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Animals that are already spay?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
A bit of an odd question, but I'm curious as to how often this happens to people that take in strays (not ferals) or in shelters.

Just how common, or uncommon, is it to come across a female dog or cat (or other animals) with an unknown history that's already spay?
Who's had it happen? Where you surprised or did you sort of suspect it? What was your vet's reaction?


I'm mostly curious because my intuition was telling me a recent female cat I took in was already spay - but I believed the chances of this happening are very likely low. More so in an area where most pets do not get regular vet care..
The poor vet just called to say he looked and looked just to be sure, but it turns out my hunch actually was correct. He sounded a bit surprised and must have been taken aback because usually a tech calls me to say an animal made it through surgery fine.
post #2 of 22
My sister adopted a Dog from the pound and they said she was spayed but she was not.
She went in heat.
It does happen.
My vet checks for scars and will do a ultraound if they do not see a scar..
post #3 of 22
Gus is a stray, he's been around longer then I've lived here (about three and half years) and he's neutered.
post #4 of 22
My oldest cat was stray, abandoned by neighbors. When I took her to the vet to be spayed, he told me after looking in her mouth that she was older than I thought (I thought she was about 5 or 6 months old, she turned out to be full grown and had bad teeth), and he shaved her abdomen and found a spay scar. I was very surprised.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kscatlady View Post
Gus is a stray, he's been around longer then I've lived here (about three and half years) and he's neutered.
Adult males are easy to tell if you're very familiar with cats (and dogs)... unless there's so much fur back there that you can't see anything. lol
I have two neighbor cats that visit me daily, both are very obviously neutered and unfortunately front declawed.

Pounds lying or not having proper information doesn't surprise me.


The vet claimed he couldn't find any spay scars, that she must have been done fairly early. This cat is half bald on her belly and part of her chest, so had there been a scar she wouldn't even need to be shaved to find it.

tuxedokitties - You're lucky they found the scar! I knew this kitty was probably 2-3, or even 4 years old (hunch again) but her teeth actually look wonderful, like those of a much younger cat. I'm guessing your female kitty was somewhat small, which probably led you to believe she was young?


Anyone else find already spay animals?
post #6 of 22
I know a vet that missed all getting "all" of it when a female cat was spayed and so she kept going into heat again until anther procedure was done to remove everything.
My Sphynx has a bald belly and you can't even tell she was spayed. She was spayed as an adult, a young adult, so not too young. Her scar healed really quick.
post #7 of 22
Aww it sux the kitty had to go through another spay ..I don't think it's common for a stray to be spayed...
post #8 of 22
My two were picked up, separately, as strays by Animal Care & Control - both had been neutered. Actually, both had been declawed, so, if nothing else, you could certainly think that they both had families. They were about 3-4 when I got them (both had spent about 4-6 months at the pound, since so many will look for kittens first, and Dharma is a solid grey, and Dante black -apparently not always the first colors people look for). Oh, well, their loss, my gain.
post #9 of 22
I found a stray male long haired cat that was fixed usually it's cause someone dumps their pet or it gets lost but nobody knows it's lost.
post #10 of 22
Happened to us!

We took in Miss Kitty & we're 100% she's been exposed to toms but never come into heat or had kittens. We're not really interested in paying the vet just to find out but we're 99% she's been spayed

We're also really sure she was either dumped or we stole someone's cat Oh well, she likes us better!
post #11 of 22
Of the many stray cats and dogs that have crossed my path, only 1 was spayed. That was our OTB Shep who wandered up to our house about 18 years ago. That was actually really convenient (for a change).
post #12 of 22
Mungo Jerry was nuetered and front declawed when he turned up. He has so much hair that until I got some of the mats out frim around his back end we thought he was just the biggest female we'd ever seen.
post #13 of 22
when I got Artemis the girl told me she needed to be spayed but I took her in and she had a spay scar, the girl told me she got Arty at a farm so I have no idea how she ended up spayed
post #14 of 22
one of mine that i 'found' was already spayed and a friend that adopted one of my parkinglot strays that i feed it was spayed. my neighbor found an adult female in the parkinglot at work, adopted it and the vet told her she was spayed. she managed to sneak out one night, was gone 2 days and 2 months later had a kitten.
my neighbor kept the kitten too and got the mom fixed, but by a different vet.
post #15 of 22
Seeing all the stray cats & dogs that come through the shelter here, only about 5 - 10% are already spayed. That's 50 - 100 out of 1,000.
post #16 of 22
It's farily common. I used to work as a vet tech for animal control so I saw a lot of altared animals come in that were already fixed. It's VERY easy to tell on the male dogs and cats and for the female dogs and cats even if they look spayed (no sagging udders or enlarged reproductive parts) we would just shave their bellies and check for spay scars or tattoos.

