I know there are differences of opinions. But here goes, I want to have my puppy spayed but I have been told that it is better to let her go through one heat before spaying???
Any valid data??? I have an intact male so I have to be careful if I choose to wait for the first heat
Spaying a dog before her first heat is the best way to significantly reduce the chance your dog will develop certain cancers. Most vets will recommend this and will spay around 6-8 months of age. In a large breed dog, I'd do it as early as 4 months.
Last edited by cjmeck; 12-06-2009 at 10:58 AM.
You have opened up a discussion that cycles through here frequently. I have found there are two major camps on the issue. Before first heat, and after first heat. I have read several articles and studies and they are loaded with conflicting data. The data, as I interpret it indicates that the occurrance of some cancers is reduced if before first heat, and other cancers if after first heat.
I don't think there is a right answer. Some believe that it is wrong to spay, or neuter, before sexual maturity is reached. It has the potential to affect bone and muscle development negatively. Most vets around here recommend spaying at 6 months. I questioned the impact on bone and muscle development and they confirmed the potential, but stayed with their position because of specific cancer risk that is reduced. When challenged on the other data indicating more serious cancers are reduced if spayed after first heat, I got denial or a response that there are no guarantees either way.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
You'll hear both sides....some on each side quite adamantly. You'll find tons of data to back up each side.
I say just spay whenever it best suits you, your lifestyle, your pocketbook, and your schedule. Maybe with an intact male, it would be best to spay before the first heat. Again, whatever suits you best.
Waiting for physical maturity (not sexual) means that the puppy has the benefit of developing normally and the increased risk of cancer is so miniscule as to be not worth mentioning.
When you spay a dog at 6 months or less (which I have done) it keeps the growth plates open longer which will make for a lankier adult. This can potentially have some effect on the possibility that they will develop joint issues. However - those same females I spayed early had no joint issues develop at all. So - again risk may not be all that great.
If you have an intact male around you should absolutely spay her before the first heat.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
I spay Cinnamon at 6 month. If I had to do it over again I would probably wait till after her first cycle and do it at a year. Because she is lanky but I don't care she is a pet not a show dog. I figure I know so little that I would listen to some of the experts here that I trust and wait.
But with an intact male I think I would do it before her first cycle unless there is someone one of them can go visit for the days she is fertile . She is not her whole cycle. Some of the breeders here can tell you what days those are and how to determine them if you are interested.
Karon and Cinnamon
I waited to neuter Blaise (and have not yet done it) because I wanted to have him develop fully first. He'll be a year old next week. He has also not exhibited any behavioral issues related to being intact so I have no pressure on me otherwise. And he will be neutered before long - probably sometime in March.
Diesel is VERY lanky - and he was neutered at 6 months before I got him. He looks like he is on stilts - actually comical comparing him to Blaise. He is at least 3 inches taller at the shoulder.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
I with Nancy about doing when it is right for you.
My personal opinion is to wait until at least a year. For me having had 2 dogs suffer from joint disease and bone cancer it is not something I will risk even if there is a shred of evidence.
Kassa was spayed at 7 months. Bone cancer of the jaw took her at the age of 3. I very much doubt if this is related, but know what bone cancer does to a dog. In the 5 years I have been with the bone cancer group have learned there is evidence that can't be ignored in Rotties that spaying too early does make a difference.
I adopted Ernie wehn he was 3. He was spayed at 12 weeks- heavens knows why- and he has serious H.D and joint issues. Hip dislpaysia is bred and his life style before I got him. Who knows if the early spay made a difference.
Both Kassa and Ernie stayed short and stocky.
I've heard both sides, too, but when I adopted Abbey, I was on a spay/neuter contract that had to have her spayed before a certain date. I don't remember exactly how old she was, but I believe it was around 6 months.
Abbey does have a recessed vulva, which the vets at the humane society neglected to ever mention and I didn't know to look for as she was my first female dog. Sometimes it can correct itself if a dog goes through 1 heat cycle, so I would have liked to have known before having her spayed. Now I have to keep an eye on her to watch for signs of infection, and if that happens a bunch of times I will have to consider doing an episioplasty, which corrects that problem.
So there are pros and cons to both- I would talk to your vet and see what his/her advice is. The vet I work for generally says before the first heat cycle, but it depends on the dog, their health, etc.
Personally, I'd wait until she's closer to a year. If you're going to be doing performance/field work with her, you especially want her to have the hormones there until she's full grown. If you're boy is over 18mo, I'd neuter him now and let your girl grow up a bit.