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But She’s Not Broken

May 22nd, 2011

This is serious business

She knows something's up

I’m not looking forward to altering my dog. Unfortunately, spay day is fast approaching. Sigh.

*the spay link is graphic… pictures of innards.

I know it’s against the grain and might ruffle a few feathers, but in general, I am not for “fixing” dogs. At least not mine.

I have always felt that it is our responsibility, as her owners, to make sure that she doesn’t get a chance to become “with puppies”. I’m not saying it’s not the boy dog’s owners responsibility too, because it totally is, but first and foremost, it’s ours. And really, it’s pretty darn easy to prevent. Dogs come into season on a (mostly) regular schedule. In general, they start bleeding least a week before they will accept a male. At that moment, you slap on the diapers and put the pup in 24/7 lock down for the next month. Completely doable. Been there, done that. Heck, Rain’s first estrus happened while we were at the slabs, a place notorious for roaming males and unplanned pregnancies.

On the verge of being obsessed

Not interested in growing up

We started discussing the pro and cons almost immediately after she came into our lives. We researched and talked about the increased risk of cancer (osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, etc.), incontinence, weight gain, possible mood changes, and surgery complications if we do modify her. The pros are mostly obvious. It would mean less stress for us, a lower chance of breast cancer, no chance of her dying from pyometra (an infection of the uterus), and of course a 0% chance of an unwanted litter.

In addition, Rain requires more run around outside time than my previous dogs who were quite happy chilling and snoozing until it was time to go hunting. It feels cruel keeping her on lock down for the length of time needed to guarantee 100% that there wont be any pups. This reason has more weight than almost all of the others. What good is a long life if she has to spend 1/6 of it on restriction?

We had decided, when she was about two months old, to wait until she had had her first reproductive cycle and was a year old to spay her. It seemed to be the best way to negate the negative effects. But, now that time is here, and I am not happy about it.

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8 Responses to “But She’s Not Broken”

  1. It really is a tough call. It wouldn’t be near so tough if everyone took responsibility for their dogs.

    Cyndi & Stumpy @ RVly Ever After
    Cyndi and Stumpy recently posted..Filed under dreams- sheep camps

    • jenn says:

      The decision was made months ago. She’s going under the knife. End of story. Doesn’t mean that I feel good about it, though.

      I guess part of my hangup is the unknown. I’ve never had a spayed dog before. The only animal I have ever had altered, my cat, changed quite a bit after the surgery. I guess we’ll find out.

  2. Alx says:

    Well just let us know where we can send the get well flowers

  3. I’ve never had a dog that wasn’t spayed or neutered before, so I’ve never even really thought about what pups do when they’re in heat! It would be such a hard choice to make, with so many pros and cons on both sides. I so empathize with the hesitation of having Rain routinely confined for a long-ish period of time, though – super hard with a rambunctious dog! 😛

    Hopefully the surgery goes (went?) okay and she heals quickly!
    Christy @ Technosyncratic recently posted..Pole- Pedal- Paddle

    • jenn says:

      Thanks for the well wishes. We really appreciate them. She hasn’t been altered, yet.

      I’m sure most people wouldn’t give it a second thought and think that I am crazy or doing so, but its a big thing to me, and as with most things, I have to analyze it to death. I mean, it normally takes me weeks to make a purchase due to all of the research I have to do; why would I give my dog’s life any less thought?

  4. Bill says:

    It’s probably too late, but you could get her the canine equivalent of a tubal ligation, which doesn’t mess with her hormones, just prevents puppies.

    • jenn says:

      No, its not too late. She hasn’t gone under the knife yet. We still have a couple of months, but if she gets cut, it will be within the next month.

      Thanks for the idea. I would really like for her hormones to be intact after sterilization. Unfortunately, tubal litigation allows her to go into season. While she cannot get pregnant, she will still accept a male. These means that she will still need to be on lock down. The option that I really wanted, a hysterectomy, has the same problem.

      Thanks again. We are still open to ideas.

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