I have heard that if you spay a female before her first heat, then she will get spay incontinence. How true is this? Seems like a myth and something that just probably happens, regardless of spaying. I want to do the right thing.... any suggestions? My vet says spay before first heat, but a friend of mine insists all the spayed lab females she knows has this problem. HELP!
I don't know the statistics on this but it certainly doesn't happen everytime you spay a dog before their first heat. My first Lab was spayed at 6 months (pre-heat) and never had a problem with incontinence at any point in her life.....14 years. Same goes for our other female that we had spayed at 6 months. There are arguments on both sides of this issue as to what's best....for various reasons. I'm sure others will post opinions. What does your vet say about the incontinence issue?
Edited to add "Welcome to JL." I just noticed that this was your first post.
I'm not sure what you mean by spay incontinence. I spayed my girl before her first heat- and she had a couple of accidents after the spay, but I think that was the painkillers and the trauma of surgery.
Our last girl (our setter, not a lab) was spayed before her first heat, and she was fine until her kidneys started failing at age 12.
Spay incontinence due to early spaying is not a myth. It's true that not every female that is spayed before a heat gets incontinence - however, the numbers are surprisingly high, about 30% if I'm remembering correctly. Of course, the earlier the spay is done the higher the chances of a problem with this. The ideal thing would be to have a spay done shortly before a first heat - this would give the dog's urinary system a chance to mature but without the hassle of going through a heat. Obviously, it is really hard to know when a dog's first heat will occur. My last three girls came into heat the first time at 7 months, 12 months, and 17 months.
I don't know that I have enough evidence to support that, but spaying has never effected any of my dogs urinary issues.
I know what the statisics and studies have to say about it, I am just stating I have never had that as an issue.
I have heard that also. My first lab was spayed at 6 months & Molly was too. We never had any issues with spay incontinence. With Abby, we waited until after her first heat. But she is smaller & we wanted her to be closer to maturity before spaying her.