Is spaying risky for a two-and-half-year-old dog?

My Brussels Griffon girl (Paris) is two and a half, and I am getting her spayed. Is it risky at this age to get it...
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My Brussels Griffon girl (Paris) is two and a half, and
I am getting her spayed. Is it risky at this age
to get it done? Can she have any problems from it?
Should I even get it done for her?

Reka
Long Island, NY

For some time, there has been a movement in veterinary medicine to advocate spaying or neutering every possible dog and cat. The reason for this is simple. There are far more puppies, kittens, dogs, and cats than there are people who can adopt them. Because of this, millions of unwanted animals are euthanized in the United States every year.

So, the thinking goes, if we neuter and spay as many animals as possible, fewer will be euthanized. It makes sense, and I certainly support spaying and neutering as a means to reduce animal suffering and euthanasia. But that does nothing to address your question.

Because what you are asking is not whether it is best, in philosophical terms, to spay a random dog. You are asking if spaying your dog Paris is the best thing for her. To decide that, we need to look at the advantages and disadvantages of surgical sterilization (spaying) for the dog involved in the procedure.

Let’s start with the advantages. First, the risk of pregnancy is eliminated. Pregnancy, in addition to creating more puppies for the world to deal with, puts tremendous strain on the body. I have seen many dogs suffer complications and adverse health effects during pregnancy.

There are other advantages as well. Spaying Paris will eliminate her risk of ovarian cancer and drastically reduce the likelihood of cancer of the uterus. Spaying will eliminate heat cycles and the sometimes annoying behaviors that can accompany them.

Another very serious advantage of spaying her now is that you will protect her from an extremely dangerous syndrome called pyometra. Pyometra is an infection of the uterus that is alarmingly common (in my experience) among older, unspayed female dogs. It is life-threatening and typically requires emergency surgery to treat. The surgery is very expensive, and some dogs do not survive no matter what level of care they receive.

Of course, like any medical procedure, spaying also carries risks and disadvantages. First, it is a complex surgery that must be performed under general anesthesia. Surgery and anesthesia both have risks. However, if you select an experienced veterinarian who uses modern anesthesia techniques, the likelihood of complications is extremely low.

Surgery is painful. Fortunately, we have good techniques for controlling pain, so this disadvantage can be controlled as well. Never hesitate to discuss pain control with your vet.

Once a dog is spayed, the procedure is irreversible. So, if you might want to breed Paris, then you shouldn’t have her spayed.

A dog’s age does impact the safety of the surgery involved in spaying her. Extremely elderly dogs have higher rates of complications from the procedure. However, Paris is young, and she is definitely not too old to be spayed.

Here is my opinion: for Paris (and for almost any healthy female dog, unless she is very old), the advantages of spaying her far outweigh the disadvantages. The medical advantages are pronounced, and the medical disadvantages can be controlled by selecting a good vet. I recommend that you go through with the procedure.

4 thoughts on “Is spaying risky for a two-and-half-year-old dog?”

  1. I would say for any responsible owner having an intact female dog is ok. But the dog will be in heat for the rest of her life. It will never end. So as you get older maybe not something you would want to deal with. All animals will die of something just like us Humans. I don’t care what the Vets say! So if you can handle a female’s care and not inconvenience other owners don’t spay. But yes the younger they are the easier it is to bounce back. In my opinion I would never neuter a male dog as long as I could handle him. But females can have puppies as well as the heat issue. SO for me personally getting a female spayed at a medium age is important. I don’t agree with spaying them at such a young age because the organs need time to develop. So for that hormones are needed. So always do your research and not jump to conclusions. The vet is not always right! You know what’s best for your pet! Cheers!

  2. My purebred Labrador Retriever (excellent blood lines) is intact, I am considering spaying her but am concerned. I have no problem dealing with her heat cycle and I am not concerned of accidental pregnancies, I am a very responsible dog owner. I just want what is best for her and her health. We do go hiking in the national forests and in local hiking areas, The only down fall of a heat for me is her 3 week down time during the heat. please help me with the proper healthy decision for my 1 year 8 month old female lab

    1. Hi there! If your beloved pet is in heat now, when it's over, ou should wait at least 2 weeks before spaying her. I would prefer to neuter males, because they are the ones that escape all the time and can get highly agressive with other males. Females is a good option too, to prevent cancer and other bad things.

  3. My purebred Labrador Retriever (excellent blood lines) is intact, I am considering spaying her but am considered. I have no problem dealing with her heat cycle and I am not concerned of accidental pregnancies, I am a very responsible dog owner. I just want what is best for her and her health. We do go hiking in the national forests and in local hiking areas, The only down fall of a heat for me is her 3 week down time during the heat. please help me with the proper healthy decision for my 1 year 8 month old female lab

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