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spaying a nervous rescue bitch - can I ask for sedation?

(10 Posts)
diplodocus Wed 19-Feb-14 23:58:10

I have a 9 month rescue bitch who I plan to have spayed once she's had her first season. I'm quite concerned because she's very nervous with strangers and feel the whole experience could put her back in terms of anxiety. I was wondering if it's possible for the vet to prescribe tranquilizers that I can give her at home prior to going to the vets, and then ask she's kept sedated as much as possible after the surgery? I'd really like her to have as little memory of the whole thing as possible until she's home again. She's not a huge dog so I can carry her to the car etc. Has anyone done anything similar? Alternatively would there be an advantage in postponing having her spayed until she's older? I'd rather not, but really don't want to traumatize her, particularly as she's finally starting to make progress and enjoy life a bit more.

tabulahrasa Thu 20-Feb-14 00:07:28

For completely different reasons my dog was taken in later than usual and sedated in the waiting room and sat with me until it had taken that should be possible if you talk to your vet.

I don't know about afterwards though as I know they like them to come round enough to make sure they're ok - they're still pretty dopey usually though.

I know the more seasons they have then you lose the benefits of lowering breast cancer odds - but other than that as long as her seasons don't cause problems (like phantom pregnancies) and obviously you don't let her near male dogs, then I don't think there's any problem with putting off spaying either.

cashewfrenzy Thu 20-Feb-14 07:54:42

It depends on how savvy your vet is about behaviour, but from what you describe there's good reason to use alprazolam, midazolam or diazepam in this case. These drugs are poor sedatives but they are anxiolytic and cause amnesia so they are really useful in minimising the trauma of events in nervous dogs.

cashewfrenzy Thu 20-Feb-14 07:58:05

And there may be some behavioural benefits to postponing spaying in very nervous bitches, but only if you are using the time to undertake a behaviour modification plan, and this has to be weighed against the fact that after the second season you do not get any of the protection against mammary cancer.

moosemama Thu 20-Feb-14 11:33:22

I had an extremely fear aggressive large breed many years ago. Sadly he developed cancer and had to have several inpatient treatments and operations.

My vet used to take us to the quietest consulting room, give him something to sedate and relax him, leave us with him while it took effect and then dh and I would carry him through to the kennel before we left (it took both of us, as he was a big lad). He was always a bit groggy when we picked him up as well.

It must have worked, as he never developed a particular hatred of going to the vets and would walk in there quite happily each time. I always assumed if he remembered his previous experiences, knowing his tendencies, he would have flatly refused to go anywhere near the place.

yummumto3girls Thu 20-Feb-14 23:27:33

Cashewfrenzy can you explain to me the behaviour benefits of delaying spaying a nervous bitch? I have one, due a season any time soon before spaying but very nervous!

cashewfrenzy Thu 20-Feb-14 23:35:07


cashewfrenzy Thu 20-Feb-14 23:35:29


Ludoole Fri 21-Feb-14 01:24:52

My yorkie has separation anxiety and the vet advised we take him in for his neutering later than everyone else and called us to collect at the earliest (and safest opportunity). We were the last to drop off and the first to collect.
He came out looking sorry for himself but was back to his usual self the next day after lots of sleep.
A good vet will listen to your concerns and will do what they can to minimise an animals nervousness/discomfort.

diplodocus Sat 22-Feb-14 14:31:02

Thanks all, and sorry for delay in replying. Interested in your links Cashew - plenty to think about. Looks like we might be waiting.

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