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Complications From Spaying a Dog in Heat

Spaying a Dog in Heat

Spaying a dog in heat may lead to complications that should not be underestimated. You may have been postponing getting your dog fixed, but next thing you know, she is already in heat and now you're wondering: is spaying a dog in heat possible? The answer is that yes, you can spay a dog in heat, but it can be problematic for several reasons. Before bringing your dog in heat to your vet or a low-cost spay clinic to get spayed, you may want to learn more about the disadvantages associated with spaying a dog in heat. Once you learn about these cons, you can then make a more informed decision on whether you should spay your dog in heat now or perhaps just wait another week or two.

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Spaying a Dog in Heat

When a dog is in heat, her uterus and ovaries tend to become more swollen than usual and they tend to be more vascularized, which means that they haveincreased blood flow.

These features make the surgery more complicated for the veterinarian performing it. The spay procedure may therefore take longer (generally, up to 30 minutes more) and may be more complicated than when the dog is not in heat.

On top of being more complicated for the veterinarian, spaying a dog in heat can predispose the dog to more complications. What complications are associated with spaying a dog in heat?

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With the uterus and ovaries more vascular, there is more bleeding during, and after the surgery, and the tissues may be more delicate. There are also chances for more serious bleeding occurring if there would be an issue in tying off the associated blood vessels, explains veterinarian Dr. B.

" We can spay dogs while they are in heat but prefer to do so when they are not, if we have the choice. This is because when dogs are in heat, the uterus is more developed/active and has increased blood flow." Dr. B, veterinarian.

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On top of being more complicated for the vet and more likely to cause complications for the dog, spaying a dog in heat can be put a greater dent on the dog owner's wallet.

This is because, as mentioned, the surgery will take a little longer and the vet may need to use more surgical supplies such as gauze sponges and sutures, not to mention, surgical laser if deemed necessary.

How much more will it cost to spay a dog in heat? Of course, the pricing may vary from one location to another. Generally, spaying a dog in heat may cost anywhere between $25 to $100 more than a regular spay.

Because spaying a dog in heat is more complicated, it is best done by an experienced, skilled veterinarian. Perhaps, you may want to skip the low cost spay center if its reputation isn't that great and it has a habit to cut corners.

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Did you know? Surgical laser offers the advantage of being more precise and reducing pain, bleeding and swelling during a spay surgery; and therefore reducing the chances for complications.

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Further Considerations

It's important to consider that spaying a female dog in heat will not magically stop the flow of hormones. Male dogs will still be interested in your female dog after surgery which can be problematic.

Allowing a recently spayed dog to mate as she recovers from her spay surgery can be dangerous and result in serious injury to the surgical site. Male and female dogs must therefore be kept separated.

At what point in the heat cycle is it therefore the best time to spay a female dog? The ideal time is at least two months after she was in standing heat, when she basically is in the anestrus phase, explains Dr. Margaret V. Root Kustritz, a veterinarian specializing in animal reproduction in the book "Clinical Canine and Feline Reproduction: Evidence-Based Answers."

As seen, spaying a dog in heat comes with several complications. Many vets are comfortable spaying dogs in heat, but some may prefer you rather wait a couple of weeks. It often boils down to personal choice.

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