Can Dogs Get Spayed While Pregnant?

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Your dog is pregnant and the last thing you want is for her to get pregnant again. In fact, you really didn't want her to get pregnant in the first place.  Can you spay your dog while she is pregnant, and if you can what are the results?

Spaying involves removing your dog's reproductive organs, including the ovaries and uterus. For the most part, this a common surgical procedure with minimal risks. The only comparison in humans is a hysterectomy in which the uterus and all reproductive organs are removed permanently, preventing pregnancy.

Can Dogs Get Spayed While Pregnant?

YES!

There is an old belief that dogs cannot be spayed while they are pregnant. This is only a myth--many veterinarians will perform the procedure on a pregnant dog. The procedure will terminate the pregnancy, as it involves the complete removal of her ovaries and uterus, leaving nowhere for the pups to grow.

The procedure itself is relatively straightforward and can be done by your vet or even at a local low-cost spay/neuter clinic. Providing there are no complications, your dog should make a rapid and successful recovery.

Should I Have My Pregnant Dog Spayed?

The biggest problem associated with spaying a dog while she is pregnant is similar to that of spaying her while she is in heat. This is that everything is swollen and there is an increased risk of severe blood loss.

Most people believe there is a lot of pain involved, but your dog will be fully anesthetized and will feel no pain during the surgery. She will experience some pain during the first few days after the surgery, but if she does this will go away quickly.

For more information on spaying your dog, visit our guide to Ovariohysterectomy in Dogs .

How Do I Have My Pregnant Dog Spayed?

The vet will use a general anesthetic to ensure your dog is fully asleep before he begins. He will then make a small incision in her abdomen and surgically remove her uterus, complete with her unborn puppies, and the rest of her reproductive organs.

This is considered to be a relatively routine surgical procedure for dogs and, other than the risk of excessive bleeding, offers very little in the way of complications as long as the wound site does not become infected.

Before your vet will agree to perform the surgery, he will consider the health of your dog and the stage of her pregnancy to make sure she is a good candidate. Recovery should take no more than a few days and all you have to do is keep her quiet and prevent her from chewing or scratching the stitches and wound site to avoid infection.

The good news is that your dog should make a full recovery and return to being her normal self. Spaying will not change her personality, it will not make her lazy, and it will not make her fat. She will be the same dog your family has come to love and will go on to live a long and happy life without your having to worry about her becoming pregnant.

How Is Spaying a Pregnant Dog Similar to Spaying a Pregnant Cat?

In essence, spaying both a dog and a cat while they are pregnant is fairly common and poses very little risk to either of them. The similarities include:

  • It will terminate the pregnancy

  • It will eliminate the possibility of the animal from becoming pregnant again

  • In both cases, there is an increased risk of excessive blood loss during pregnancy

How is Spaying a Pregnant Dog Different than Spaying a Pregnant Cat?

There are very few differences between spaying a pregnant dog and a pregnant cat, beyond the differences in their basic anatomy. Each will recover fully from the surgery and go on to lead a life, in which you nor they should ever have to worry about them being pregnant.

The one thing you have to do for a cat that you don’t have to do for a dog is to keep the litter box extremely clean to reduce the risk of infection in the area of the wound.

Case Study

You never planned for your dog to become pregnant, but did not manage to get her spayed before it was too late. Now she is pregnant and you don't want the puppies. While there are several methods of terminating her pregnancy including drugs such as prolactin which is a dopamine antagonist, epostane, and Mifepristone (RU486), the most common form of termination is spaying. This is because it will not only terminate the pregnancy, it will also eliminate the risk of your dog becoming pregnant again.

The vet does the surgery and sends you both home to recover. Your dog is a bit slow moving around for the first few days but makes a full recovery. You can relax knowing you won't have a litter of unwanted puppies to deal with and that your dog will not become pregnant again.