Calling all German Shepherd(or any dog) Breeders please

alyciaadamoApril 24, 2012


I have a 6 yr old German Shepherd who is not spayed. When I first got her at 14 weeks I thought maybe I would breed her when she got old enough. I talked with my husband and finally "woke up" hello duh!! By the time I had realized that was a bad idea we didn't really have the money to spay her. She is now 6 and even though we still don't have the money I can come up with it and I am sure I can get our vet to take payments. So my first question is CAN I fix her at 6?I don't want to lose her she's my baby. It may sound like a dumb question to you but for me I am someone who doesn't really know a ton about dogs reproductive systems.

Now here's the kicker, I have been pretty good at keeping her inside during her heat cycles and when she goes out we are with her the whole time. We now have a small fenced yard so it is easier to watch her. Loose dogs used to come in our yard when she was in heat all the time, but since the fence I have not had to worry as much. I still keep an eye on her because I have heard of dogs jumping unfathomable heights to get to a female dog in heat. This last heat cycle I got an unwelcome guest. I was putting my children to bed and ran down stairs for some jamies from the dryer. I always let the dogs(I have a fixed male as well-really fixed we would have known if he wasn't by now) out after I put my girls to bed so when I went down stairs they wanted to go out badly. I figured we had a fenced yard, she was at the end of her heat and it would only be for literally 5 minutes since the dryer was only 10 feet away. When I came back to let them in(really only 5 minutes) I called them but she didn't come my male did but she didn't. I walked on to the porch and just as I called a second time I saw her sniffing a black lab! He ran away UNDER the fence when I yelled. I don't think they had a chance to do anything but I am not sure. That was the beginning of April. I could normally tell if her behavior was changed but it has been changing the last few months anyway. Also same with her body, she has since gained weight in the last 6 months so it is difficult to tell if she is gaining ABnormally! She has been a touch calmer in the last few weeks but again not sure if this is just due to her age. I looked it up and it said a vet can do a ultra sound at 20 days to see if she is pregnant is this true? Plus IF she WERE pregnant what would that mean for her? I have read some not nice things about whelping and am really worried about her whelping for her first time at her age.


Please I came here for answers because I really don't need the judgmental looks from others or the speech. I know it was irresponsible to keep a dog intact. I'm not asking for any one to coddle me but I really don't need any sarcasm either. I am just worried about my dog.

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The best thing for your dog is to have her spayed, the sooner the better.

It's less risky than having puppies, especially for an older dog.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 1:03PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Not sure what you are asking for but it sounds to me like you are concerned that she may be pregnant and you are concerned about her age and your inexpereince as I would be too in your circumstances. I have bred many litters of registered dogs but they don't know they are registered. Dogs do what dogs do and sometimes we have unexpected litters. Do you remember the day she may have been bred?


    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 1:49PM
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Just a thought for you based on my experience with older animals. When my cat got older and had to be anesthetized I would talk to the vet about using the "safer" anesthesia. I don't know the different types of anesthesia, but there is one that is considered safer- and I always made sure that was the one they would use on her. Of course, it is a more expensive option, but I think it is worth the price- and of course, you will only have to pay to have your dog spayed once.

Talk to your vet about your concerns, and I bet they can give you lots of advice and put a lot of your worries to rest.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Thank you very much. I think I will call the vet tomorrow. I just was not looking forward to the looks that I am sure I will get when I ask about an ultra sound or the like(this vet wouldn't even give my cat a leukemia test when I asked for one. she just rolled her eyes at me and then still didn't do it)I don't know if they even offer anything else but I will definitely ask about a "safer" anesthesia. I am not even sure my vet would do it if I even asked, but ask I will.

I guess my two questions were 1) Can I spay my 6 yr old dog? and 2) can my dog have gotten bred in those 5 tiny little minutes and how do I tell?

The first question is because in horses(because that is what I know not dogs :) it gets pretty questionable the older they get to castrate them. The male which isn't too invasive don't even get stiches(my 10 yr old stallion was not a happy camper when we gelded him and I wished I had done it considerably sooner but we lost his foal that I was going to keep)I know dogs are different in that their age is almost worse so that is why I worried about spaying her.

The second question was because I don't know how to tell if she even conceived.

This was about two weeks ago, I can't remember which day either the 9th or the 13th(probably the 13th knowing my luck)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 11:28PM
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It just so happens that I have a female GSD that I had recently had spayed. She was a stray dog and in poor condition when I found her. It was obvious that she'd had several litters. I nursed her back to health. She grew back the fur she was missing and gained a good amount of weight. I then decided that as a responsible owner I should get her spayed.

Long story short: I wish I'd never spayed her! She seems like a different dog. She had a very bad reaction to the pain killer they gave for her temporary discomfort. It damaged her liver and she almost died. I knew going into the surgery that the more than 400 dollars they were estimating was a bit high but I thought it would ensure a better outcome. There was no warning on the bottle of Rimadyl as there should have been. The vet should not have given something with such a bad reputation for killing dogs and for pain that was temporary!

That whole nightmare left me about 10,000 dollars in debt and a maxed out credit card I had just finished paying off. Money I have to pay back my daughter when I am already struggling to make ends meet. And now my dog is no longer healthy and energetic.

Do lots of research. Make sure you check out the possible side effects of every drug they give you. Do not trust them to do what is best for your dog and for you. I feel that she walks a bit funny now and am wondering if even spaying at her late age might have affected her hips. Her fur also has lost it's sheen and feels so dry.

