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Hi everyone! First I want to say how much I appreciate having this outlet to come to whenever I have questions - y'all are so helpful, and with Stella being my first dog, you're such a great resource!!

I have an appointment to get Stella spayed on Friday and I have a few questions about it. First off, she'll be a little over 5 and a half months at that time - in y'alls opinion, is that an okay age to get her spayed? The vet highly suggested getting her spayed before 6 months, but I just feel like she is still my baby (well of course she is!), she's already nearly 6 pounds so she's not tiny compared to some other maltese, but I still feel like she's so little!

And second, I'm planning on dropping her off about 7:30 am and then picking her up around 3:30-4 (Depending on work). I'm sure I'll get some instructions from the vet when I pick her up, but what sort of things should I have ready for her, what should I do with her when I get her home? She is crate trained and loves her crate - should I put her in there to sleep or keep her out in the living room with me or wherever I am? And will she be okay sleeping in her crate all night by herself?

Thanks for your help - Stella is my first dog I've ever been completely responsible for and I'm just so worried about taking her for her first surgery!

Thanks :)
 

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The most important consideration regarding the time to spay is whether or not she has retained baby teeth. Malts frequently need to have some teeth pulled so that the new ones will come in straight. MiMi had four teeth pulled at the time she was spayed. She was six months old. It is also a good time to have her micro-chipped if her breeder didn't already do it.
I would keep her comfortable where you can keep an eye on her for a while. I let MiMi sleep in her crate that night, but it was right next to my bed.
 

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I agree about the baby teeth. Have your vet check for retained teeth. I had Bonnie spayed at 6 months, but I can't remember if she had any baby teeth left. (Gosh, it's been so long ago!)

Go with what your vet says about picking her up. I do remember that when Bonnie was spayed, she spent the night at the vets. I have mixed feeling about this - on one hand, it may be better for her to be there overnight to keep her calm (at home she may be tempted to run around too much). On the other hand, some mommies and daddies like to have their pup home, and that's that.

One thing I would add, is to get a baby onesie and cut a hole for her tail. This may discourage her from licking/scratching her incision site.
 

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As Sylvia mentioned, it is good to have any retained baby teeth pulled at the time she is spayed -- and if she isn't microchipped, it's the perfect time to get that done too.

You really want to make certain that she's spayed prior to her first "season". I usually spay at 6 months, but it also depends on how much the fluff weighs. Since your baby is 6 lbs, it's OK to go forward with the surgery. I've had to postpone the spay on ones that are especially tiny.

She will probably be sleepy when you bring her home and this may or may not last a couple of days. Just let her rest, but remember that she may be hungry as they will have withhold food from about 6:00 - 7:00 the night before the spay. I usually give boiled chicken breast and white rice the first couple of days after surgery so that as the meds can bother the tummy.

She also may not have a poop for a couple of days after surgery due to the meds. Not unusual.

Here are the big things to think about:

1. You will not be able to bath her for about 10 days after the surgery, so make sure she has a bath the night before the surgery.

2. Make certain that you get pain meds from your Vet when you pick her up. If your Vet doesn't give any to you -- INSIST on them. Even if your baby doesn't seem to be in pain -- she may be, as dogs hide their pain well. You should have 3-5 days of pain meds. They will probably be in a syringe and you can just give to her orally. Much easier than pills. (The syringe won't have a needle -- you'll just squeeze the meds into the baby's mouth each day).

3. You want to make certain that your baby doesn't bother (chew on) her stitches. Some never do and some are real chewers. The Vet may suggest an e-collar, but most of us use premie baby onesies that you get at Walmart or Target. Just cut a small place for her tail. You will need to take the onesie off of her for her to go potty. You just want to make certain that she can't get to her stitches. She might only need to wear this for the first 2-3 days. Just make certain she isn't interested in licking or chewing the stitches.

4. And here's the hardest thing -- you'll want to try to keep her quiet for the first couple of days. It's usually very hard to do with a puppy. Just mostly want to make certain that she doesn't injure the stitches. My Lacie "milked" her spay for days and had me carry her everywhere. My Tilly wanted to play as soon as she got home. Like humans -- each fluff is different.

Guys -- it's been a while since I had a baby spayed. Did I miss anything?
 

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As Sylvia mentioned, it is good to have any retained baby teeth pulled at the time she is spayed -- and if she isn't microchipped, it's the perfect time to get that done too.

You really want to make certain that she's spayed prior to her first "season". I usually spay at 6 months, but it also depends on how much the fluff weighs. Since your baby is 6 lbs, it's OK to go forward with the surgery. I've had to postpone the spay on ones that are especially tiny.

