Is a dog ever too old to spay/neuter?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


The Bossy Ewok
Barked: Wed Aug 12, '09 2:45pm PST 
We've decided that after Annie finishes the heat cycle she's currently in, we want to have her spayed. It's just too much of a hassle trying to keep her in a bathroom until she stops having discharge and smelling 'really good' to Meeko, lol. Not to mention they both whine for each other at night and it's caused us disrupted sleep for the past week or so.

We're just concerned a bit about her age. She's nearly 7 years old and never had a litter. Will there be any risks in fixing her at this age in life? We only got her last year, which is why she wasn't spayed as a younger dog.

Edited by author Wed Aug 12, '09 2:46pm PST


Such a Happy- Girl

Barked: Wed Aug 12, '09 2:56pm PST 
If she's otherwise healthy and is OK by your vet to handle anesthesia (do bloodwork to make sure there's no underlying kidney/liver/etc. problems) she ought to be fine. The older the dog, the harder recovery is and the more careful the vet has to be, but dogs have surgery done at much older ages than 7. Good for you for getting her spayed! It'll be much easier on her to recover from a spay than to accidentally be pregnant and later take care of a litter of pups. You'll probably want to have her teeth cleaned and do anything else that she might need to have done while under to take advantage of it. The fewer times you have to go under anesthesia, the better.

So to start, talk to your vet about making sure she's healthy enough for surgery.

Changing one- mind at a time - APBT style
Barked: Wed Aug 12, '09 3:25pm PST 
Six years for a dog that small is not that old at all as long as she's healthy enough for it, so it probably wouldn't be a big deal. Personally I do think that a dog can be too old for such a major surgery unless it's life threatening or the dog is at risk of becoming pregnant which could be even more risky than the surgery; I don't think I would be too comfortable putting an elderly dog, especially if they no longer had heat cycles under for it unless there was an extremely good health reason for it.

Stella Agnes- CGC/TDI

CGC, Therapy- Dog. My velcro- girl!
Barked: Wed Aug 12, '09 5:52pm PST 
Your dog is a little older, but I didn't adopt Stella until she was 5, and she recovered and did quite nicely after her spaying.

If you are- going, so am I.
Barked: Wed Aug 12, '09 5:54pm PST 
Tippi was 1o when she was spayed! She went through the surgery just fine and recovered quite fast. I opted to have the pre-surgical bloodwork done, and everything was fine so the surgery was a go!

Best of luck wave (I know it is a nerve racking process).
Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Wed Aug 12, '09 7:11pm PST 
I agree; as long as a pre-op exam including bloodwork shows she's in good health, and your vet is okay with it, six or seven is not that old for a small breed dog, and there's no reason to hold from spaying her just because of her age. I think a lot of dogs who are shown and then bred, get spayed at six or seven.
Peaches- ♥

I'm adopted!!
Barked: Wed Aug 12, '09 9:47pm PST 
Peaches was spayed at the age of 8 with no problems even though she was underweight and still getting over kennel cough.

Barked: Thu Aug 13, '09 6:46pm PST 
No there isn't a problem with age for the spay. What Vets are typically concerned with in older dogs is recovery from anesthetic. Which I'm sure your vet will speak to you about. Lots of dogs in shelters are done in senior years. If your dog is healthy you should have no problem and your vet should run some blood tests for a pre-op to check every thing is as it should be.

Let's go! Let's- drive!- Yeah!!!!!!
Barked: Thu Aug 13, '09 8:03pm PST 
I agree with all previous posts, 7 in general is not a bad age for surgery. You want to make sure you think of everything else, like dental care or dew-claw removal etc. you may want to have done while she is under anesthesia.

There is a condition called pyometria ( I just looked through a few books to find the correct spelling, but it is just too late......, I'm sure someone knows how to spell it!).
I almost lost my last dog to this and would never again hold off on the spaying unless I am breeding my dog, or there are major health concerns for surgery.

The dogs starts going into heat, but something happens and it stops. This means that everything stays in the uterus and ultimately causes toxic shock.
My Heidi was NOT in major distress, but I had a very bad feeling and brought her to my vet on a Sunday night. He looked at her and said:" I will call you when I am done with surgery"....
He told me later that if I had waited until Monday morning, it would have been too late.....

Oh, and Panda is spayed.....

BOL!!!way to go

Butterfly Ears
Barked: Thu Aug 13, '09 8:20pm PST 
As a small dog owner, I would say that 7 is still young. A couple of mine are ten and haven't slowed down any since when they were two. I've had rescue dogs come in at this age and older (puppy mills still breed them at this age) and they had zero problem. Now, if you had a large breed, like a Great Dane, it would be a different story.