her the two dogs were Tied up together! She has not been spayed yet bc of her being in heat! I called the vet yesterday I see if there was a morning after pill for dogs bc I don't want her to have puppies! They really didn't recommend the shots so they told me to go ahead and get her spayed! She got tied up on Sunday and I'm taking her toget spayed Tuesday next week. I'm wanting to know if that means that she will not be pregnant and what kid of complications if any will she have?

sad82 on February 26, 2012:

after getting my 6 year old lab spayed she sadly passed away that same evening. we were told by the vets that it may have been a fit of some sort. just be aware, as with humans these things can happen after or during surgery.

Graz on February 21, 2012:

About the right age to spay... I've had German Shepherd bitches I spayed at 6 months, and ones I've spayed after their first heat. The ones I waited on had more bone, looked more like their breed. The ones I didn't grew like string beans - super long legs, little mass, and lacked an air of femininity. I don't know as it affected longevity, but now if I have the choice, I do wait.

Angela on February 19, 2012:

I had my 6 month old puppy spayed friday, and I noticed a big dark spot around the scar but kinda under the skin. Is this just bruising or is it worse than that?

Jade on January 07, 2012:

We have two bitches that really got on well with each other but now will not stop fighting. Will spaying stop this? And also, one of them is 2 and a half years old. Is this going to be a problem, health wise?

Krissy on December 28, 2011:

My American bulldog is having her first cycle. I dont want to get her spayed until she's had one litter but I want her to be at least two years old. Should she have a litter sooner than two?

vickie on October 16, 2011:

Just rescued an APB. We thing she is under a year. She is just starting into a heat cycle. Thank you for all the information. Very helpful. We have another that we had spayed during her cycle and everything stayed swollen. She is almost 5 now. She is a great dog. She has put on a few pounds and we have nicknamed her tubsock.

kamechan on October 13, 2011:

Our dog is 5-6 years old, is it still okay if we spay her?

Dana on September 15, 2011:

Hey everyone does anyone know how old a puppy needs to be to get sprayed? i have a five week old rotty/smithfield and i just want to get everything done with...

Hailey on August 30, 2011:

Most of these comments ive read, seem like cases of anxiety, NOT complications from the surgery. Dogs will do this sometimes when we leave them overnight to get spayed/neutered. It is normal... If they make a huge fuss about it, then see if you can't put them on medication. It has helped my dogs and my friends' dogs that are too clingy. They whine and fuss about being alone. As long as you follow the medication directions your dog should be happy and healthy. There is less stress on your pet, and you don't have to feel guilty about leaving the house. Meds (given correctly) shouldn't have any negative bits. They calm the dog and soothe its anxiety.

linzee on August 25, 2011:

Iam thinking of getting my 5 year old pit fixed im just wondering if she is going to have any problems..I have a male pit too and she has had three litters any answers would be awesome

debra on August 03, 2011:

I have a female Shitzu that is 8 years old she just had pups in Feb 2011 now i want to get her fixed is there any reason why i can't or will a vet fix her cause she is getting old

krista on July 27, 2011:

I just had my 15 month old american pit bull spayed a week ago and im starting to get worried about her behavior. She has been wineing a lot and it seems to me like her anxiety got worse. she has also been panting while inside and laying down She will raise her head and just start panting like she just got done playing?? i saw in the comments that kevin had explained the same behavior from his dog, if anyone knows why this is happening please let me know?????? She seems to be gettin her energy back and shes starting to want to play again and the insicion looks grat like it is healing just fine but im not sure what's going on with the behavior>?

Lisa on July 13, 2011:

Sally: I'd have your friend take her dog back to the vet/hospital immediately! Those symptoms could be signs of a serious condition or complication.

