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Christina

Desexing Older Ex Breeding Girls Question ?

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2 of my ex breeding girls have been desexed at 8 years of age & I am concerned about the weight issues. I know there is an increased risk of pyometra if they are not desexed but the weight gain is what worries me.

Desexed young I find they only gain about half a kilo but when done older it seems they do go rather dumpy despite not being over fed.

One was not so slim but not very fat but the other was a lean & very agile girl & Still is. I never thought she would fatten up with her activity level but she has.

I know to feed a little less but there is only so much you can cut a toy breed dog down given that they don't eat huge amounts to start with.

So I guess my question is what is the greater risk in a toy breed that may live to 15 years or so. Pyometra or weigh related problems in old age ?

Obviously it is more convenient knowing that the boys won't be fretting to get to them every heat & there is zero chance of any accidental pregnancies but I am wondering about this for future girls as I know overweight carries a big risk too.

I don't re home older dogs so it doesn't have to be done for that reason.

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I still keep 3 desexed old girls my couch potatoes. They had litters and at about 6 with two had them desexed the other desexed at 5 she had Hugh litters. I would rather see an extra pound or two than risk pyometra. I will always desex as soon as finished breeding both males and females. A bit of fat is something that you can live with but the other can kill your girl.

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I still keep 3 desexed old girls my couch potatoes. They had litters and at about 6 with two had them desexed the other desexed at 5 she had Hugh litters. I would rather see an extra pound or two than risk pyometra. I will always desex as soon as finished breeding both males and females. A bit of fat is something that you can live with but the other can kill your girl.

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We have a few that were desexed later in life, no issues at all with weight. In fact, the 12 year old is currently on a "get fat" diet as she is too thin! In all honesty it isn't something we think too much about, we treat all the dogs the same. If they are too thin, we up their food, if they are porky we reduce their food.

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Gretel   

Yes as long as you watch what they eat I don't see a problem. Ingrid was desexed at about 6 or 7 and at 13 she is very fit and not overweight at all. Her daughter was desexed at 18 months and at 10 she's fit as well. Bree was desexed at 7 and at 8 1/2 she is slightly dumpy at the moment so I will cut back her meals and she'll soon be a good weight. They are Cavaliers.

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Old dogs do seem to get heavier, desexed or not. The risk of pyo far outweighs any risk from them being too heavy. Switch to lower calorie food and up the exercise and they will be fine. They do seem to change shape a bit, getting thicker through the flanks but that isn't a health issue. I have always desexed my old girls.

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oakway   

Old dogs do seem to get heavier, desexed or not. The risk of pyo far outweighs any risk from them being too heavy. Switch to lower calorie food and up the exercise and they will be fine. They do seem to change shape a bit, getting thicker through the flanks but that isn't a health issue. I have always desexed my old girls.

+1

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espinay2   

I have a 6 1/2 year old girl that recently got a bit ...ahem .... soft around the middle. She has not been desexed. She is now getting back to her more fit self, though she does have a naturally more mature figure now. She will likely be desexed soonish. Either desexed or not though I will have to continue to watch her weight!

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OSoSwift   

MIne get desexed when older and they don't have a weight issue. Their food is adjust compared to need exercise. If you cannot reduce the amount of food, then you need to reduce the type of food they are getting to a lower calorie food. If they are overweight they are getting too many calories for their needs. I do expect an older dog to get an older dog shape but that doesn't mean get fatter.

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Never had any issues,all our retirees are spayed & no one gets fat unless we cause it

I know that I have not caused it by over feeding. The desexing has caused it. They were not fat prior to desexing.

My vet said some desexed dogs need their food cut by as much as 40 %

There a limit as to how much you can cut down a toy breeds food as normal feeding of very to start with little cuts down to starve it. The dogs are around 4 kilos or just over now & have about 4 tablespoons of mixed meat stew with vegetables & a little rice to thicken it, with added fish 2 or 3 times a week & a third of a dog measure cup of dry. Some roo bone or chicken neck/wing for teeth a couple of times a week instead of one of the meals. Appetite has decreased with age.

They would be very hungry if I cut that down.

Huge space to run around in as I am rural & all the dogs tear around like crazy playing, little poodles are a high energy breed, so its not like I was in a suburban house with tiny yard & they couldn't exercise sufficiently.

I was concerned about the risks of older desexed dogs being overweight & associated problems weighed up against the chances of pyometra but no one except mini girl has commented on that question.