Now we are struggling with fleas because I am too scared to put frontline on her. All this because I was trying to do what I thought was best and get her spayed. My blood boils when I think about it!

Not saying not to spay but do TONS of research.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 5:27AM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Ok. Yes, you can spay a 6 year old dog and not have complications. There are risks involved as with all surgeries and those risks increase with the age and physiological health of the animal. If she is healthy and you have confidence in your vet, there should be no problems. A spay is a common and routine surgery. This does not mean things can't go wrong. Again, just as with human doctors, there are vets who are not at my own personal standard. You can shop around for prices and your own personal preferences. :) You can spay them when they are pregnant but it is an even higher risk and a deliberate abortion. My own personal opinion on spaying, is that, at this age, I probably would not bother unless there is a reproductive problem with your girl. In other words, a medical emergency. If she is pregnant now then you are going to have puppies. If not, you just have to be really careful with her subsequent heats. I prefer to leave them whole because I do insure that they do not get bred (to the best of my ability) and I prefer not to mess with their hormones. It is easier to neuter the boys, IMO.

Second question. Absolutely she can be bred in 5 minutes. I have a boy (just neutered)who could bred in about 3 feet of time! And he has! So, if she is in whelp, you are going to have puppies! Congratulations! 59 to 65 days from the day she was bred. With a girl her size, it may not be easy to tell without an ultrasound. They can carry up in their ribcage till the last week sometimes. She will start showing definite signs of pregnancy at about day 40. Or they may show no signs at all till they are in serious labour! Either way, you will probably know by then. there is tons of information on the web for pregancy care, labour and delivery including emergency situations. Just do some homework. :) Most importantly, don't panic. It is also very likely that she will go through a false pregnancy which leads you to believe that she is going to whelp but just no puppies. Dogs are funny that way. If it were me in this situation, I would wait and see if she is in fact pregnant and then make a decison to spay her or not. She will not be back in season for at least 6 months so there is no hurry.Trust your gut.

I have spayed and neutered dogs at all ages and I prefer to do it later if at all. Never had a problem if one did not exsist before going under an anesthesia. Voice your concerns to your vet, do your research and don't believe everything you hear unless is makes sense to you. :) I hope this helps.


PS I have had many horses too and there is a big difference if only because a horse doesn't get to lie down and lick himself after a geld (poor guy). :)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 11:29AM
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If you're not comfortable with the answers your vet is giving you, and if you feel you can't talk with him, then search for another vet.
Keep in mind that if you can't really afford to have her spayed, then you 'really' can't afford to let her have puppies. She could have trouble during whelping and if she survives that then you'll have the expense of feeding and vaccinating her many pups. Then there's the issue of health problems, or illness from no vaccinations, the puppies may have.
I would also worry if your dog is obese since that in itself could cause additional problems.

Call your local Humane Society, or well-known rescue, and ask who they recommend for low cost spay/neuter. All of my pets were spayed/neutered by low cost clinics, since I adopted thru rescues, and one of my dogs was a GS/X that was spayed at 5 years of age with no problems.

So...... I'd first have her checked ASAP and see if she's healthy enough to have the surgery. At her age, they're going to advise you to get a blood panel done before they use anesthesia. The panel is not mandatory, but it's highly recommended since she may have underlying health issues......besides being pregnant.
With either choice, spay or let her stay (possibly) pregnant, there are risks. If she is healthy and pregnant, having her spayed as early as possible will be an advantage.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 1:05PM
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I adopted Lucy, my lab, when she was 5 years old. She was a breeder at a back-yard breeder and had been bred many times.

She was spayed when she was 5 and she is fine.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 6:52PM
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If any service provider roller his/her eyes at me & then didn't do what I requested, I'd find another service provider...
even if the service were upholstering the couch or mowing the lawn, but especially if it concerned a living animal.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 7:02PM
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She can be spayed. In fact, when my fatherinlaw moved in with us, he brought his 13 year old dog with him (albeit she was smaller - 35 lbs). That size might likely put her on a par (age-wise) with 6 yr old GSD.

Spaying her was a requirement for me for our household (our other pets were fixed). In fact, having had a litter the year before, the vet found she actually had some pyometra. In this particular case it actually was a blessing he took her to be spayed. They really likely would not have caught it otherwise. And she really would not have lived out the long good life she had because of it.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 8:16PM
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Yes, your dog can be spayed at her age. There is a slight risk no matter what the age of the dog, but she (and you) will be better off.

Thanks for considering getting her fixed.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:42AM
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My first dog was a sheltie that my mom and dad never spayed. We were both 12 when she died of uterine cancer. The vet told my mom that part of the issue was being intact and never having had a litter of pups.
I have rescued many older dogs and cats, and they all get fixed. My vet requires a geriatric blood panel if the dog's age is an issue. I believe it checks organ function to minimize the risk of any surgical complications.
Good luck with your decision!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:37PM
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Our almost 7 year old German Shepherd is going to be neutered in the near future, due to an enlarged prostate. While he's under, they'll do a biopsy on the growth on his paw, and clean his teeth.

We're nervous, but have had discussions with the vet, and have done our research. They are using isoflourane (sp?), which is supposed to be a safer anesthesia. The hospital is accredited; they said everything is done in a sterile environment. We'll get the bloodwork done first. We feel the benefits will outweigh the risks.

They think our guy is not too old for the procedure.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 7:01AM
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