The vet I take Millie to are husband and wife team...The husband told me to spay around 9mos and a few weeks later the wife toild me around 6-7 mos(now) so Im a bit confused?I was thinking closer to 9 mos as she seems so puppy still, but not sure so any info is appreciated,Thanks.
I would say after their first heat.
We had Raven spayed at 6 months. That is what our vet and breeder told us. There is differing research some says to wait until after the first heat but most of it that I read advocates for BEFORE the first heat because it greatly lowers the risk of cancer. Any where between 6-9 I'm sure would be fine.
Well she had puppy vaginitis for a while (havent seen it lately)and I had read here that it may be a good idea to wait until after the first heat in that case...So I asked her about it and she said"no that getting it done before there first heat made it less likely they would develope female cancers" etc..Originally Posted by Ender's Mom
I really havent been pleased by these vets but they are friendly,just kind of young and somewhat expensive...We used this vet office for years and they just changed ownership before I got Millie.I took her to another vet last week for conjunctivitis,they did fine but I felt like the guy was very brief,he was just like "yeah conjuctivitis,heres some eyedrops cya"..
Ok good thanks for the reply,so I guess generally should I be expecting a first heat soon?Originally Posted by rayofsun
Ask your breeder... she/he will probably have the best idea when their female dogs go into heat. (some can be as late as 2 years old!)Originally Posted by DogFish71
Also... I thought I read that the risks of cancer were not all that great if you wait after the first heat, but the risks of infections and such were higher if spayed before the first heat. I could be wrong. I would do what your breeder tells you though... they know their dogs best.
I wouldn't say you should be expecting the first heat soon...It kind of depends on genetics. Some are as early as 6 months some not until 12 or later. If you have an idea of when your puppy's mom had hers, that is around when you can expect it. We didn't wait for the first heat, that is just not something I was interested in going through. Do a search on this site for similar questions like yours and you will find a lot of threads with good advice, either way.
LINKY The cancer that they could be at risk for is mammary cancer but in Labs, the risk for mammary cancer is low compared to other breeds.From HEREMammary Cancer
Tumors of the canine mammary gland are common. They comprise 52% of all tumors in the intact female dog and occur most often between 10 and 11 years of age. The breeds most highly represented are spaniels, terriers, German shepherds as well as toy and miniature poodles. Mammary gland tumors are often associated with early estrogen exposure. "The risk for tumor development is associated with estrogen exposure during the first few years of life and that has a significant importance when it comes to preventing these tumors" said Dr. Karin Sorenmo, assistant professor of oncology. When a dog is spayed before the first estrus, she has a 0.5% chance of developing breast cancer later in life. If she is spayed before the second estrus there is an 8% chance of developing breast cancer, and spaying after the third estrus -- or any estrus thereafter -- increases the likelihood of mammary cancer to 26%. In dogs that were spayed in addition to having the tumor removed the median survival was 659 days. Whereas, dogs that were left intact after their treatment surgery had a median survival of only 198 days.
The relationship between estrogen and mammary cancer in canines is also important because there are similarities with estrogen and breast cancer in women. Women with breast cancer are usually middle aged to older -- the same age distribution seen in dogs. The most common types of tumors in dogs are the same as those found in women. Canine estrogen positive tumors respond to hormonal therapy by removing the ovaries. Estrogen positive tumors in women respond to Tamoxifen which is an anti-estrogen. Both dogs with mammary gland tumors and women with breast cancer can be treated very effectively if the tumors are small and there is no evidence of metastasis. And both canine and human patients with large primary tumors or metastatic tumors are at high risk for dying from the disease. "I think that dogs can provide some very interesting and valuable models for this disease in women" said Dr. Sorenmo.
It has been reported that about half of the dogs with mammary gland tumors will actually have multiple masses. The caudal glands are affected more frequently. Mammary tumors can feel firm, soft or thickened and vary widely in size. They may be ulcerated, inflamed or edematous and one cannot determine if they are malignant or benign from these signs. "The good thing is that even though this is a very common type of tumor in the intact female dog, half are likely to be benign." To obtain a diagnosis, a wide-margin excisional is performed if the surgical margins are clean this is also the treatment of choice for the primary tumor. However, it is necessary to first evaluate the patient's general health through blood analysis and to look for possible systemic spread of the cancer with chest radiographs. If there is lymph node involvement then the risk for developing distant metastasis in the lungs is much higher.