Sally on July 13, 2011:

julia, can I ask, how is your dog doing now? is she okay? I'm asking because my friend got her papillon spayed, two days after surgery she was fine and the third day the agony started: she can't stand or walk, she is nervous and cries when she's alone. It seems like she wanted to walk and run, when she's laying she's moving her feet, but when they get her up she just falls back down, she can't even sit. The vets don't have a clue what's wrong, they said they never had a case like that before. If someone knows what to do, please help :(

Jeani on July 02, 2011:

I live in a country where the vets regularly come to the house to spay the animals, I had my cat spayed this way and she was fine, but I want to know if this is safe or if its too risky as far as infections go.? I have a bitch that needs to be spayed. And what do they cut to spAy a female animal?

julia on June 05, 2011: chihuahua mix was spayed last tuesday..5/31/11. The incision is fine, but like you described your pet, my girl is also doing the same thing, like she has PTSD.she used to walk on leash, now its like shes never been on one before, she whines really loud and gets so nervous if i leave or when I return. I am taking her to vet tomorrow, she has problems now standing, her little legs give out. Its breaking my heart.

kevin on May 24, 2011:

My dog got spayed about 2 days ago, now is showing signs of separation syndrom and heavy panting (like it's hot in the house)

She cries constantly if someone is NOT in the room with her and every time she is alone. (she obviously wanted attention and to be with people before, but it's very bad now). Help?

czeleance on May 13, 2011:

I've had two American pitbulls spayed, neither one of them turned aggressive, they're both still very sweet. One of them did definitely gain weight, the other one is still slender and fit. The slender one was spayed before she went into her first heat, the weight gainer had two heats before I spayed her. So maybe that has something to do with the weight gain...not sure. We've also had two chihuahuas spayed, one had her heat cycle and a litter, the other was spayed before her first cycle...and guess who's the slender one. The one spayed before she had a cycle. I guess dogs are like one knows for sure what the effect of being spayed are.

ciara on April 14, 2011:

just had my girl dog neutered, she is doing fantastic, no cone needed, a comment was made by someone who paid £105 to have there dog done, thats crazy money when you can get a voucher from any dogs trust and your local council for £15

Kelly on March 18, 2011:

my baby girl 6 month border collie had the op Tue and pleased to say she is fine, woz a bit dopey the night we picked her up but next day like nothing happened. Cost 105 quid but by reading the plus for having it done, well worth it.

kare on February 21, 2011:

my dog is supposed to get spayed in two days, but she went into heat last night for her first time, will they make her wait now to be spayed? And if not, is it risky for my dog? She's a healthy 8 1/2 month old Olde English Bulldog. How long is a female dog in heat for?

billy on February 17, 2011:

found this information very helpful, thank you very much,my 6month bitch, wendy will be going to the vets this tuesday, after reading the comments i now know im doing the right thing for my bestest mate whom i love so very much. The information also makes me feel much better as i was becoming a bit worried as to go a head or not. thanks again..

Jane on February 11, 2011:

I have a 7 month old labrador who i was originally not getting spayed. Afting finding out more about seasons and the risks of not getting this done i've decided i'd like to get her spayed in the next couple of weeks. My only worry is that she has started showing signs she may be coming into heat. Is it going to be too late to have her spayed?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on February 10, 2011:

She can be spayed at any time.

kwen on February 09, 2011:

my maltipoo is currently on her heat. she's almost 4yrs old. how many months should i wait until spaying her?

Adam on February 04, 2011:

I had my 2 dogs spayed and they both are really fat now. They don't seem lazy, but definitely gained 15 ibs. My dogs are rat terriers, so they are not supposed to be this fat. They eat the same amount of food they always have. "1 being 5 years old"

So for the myth of them getting fat and lazy.. Lazyiness I have not found, but getting fat. Definitely true!

Whitney (author) from Georgia on February 04, 2011:

Not that case. If anything, spaying cuts out hormones. There isn't any proven evidence that says any dog breed gets more aggressive after a spay or neuter

rikki on February 03, 2011:

i have an eight month old pitbull girl. i've heard that spayed pits sometimes get more aggressive. i don't want my sweet puppy to start being mean! i see that you spayed your pit pup at 8 months. did you notice any behavior changes?

kaylah on February 03, 2011:

my 6mth old puppy never when on heat yet bt i got her spay and m hapy id it. when i pick her up frm the vet on the same day she wasn't feelng alryt bt the next day she woke me up by licking me and pulling my hair and i was so hapy she bak to her self again. but i for got to say she was never in pain and that sh just sleepy that all and nw she running around like nothing hapnd..

Kwen on January 29, 2011:

i have a maltipoo. almost 4 years old by this april. is it ok to spay her? in comparison to a puppy being spayed, is it more risky or painful because she's older?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on January 26, 2011:

Depending on how far along she was, yes.