By the way, if anyone is considering having their cat or dog spayed- PLEASE request a spay tattoo as well- it's just a line of tattoo ink that goes underneath their stitches. Each animal shelter/hospital has their own color in our area so we can always tell where they had surgery at (when I worked for AC, our color was teal green, another shelters was blue, and so on.) This way if someone is checking for a spay scar- it is VERY visible because it's tattooed. Sometimes when animals are spayed at a young age, if the doctor is experienced and makes a small incision- it can heal so well that a scar is bairly visible....so as a result sometimes if the animal winds up in a shelter or rehomed, the vet might accidently open the already spayed animal up again because the scar is unnoticable. Spay tattoos drastically cut down on that!
post #17 of 22
Cleo was spayed last November as a kitten and this is what her scar looks like now.

Sasha was lapo spayed so it is 3 dots not a scar.
It looks like this.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
It's farily common. I used to work as a vet tech for animal control so I saw a lot of altared animals come in that were already fixed.
Were they all coming in as strays, though? I can only guess this poor cat was tossed out due to behavior/biting or possibly her skin problems (suspect bad allergies/possible EGC) make her look like she could have something contagious. ...She's saggy down there, just looking at her you would have thought she was a pregnant cat. I had to ply her with food to get her to trust me...

The vet I use doesn't ink the incisions or tattoo pets - livestock can be tattooed.

I was very curious what shelters see percentage wise. 50-100 out of a 1,000 actually sounds like quite a few, but than I live in a rural area where pets are viewed a bit differently (see a current IMO thread that sums it up fairly well). I would honestly be surprised if half of the pets on my street, which is a nicer one, are altered - it's probably closer to less than a quarter.

No one answered if their vets are ever surprised by this.


mews2much - Tell Cleo that I'm jealous! She healed better from her lapo than I did the from the one for my cholecystectomy.
post #19 of 22
That is Sasha that had the lapo spay.
Cleo had it done the regular and she has a scar.
post #20 of 22
Back when I lived in Alabama, I took in a stray dog. (My molly girl had been badly beaten and starved, as she was a redbone "hunting dog", and she had been shot, as well. She was so happy with me I couldn't re-home her. ) The vet had been after me to get her spayed from the first time I brought her in, but I told him it shouldn't be necessary. She never went into heat and she had a knotted line under her skin where a spay scar would be, even though there was no scar. When I went to get the last of her shots, I left her for the day, since I had classes that day, and when I got back, the vet had decided to do a "free" spay for me, but discovered she'd already been spayed. The vet felt really stoopid, and I changed vets shortly after this. Molly took weeks to trust me as she healed.
post #21 of 22
[QUOTEPounds lying or not having proper information doesn't surprise me.

][/quote]

Exactly. When we adopted our Sheltie Pepper from the local pound she was 2 y/o and her former owner insisted she had been spayed, but that they had no record of it. How they didn't know who had done the procedure is beyond me. Anyway, the policy at the shelter is that all animals must be neutered, so we had to pay for the surgery only to have the vet agree that she had, indeed, been spayed already.
Of all the female cats we've taken in over the years, only 1 had been spayed. She wasn't a stray, at first---her owner lived a couple of houses away. He had her spayed and let her roam, still sporting some awful looking stitches. After a couple of months he moved and left her behind, so I guess technically she became a stray for a short period of time.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamhainBorn View Post
When I went to get the last of her shots, I left her for the day, since I had classes that day, and when I got back, the vet had decided to do a "free" spay for me, but discovered she'd already been spayed. The vet felt really stoopid, and I changed vets shortly after this. Molly took weeks to trust me as she healed.
He did this without your permission!!!!! I would have changed vets too!
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