emergency spay?
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  1. #1
    Senior Member shellbeme's Avatar
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    emergency spay?

    I am not sure how I feel about this when I see people on the forums pushing for it. I guess the first time I saw it suggested I balked a little because I wondered if the people suggesting it, are the same people who are always going on about dogs that are put to sleep in shelters? I guess I dont see the difference, to me, its telling someone to kill the puppies before they get a chance at life?

    Maybe there is another point of view that I am missing though? I would like to hear opinions on this. Again, at the moment, to me, its just as aweful as dogs being put to sleep in shelters, so I would like to be able to see why some push it so.

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  3. #2
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    Re: emergency spay?

    Here's what I think. It's hard enough to find homes for the adult dogs already on the ground, let alone more of them on the way. Raising a litter of pups is a LOT of work, so it's not always easy to find a foster home willing to do it either. If the pups are born in a shelter the risk of those pups dying from disease are that much greater too and harder on everyone. If the mom isn't in the greatest shape to start with there are other risks too.

    Depends too, if it's a case of she was just bred, or about to whelp. I think most vets could reason with doing it if it is early in the pregnancy vs. later on in the pregnancy.

    In areas where there are way too many dogs and even pups are being put to sleep, and there's not a lot of money or funding to help with the costs of a litter, it does make sense. Sucks big time, but I can see why some areas do it.

    It's like the spca where I live. It's a 'kill shelter' as many would call it, but they only PTS those dogs and cats they don't feel they can rehome because of issues or illness. The rescues often will badmouth them, but in the end, they will NOT turn away an animal in need even if it isn't adoptable. It may mean that animal will likely be put down, but at least it's in a humane way and they don't allow them to suffer.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Laurelin's Avatar
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    Re: emergency spay?

    I have done an emergency spay on a bitch that was pretty far along (about halfway). Many reasons why I did it. It was a sad choice to make but I firmly 100% believe it was the right one.

    1. She was a stray whom I was trying to find a home for. Puppies= more homeless dogs needing homes.
    2. She had heartworms and the vet was wary of what pregnancy plus heartworms would mean for her. It could have been very hard on her, but so could spaying.
    3. She was a small breed and I had NO idea what she'd bred with. There could have been issues with her having been bred by a large dog. No way to know.
    4. Cost. I couldn't afford to keep 6 dogs plus a litter of puppies at the time.
    5. Similar to #3 in that I did not know what she'd been bred with. There was no way of knowing how desirable the pups would be. Like it or not it would be easier to place certain breeds/mixes than others. I had no idea if there would even be any homes for the puppies. There are tons of dogs put to sleep around these parts.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member LuvMyAngels's Avatar
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    Re: emergency spay?

    An emergency spay means those puppies will never be at risk of being abused, neglected or abandoned.

    We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give

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    Re: emergency spay?

    There's a lot of controversy that is understandable and it depends on what absolute views we have to abortion, dogs, etc. I also see some situations as being one where it is an option, I just don't throw that around for everything. I've maybe suggested that twice ever in my life.

    I've only suggested it once on here, recently and it's possibly the topic you're talking about. Someone had a accident litter to a female having a first heat and this person isn't in a position to care for the dogs financially at all. The mother needs vet care and if someone makes it clear they are jobless and do not have any means of being able to provide anything for mom and puppies is a bit of a concern on how they will fare should the pregnancy continue. Vet will be necessary for their safety- she may have complications because during her first cycle usually dogs aren't fully mature to carry, the mother may have complications during birthing that require help like a c-section or retaining a puppy, etc, the pups need to be taken to be checked out, they need a round of shots, deworming etc. Caring for pups in their first 8 weeks is not for everyone and some people end up overwhelmed and accidents happen that easily kill off the pups. If they have no vet care, some things may occur that can hurt mom and pups. What if they can't actually find these puppies homes? What if they end up in a shelter because the person can't care for the puppies financially and then they are not adopted at the shelter and have to be euthanized? When it's in a situation where it's like that, I dunno how to feel about bringing in lives that do not have the best chances of a good life. If it's so early on, in my personal view it is not yet alive and so it's not killing a life so its not the same as putting to sleep a animal already here and living. This is on a individual level and doesn't make me right nor wrong (though I'm sure some people will argue this), but my personal view on aborting a litter.
    Last edited by The_Monstors; 09-08-2011 at 07:26 PM.

