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What would you do?

(17 Posts)
zombiemeow Mon 13-Jul-15 14:00:06

I have a 3yo (rescue) French bulldog. I have posted about her before.

She was brought for breeding, locked outside in a small crate 24/7 until she became very ill. She had severe mange (no fur just scabby oozing skin) bronchitis, stunted growth, infections in both her eyes, heamatomas (sp) in both ears and has breathing problems. The man that had her left her at the vets for weeks before saying that he wants her pts. I was there and said I would have her as she has such a lovely temperament I couldn't see her pts sad he said fine and was never heard from again. I had her treated, she now has full fur grin, her eyes are ok although she can't see well and she is on daily medication for ear problems and allergies. There's nothing they can do for her breathing problems but it doesn't cause her any distress.

She has been having ongoing treatment for multiple things at the vets over the past 2 years, including some awful things such as having her eyes sewn shut due to the infections (not both at the same time!)

Anyway, I was told by the vet next time she comes into season I need to decide whether to get her neutered. Problem is, it would be a very high risk operation and it's not guaranteed she will pull through due to her breathing problems. They couldn't say what chances were either way. If she doesn't get done I was told she could have a common problem, I can't remember the name, which would need a major operation to fix which would cost a minimum of £800 and again, the op is not guaranteed to work.

She has come into season today. And I just don't know what to do sad

BoutrosBoutros Mon 13-Jul-15 14:09:44

Oh poor you, what a tough decision! Sounds like you've been wonderful to rescue her and spent a lot of money giving her the quality of life she deserves.

Personally I'd spay her. She's been through so much and it's one less thing to think about, provided it all goes ok. But then I'm not the one who risks losing a pet! Can the vet give you any idea about the risks? Have you asked what they would do in the circs?

Good luck deciding and fingers crossed for you!

zombiemeow Mon 13-Jul-15 14:14:28

I know and she's become such a big part of the family I'm so worried about losing her confused

I think I will speak to the vet again, last time they just said it's a very high risk op and they will need more monitoring etc.

So difficult, I just don't know what to do for the best!

SmartAlecMetalGit Mon 13-Jul-15 14:31:10

I think I would probably go ahead and have her spayed at the appropriate time. The chance of developing pyometra increases with age and I'd much rather go for a planned operation at the least risky time in her cycle than potentially end up having to go for an emergency spay.

zombiemeow Mon 13-Jul-15 14:34:44

Thanks smart I suppose that makes the most sense. It's just so worrying

tabulahrasa Mon 13-Jul-15 14:51:29

Hmm, is she at any more risk of pyometra because of her history? Or just the normal risk of any unspayed bitch?

mrslaughan Mon 13-Jul-15 16:09:49

If it is pyometra it is really a weigh up....yes this is a condition that can kill, but it sounds like she is at high risk with the anesthetic anyway.

If she was mine, and she wasn't at higher risk than the rest of the unspayed population, I wouldn't put her through the anesthetic, but really educate myself at the signs of pyometria , and have it at front of mind.

If she is at higher risk of pyometria for some reason then it is really a difficult weigh up that only you can make.

I presume she doesn't have insurance because of her complex health conditions when you took her on?

Having said all the above, what I would do is have in the back of my mind if she ever needs an anesthetic for any reason, I would get her "done" then, if possible.

It is very difficult when they have complex medical "needs"....she is so lucky she found you!

zombiemeow Mon 13-Jul-15 17:48:50

I don't think she has any greater risk than another unspayed dog, but the vet made it sound like it was a common condition iyswim. I will try and do some reading on it. I need one of them 'for dummies' books on it!

And her breathing gets especially bad in very warm weather or very cold weather, as it's been hot, and she has allergies this time of year her breathing is bad, then when it gets very cold she can be walked as her breathing is bad then too confused

She's bloody lovely though smile the vet nurse told me about her when he left her there and I needed to see her, I told her I will be having that dog! She's so lovely smile

daisydotandgertie Mon 13-Jul-15 22:08:56

I wouldn't spay her.

Its an unnecessary operation at the moment, and although the chance of a pyo is, I think, about 25%, there are alternative ways of treating it available IF it happens. If preventing a pyo is the only reason to neuter her, I would be quizzing the vet pretty hard about what alternatives they could offer. Incidentally, have they offered a keyhole or conventional spay?

To put it into perspective a bit, I have a number of entire bitches and have had for about 15 years and only one bitch has had a pyo. I am very aware of the condition and its symptoms, but it's certainly not something I think is likely to happen.

I wouldn't be happy to risk a dogs life for high risk preventative surgery in your situation. She has had a lot to cope with! I would review that decision annually, but I certainly wouldn't be doing it this year. In blunt terms, I don't think there's any point risking her life for a 'maybe'.

She's lucky to have you.

zombiemeow Mon 13-Jul-15 22:31:39

Thanks daisy, the vet made it sound like it was more common than that, although I didn't ask for stats or anything.

Have spoken to them again today, last time they sounded more like they wanted me to have her done, now they sound like they don't want to. They said they will have her in to do full check ups then decide. That makes me worry, if they need to do that maybe it's too much of a risk having the op if the chances of her getting it are quite slim?

SunshineAndShadows Mon 13-Jul-15 22:46:27

you don't want keyhole surgery if you're worried about the anaesthetic risk as the surgery is usually much longer than a regular spay

Incidence of pyometra is around 215-25% in the canine population and it usually occurs between 7 and 10 years of age.

As an ex-breeding bitch she may actually have a slightly reduced risk as her uterine tissue has been active.

Open pyometra (where the uterus is discharging pus) can be treated with medically but if the cervix is closed, surgery is needed to prevent uterine rupture.
This article might be helpful

SunshineAndShadows Mon 13-Jul-15 22:47:06

15-25% obvs!

VetNurse Mon 13-Jul-15 22:49:31

If her respiratory problems are due to brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) then she may benefit from surgery to shorten her soft palate. This is something that some general practice vets can perform or they may want to refer to a specialist. This can really help.
I would advise getting her spayed now when you can be in control of the situation. Pyometra can be life threatening and if needed to be performed in an emergency then this will put her at a greater risk.

zombiemeow Tue 14-Jul-15 03:58:46

Thank you everyone grin I will have a read of the link since my ds has decided we don't need sleep tonight grin

Does anyone know if it can occur before 7 years.

Due to her health being so bad, they didn't think she'd last that long blush they were surprised she's still here now!

daisydotandgertie Tue 14-Jul-15 07:27:58

Yes it can - my bitch got it after her first season. Unusual, but possible!

AreYouSupposedToBeInIowa Tue 14-Jul-15 07:46:11

Get her spayed sooner rather than later. This is part of my day job and with proper monitoring she should be fine. She will have a tube into her airway and gismos that record her heart rate and breathing rate and would be on O2 throughout so providing stress is eliminated with a pre-med all should be well. An emergency op on a weekend for a closed pyo may not be such a well managed scenario than elective surgery. I agree with PP too that open abdo is faster than laparoscopic. A long qualified fast vet and a good nurse to monitor her closely and she should be fine.

zombiemeow Tue 14-Jul-15 08:59:24

Thanks everyone.

Will probably do what the vet said then and get her a full check up and see what they say?

Things are never simple with the little bugger smile

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