406 – Veterinary Voice: Scary weird stuff that happens to girl dogs
Veterinary Voice: Scary weird stuff that happens to girl dogs
Dr. Marty Greer joins host Laura Reeves for a conversation about some of the scary, unusual medical emergencies and conditions which can affect our breeding bitches. On our list are prolapsed uterus, vaginal hyperplasia, inguinal hernia with the uterus in it, torsioned uterine horn, ovarian tumor, and spay or don’t spay during a C-section.
Included below is Dr. Greer’s peer-reviewed submission on the topic of not spaying bitches on the table during a C-section.
Reasons NOT to spay your bitch at her c-section:
- Pregnancy is a uniquely thromboembolic event. This means she is more likely to form blood clots during late pregnancy and in the immediate post-partum period. All bitches, whether they have had a c-section or not, are at increased risk of developing blood clots. These clots, as in humans, can be life-threatening, particularly if they lodge in the heart or brain. If she were to be spayed at this fragile time, she is a greater risk of blood clots formed at the suture sites, increasing the risk of blood clots. This is the most common cause of death in the period shortly after a c-section.
- The bitch shares 1/3 of her blood volume with her puppies. Only a small portion of this shared blood volume will pass to the fetuses. Most is left in the uterine lumen or in the uterine wall and vasculature. Over time, this blood will be resorbed by the bitch to replenish her blood volume.
- During pregnancy, the blood flow to the uterus is expanded to support the pregnancy and placentas. When the blood vessels are ligated (tied off), her blood pressure is lowered. Some bitches as they recover from anesthesia and her blood pressure increases to normal, a blood vessel may leak or a suture may slip off, resulting in bleeding, which may either lead to the need for another interventional surgery, or if this is rapid and severe, she may die prior to getting her back to surgery.
- Additionally, all of the blood vessels in the broad ligament (where the blood vessels supporting the ovaries and uterus) need to be tied off. If any are missed, there will be bleeding and possible drop in blood pressure which can lead to death.
- When she loses blood rapidly from the removal of the uterus and ovaries (if she is spayed), she will suffer a rapid drop in blood pressure, which is likely to lead to cardiac and/or respiratory compromise or crisis during the procedure, leading to death.
- Depending on the surgeon and techniques used, performing a spay at the c-section will add at least 30 minutes to a c-section. This leads to a delay in her bonding to her pups and allowing them to nurse during this early and critical period when her pups need colostrum and energy.
- Be particularly wary if the veterinary staff wants to do an en bloc c-section – where they remove the uterus in its entirety with the pups still inside. This is an almost certain death sentence for your valuable litter.
- A second surgery for a spay is safer than a spay at c-section.
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