Spin off, spaying during [false] pregnancy

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.


All that lives- is holy.
Barked: Thu Mar 11, '10 7:36pm PST 
In another thread, someone was posting about a potential false pregnancy. Someone commented that spaying the dog would help with the symptoms is the dog was spayed after the date she would've given birth if she had had a real pregnancy.

The general consensus was that spaying during a false pregnancy is too risky and that if it's an issue, the dog should be spayed at the end of the false pregnancy.

However, whenever someone posts about a dog having a real pregnancy, if it's unplanned then the general consensus is usually to spay/abort.

Is spaying durign a false pregnancy riskier than spaying during a real pregnancy?

How much riskier is spaying during a false pregnancy than spaying when the dog is not having a false pregnancy?

What about the dog in heat versus not in heat or having a false pregnancy?

What about pregnant versus false pregnant?
Chloe,- KPA-CTP

Clearance Puppy - The best of them- all.
Barked: Thu Mar 11, '10 8:57pm PST 
I asked the vet about this - sort of - We just taked about spaying while being in heat. He said it's not a good idea unless of course there is a need to immediatly remove the uterus.

I asked what would happen if say she had pyrometa and we needed to do an urgent surgery, He said basically she will go into a deep depressive state and feel like she doesn't need any interaction, or food for quite sometime (I think like 2-3 weeks however far into her heat cycle/ pregnancy/ false pregnany she is)

He was telling me about how all your hormones are wacky as they are while in this stage so if you instantly remove the source (or reason) of these hormones, Your body wouldn't know what to do.

We don't do- doodles!!
Barked: Fri Mar 12, '10 4:51am PST 
I believe the biggest issue is an increased blood supply to a "working" uterus leading to a bigger risk of bleeding during the spay. However, that said, when I had Frenchie litters, if the dog wasn't going to be bred again I would have the spay during the c-section. My reasoning being that there was already an increased incidence of bleeding due to the dog being pregnant and there was an increased risk of anesthesia problems if the dog needed to be under anesthesia again later to be spayed. My vet(s) agree, and also feel it makes for less time for the babies to be exposed to the anesthesia since the uterus can be clamped off and the pups removed immediately.
I never had any incidence of the bitch drying up early or other issues with raising the pups as the hormones to produce milk are already present at the time of the spay.


Cave canis- vigilo omnis
Barked: Fri Mar 12, '10 8:15am PST 
I've read that spaying during a false pregnancy can actually prolong it. There are still hormones produced by the pituitary gland that aren't affected by the surgery...?
Valentine was spayed during her heat. The shelter had taken a very firm stance on spay/neuter since we last adopted and won't allow an animal to leave intact confused. Didn't know they were going to do that, but she was slated for euth so I probably couldn't have objected (or postponed the adoption) anyway.
She was a train wreck already, but her recovery was longer and she had more minor complications than any other bitch I've owned. Not sure if it was due to her general poor health or the fact she was in heat when she was spayed. I know my vet wasn't very happy about the circumstances.

We don't do- doodles!!
Barked: Fri Mar 12, '10 9:07am PST 
Hmm, just remembered something... BJ was spayed in heat, and she ended up with a HUGE abdominal infection! The only one I have ever had with any type of problem like that, and the only one I have ever spayed during a heat! Coincidence?? Maybe. But... it does make one wonder! She had a fractured tooth with nerves exposed so we elected to spay at the same time. Of course, she could have been more prone to infection due to the tooth, which may have been starting to become infected. Dunno, but we fixed it with super antibiotics and lots of hot compresses.
I don't know for sure, but I suspect there isn't a lot of difference between spaying in heat and spay/abort during the early part of pregnancy. I would suspect it would become more risky if done later in the pregnancy.

*boing boing*
Barked: Fri Mar 12, '10 9:19am PST 
The shelter did not spay Prim because she had terrible mange and a spay would set her immune system back. They gave me a deadline to have her mange "cured" (no detected mites) but the day the vet said she was fine, her first heat arrived. I heard about the hormone stuff so I wanted to wait two months but the shelter would not budge on the already extended deadline and she was spayed a month after finishing her heat (which was quite heavy for a small dog). After her spay the vet told me her uterus was swollen and she was definitely STILL in heat! Her personality/attitude is perfectly fine and healthy, nothing off balance compared to other dogs except maybe more than usual energy, like any other 1 year old.

If you are- going, so am I.
Barked: Fri Mar 12, '10 5:31pm PST 
Tippi was spayed after a false pregnancy at 10 years old. She had several litters when she was younger and ever since would have false pregnancies. I was never concerned about it and my former vet never seemed to think anything serious of it.

We then found that that the milk from her false preg wasn't leaving her body. The vet actually thought it was a tumor. He tried her on antibiotics to see if maybe she was having some issues w/ the false pregnancy and after two weeks of the meds, it cleared her right up. Then he decided it was time to spay her. She also had some bb size tumors removed.

Do you have- someting I can- chew on?
Barked: Sat Mar 13, '10 1:45pm PST 
Maia was in a false pregnancy when she was spayed. With her being a rescued pup, we didn't want to let the puppies develop any further- we only discovered it was a false pregnancy when they spayed her, and based on the condition of her uterus, the vet determined that it was likely her first heat and put her age at just under a year.

I don't know the real answer to your question, but rescues spay during false pregnancies partly because we basically work under the assumption that the dog is preggers, not knowing the background. Maia's recovery was fine, pretty quick, though it did take a while for her milk to dry up. She does have some behavioral problems (aggression), but I've never associated that with her spay.

From what I understand, the body thinks it is pregnant, so the only difference is the lack of puppies from a spay perspective. I am not an expert, but to me, that would mean that the risks are the same.

I've yet to hear a very convincing reason (increased risk would be there either way if the dog is preggers or not) of why we (a rescue) should wait to spay during a false pregnancy.