Once the tumor type has been determined from the biopsy, and the extent of disease has been determined by one work-up, it is possible to suggest an outcome as well as an appropriate treatment. Several good retrospective studies indicate that survival rates are higher for dogs with small tumors. Tumors that are made up of well differentiated cells are likely to have a better prognosis than tumors that are anaplastic and have a high mitotic index. Invasive tumors can be more likely to metastasize than encapsulated ones. In general, tumors that have metastasized, have a much poorer prognosis.
The best treatment option is surgical resection. If the tumor is small it can be effectively treated with a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. A large tumor or tumors in multiple glands require a broad approach -- regional or radical mastectomy -- in order to remove all the malignant tissues at the primary site. It is thought that the progression of these tumors is dependent upon the presence of estrogen and an ovariohysterectomy -- removal of the ovaries -- makes it less likely that the tumor will continue to grow. Chemotherapy is indicated in dogs that have multiple negative prognostic factors and lymph node metastasis. More work needs to be undertaken in this area because there are no controlled studies to document the effectiveness of adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery in dogs with high risk mammary gland tumors.
The owner has a significant role in preventing canine mammary gland tumors through early detection. All tumors start out small and often appear insidiously. Therefore, it is important for the owner to either examine their dog's glands or provide for regular veterinary check ups. There is one retrospective study from the University of Pennsylvania that found 95% of dogs with mammary gland tumors were likely to be overweight during their first year of life. By feeding a balanced diet, spaying early and providing regular examination of the mammary glands, the pet owner may significantly reduce the chances of tumor development. All tumors should be removed and biopsied because early treatment is crucial for a good outcome. Do not watch and wait.
I always have my females altered by 6 months before their first heat and my males altered before 6 months if I have rescued that young - canine or feline. Sarah will go for her spay next month at the age of 5 months.
Coleman - CGC blk lab 6/02/97-2/25/08 adopted
Tootsie - choc lab 10/19/99-8/03/13 adopted
Bailey - CGC newf/fc 7/12/00-07/15/14 rescued
Ginger - BT 11/16/05 rescued
Sarah - blk lab 6/22/06 rescued
rescued felines - AJ - 8/00 - 1/11, Merlin - 5/20/05, Tucker - 8/3/10, Penny - 7/7/13
My contract says 9-14 months for females and 14-18 months for males.
Some of these articles might be redundant but are the latest in why its important not to spay/neuter early.Early spaying/neutering
From "Gonadectomy in immature dogs Effects on skeletal, physical and behavioral development", JAVMA April 1, 1991, Vol. 198 No 7, Salmeri et al. pp 1193-1203.
Summary In a 15-month study, the effects of prepubertal gonadectomy on skeletal growth, weight gain, food intake, body fat, secondary sex characteristics and behavioral development were investigated in 32 dogs. Male and female pups from 5 litters were randomly allotted to 3 groups group I neuter at 7 weeks (n=14), group II neuter at 7 months (n=8) and group III, sexually intact dogs (n=10).
Growth plate closure was delayed (group I vs. group III; group II vs. group III) in all neutered dogs as compared with sexually intact dogs. Growth plate closure was delayed longer (group I vs. group II) in dogs neutered at 7 weeks old compared to dogs neutered at 7 months old. The rate of growth was unaffected by gonadectomy, but the extended growth period resulted in greater final radial/ulnar length in all male dogs and bitches neutered at 7 weeks. Gonadectomy did not influence food intake, weight gain, or back-fat depth. Penile development was immature in the adult group-I males (Mean +- SEM diameter of pars glandis = 11.1 +- 1.0 mm) compared with the adult group II (16.3 +- 0.5mm) and group III (21.0 +- 2.2 mm) males. Subjectively, the prepuce and os penis of the group-I males were immature, compared with those of the group II and group III males. Vulvar development in the group I and group II bitches was less mature than vulvar development in the sexually intact bitches. Of 7 behavioral characteristics assessed, only general activity and excitability rated differently among the treatment groups. All neutered dogs were judged to be more active than sexually intact dogs. Group I males were judged to be more excitable than group III males. It was concluded that with respect to skeletal, physical, and behavioral development, the effect of neutering pups at 7 weeks old was similar to that of neutering pups at 7 months old.