  7. #6
    Senior Member shellbeme's Avatar
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    Re: emergency spay?

    I want to thank you all for your opinions so far I can completely understand where you are coming from. I am still not sure how I feel about it overall but what you have said really does make sense and brings up some points I havent considered.

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    Senior Member Mdawn's Avatar
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    Re: emergency spay?

    Because the dogs that are in shelters are already "here".

    And the unborn puppies shouldn't have to face the circumstances of animals that are already in the shelters...fear and uncertainty, nor should they have to face what LuvMyAngels said, abuse, neglect and abandonment.

    Dogs in shelters have experienced life...puppies that haven't even been born...haven't.
    To me, it seems more...sad to end the life of a dog that is already here just because there are too many.

    Thankfully, I've never been in the position to have to make the decision to Emergency Spay...but I WOULD make it. Yes, I'd probably be bothered by it and sad, but I'd also know that I made the right decision.
    Last edited by Mdawn; 09-08-2011 at 07:39 PM.

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    Senior Member Pawzk9's Avatar
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    Re: emergency spay?

    The one time I did an emergency spay, the bitch had been hit by a car, had a broken pelvis and couldn't walk. She didn't need to try to deal with puppies too. Realistically I didn't have the time to hand-rear pups if she was unable to care for them, and I didn't need to load down rescue with a litter of Aussie-and-who-knows-what puppies who also needed homes. It's an individual choice of course. But when it is a consideration where you can't afford the complications that can come with puppies, it's certainly a choice which can be considered. While dogs from good breeders generally don't have the same market as the shelter dogs, randomly and carelessly bred pets and strays do have the same market. I'd as soon let the dogs who are already here get that chance at a good home. Puppies who didn't get born, didn't get born. They don't know that. They don't suffer. They don't know loss. To my belief system, they will get a chance to get born later.
    Last edited by Pawzk9; 09-08-2011 at 10:10 PM.

  10. #9
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    Re: emergency spay?

    Quote Originally Posted by shellbeme View Post
    I am not sure how I feel about this when I see people on the forums pushing for it. I guess the first time I saw it suggested I balked a little because I wondered if the people suggesting it, are the same people who are always going on about dogs that are put to sleep in shelters? I guess I dont see the difference, to me, its telling someone to kill the puppies before they get a chance at life?

    Maybe there is another point of view that I am missing though? I would like to hear opinions on this. Again, at the moment, to me, its just as aweful as dogs being put to sleep in shelters, so I would like to be able to see why some push it so.
    I'm pretty hard on shelters that continue running on the catch and kill model and attempt to excuse and justify high kill rates, and as well I am not ever one to suggest emergency spays. I do understand them being done when a female dog is at high risk of complications if the pregnancy goes to term.

    I have fostered - twice - pregnant dogs and seen them through to raising and placing those pups.

    I can't understand the reasoning that it is better to kill now than possibly face a hard life later on . . . . cuz it is possible that that life could be good as well.

    One way is all about hopelessness, and I won't buy into that. I also don't buy the idea that there are not enough homes.

    I think we are all aware that adoptable pups . . . . of all sizes . . . . have been in demand across most of Canada and through most of the Northern States for years and years now. Hence 'rescue' transport.

    I do, however, live in an area where our shelters have been putting out a message of responsibility for years and years now and working with the community, and also don't kill dogs for space. They import to fill demand, as do many others.

    SOB
    Last edited by spanielorbust; 09-08-2011 at 10:11 PM.

  11. #10
    Senior Member sassafras's Avatar
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    Re: emergency spay?