Lois on January 22, 2011:

Ok so, I have a Siberian Husky. She's a year old, we got her spayed 2 days ago. But the thing is we didn't know she was pregnant, so they opened her up and they ended up just taking out the babies. We thought it was fine, but now the thing is, we got her a toy so she can feel some what better? And she protects it like if it is her baby. Is that like normal? Or.. Is she going to get over it? Because it's sort of strange.

Alicia on January 18, 2011:

I have a miniature dachshund with 1/4 chihuawa in her she got spayed this morning and she hasn't peed for at least 14 hours I'm so scared is this normal and she hasn't had anything to eat or drink since last night I am soooo worried about her

Whitney (author) from Georgia on January 13, 2011:

I'd say just an irritation. Check for mites or fleas that she could have gotten at the vet. I'd just watch it for a few days to see if it worsens. She shouldn't really be on any medications from the spay anyway, so I wouldn't say it's that. (Generally, medications aren't given for a spay unless something arose in the surgery or it was more extensive than usual.) The anesthetic should have well been worn off by now, so I doubt it's that.

If there was a needle or implant at the ankle for the anesthesia, it could have been an irritation to the tape, but I'd say for now just watch it. One day isn't anything to worry about.

It's sad you waited so long to spay, at it doesn't cut out odds of mammary cancer as much, but eventually is better than not at all.

Christine on January 13, 2011:

My female will be 1 tomorrow. She went through one heat. I had her spayed a week ago. She seems perfectly fine and happy. But this morning I noticed on her right front leg she has bitten hair off. She's never done this before, what could it be? Medication or the anithestic that would cause something like this.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on December 15, 2010:

That is a risk, but waiting risks cancer. Personally, I can deal with incontinence, but I don't want to go through a dog with cancer again. That is a much more expensive, emotion, and heart breaking ordeal.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on December 15, 2010:

I had my female newfoundland dog spayed at three months old. I feel I should have waited until she was in her first heat. Due to spaying her too early she ended up having incontinence. Spay incontinence sometimes happens after a female has been spayed. Certain breeds such as Doberman's are prone to spay incontinence which can cause leaking. I used to work for a Newfoundland breeder and she told me that if I had waited till she was older this probably would not have happened.

Sad on November 20, 2010:

Agatha was a six month old puppy who had previously undergone entropion surgery and tolerated anesthetics.

I brought her to the United States from Brazil two weeks ago. She had several vet exames before we came back. She was healthy and did fantastic on the 9 hour flight to Miami and then the three hour flight to Boston. Just two days ago I took her in to get spayed and another procedure to correct entropion. I was told that both procedures could be performed at the same time. Agatha was a completly healthy puppy. The vet called me later that day to tell me that they have had complications. The surgery went fine. He told me that her heart stopped during the five minutes of recovery. This hack and his assistants did something wrong. I know it. Either the loss of blood or too much anesthetics are the cause.

lynxe on November 09, 2010:

I adopted a female german sheperd X a couple months ago I wanted to get her spayed right away but due to her state of neglect she was too underweight so I had to wait to beef her up first. She had her first heat about two months ago that only lasted a few days. I have her booked to be spayed in a 10 days but today she started bleeding again. Is this normal? I've heard that since the first heat was so short it's possible that this is her first real one, is that true? Also should I cancel her appointment until she's finished? I've been reading some of these comments and they say how she is at a high risk of breast cancer, is this true if this is her first "real" heat? And if so what are the signs of breast cancer?

Michele from Reno, Nevada on November 09, 2010:

Great article and every pet should be spayed or neutered. Leave breeding up to the reputable breeders.

Leanne on October 23, 2010:

My dog was spayed 4 days ago and wont stop shaking, what does this mean?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 18, 2010:

A vet.

Jackie on October 16, 2010:

I adopted an abandoned dog she has now had 5 puppies,. When can I have her spayed?