She will probably be sleepy when you bring her home and this may or may not last a couple of days. Just let her rest, but remember that she may be hungry as they will have withhold food from about 6:00 - 7:00 the night before the spay. I usually give boiled chicken breast and white rice the first couple of days after surgery so that as the meds can bother the tummy.

She also may not have a poop for a couple of days after surgery due to the meds. Not unusual.

Here are the big things to think about:

1. You will not be able to bath her for about 10 days after the surgery, so make sure she has a bath the night before the surgery.

2. Make certain that you get pain meds from your Vet when you pick her up. If your Vet doesn't give any to you -- INSIST on them. Even if your baby doesn't seem to be in pain -- she may be, as dogs hide their pain well. You should have 3-5 days of pain meds. They will probably be in a syringe and you can just give to her orally. Much easier than pills. (The syringe won't have a needle -- you'll just squeeze the meds into the baby's mouth each day).

3. You want to make certain that your baby doesn't bother (chew on) her stitches. Some never do and some are real chewers. The Vet may suggest an e-collar, but most of us use premie baby onesies that you get at Walmart or Target. Just cut a small place for her tail. You will need to take the onesie off of her for her to go potty. You just want to make certain that she can't get to her stitches. She might only need to wear this for the first 2-3 days. Just make certain she isn't interested in licking or chewing the stitches.

4. And here's the hardest thing -- you'll want to try to keep her quiet for the first couple of days. It's usually very hard to do with a puppy. Just mostly want to make certain that she doesn't injure the stitches. My Lacie "milked" her spay for days and had me carry her everywhere. My Tilly wanted to play as soon as she got home. Like humans -- each fluff is different.

Guys -- it's been a while since I had a baby spayed. Did I miss anything?
Perfect advice -- this ought to be "stickied" in the Matlese Health forum. Maybe one of the Mods could do that. :whistle::innocent:
 

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I think most of your questions have been answered well. :)
Such a great forum, so much good advice.
So not much to add except,
Make sure your vet does pre-op blood work.
And bring a secure carrier for the car ride home.
 

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I have an additional question to add here, on this sticky, so I hope that's ok!

Has anyone ever been turned down by their vets for spaying? I have been m.i.a. on SM for a while now because everything has gone fine with Misto, my little girl. But we have gone to 3 vets who all said no to spaying her, saying she was under their weight minimum. The thing is, is she is 15 months old now, and still 2 pounds. She hasn't grown for some time now.

What additional concerns should I vocalize to the specialist we are seeing next week? What are the extra dangers because of her size-- is that the main concern? I am still unsure why the vets I went to said no.

Thanks for any advice!!
 

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I have an additional question to add here, on this sticky, so I hope that's ok!

Has anyone ever been turned down by their vets for spaying? I have been m.i.a. on SM for a while now because everything has gone fine with Misto, my little girl. But we have gone to 3 vets who all said no to spaying her, saying she was under their weight minimum. The thing is, is she is 15 months old now, and still 2 pounds. She hasn't grown for some time now.

What additional concerns should I vocalize to the specialist we are seeing next week? What are the extra dangers because of her size-- is that the main concern? I am still unsure why the vets I went to said no.

Thanks for any advice!!
Well geez, they should have given you a reason more than her size. Did they do blood work prior to? They actually do and should. I know shelters, and not that I agree with this, but their rule of them is 8 weeks, 2 pounds.

My vet goes by their teeth and age. Ana is 3 pds 3 ounces at going on 7 months. Two pounds is small, but still I would really want some blood work done, if they have not already.

Also, SM helped me, with using baby onesies, for when they come home. I turned in backwards, cut a whole out for the tail, and then would open it for potty time. This really helped them completely not lick their insicion. By day 3, they were so used to wearing the onesies, they forgot about their insicion, and I rolled it up to their tummies.
Here is a picture of Leo recovering with his baby onesie on

IMG_2847.JPG

More importantly though, seriously, I would want a much better explanation, further guidance from the vet/s instead of just turning you away. Perhaps they did, I don't know. Blood work is very important, so I would make sure that is done, if you have not already.
 

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I have heard that from other posters, that the pup is too small. We had a vet on the forum who has said that's rubbish - vets operate on hamsters! I would call around before visiting more vets and spending the money on an office call. Maybe another poster will chime on who knows more about that (Jackie! Please help!).

Good luck.
 

