Spaying And Neutering Information For Senior Dogs

Whether your dog came to you older and not fixed or if your dog used to breed, it doesn't mean they are too old to consider the spaying or neutering procedure now. Even senior dogs that are well past their breeding years can benefit from spaying or neutering. The following guide can help you better understand how these procedures impact your older pooch.

Disease prevention

By the senior years your dog has probably outgrown much of the urge to breed as well as some of the negative behaviors that develop when they are sexually intact. The main reason to get your dog fixed at this point is because it can help prolong their life by preventing diseases that can kill or affect the dog's quality of life. Diseases that affect dogs that aren't spayed or neutered include the following:

  • Several forms of cancer in both males and females

  • Uterine infections, which are often deadly, in females

  • Prostate diseases in males

The simple procedure can help you and your pet avoid a lot of unnecessary heartache and pain.

Concerns with older dogs

Spaying and neutering are routine procedures with minimal risks, but they are surgical procedures and more care must be taken with senior dogs. A blood panel is often required with a senior animal, simply to make sure there are no other age-related conditions that could affect the procedure or recovery. This is also done to make sure your dog's blood clots properly, since clotting properties can fade as a dog ages. Fortunately, most aging related concerns can be handled if they are known; for example, coagulation-aiding drugs can be administered to help with blood clotting and healing.

Blood pressure can also be a concern with older dogs, as they often do not maintain a steady blood pressure when asleep or under anesthesia. For this reason, expect your dog to be placed on a catheter, which will move fluids through their system, which helps stabilize blood pressure.

Recovery Period

It will take an older dog longer to recover, and it generally takes females longer to recover than males due to the extent of the spaying procedure. Your dog may need to spend a night or two in the veterinary hospital under observation. They will also need a quiet and comfortable place to rest for several days once you bring them home. Don't expect them to use the stairs, and some dogs may even have trouble with low steps. In fact, it's best that senior dogs avoid major activity for a couple of weeks to ensure complete healing.

By following your vet's aftercare instructions, your dog will soon be back to their old self.