October 18, 2011
White Dog looked at me and said, "That is ONE thing you humans seem to have over us dogs." "What is that?" I asked. "Menopause," she whispered back trying not to wake Puff who was sleeping right next to us. "An end to your reproductive days; a time to just enjoy the pleasures in life without the uncomfortable cycle or threat of bearing children."
She continued, "Can you imagine what it would be like to give birth to a human infant when you are 69 years old?" I shuddered. "Having to deal with nursing and training and the constant demands of a wee one? And usually it is not just one pup."
I stood and we tiptoed to the other room where we could continue without waking the haunted SAWD. "I know,Little One, that is one of the many reasons we had you all spayed. But poor Puff came from being a breeder and the last thing they consider at a Puppy Mill is the reproductive well-being of their mammas. But Puff was again dealt a bad blow when she was rescued at 12 and was heart worm positive. She was old and so very sick that permanent damage was done. Now we want to spay her but Dr. Julia advises against it because of she is not sure Puff's lungs and constitution could handle the surgery."
"Isn't there birth control for us female pups," White Dog persisted. "I read on line that that there are." I explained that the oral contraceptives, a liquid and a pill both rely on accurately dating the start of the cycle or require longer medication time which adds to the risk and side effects. Both may cause mammary cancer and have been proven to increase UTIs. There is a risk of liver damage and personality changes. The risks are not worth the benefit. And surgical options like tubal ligation introduce the same issues as spaying in terms of anesthesia, infection, and stress to the body.
"So poor Puff is doomed to go through this every six months for the rest of her life?" White Dog asked, eyes wide. "This couldn't happen to me, could it?"
"Puff will follow nature's course, sometimes as a dog ages, cycles become less frequent and shorter in duration. We will do our best to be sure she is as comfortable as possible and safe from unneutered boys. The good news is that YoYoMa is not as crazy as he was when he first got here and she was in heat. Believe me, momma understands, I was once a fertile bitch, too. As for you, White One, you will never experience what your sister is going through. Be thankful but also be compassionate."