    Quote Originally Posted by shellbeme View Post
    I am not sure how I feel about this when I see people on the forums pushing for it. I guess the first time I saw it suggested I balked a little because I wondered if the people suggesting it, are the same people who are always going on about dogs that are put to sleep in shelters? I guess I dont see the difference, to me, its telling someone to kill the puppies before they get a chance at life?

    Maybe there is another point of view that I am missing though? I would like to hear opinions on this. Again, at the moment, to me, its just as aweful as dogs being put to sleep in shelters, so I would like to be able to see why some push it so.
    Well, I guess personally to me it's not necessarily about finding homes for the puppies. But I very strongly feel that an owner's first responsibility is to the dog they already have. If she has been bred accidentally I feel that her health and safety trump that of the potential puppies - especially if the owner can't afford to care for the extra care needed during a pregnancy or its potential complications or to care for a litter of puppies.

  12. #11
    Senior Member GottaLuvMutts's Avatar
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    Re: emergency spay?

    I guess this question really boils down to the same thing as the question of the ethics of abortion: does life begin at conception, or does life begin at birth? People have different opinions on this, which can be influenced by a number of outside factors including religion, politics, and the media.

    Personally, I feel that an emergency spay is ethically preferable to allowing puppies to be born, putting the mother's health at risk, and adding to the population of already overburdened shelters.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Pawzk9's Avatar
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    Re: emergency spay?

    Quote Originally Posted by GottaLuvMutts View Post
    I guess this question really boils down to the same thing as the question of the ethics of abortion: does life begin at conception, or does life begin at birth? People have different opinions on this, which can be influenced by a number of outside factors including religion, politics, and the media.

    Personally, I feel that an emergency spay is ethically preferable to allowing puppies to be born, putting the mother's health at risk, and adding to the population of already overburdened shelters.
    If one wants to get really technical, spaying and neutering eliminates the possibility of puppies that might have been connected to those particular eggs or swimmers. I think if someone wants to be born, and wants a certain situation, they'll find a way. The stray kitten I had to put down a year ago (kitty aids - would not abandon him or expose my cats to him) returned healthy, in almost the same form and situation and with a vengance this year. The girls still haven't forgiven me for taking him in!

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    Re: emergency spay?

    It's a difficult thing, really. With cats, a new stray goes right to the vet to be spayed, no questions asked. I've been wrong about cats looking pregnant before (worms, eww), so I can pretend she wasn't pregnant anyway. If I can feel the kittens moving, I can't do it, though. That's just too far along. But there are far too many cats. . .in the world, in this area, in my house (lol). I can't give kittens away, and that's healthy, well-socialized, vaccinated, spayed/neutered, cute kittens! It's better for them not to be born at all if there are no homes for them (and I don't consider aborting kittens/puppies to be the same as killing them after they're born. Which is sort of odd as I do think that life begins at conception. But it's not the same).

    It is a bit different with dogs, though. Now, if if someone sees their dog being mated, I have absolutely zero problem with spaying her within 2 weeks. No ethical problems with that at all, for me. After that, things get progressively murkier, ethically speaking. Yes, good homes can probably be found for healthy, well-socialized puppies of almost any breed (some breeds are truly overpopulated, at least in certain areas. Sometimes you can't give away Lab pups around here. And pit bulls are in a state of oversupply almost everywhere). Personally, I would not spay a dog if I knew that she was pregnant, more than 2 weeks along, unless there were extenuating circumstances. But raising puppies is extremely difficult and expensive, and isn't something that should be thrust upon someone who's unwilling or unable to do a good job of it. So, of course it would be best if someone prevented their dog from getting pregnant in the first place. Second best would be for them to know she was mated and have her spayed right away. But, failing that, if they spay her once they figure out she's pregnant, I can't really blame them or make any judgements on the subject. Unless it's within a week of their due date. . .I would have a problem with that.
    Last edited by Willowy; 09-09-2011 at 12:49 AM.

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