J Am Vet Med Assoc February 1, 2004 (Vol. 224, No. 3)
Long-term risks and benefits of early-age gonadectomy in dogs
C. Victor Spain, DVM, PhD; Janet M. Scarlett, DVM, PhD; Katherine A. Houpt, VMD, PhD, DACVB *
Results Among female dogs, early-age gonadectomy was associated with increased rate of cystitis and decreasing age at gonadectomy was associated with increased rate of urinary incontinence. Among male and female dogs with early-age gonadectomy, hip dysplasia, noise phobias, and sexual behaviors were increased.
Also see: http://www.littleriverlabs.com/neuter.htmhttp://ravenwooddals.tripod.com/cancer.htm See section VI - Osteosarcoma. From this link:
Osteosarcoma tends to affect larger breeds with a slight increase in incidence with age. Males are more likely to be affected than are females. And since neutered dogs and bitches have twice the risk of developing the disease as compared to intact dogs, hormonal factors are thought to play a role.
.......As in human children, development of bone cancer in dogs is related to rapid bone growth. It is postulated that strenuous activity causing microscopic fractures of bones during periods of rapid growth induces cancer formation. Since taller dogs have a longer growth period than smaller ones, they are exposed to the risk of getting the cancer for a longer period of time. Likewise, heavier dogs are more likely to stress their developing bones leading to the microscopic fractures that start the tumor development process.
Vet J 1998 Jul;156(1):31-9
Host related risk factors for canine osteosarcoma.
Ru G, Terracini B, Glickman LT.
Department of Animal Pathology, University of Turin, Italy. [email protected]
A case-control study using the Veterinary Medical Data Base (VMDB) was conducted to test the hypothesis that increasing height and increasing weight are important risk factors for osteosarcoma in dogs. The role of other host factors was also explored. The cases comprised 3062 purebred dogs with histologically or radiographically confirmed osteosarcoma admitted to 24 veterinary teaching hospitals in the United States and Canada between 1980 and 1994. The controls were 3959 purebred dogs with other diagnoses obtained randomly by frequency matching to cases for institution and year of diagnosis. The risk of osteosarcoma rose with increasing age, increasing body weight, increasing standard weight and increasing standard height. Compared with the German Shepherd breed, the highest risk of osteosarcomas was found for large and giant breeds, while small breeds had reduced risks. A twofold excess risk was observed among neutered dogs. Adjustment of risk estimates for standard height adjusted for standard weight, and vice versa, showed a stronger and more consistent association of osteosarcoma with increasing height than increasing weight.
And one last one:
Influence of Gender and timing of Gonadectomy on risk for appendicular bone sarcoma in Rottweilers
Cooley DM, Beranek B, Glickman LT, Waters DJ.
Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and Veterinary Pathobiology Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907
Background: The role of sex hormones in bone sarcomagenesis has not been extensively studied. In a previous study using the Veterinary Medical Database (VMDB), Ru et al. (Vet J 1998:156 ??-39) found a significantly increased risk for osteosarcoma in castrated males and spayed females compared with sexually intact dogs. However, this VMDB-based study could not evaluate whether age at neutering significantly influenced osteosarcoma risk. Purpose: To determine if gender or lifetime duration of gonadal exposure influences the risk for appendicular bone sarcoma in Rottweilers. Methods: Data were obtained from owners of 746 purebred Rottweilers as part of a nationwide, population based study. Each dog owner completed a questionnaire regarding gender neuter status, age at spay or castration, bone tumor occurence, age at diagnosis, current vital status and age of death. The incidence of appendicular bone sarcoma per 1000 dog years at risk was determined for intact males, castrated males, intact females, and spayed females. The relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence limit of appendicular bone sarcoma was calculated by dividing the incidence rate for each gender-neuter category by the incidence rate for intact males (reference category; rr=1.0). For males and females, the influence of lifetime exposure to gonadal hormones on bone sarcoma was determined by comparison of the incidence of four subgroups stratified by age at neutering. Results: Appendicular bone sarcoma affected 111 of 746 (14.9%) Rottweilers. The RR for bone sarcoma was 1.64 for castrated males, 1.36 for spayed females and 1.04 for intact females. Females spayed at <1 year of age had a significantly increased risk for appendicular bone sarcoma compared with intact females (RR=2.21). Similarly, males castrated at <1 year of age had a significantly increased risk for bone sarcoma compared with intact males (RR=3.12%) Conclusions: In this population-based study, Rottweilers that underwent gonadectomy at <1 year of age had a significantly increased risk for bone sarcoma. These observations may be explained by either a direct effect of sex hormones on skeletal homeostasis or by indirect effects on body conformation or physical activity.
