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Old 10-14-2009, 08:50 AM   #1
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Default Too small to spay? :confused:

Have any of you who own smaller Yorkies ever been told they were too small to spay? Jillie, who is 3.5 pounds, was scheduled to be spayed today at 6 months, and the vet told me to come back in a month. I was surprised.

His reasoning is she's been gaining steadily since I've had her, and he called a .2 gain in the last month significant. He wants to give it a month and see if she gets closer to 4. If she's not, he'll still go ahead and do the surgery.

I guess I'd rather be cautious, but it's going to be much more inconvenient. I'm on vacation this week, and could have watched her 24-7 during her recovery. Plus, I expect she's going to come into her first heat in the next month, and I'm really not looking forward to that with two males in the house, neutered or not.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:02 AM   #2
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I had Marcel neutered at 10 mths old, partly bc I wanted him to weigh as much as possible, partly bc he was still healing from giardia. He was just about 3lbs when neutered, and he did *great*.

Spaying is a more involved surgery, but there are plenty of members here who've had their girls spayed and only weighed 3lbs or less. Maybe your vet is overly cautious (not a bad thing )....but I think it's sort of your call too, if you feel this is the right time for her to be spayed. Is your vet used to spaying smaller dogs?

I'm sure she'll do just great, Mike.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:08 AM   #3
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We spayed our Nadia at almost a year and 3 lbs. She had never went through a heat cycle and did great I am sure since your girl is still young and small they would rather wait a little.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wylie's Mom View Post
I had Marcel neutered at 10 mths old, partly bc I wanted him to weigh as much as possible, partly bc he was still healing from giardia. He was just about 3lbs when neutered, and he did *great*.

Spaying is a more involved surgery, but there are plenty of members here who've had their girls spayed and only weighed 3lbs or less. Maybe your vet is overly cautious (not a bad thing )....but I think it's sort of your call too, if you feel this is the right time for her to be spayed. Is your vet used to spaying smaller dogs?

I'm sure she'll do just great, Mike.
Thanks for the feedback, you guys. Yeah, I've decided to wait. I do need to check on the vet's experience with small dogs. It's a large office, and I seldom get the same vet twice. I don't know any of them well enough to know which I prefer.

I guess I'm just surprised more than anything. Another vet at the office earlier told me 3 pounds was fine for spaying, and even offered to do the surgery a month ago. But who's to argue with caution?
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:16 AM   #5
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Mike my vet made me wait until Bella was 3#'s but she also did a lot of juvenille spays ... maybe your vet is not comfortable with the small size. Do you know what the vets methods are? What gas she/he uses? Heated table..what shot does she give to bring them out once done?

I wouldn't worry to much about the vacation thing as they really do bounce back the next day...The day of the surgery they sleep almost all day..and then the next day they eat and play a little and then go back to sleep. You will just have to keep the rest of the gang away from her.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:20 AM   #6
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Mike- my Macy is under 3lbs at 10months old & my vet said he would like to wait for her to be at least over 3lbs before spaying her too! I have it scheduled for 12/4, but we will have to see what she is up to. She has not gone into heat yet, maybe because of her size.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:22 AM   #7
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My girl was 6 pounds when she was spayed, so not help there; but many Yorkies are spayed at 3 or so pounds. I would want the vet to be comfortable, but at the same time it is really best that she does not come into heat at all. I'd also really like the week vacation thing. I wouldn't leave Ellie until her staples came out.

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Old 10-14-2009, 09:24 AM   #8
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Mike Lulu and Zoey were both spayed at just the 3lb mark. No problems whatsoever. Maybe it's just fear on your vets part.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:25 AM   #9
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I had Lainee spayed at a year and she weighed 2.5. She did great...
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:32 AM   #10
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My Heidi is the smallest girl I've had spayed. I waited until she was a year old and she was just at 3 pounds then. She came through fine.

I would think that you could have her done on any given Friday and she would be fine by Monday (assuming you work a Mon. - Fri. job). I personally wanted to wait with Heidi for her to put on as much weight as possible and also to give her time to expel her baby teeth.

I think your Jillie will be fine to wait a bit. While she may go into her first heat, it's not unusual for some girls to go up to a year before their first one.

Whatever you decide, just make sure your vet is using a safe anesthesia.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:07 AM   #11
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yes, I had a friend who sold a male that was very small- he was under 3#'s
- he was about 1 yr

he had heart failure during surgery!

IMO- i would want to wait!

