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Posted on 05-06-2017

 Again last week we had a reminder of why spaying and neutering, even in older pets, is so important.  It was a morning of surgeries.  We started by taking an older female dog to surgery for an emergency spay after we diagnosed a uterine infection called a pyometra.  Older, in tact females are more prone to this infection which can be life threatening.  The uterus fills with puss.  This usually makes the dog sick with loss of appetite, vomiting and sometimes foul smelling vaginal discharge.  The uterus can rupture and the puss can spill into the abdominal cavity creating a critical emergency with a poor prognosis.  We followed with a surgery on an elderly male dog who had a retained testicle (didn’t descend into the scrotum), which became cancerous.  Undescended testicles have a higher rate of becoming cancerous than their normal counterparts.  Keeping a male dog intact as he gets older predisposes him to prostatic hyperplasia-a disorder where the prostate becomes enlarged.  The enlarged prostate can obstruct urination and defection and can become cancerous or abscessed as well.  Luckily, both of our patients did well and left feeling much better.  Please spay and neuter your pets while they are young and healthy!  Talk to your veterinarian about the best time to alter your pet.

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