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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21260
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My boyfriend recently adopted a stray cat. However, we recently

Resolved Question:

My boyfriend recently adopted a stray cat. However, we recently thought she might be pregnant and took her to a vet. She is roughly 6-8 pregnant. He wants to spay her, but I am unsure due to the ethical situation of aborting at a late stage of the pregnancy. Apparently there are only a few vets in my area who will proceed with spaying at this point due to ethical concerns.
Are the fetuses fully formed at this point? And how dangerous would it be to proceed with spaying for the cat at this point? I am having a bit of an ethical dilemma regarding it. My roommate and family have said they will help me out if we take in the stray and kittens, and help me find homes for them, but my boyfriend is pretty much in a strop with me right now! I'd like to be fully informed before proceeding with a decision either way.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

As a cat pregnancy is only 9 weeks long, 6-8 weeks would be getting into the cat's third trimester and these kittens will be quite developed already. They would not be mature enough to live if removed early (since we still need a bit more time for full lung development if they were closer to 6 weeks) but they will already be nearly recognizable as kittens. As well, if they are >6 weeks, then they will already have developed spinal columns and bones that could be seen on xray. And if they are closer to the 8 week mark, they will also have fur.

As well, while not nice to mention, I do have to note that since they are likely >6 weeks on in development, removal during spaying would likely have to follow with the vet actually injecting euthanasia solution to end their lives (as opposed to early stage fetuses that would die with uterus removal).

Finally, in regards ***** ***** to Scrawn, it does tend to be a more daunting surgery since the uterus will be bigger and have a larger blood supply. That said, since the uterus is going to be much larger then usual, we do tend to take a midline approach (as we do with dogs) instead of a flank spay approach. And this makes access/removal of the uterus more straight forward and actually can make ligating blood vessels during surgery easier. So, it is a bigger surgery but it isn't one that would put her at significantly more risk (as we change our approaches) then a regular spay would.

So, this will be a case in doing what you feel best doing and can live with. Scrawn will have similar risk with either choice, so it is an ethical but also personal choice for you both.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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