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I have heard that from other posters, that the pup is too small. We had a vet on the forum who has said that's rubbish - vets operate on hamsters! I would call around before visiting more vets and spending the money on an office call. Maybe another poster will chime on who knows more about that (Jackie! Please help!).

Good luck.
Linda I agree as well, that's rubbish. Maybe the vets don't feel qualified enough, and then they shouldn't do the spay. Yes, search for vets that specialize in smaller breeds.
 

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Thanks for the insight-- I agree that if you can spay hamsters, they can definitely spay my dog! But in retrospect, I am happy they didn't say they could spay her if they didn't feel confident. I would have hated for them to take her and my money for the operation and then have something go wrong. I will definitely have blood work done on her-- what should they look for in her blood work? We are consulting with this super-hard-to-get-an-appointment-with specialist next week.
 

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Thanks for the insight-- I agree that if you can spay hamsters, they can definitely spay my dog! But in retrospect, I am happy they didn't say they could spay her if they didn't feel confident. I would have hated for them to take her and my money for the operation and then have something go wrong. I will definitely have blood work done on her-- what should they look for in her blood work? We are consulting with this super-hard-to-get-an-appointment-with specialist next week.

For my babies they ran a full CBC (complete blood count) a week prior. Your baby is adorable. Some others may also advise of other types of blood work, but I had the CBC done. I am so glad you are seeing a specialist, it is worth the wait. My Mia was up and walking (although like a cow girl) the very next day. From my experience it takes the girls a full two weeks, to heal, (the insicion) and the boys one week. But, they really do feel okay as each day goes. It's a scarey time I know, mostly just having to leave them there, I hate that, but once they are back in your arms, you feel so much better. I got carrier bassinets for my two. I put them in it for the ride home, and that's where they slept. It helped alot, but you don't have to do that, it just worked for me.

LEO AFTER OPERATION.jpg

Here is the little bassinet carrier. It's just something that made it easy for me, especially since I had two done at the same time.
 

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Thanks for the info! I will definitely ask for the CBC then at this appointment. And the bassinet and onesies sound like great ideas, thanks everyone!

Honestly, I am more concerned about complications after the surgery. Since she is so small, any loss of appetite and throwing up or diarrhea sends her sugar levels into shock, so I will be watching her like a hawk!

I will say, it'll be nice to not have her humping every stuffed animal I give her, and no more little red droplets on the floor! I hate that I couldn't resolve this before her first heat cycle.
 

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Christine, that picture is too cute for words!
Aww Linda it seems like yesterday. I am so glad I did both the same time and all of you helped me with that.

Thanks for the info! I will definitely ask for the CBC then at this appointment. And the bassinet and onesies sound like great ideas, thanks everyone!

Honestly, I am more concerned about complications after the surgery. Since she is so small, any loss of appetite and throwing up or diarrhea sends her sugar levels into shock, so I will be watching her like a hawk!

I will say, it'll be nice to not have her humping every stuffed animal I give her, and no more little red droplets on the floor! I hate that I couldn't resolve this before her first heat cycle.

You be sure to ask your specialist about that. Mia and Leo weren't so small, but that's why I boiled the chicken breast, so they could smell it, and gave them little pieces of it. They tell you, at least they told me, not to feed them that night, but my little ones were hungry. I don't think Diarrhea will be a problem at all. When she gets home, of course she will be groggy. But don't worry about that. Do not beat yourself up at all, for not getting your baby spayed before the first heat. That was not your fault. Have everything ready, for when she comes home. And be sure to ask your vet about feeding. I understand your concern, because of her size. Many babies her size have been spayed, and did very well, you just have to have the right specialist, and you seeing one the next week, is perfect. I am sure they will go over all of it for you. Bring a pad and paper to write it all down. I know I am nervous when they are doing the pre-op instructions.Keep us updated. I also have a very good friend who is a vet, he is not my kids vet, because he is a very dear friend, but if you have any questions, I would not mind at all passing them to him. Your baby will be fine, your concerns are very understandable and you are doing all the right things. My Ana's is coming up, not quite sure when, they were looking at her teeth on Thursday, she will be 7 mos Oct 14, and she is now 3pds 3 ounces. My vet is only telling me to wait, until her big girl teeth come through in the back, as her little girl teeth in the back are still there as well. So she doesn't want to damage the big girl teeth, by pulling her baby teeth in that area. Hugs and Love.
 

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Again, thank you for all of the advice and reassurance!

