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  1. #61
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    I understand what you are saying, threedog, but it seems to me the OP is indeed addressing the problem by treating with antibiotics until a more affordable surgeon can be found- perhaps not the way you or I might have handled the situation, difficult to know, but it does seem OP is pursuing treatment options. Not everyone has or would choose to spend $5K for emergency surgury on a ten year old dog if there were alternatives available. It seems to me entirely reasonable to consider those alternatives None of us has a crystal ball, who's to say that if OP had spayed this bitch, that increased chance of bone cancer might have kicked in and she would have died years ago. We cannot know that, so it seems to me we should support OP and his/her bitch and provide what info or experiences we have about potential outcomes of nonsugucal or delayed surgical treatment of pyo. I would still want to spare at least one ovary if possible.



  2. #62
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    Whoops, sorry for the double post.

    The noted biologist Alfred Russell Wallace once said that "There is no such thing as 'The Penguin'. Instead there are hundreds of species of penguins, each one different in large and small ways, in different social and ecological environments and circumstances." This was said in a class I was taking on Developmental Psychology, the professor was making the point that there's no such thing as "The Child" in a generic sense. Similarly, there is no such thing as "The Dog" ( or in this case, "The Bitch". Breeds (and lines within breeds) vary enormously in their susceptibility to diseases. A vet may well find that 50% of his bitch patients may go on to develop pyometra, but what breeds or mixes make up his practice, and how does that composition affect his particular statistical norm?
    I think it comes down to, do your research, know your breed and lines, and take all "received wisdom" with a grain of salt, as it may change, and is also subject to cultural context. Swedish vets also deal with a wide range of breeds and mixes, yet they do not practice across the board spaying and neutering, perhaps viewing the risk/benefits in a different way.
    I do think the benefits of this surgury have been oversold in veterinary medicine, and the tide is turning, based upon good objective scientific research.



  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Houndhill View Post
    I understand what you are saying, threedog, but it seems to me the OP is indeed addressing the problem by treating with antibiotics until a more affordable surgeon can be found-
    I agree the OP is handling it the only way possible for the moment. I think I addressed that by saying that I hoped the antibiotics would buy the dog a few days till they could see their own vet.



  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Houndhill View Post
    I do think the benefits of this surgury have been oversold in veterinary medicine, and the tide is turning, based upon good objective scientific research.
    I disagree. I think the risks of not spaying are undersold and the fear of anesthesia and various cancers are over sold by trying to attribute them to hormones rather than breeding and narrowing of gene pools.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  5. #65
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    Thanks guys. I have my reasons for not doing surgery or giving medication without cause. It doesn't make me any less of a caring pet owner. Shade has been healthy and happy her whole life. Animals do get sick and I do my best by all of mine.

    And I am fully prepared to put out as much $$ as I possibly can to help her now. But I do have children to feed. I just have to find a vet that will do it for less.

    For now she is acting like her normal self. Following me everywhere and loving all the extra attention. No increase in swelling and still eating and drinking. She is with me 24/7, so she will not be alone during the week.


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  6. #66
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    Thanks guys. I have my reasons for not doing surgery or giving medication without cause. It doesn't make me any less of a caring pet owner. Shade has been healthy and happy her whole life. Animals do get sick and I do my best by all of mine.

    And I am fully prepared to put out as much $$ as I possibly can to help her now. But I do have children to feed. I just have to find a vet that will do it for less.

    For now she is acting like her normal self. Following me everywhere and loving all the extra attention. No increase in swelling and still eating and drinking. She is with me 24/7, so she will not be alone during the week.



  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by threedogpack View Post
    I disagree. I think the risks of not spaying are undersold and the fear of anesthesia and various cancers are over sold by trying to attribute them to hormones rather than breeding and narrowing of gene pools.
    Well threedog pack, when you look at studies such as the Rottie and the Golden study, and see osteosarcoma rates doubled in spayed/neutered vs intact animals, to what other than steroidal hormones would you attribute these results?



  8. #68
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    Edited to add, gonadal steroid hormones....and the Rottie study showed a beautiful curvilinear relationship, the longer bitches kept their ovaries, the longer their lifespan.



  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Houndhill View Post
    Well threedog pack, when you look at studies such as the Rottie and the Golden study, and see osteosarcoma rates doubled in spayed/neutered vs intact animals, to what other than steroidal hormones would you attribute these results?
    Houndhill, if you want to continue this conversation, start a new thread.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  10. #70
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    Rotties and Goldens tend to have incredibly high rates of cancer regardless. I'm still not convinced that it transfers to the general (often mixed breed) population.


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  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnigh View Post
    so she will not be alone during the week.
    wait, this isn't going to be addressed tomorrow by your regular vet?


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  12. #72
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    Houndhill - no one is saying that these diseases arent at all related to spaying/neutering.

    However, 1 in 4 intact females will develop pyometera regardless of breed
    Im almost 100% certain 1 in 4 large breed dogs (spayed or intact) will not develop bone cancer.

    Again, not saying its not wrong to leave intact, but if you are going to - be prepared to deal with the common issues related to it! Bone cancer is NOT a "common" result of spaying/neutering, but yes...it does increase the minimal chance.

    Talk to RottiMom on this board, her INTACT female has bone cancer.
    Last edited by SquishTheBunny; Mar. 17, 2013 at 08:14 PM.