Rosey on September 25, 2010:

I have a 6 month old mix puppy that I had spayed 2 days ago. The did the inside sutures, and glued the outside closed. The first night she did not have an e-collar because they didnt provide me with one and the pet store was closed by time I picked her up. I noticed in the morning that she had licked some of the glue off the skin surrounding it. The skin is held togeather still and she is now wearing an e-collar. But she is being very active for having it done only 2 days ago. there is another puppy in the house that is younger and she keeps trying to play with her. she is running around the house, and keeps sneeking out the back dog door and going up and down the stairs to the dog pen. I am wondering if her being this active can cause the sutures to rip out? She doesnt seem to be in any pain and is not to happy about being stopped when she is trying to play. Is it ok for her to be playing a little bit this early? Do you think she would stop if it caused her pain?

Tm3000 on September 24, 2010:

I have a girl German shepherd husky mix she just turned 8 weeks yesterday any advice on when I should spay her?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 24, 2010:

Spay her as soon as you can. Spaying before first heat reduces risks of mammary cancer the greatest, after first heat a little, and after second heat, it's as though you never did it.

Spay her soon, especially if you don't want puppies. Some vets will do it during the heat, but it's just safer to wait until after.

Penelope on September 23, 2010:

Hi I have a one year old black lab going through her first heat right now! We don't wnat puppies so we're thinking of getting her spayed. Any advice?

Lauren on September 21, 2010:

My beagle puppy was spayed 3 days ago, and today she has been constantly shaking, she is not eating or drinking so we decided to take her along to the vets who claimed that she was fine. When we got her home I noticed milk leaking from her tits, is all of this normal?

Mia09 on September 20, 2010:

Me again just reading through more of your comments about the e coller and our dogs not liking them my vet told me to use a pair of boxers or an old t shirt that covers the wound again they wont like it as it is new but its more comfatable, and at least that way they can lie down properly.

Mia09 on September 20, 2010:

Hi i had my female choc lab spayed 5 days ago, She is fine

But she felt all sorry for herself and in quite abit of pain the day we brought her back from the vets i was up intill 2am and then up at 6am with her, the following day she was in pain nearly every second she was awake she was crying made me feel sick as i was the one that put her through it, but as the day went on she got better.

The night of the op she ate scrambled egg and rice about 8pm, the following day i put her own food down for her she wasn't too happy as she really liked the meal before but by 8am she had eaten it and had no sickness or poop problems.

Mia is going back to the vets today for her 5 day check up, and only today as she really noticed that she has stitches and keeps licking them, but i have read that the soreness starts after 5-6 days as the wound starts to heal.

My advice to anyone that is having thier female spayed is get it done as soon as the vets allow (normally the vets will let you do this between 1st and 2nd season) Mia is 1 yr 5mnths, and if you work take at least 1 week off so you can at least be with her through the painful part.

My mother in-law had her female spayed at three years old and it was a bigger operation and the scaring was much bigger, and she pulled stitches out and broke the e-coller as she is a German Shepherd very big and boystres just like mine but not quite as big :)

Alot of you are naming common side effects from the anisthetic, wetting thier selves, not eating, wanting to be in thier safe place or just finding one (corners of rooms thier crates/bedrooms)

2 years ago i hd an operation but when i came out of the anisthetic after the operation i just wanted to go home and curl up and be on my own didnt want to eat these were just the effects of the anisthetic,

Anyone that has been under anithestic will probaly agree its not nice afterwards the grogginess and sleepy and pain, but just think we got told what was happening our dogs dont.

Alexandra on September 18, 2010:

Hello, I am getting my puppy in January and reading all of these comments is making me have second thoughts about getting a female. I really want a little girl but I am worried something will happen to her! What are the odds of her dying from the operation or some sort of infection?!

Alison on September 16, 2010:

Joanne -

I just had my 2 year old dog spayed yesterday and the Vet said because she has gone through the heat cycle, she may go through a fake pregnancy as her body gets rid of the rest of the hormones. He said sometimes he forgets to tell owners of dogs who have gone through a heat cycle. He said she may have swollen teats, maybe milky substance may come out, and she will whine and want to be close. She may also start to nest. This may be what your dog is going through? It will pass.

Joanne on September 15, 2010:

We had our dog spade on friday she is a 4 year old staffie cross. She now constantly cries and will not leave anyone alone and is craving attention but when she gets it, she will still cry. She has also become agressive to other dogs has swollen teats and is panting like she has been on a long run when she hasn't. Will she be like this forever and why is it happening?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 14, 2010:

It's normal. It's probably a stitch trying to work it's way out. Just keep an eye on it. Both of my females experienced it. If it continues or worsens, definitely have your vet check it out when you got for your 7-10 checkup.