All the vets just kept saying 'let's wait a couple more months for her to get bigger before we spay' and here we are, at 15 months and she still hasn't. She still has some of her baby teeth so that was something they were going to take care of while she is under anesthesia. From what I understand though, it isn't good to wait much longer, since not spaying increases the risk for breast tumors. (Someone can jump in if this isn't the case?)

When I got her, when she was almost 5 months old, she was 1 pound 14 ounces or so, so she really hasn't grown much. I was never concerned because the breeder told me she would be 2 pounds, and she always has lots of energy, eats tons, and seems healthy. I hope it isn't a separate issue she hasn't grown.

I will definitely ask about feeding-- I really don't think she could go that long without food. Ones she starts crashing, it doesn't take long before she needs something extreme like IV fluids to boost her back up. That happened back in March, I was a basket case !!

You give such good tips, I will take lots of notes and ask tons of questions.

Good luck with Ana's spay coming up as well! How much longer do you think it will before her teeth to come through in the back?
 

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Again, thank you for all of the advice and reassurance!

All the vets just kept saying 'let's wait a couple more months for her to get bigger before we spay' and here we are, at 15 months and she still hasn't. She still has some of her baby teeth so that was something they were going to take care of while she is under anesthesia. From what I understand though, it isn't good to wait much longer, since not spaying increases the risk for breast tumors. (Someone can jump in if this isn't the case?)

When I got her, when she was almost 5 months old, she was 1 pound 14 ounces or so, so she really hasn't grown much. I was never concerned because the breeder told me she would be 2 pounds, and she always has lots of energy, eats tons, and seems healthy. I hope it isn't a separate issue she hasn't grown.

I will definitely ask about feeding-- I really don't think she could go that long without food. Ones she starts crashing, it doesn't take long before she needs something extreme like IV fluids to boost her back up. That happened back in March, I was a basket case !!

You give such good tips, I will take lots of notes and ask tons of questions.

Good luck with Ana's spay coming up as well! How much longer do you think it will before her teeth to come through in the back?
Thank you sweetheart,and we all are here for you. Pulling retained baby teeth is normal. Ana has some in the back, along with her adult teeth coming in, and my vet just wants to hold off just a little longer, because is she pulls those baby teeth, all the way in the back, she is concerned about damaging her permanent teeth. But that's not something you need to worry about. That's just Ana's case. Huge hugs, and keep us updated :wub:
 

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Hi everyone! I wanted to give a little update.

Misto and I just got home from the hospital where we had our consult with the super-amazing-hard-to-get-an-appointment-with surgeon. :chili:

After having several vetrinarians decline to do the spay on Misto, based on not being confident enough, this was refreshing. It is very clear that this surgeon is a heavy-hitter and deals with the most complicated surgeries every day (brain surgery, the hardest tumors, etc.). She did address that based on Misto's size (1 pound 14 ounces today), the anesthesia and her body temperature will be the main challenges. So they are going to have a specialist in anesthesia on small dogs handle her anesthesia and be in the operating room as well.

This surgeon does not deal with basic spays and neuters-- they get passed on to more basic surgeons at this hospital. So it is comforting that I found someone amazing and capable and confident, but worrisome that she is taking Misto's case on-- it means it isn't like a basic spay, and could have complications. :unsure:

They are going to do blood tests and check for any liver problems-- the surgeon wants to make sure Misto is as small as she is just because she is a super small chihuahua, and not for another reason stunting her growth.

So, since Misto is in heat, we will be scheduling the surgery after that stops sometime in November. We will be going back before then for the tests and also to meet with the anesthesia specialist.

I am relieved I found a vet that is confident and I am confident in, but now I am even more nervous!!! I don't know how you ladies handle putting your babies under the knife. I am a wreck already. :bysmilie:
 

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Thank you. My Jewel is due for her surgery the first week in April. She's 5 pounds and 4.5 months old and I wanted to wait until she is 6 months. I don't understand a vet that says oh they won't need pain medication after a surgery. That seems wrong. I will pick up the baby tee shirts that is a GREAT idea!
 

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This is great info!

The waiting to bathe them is the hard part. They come home smelling like the dentist :p ... but it is important to wait.

For Gus I got some natural dog bath wipes and wiped him down (avoid tummy and incision area) when he got home. This seemed to help him relax more, since he smelled more "normal".

The bath wipes were our best friends until we could finally bathe him (he had complications with his neuter so it was near 4 weeks!).

And the onesie is a great idea - we had to use a dog diaper cover for Gus 1 size bigger then what he would fit in (so it wouldn't rub). Because he could get around any cones or clothing, but the diaper cover was more snug fit around belly and legs.
 
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