What are the statistics of pyometra in undesexed dogs compared with desexed dogs ?

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Jumabaar   

Your girl get as much as my 17kg Finnish Lapphund does (6yrs entire). And almost as much as my Kelpie (9yrs, desexed at 6) who still does obedience, visits schools and demonstrations for my canine fitness seminars.

Having worked in a clinic in Finland where desexing is less common Pyometra was a daily surgery. I don't have the stats off the top of my head but I do know the risk increases with increasing age and it is a significant proportion of bitches that will suffer from it.

Pyometra is life threatening and can not be 'prevented'. Weight gain on the other hand can be managed and there are exercises you can do in the house- even investing in treat toys so they have to work for food increases calories burnt. You can also get lower calorie food that is still nutrient dense so they don't feel like they are missing out which is what I will be doing with my Finnish Lapphund as she ages since weight is already a big issue with her.

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OSoSwift   

Dogs become overweight when there are more calories going in than can be used. The amount required varies through out life and is influenced by being entire or not, extercise, injury, age etc etc. It is the owners responsibily to adjust the calories as required.

From what I have seen in my years at our vet hospital, Pyometra was a fairly regular occurance in older/old entire bitches.

I had a Toy Poodle come into the kennels with her own meals prepared into meal sized portions. She is the perfect weight, 5 months old so still requiring more calories than a fully mature bitch, not yet desexed. She got a tablespoon of food three times a day, plus a couple of small teeth cleaning type treats.

They sound like they are getting a decent amount of food for their size and that it could be reduced. Oh I just read they get 1/3 of a cup of dry as well. I am guessing low calorie or light? even so it could be reduced in my opinion. They require less calories so reduce them, they won't be over weight any more.

Edited by OSoSwift

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Over the many many years I an remember ,(prob. 40) with many entire bitches in our households.... we have had 3 pyos , with most of our bitches living well into their teens .

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Never had any issues,all our retirees are spayed & no one gets fat unless we cause it

The dogs are around 4 kilos or just over now & have about 4 tablespoons of mixed meat stew with vegetables & a little rice to thicken it, with added fish 2 or 3 times a week & a third of a dog measure cup of dry. Some roo bone or chicken neck/wing for teeth a couple of times a week instead of one of the meals. Appetite has decreased with age.

They would be very hungry if I cut that down.

If our 5kg poodle x ate that much she would very quickly become a 10kg poodle cross! God, if some of our border collies ate that much they would stack it on too! Their food can be cut down and they won't starve :) Maybe add pumpkin to make them feel fuller if you are worried about it.

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4 tablespoons of mixed food plus dry food... does seem a great deal for an older 4 kilos dog.... I suspect at that amount they won't remain at 4 kg.... they would end up heavier....

We just use the individual dog as a gauge... they need a waistline... and just enough to cover their ribs.... We have many come into the kennels who are fat and soft and vets are usually recommending they get the weight off..... We give small meals mixed with grated carrot and loads of exercise and even little dogs will trim down a little.

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Jumabaar   

If you really don't wish to lose hormones then an Ovary Sparing spey might be an option. I typically don't recommend them as Pyo can still occur, but if it does its much less likely to be life ending. It might be a good compromise in this particular case.

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LizT   

Just want to ad that while desexing is a good way to avoid Pyometra, and if you rehome your bitches it certainly prevents them being used to breed. I myself have never owned a desexed bitch in my life. Most have never been breed (only the Cavaliers I have owned in the past 7 years have been bred from) and none have ever had Pyometra. This has been my personal choice since adulthood and simply due to circumstances when a child. My parents only ever desexed male dogs if we had a female as we didn't want to breed. We didn't desex male dogs if there was no bitch around. This is not to say that I wouldn't desex, but I choose to do so ONLY if medically necessary. Many breeders I know have had bitches that they still were intending to breed and who were quite young come down with Pyometra, so it isn't just about being older. Yes, it's a risk. No, it hasn't happened to me yet. I thought one girl of mine had it last year. She was ill, wouldn't eat and had a smelly discharge. Ultrasound showed no fluid in the uterus, she was given a course of antibiotic and recovered in a few days. Did she have early onset pyometra? One vet believed so, the other thought not. Either way, being alert to her being off colour and getting her to the vets early was paramount in her recovery IMO.

Edited by LizT

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