Kimmie on September 14, 2010:

I had my puppy done four days ago and this morning when she woke up I noticed her wound was a bit swollen like there is a lump around the area, does anybody know if this is normal?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 11, 2010:

Antibiotics are not necessary. Some vets provide them, but not all. It's not something I would worry about.

heather on September 10, 2010:

hi i have a pitt bull i took her to a low cost spaid and nueter clinic to get her fixed when i picked her up they really didnt tell me much and people have told me they are suppose to send antibotics home with her they didnt i was wondering if i needed to try to get some for her. i was also wondering if i was suppose to clean her cutt with anything or leave it alone.imjust scared it might get infected.

Welshdoll on September 10, 2010:

I had Cassie my border collie spayed yesterday all is goin well apart from me being worried sick (longest day of my life) as for any other that has gone throught it probably....but she is panting excessively this all part of the process as i have only ever had dogs never bitches? (not a hot climate here as its mostly raining and room temp)

Impossible to stop her from licking her wound so the battle of that plastic collar is going to be an experience tonight ...will let you know how it goes ....

Shawn on September 06, 2010:

Taking my Boxer / Collie X tomorrow. Will let you know how it goes.

Julie on August 28, 2010:

Hi,my name is Julie. I have a 5 month old bichon frise that got spayed today and she has been very tired,doesn't want to eat or drink and has peed everywhere..she didnt ask to go outside like she always does. I don't know if it's normal for her to be THIS friend who is a vet said that if she doesn't walk around at some point in the day that I should take her to her...she did though at around 8 p.m. to just lie back down on the floor. She has the cone over her head and she has trouble sleeping with it on. Can i take the cone off? At least at bed-time? And then when she wakes up,I put it back on? My vet friend said I shouldnt take the risk but it bothers me to see her like this..just like Karen in one of the old comments she has a small amount of blood seeping through the stitch line. I think it's because my other bichon frise licked that dangerous? She only LICKED it...she didn;t bite it or claw it..isn't dog saliva supposed to cure? Thanks you a million.. -Julie H.

Lynn on August 22, 2010:

Our toy poodle is 3 yrs old an we had her spade 6 days ago. She still is laying around and I have to make her go outside to potty and have to force her to drink. She has ate a small amt. She had some sort of shot but no other anesthesia. She cried during the surgery when the ovaries were being pulled down. I was told she wasn't feeling anything it was just a nerve reaction. I am very worried about her. Has anyone experienced this.

nash on August 19, 2010:

I got my doggy spayed when she was around a year old. Anyways, the operation took around just 20 minutes. For 3 hours, we left her there. The vet wanted the dog to be kept over there for a longer period. However i didn't want my doggy to wake up and be in a unknown place and surrounded by unfamiliar faces. Plus i knew, it would be reassuring for her to be with us in these hours of pain.

She's now around 6 years old and quite healthy.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 12, 2010:

If the cough is kennel cough, the vet will not spay until she's treated of that. If the cough is just a cough and nothing else, there shouldn't be any problems. Your vet will perform a pre-surgery exam, checking bloodwork and whatnot to determine whether the dog is healthy enough for surgery. If there are any doubts, he will not perform surgery until the doubts have cleared.

Denise on August 11, 2010:

My female puppy beagle is 4 months old. She has had kennel cough from about the third day I had her, her brother does also although he is nowhere near as badly affected as she is. Two lots of Anti-biotics have failed to shift it. I am concerned that within 6 weeks I will need to get both my pups spayed and neutered but with this awful cough I'm worried that will complicate the spaying procedure, given that a tube is put in the puppy's trachea during the Op and they can have a cough for a couple of days after that due to the tube making their throats sore. Will my vet delay spaying until the cough is completely gone - the trouble being that because I have a boy and girl - timewise I need to ensure my female puppy doesn't come into her first season with her brother lurking around!