Talk to you vet more and ask questions!!!

every surgery has risk- on our pets or on humans!
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:40 AM   #12
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All Yorkies are at risk of having problems with anesthesia. It's a breed thing. Yorkies that weigh less than 4.5# have an increased risk of having problems with anesthesia during surgery, due to the relative size of their livers. The older and bigger they are, the risk decreases. Also, some will be more likely (than other breeds) to have adverse reactions to the anesthesia. I applaud your vet for wanting to wait to do her spay. It sounds like he really knows what he's doing. I cringe whenever I hear about Yorkies being spayed under 1 year old. The only reason they do it so early now is because so many irresponsible owners (of all breeds) were
failing to bring their female dogs back to the vet when they turned 1 year old and many ended up having litters prior to being spayed. So the trend became doing it earlier to prevent all the unwanted puppies from being born. So, the absolute safest thing to do for Miss Jillie is wait and see if she gets any bigger. Here's a post I did from a previous thread:

Yorkshire terriers are sensitive to Anesthesia (especially those weighing 4.5 pounds or less). Only use gas inhalants isoflurane or sevoflurane. They recover from it faster. You may have to request and/or insist this be done, and the vet may want to charge you more because it's more expensive. They may have an allergic reaction to anesthesia. Discuss this with your vet, so that they can be prepared. There are many breeds of dogs and vets sometimes forget which ones have which problems.

Spaying a female dog is a major abdominal surgery as opposed to a neuter, where the incision goes only skin deep. Gas inhalants iso or sevo only. Spaying and neutering dogs will prevent cancers later in life, ie prostrate, mammary tumors, and pyometra (infection of the uterus). It helps with behavioral issues also. Do some research.

Spaying and neutering used to be done when the pet was a year old. They changed this because many dogs were becoming pregnant in their first heat, and owners would forget to schedule the surgery. So to avoid many unwanted puppies, they started to do these surgeries earlier. It is okay and safer to wait until your pup is older.

Have pre-op bloodwork done. Check the liver enzymes. If they are high, cancel the surgery. The liver is what removes the anesthsia from the dog. If these enzymes are high, this could indicate a liver problem, and make recovery difficult or impossible. This problem will need to be resolved before surgery or dental treatments.

Do not combine surgeries. You don't want to keep a dog under anesthesia for too long of a time. Multiple short surgeries are safer than one long one. To pull a couple loose teeth is one thing, but don't approve a 30 minute dental cleaning added onto spay surgery time. It is too long to keep a Yorkie under anesthesia for.

Please do not assume your vet knows everything. Nothing against vets, but sometimes they get busy. If your chart has a big sticker on it the says 'anesthesia sensitivity' or allergies, it will get noticed, and special procedures for Yorkies will be followed.


And a story: When my first Yorkie had a minor surgery to remove a small lump on her head, she almost died. They gave a knock down drug to intubate her, but as they were trying to get her to go deep enough, she was fighting the anesthesia, (natural reaction of the body in wild (er) animals), and they ended up increasing it too much and boom: emergency situation, she finally went under, but went too far and heartrate went way down, but they were quick to reverse it and were able to bring her HR up and stablized, enough to do the surgery. Scary! I was training as a vet tech at the time, and was in the room and watching as all this was happening.

Also: find out if they will be keeping her overnight, and if yes, will someone be there with her? If they do it early in the day, they may let you take her home at night. If so, stay up, and if she is groggy, don't let her sleep continually until she is no longer woozie. They can go to sleep and with anesthesia still in their system some go to Rainbow Bridge for a visit and forget to come back. Wake her every 30 minutes or so until she acts normal. Offer small amounts of water at a time, and chicken baby food would be good to have on hand for a day or so after the surgery. Keep her warm, and keep checking that she's comfy, not to hot or too cold. As the anesthesia wears off she'll be better able to maintain her own temperature.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:28 AM   #13
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Thumbs up Great post kjc!

I'm very fortunate to have a great vet hospital just down the street from me & all mine got spayed & neutered there. They do keep them there overnight. One of Mimi's pups is right at 3 lbs & she got neutered at 9 months of age & also had her dentals (baby teeth extractions) done. I also have them microchipped...those needles are HUGE!

Maybe it's a good thing to wait awhile for Jillie's surgery, that way, you can also have her dentals done at the same time. Most Yorkie's (in my experience anyways) have their 1st heat cycle after they turn one, esp the little ones.

Mom to Hot Rod has those fantastic softee collars. Just in case she picks at her surgery site. That is another important issue. Our vet hardly leaves any scar & mine didn't touch their incision site at all!

*kjc...I would've fainted or freaked out if I saw my baby on the operating table & she almost died!!
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:48 AM   #14
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Yes! My Baby Zoey was 10 mos. The vet wanted to wait until she was 3 lbs. When the time came, I was so worried and nervous and thank God everything went well and she did great.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:20 PM   #15
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Wow, lots of good advice! Thanks.
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