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Last Thursday, we took our puppy to be spayed. That evening when we picked her up, we tipped her over to see the incision and just below that, I saw they had tattooed her. I was surprised to say the least. I asked why they had done that and the answer was that although it is a relatively new procedure here in Maine, the reason is that if ever our baby goes astray and is picked up by the dogcatcher, the humane society will know she is spayed. Since having this reasoned out, I am now an advocate of all female dogs having this procedure done. Do you think it's a good idea?
 

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The vet I went to tattoos ears.

I have a Papillon and I really didn't want them to tattoo in her ears because they could damage her ear leather and she would end up with a floppy ear. They refused to listen to me and didn't give me the option of tattooing on her belly at all, since I couldn't wait another month for her spay, I gave them the go ahead. Honestly though she didn't need it at all because she's microchipped.

When she came back to me, the tattooed ear was tipped over and starting to flop and I was pretty angry at the vet for an unnecessary procedure. It did go back up in about 2 months though so I guess it turned out alright but still. They should have at least allowed us to tattoo her belly and not her ears.

I know some places do a dot on the belly (to prove spaying), I think that's a lot better than tattooing a bunch of numbers and letters but they use it as an ID.
 

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A spay scar is essentially the same thing.

My dog was spayed before she was mine as a part of a vet school training program (they use shelter dogs for practice). The student who did the procedure made an absolutely giant incision. Anyone who looks will know she's spayed.

ETA: I also advocate microchipping all pets, and it would be great if the microchip company kept records on spay and rabies vaccinations as well.
 

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I think it's a great idea! I've heard it's being done around here too. My female's scar is almost invisible. I think just a small dot is sufficient; no need for something huge. Sorry about what happened to you, Michiyo. That would tick me off.
 

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When my cat got done, she got the tattoo. I havnt ever had a dog done myself. So not sure what they do with dogs. and since I have a male that will be neutered, i doubt they will tattoo him, since it will be obvious he is neutered lol
 

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kechara has no scar from being spayed, I think a small tatoo on the bellie of a spayed bitch is a good idea to prevent the animal being reopened in the event she is ever dropped at a shelter.
 

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I think it's an excellent idea. I wish all vets would do it with all female pets who are spayed. On the belly, not the ear. . .I wouldn't think to look in the ear and even if I saw a tattoo I wouldn't know if it meant she was spayed or if it was just an ID tattoo. It's a real pain to pick up a stray and have to figure out whether she's spayed or not. Spay scars are rarely visible. It can't possibly cost a lot. All you really have to do is rub a bit of tattoo ink into the incision.
 

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This isn't a new idea. Magpie has a tattoo. Jack has one, but I can't really tell what it is and I'm uncertain how that would help in identifying him or telling me he is altered. I could just.. look and find that out.
 

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Yea some of the shelters here do this for every dog that is spayed under their care, I think it's a great idea. A lot of dogs (and almost all cats IME) don't have a detectable scar after a spay.
 

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The clinic I work at tattoos all of the shelter animals we spay. Just a line over the incision. It is handy as many animals do not have scars from their spays..our Persian, Falafel, that we adopted from the shelter over a year ago had no spay scar whatsoever. We shaved her and looked carefully before doing the procedure. Got inside and alas, no uterus.
I didn't have Goose tattooed when she was spayed, as I didn't think of asking to have it done.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I wasn't given a choice in having this done - it was procedure. The tattoo is the female symbol a T with a round head atop and the round part has an X thru it. It is also not tiny - maybe a half inch in length and is dark blue.
 

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I actually think this is a good idea. Gracie was spayed early (through a rescue) and she had a tiny incision (as in an inch long) and now there is no evidence that it was ever there. She is chipped and that should tell that she is spayed ( I had to update medical info), but I think a tattoo is a good idea. I think what you are describing is a bit large, but I still think it is a good idea.
 

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I have considered getting my dogs tattooed for their spays but I don't think (I'll have to check) my vet does it. It would be helpful though as Misty was put under, shaved and then the scar was seen. I just glad the scar was still visible.
 

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What a great idea! Both of my dogs are male, so it's easy to tell they're neutered. But I can't see any scar on my spayed female cat.

It would be nice, though, if there was an agreed on symbol that all of the vets knew so there wouldn't be any confusion if someone picked up a stray cat or dog.
 

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Our Vet hospital does tattoo all dogs and cats they spay. It helped us find the home of a Shih Tzu stray we found. We just phoned up the Vet and told him what kind of dog and the tattoo and he told us who owned the dog.

You certainly cannot depend on a scar showing. I had one dog who had a c-section so I had her spayed at the same time. She had complications and they had to open her up again the next day. She has absolutely no visible scar, two years later.
 

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I think it's silly to tattoo their belly. Firstly, in long/thick hair breeds it's difficult to see even if you deliberately look for it. Secondly, if she runs away and is stressed and/or hurt she might be too aggressive for anyone to flip her over to see if she has a tattoo.

Here they tattoo the animal's ear when it's desexed. It's much easier to see, you can usually spot it without even having to touch the dog. My puppy has upright ears, it wasn't affected by the tattoo at all.

Here they tattoo a "ø" in their ears, NOT an ID number, so there is no risk of the ear ever being cut off if the dog gets stolen. It's the standard symbol used by every vet in Australia.
 
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