Boba Fett on August 07, 2010:

I have a six month old Beagle that was spayed last week, for the past few days the area where her stitches are has become very swollen, she doesn't seem to be in any pain and she is eating and drinking normally, should I be concerned at all? she is due to have her stitches out on monday.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 06, 2010:

More than likely the neighbor males will jump the fence. I've known females to go into heat and be in a pen within the yard, and a male dog jump the yard fence and climbed the pen fence to get to the female, who did get pregnant after locking with the male for mere seconds, as the owner of the female was home and happened to see what happened. Before she could get outside and to the pen, the male was already in there. You would need to keep her inside if opted not to spay, walking her on leash to potty.

Many dogs do get aggressive after having a litter, especially males. Some females do as well though, and it's hard to predict. Having a litter and being spayed is completely different. In most cases, there will be more hormones running through the body during pregnancy and right after.

Becoming lazy won't happen as long as you keep up regular exercise and walks. You may see a slight change, but there's no reason why it would completely change her temperament.

Jeannie on August 06, 2010:

I have a 8 month old pure bred American Pit Bull Terrier female that we are contemplating on whether or not we should get her spayed. Her parents are both champion show dogs and we are looking to start showing ours once she is a little older. Shes a beautiful dog with such a good personality just extremely hyper and gets overexcited easily. Here are a few factors that we arent sure if we should get her spayed or not 1) we are afraid she will get lazy and over weight and we wont be able to show her at the shows. 2) it will change her temperment for the worse *her mother became extremely agressive after her first litter* 3)our neighbors have 3 male pits that we are afraid will jump the fence if she becomes in heat. Any Suggestions???

Whitney (author) from Georgia on July 15, 2010:

It is safer to wait, but you can consult your vet. It is odd that she came into season so soon.

Charmaine on July 15, 2010:

I have a 7 month old English Staffy pup who has just started bleeding etc. I was told to put her through her first season as she had urinary tract infections as a little puppy. I'm concerned now that I have done the wrong thing and increased her chances of getting tumours in later life! should I try and get her done whilst she's still on heat?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on July 12, 2010:

Elisha, she is more than likely just experiencing her first heat. It's odd that she came to season so young. Typically, larger dogs do not come to season until they are at least a year or older, but each dog is different.

Stacey, After a week most of the healing should have taken place. She may still have her stitches, if the vet does external stitches, but she should be fine. I would just keep a close eye on her and her activity level. If you see she's getting to rough, I would try to seclude her till she calms a bit. Also, keep an eye on the wound so that you can prevent her from opening it. Because dogs heal fairly quickly, I would say you will be fine as long as you keep an eye on her activity and the wound.

Stacey on July 12, 2010:

I have a golden Retriever pup who is 6 months old. She is set to be spayed next wednesday but the following wednesday we are going to a cottage for 5 days with 3 other dogs, 3 kids and 6 adults. She is a pretty calm dog to begin with and she listens well so I should be able to keep her pretty calm with the other dogs but what about swimming in he lake? Will she be healed enough for this trip? If I put off the sugery, what are the chances of her going into heat before we get back? (She will be just under 7 months at that point).

Elisha Moyles on July 12, 2010:

I have a German Shepherd lab mix puppy she is 8 months old now i havw had a friend baby sit her when i went away for a weekend. When i came back she was bleeding a little bit and i noticed her nipples were kind of bigger this wouldnt mean she is pregnant would it. i dont mind if she is but how can i tell.

adorababy from Syracuse, NY on July 01, 2010:

This my first time to hear about spaying and I had 9 dogs but mostly male though. Thanks for the info and I will read about this more.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 30, 2010:

You may be able to get her spayed before your trip. It is more dangerous and costly to spay a dog while in heat, so keep that in mind. Just talk to your vet to see what he thinks.

Smiley on June 29, 2010:

Hey i have a 7month old yorkie-poodle, and she has just began to bleed. we have plans to go out of town in about three weeks, in which there will be a male unneutered dog accompanying us. do i have enough time to get her spayed before the trip? or what do you recommend??

nicole mac lellan on June 25, 2010:

a vast amount of excellent information. thank you for all the various comments. I knew any operation is risky and I have now decided what is best.