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  13. #73
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    Just to do a thought experiment, imagine if, instead of dogs, we were talking about humans, say, actually...you! (and reproduction were not a factor). What if your doctor told you she could remove your uterus and ovaries as a child, teen, or young adult, and then you would never have a uterine infection, which you might have a 50% chance of developing over your lifetime otherwise. If it occurred, it could likely be treated with surgery, but there was some risk of death. However, if you opted for this elective surgery, you would double your chances of getting bone cancer, which would require limb amputation and chemo, and would likely be fatal, plus the elective surgery would predispose you to other types of cancer, hypothyroidism, and incontinence.

    (I am not including consideration of the data about mammary cancer as this data is controversial right now, but say the s/n advocates are right, and the chances of mammary tumors are greatly reduced by spaying, especially prepubertally. This is offset by the fact that removal of anabolic steroids delays the closure of the long bones --obviously more important with some breeds than others. It seems unlikely that this is the only effect of the early or late removal of anabolic steroids, but it is the most well documented in the scientific literature.)

    Wouldn't you want to know more about what your chances were of developing bone cancer or other cancer was before making your decision? We are getting closer to identifying the DNA that will tell us about individual dogs' genetic markers for bone cancer. Right now in dogs we have breed and line analysis to help guide our decisions.

    Or if you are male, what if your doctor told you he could absolutely guarantee you would never have testicular cancer if he castrated you (removed your testicles)?

    Yeah, I thought so!



  14. #74
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    Yes I would still spay/ neuter because Im not ready to be a grandparent.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  15. #75
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    I don't think that is a good way to compare at all.

    I have been in dogs 40 years, giving lessons and putting on performance competitions with our dog club and can say that very few of the spayed females had any problems, but several of the intact ones had serious problems that pyometra and breast cancer are.
    Plus living with a female that goes in heat and all that, like unwelcome suitors baying at the door.

    For the general population, that won't keep their females guarded enough, add to that all the unwanted puppies that will result from not spaying.

    Increasing the chances of a cancer common in some breeds?
    That is not even worth considering very long, sorry.


    11 members found this post helpful.

  16. #76
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    Houndhill I was totally with you until my intact female rotti developed bone cancer. I have had 16 rottis and the past 12 had been spayed and neutered after their breeding duties were done. Because of recent developments in studies I have listened to the breeders and left my current females intact. This is my first dog with cancer, and she is intact. I am seriously considering spaying my other girls now. I have a lot of things to think about.

    Regarding your above comment on humans, thats totally not relevant here. Are you seriously saying that intact humans have less chance of cancer? Please tell that to my best friend who is dying of breast cancer at age 44. Or how about my mother who passed away at age 58 with colon cancer. Oh, and my sister in law who was just diagnosed with lymphoma.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  17. #77
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    Dogs ain't people. And pretending they are is foolish.

    If you're going to leave a bitch intact for the (generally) small gains against potential cancers, excellent. But be informed about the risks of pyo, watch your girls closely after their heat cycles and BE READY financially for that chance.

    I say this as an owner of an unspayed bitch and as an owner of a bitch that had an emergency pyo spay.


    10 members found this post helpful.

  18. #78
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    Oh, yes, Squish, I've had a dozen or more intact wolfhounds with bone cancer. My point is that if I had S/N my general population, the Rottie and Golden studies suggest I might have had 24 or more individuals with bone cancer. That would truly break my heart.

    Yes, I totally understand that "average" dogs, small breed dogs, etc., may not be troubled with bone cancer or other cancer. But please try to understand that it is not a "one size fits all" type of thing. Your mileage may vary! Especially if you live in Sweden.

    Absolutely it is better for clueless irresponsible owners to own only spayed bitches.



  19. #79
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    I hear you, Houndhill. In my case, I was largely working with a shelter population that had a far greater percentage of mixed breeds (although a fair number of Rotties), and we had pyo and mammary cancer issues come up pretty frequently. Knowing breeds -- let alone lines within breeds -- was a luxury.



  20. #80
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    Shade was already seen by her regular vet. I will be calling other family vets in the morning. For now she is being medicated for the open Pyometra. My vet wants her on meds for 6 weeks and then do a routine spay. This was option #2. I could not afford thier costs for emergency surgery. So I took the antibiotics and started her on them for now. I know I am risking her life, but no $$ no vet in my area. I am hoping to find another vet. Simcoe seems to be my best bet right now. It only cost my mother $150 to spay her cat and would have cost $350 at my vet. Of course large dogs cost more and the surgery will be expensive no matter what.

    My mother has a Golden Retriever. She was spayed as a puppy and has been nothing but sick ever since. The surgery was a hack job at best and the scar and infection were horrific. The dog has had infection after infection and is only 6 yrs old. I don't see her making it to 8, she has never been a healthy dog.

    My SIL's dog (Chow x Golden Retriever) has been nothing but heartache from day one. Alergic to just about every dog food and doesn't do well on vet diets either. Skin conditions and other health issues. She was playing in the yard in Dec and broke her leg. Then while healing from surgery she developed pancreatitis. And then while healing from that, she broke her toe and had to have it amputated. The dog is worth more than her truck at this point and only 7 yrs old. I don't know how much more my SIL will do for the dog at this point. I am praying she heals without any more issues.

    I have been very lucky with two healthy dogs. My vet has never been worried about them. Of course I am kicking myself. But like houndhill said, she could have died from something else by now.

    Thank you to St Luke's in Smithville Ont. My mom makes them pray for all of our family members and they mentioned Shade today. Lots of people are praying she makes it



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