Alternately, confounding factors unique to dogs that undergo early spay or castration may account for this association.NEUTERING/SPAYING AT 6 MONTHS?
P.Davol – Wing-n-Wave Labradors www.labbies.com
Owners who are considering neutering need to take all factors into consideration, not simply the benefits of neutering when making a decision as to when to neuter.
If one looks close enough, one will find that neutering is one of those topics in veterinary medicine that is extremely biased: that is, most often one will find more emphasis placed on the pros of neutering with more often than not, very little or no discussion of the cons. Veterinarians, and responsible breeders as well, face a true dilemma when discussing neutering. The overpopulation crisis presents a very real concern with regard to the necessity of ownership responsibility. Prepubertal/early neutering or required neutering provides a means for vets/breeders to enforce owner responsibility by ensuring surgical sterilization of dogs not destined to be used in breeding programs. Again, this enforced neutering is typically presented along with a preamble of all the benefits that go along with neutering. However, I believe that breeders, if not veterinarians, need to begin questioning the ethics of this approach to prompt or require owners to neuter; especially in light of the facts that early neutering may not be as benign a process to the health of a dog as one would believe.
Yes, neutering prior to the beginning of estrus does reduce risk for mammary cancer in females, but it also significantly increases risk for urinary incontinence in bitches which predisposes these bitches to diethylstilbestrol (DES) dependency (Stocklin-Gautschi et al., J. Reprod. Fertil. Suppl. 57:233-6, 2001 and many other references)--in some instances, DES is not effective at controlling incontinence and will force some owners to elect euthanasia. Though with lesser risk compared to females, early neutering also increases risk of urethral sphincter incontinence in males (A. Aaron et al., Vet Rec. 139:542-6, 1996.)
With regard to cancer, spayed females have a 4 times greater risk for developing cardiac hemangiosarcomas (vascular tumors) compared to intact females (neutered males also show a significant increase in risk for these tumors compared to intact males) (Ware and Hysper, J. Vet. Intern. Med. 13:95-103, 1999.). Additionally, both neutered males and females have a 2-fold greater risk for developing bone tumors (osteosarcoma) compared to intact males and females (Ru et al., Vet J. 156:31-9, 1998.).
Some evidence suggests that early neutering may also predispose to endocrine disorders later in life (Panciera DL. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 204:761-7 1994.). Furthermore, there is also an indication that early neutering (because absence of sex hormones delays maturation of osteoclasts and thus results in delayed closing of the growth plates in the long-bones) may predispose to increased risk for various orthopedic disorders (such as cruciate ligament disease as I had mentioned in a previous post). Also, some evidence suggests that there is a correlation between increased time for growth plate closure and incidence of HD in Labs (Todhunter et al. J. Am. Vet Assoc., 1997).
If one conducted a research of the literature on the detrimental effects on physiological development associated with sex hormone deficiencies during adolescent development in any other species other than the dog and cat, one will find a wealth of literature stressing the importance of sex hormones for sound physiological, endocrine and metabolic development. Additionally, if one examines the scientific research that reports the benefits of early neutering in absence of any side-effects in dogs, one will discover that the methodology of these studies are designed in very specific ways to assure that outcome in neutering is presented in a favorable light (this does not mean that the data is biased, this simply means that the comparisons made do not provide for adequate interpretation of long-term effects of neutering).