Thanks. Nicole

kristy on June 13, 2010:

I have two yellow labs one is 7 and the other is 2 years old i got them spayed when they were 1 and the other was 6 months old. They go threw menstral cycles the vet told me but other things happen to a spayed animal like infections and cancer. Be aware if you see your dog with blood coming out her or his rectum that is a sign of stomach problems i learned the hard way. With 3,700 dollars in vet bills in the last year and a half i was told that the youngest has stomach cancer. I have her on vet recomended medication that cost me about 50.00 threw pet meds and i get her heart medication threw a pet store recomended by the vet that cost 50.00 a month as well. If there is signs of weakness call the vet if there is signs of vomiting after the surgery call the vet after those stiches come out and the surgery is healed there is no way for anyone to know it is a virus or a something else. I believe in good pet owner ship and i believe pet nutering and spaying is key. But it like anything else is cause and effect.

I hope everyone that spayes and nuters their pets take the time and talk to their vets i wish i had i had to come up with money i didn"t have i cried to family and sold items to make sure i was being a good dog owner. The humanes socitey in your area have pathlets on the risks and the complacations of spaying and the good factors of spaying as well. The information that you read could save your pets life.

Just like any virus it has a cause for concern. From kennel cough to torn bowls dogs can not speak they want us to be their providers and care for them. The humanes socitey is a good place to reserch and the aspca is another area to look into about animal health and phathlets.

I wish you all the best of luck

Whitney (author) from Georgia on May 18, 2010:

You shouldn't have a problem spaying after the heat. I've never heard to wait 3 months. I know many people who get their dogs spayed immediately after the heat is completed.

With any surgery, there is risk of complications with the anesthesia. A healthy dog is at less risk of complications; your vet will do a physical before surgery. Even still, there are till risks, but in generally, as far as I know, there's nothing that YOU can do to prevent anything from happening.

Call your vet to make the appointment. There's really nothing you can do to prepare the dog for surgery. Not that I've ever heard anyway.

Haley on May 17, 2010:

I have a 1 1/2 year old dauschund she weighs about 14 lbs. She just started her second heat. I want to get her spayed after this heat. I have read that you should wait 3 months after a heat to have them fixed, is this safe? She also has an imbilical hernia since birth however my Vet said they can fix it when they spay her. I am very frightened that something could happen to her. What is the best way to go about getting her spayed? And is there anything I can do to lessen her chances of complications from the surgery? She is like a child to me and the thought of anything happenning to her scares me.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on May 12, 2010:

It is hard to answer that question, as the dog may behave better for the vet than for you. Sometimes dogs behave better and aren't as aggressive (whatever the cause) when around strangers and when familiar people aren't around. In a way, this is something that you are just going to have to make the decision about.

You don't know if it will help until you try. If you want her spayed, I personally would do it. It won't cause any more damage, or at least shouldn't. It's hard to give a definite answer because each dog and case is going to be different.

Lady's Momma on May 11, 2010:

Hey there, I have a 3.5 yr old German Shepherd, she did have one litter about 4 months ago, and I would like to get her fixed. My only question, is that she has fear aggression, and I'm afraid that leaving her with the vet could potentially worsen it. We are seeing a behavioralist as well as a trainer in that field. But the answers im getting are that it "shouldn't" do anything. Should I take the risk and get her spayed.

Whitney (author) from Georgia on May 11, 2010:

At 5 years old, she should not have had 4 litters of pups. That is a lot of wear and tear on her body. Most people only breed females every other year starting at 2 years old, in order to keep the dog healthy.

You should spay her, although it won't do much good in reducing risks of breast cancer. It's still ideal to go ahead and do it.

Danielle on May 11, 2010:

I have a boxer that is 5 years old. She has had 4 litters of pups. I'm torn weather or not i should get her spayed. What's your opinion?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on March 22, 2010:

Teresa, I would take the dog to the vet to have the lump looked at. It may be a cycst, but it may be something else. Where is the lump exactly.

Susy, After just a few days, I wouldn't assume there is permanent damage. Many dogs have urination problems after being altered. I would recommend kenneling the dog when she can't be watched. If it continues, as your vet to check her out.

Susy on March 21, 2010:

I had my yorkie who is 3 years old spayed on Monday and on Thursday she began peeing every hour and would squat several times going only small amounts if at all. She has to wear a diaper as she is having accidents every day. Not like her, I am very concerned she has been permantely damaged.