In light of this, though it is understandable for vets/breeders to urge dog owners to neuter their pets early with regard to the greater good (i.e. reducing risk of accidental breeding), the physiological soundness of the individual dog should take precedence over any other issues. As such, it is my opinion, based upon the literature that I have reviewed, that to reduce risks to physiological soundness, etc, that I am of the personal opinion that dogs should be a minimum of 1 year of age before neutering.
WASHINGTON (Reuters Health) - A drop in sex hormones may increase the risk of a type of bone cancer, according to results of a study conducted in purebred rottweilers. The highly malignant bone cancer, known as osteosarcoma, has noticeable similarities in both humans and rottweilers, researchers at Purdue University reported at a meeting of the Gerontological Society of America. In a study of 745 purebred rottweilers, Dr. B. C. Beranek and colleagues from the departments of veterinary clinical science and veterinary pathology found that 15% of all the dogs developed bone cancer. However, the risk of bone cancer was 65% higher for castrated males and 34% higher for spayed females. The risk of developing bone cancer was higher both in females spayed at less than one year of age as well as males castrated when they were less than a year old compared with animals who were not spayed or neutered. It is not clear why spaying or neutering had an impact on cancer risk, but it may be related to their lower levels of sex hormones. More study is needed to determine if these factors play any role in human cancer.
>From Barbara Nibling: Comparison of Neuter/Intact Health Issues
To translate - if the word short"er" or less"er" is used, the population was intact vs altered of the same sex. If the word short'est" or "least" was used, it was comparing both males and bitches, altered and intact. All data pulled from MEDLINE publications. Use some key words from the conclusion and read the abstract there.
Spayed Intact growth plate closure 4% of total bitches delayed when neutered < 7 have litters (2/3 weeks (lesser effect when planned) (Missouri) neutered < 7 months) 17% of total bitches vulvar development less have litters (Las mature when neutered (Vegas) < 7 months 6 times more likely to develop perianal More active than sexually fistula intact least risk of acute 7.8 times more likely to fatal pancreatitis develop urinary incontinence 69% of total bitches 2 times more likely to be had litters (Bali) obese (21% of all dogs obese, about 12% spayed, 6% intact) likely to develop cardiac tumors significantly shorter vagina increased risk of distance from cranial pubic mammary tumors bone and internal urthral orifice shorter least likely to develop chronic superficial more likely to develop lower keratitis urinary tract neoplasm only population at risk average age of death higher for false pregnancy than intact increased risk of increased risk of cranial vaginitis and vaginal cruciate ligament injury tumors
higher risk of hypothyroid (low FT3 which responds to TSH, .2% of sample bitches)
increased lutenizing hormone
increased follicle stimulating hormone
increased risk of cardiac tumors
increased risk of hemangiosarcoma
increased risk of thyroid carcinoma
lesser risk of mammary tumors if bitch was thin 9-12 months than those who were normal or pleasingly rounded at 9-12 months
no increased risk of AIHA
decreased smooth muscle mass and connective tissue
increase in resorptive surfaces of periosteum and corticoendosteum
decrease in formative activity of same bones
no risk of pyometra
increased osteoblasts in bone
decreased osteoclasts in bone
Neutered Intact growth plate closure intact dogs with lymphoma delayed when neutered < 7 have significantly weeks (lesser effect when decreased disease free neutered < 7 months) interval
penile development less 6 times more likely mature when neutered to develop perianal < 7 weeks fistula
more active than sexually least risk of diabetes intact most likely to have more excitable than hookworm, whipworm, sexually intact and heartworm
lowest risk of leukemia
2 times more likely to be obese (roughly 12% obese neutered, 6% obese intact)
no change in risk to prostatic carcinoma (nontesticular androgen implicated)
more likely to develop lower urinary tract neoplasm
average age of death later
significantly elevated risk of diabetes
higher risk of hypothyroid (low FT3 which responds to TSH, .2% of sample dogs)
increased lutenizing hormone
increased follicle stimulating hormone
increased risk of osteosarcoma
♣ Laura ♣