What age should I get my puppy spayed?
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Thread: What age should I get my puppy spayed?

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    bluejeans's Avatar
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    DefaultWhat age should I get my puppy spayed?

    I have a rescued female "mostly" lab, who I'd like spayed. I feel very strongly about this. I just want a healthy, happy family pet. Maybe some day, when I retire 15 years from now, and all the kids are up & gone, I'll get into dog showing & breeding.

    She's had a urinary infection. What's the deal with waiting until she's had her first heat, if she's had a UTI? Also, spaying is traumatic. What age will it be less stressful to her? Our vet says spay before her first heat. I don't want to risk a oops litter. It's in my, my dog's, & her hypothetical puppies' best interests. Every year most of the pets in shelters are put down, even perfectly adoptable kittens & puppies!

    OK, off my soap box.

    What age should I get her spayed?



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    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluejeans View Post
    I have a rescued female "mostly" lab, who I'd like spayed. I feel very strongly about this. I just want a healthy, happy family pet. Maybe some day, when I retire 15 years from now, and all the kids are up & gone, I'll get into dog showing & breeding.

    She's had a urinary infection. What's the deal with waiting until she's had her first heat, if she's had a UTI? Also, spaying is traumatic. What age will it be less stressful to her? Our vet says spay before her first heat. I don't want to risk a oops litter. It's in my, my dog's, & her hypothetical puppies' best interests. Every year most of the pets in shelters are put down, even perfectly adoptable kittens & puppies!

    OK, off my soap box.

    What age should I get her spayed?

    This is the answer I left in the other thread for you.

    The UTI may be an indicator of an inverted vulva, which will often correct itself after they have been through an initial heat. Waiting for your girl may be of lifelong benefit if that is the case.

    Waiting allows your dog to fully grow up - the hormones are beneficial in allowing proper growth - particularly of the legs/joints. Early spay will keep the growth plates open longer which will result in a taller dog - and makes for an increase in the risk of orthopedic issues. Not a huge risk in my experience but it's there.

    The risk of waiting is obvious - you have to be scrupulously vigilant to avoid unwanted breeding. And a bitch in heat is not a party.

    The approach most vets take is a global one oriented toward the greater good - which is why you see them advocating for early spay - 6 months or younger. It is good for the population of dogs as a group - reduces unwanted puppies landing in shelters.

    In my experience with the dogs I have had spayed - it is not as terribly traumatic as you might think. My collie was fine after a few days. My Dutch Shepherd jumped on the dining room table the day after hers.

    It's good you want to spay her. She is not a candidate for breeding (no matter how lovely and sweet she is)

    It is honestly up to you. The risks attached to spaying before the 1st heat are not really high - so you simply need to weigh the above items I have mentioned against your ability to keep her from being nailed when she is in heat. If you feel it will be burdensome or difficult for you to protect her, then spay her at 6 months.
    Last edited by BigBrownDog; 01-12-2010 at 10:30 PM.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    bluejeans's Avatar
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    Thank you for taking the time to answer both places, I saw the other thread, too.
    Here's a recent picture of her. Although she has lab conformation, she has white spots on her paws, chest & a white blaze on her head.
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...2&id=637991941 She's carrying seaweed, in this picture from the canine beach in Ft. Lauderdale over winter vacation.



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    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
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    Another reason to wait through 1 heat is that early spays can lead to later incontinence issues. Now I haven't seen that in my girl I spayed at 6 months, but she has orthopedic issues which I wonder if didn't creep up because of the early spay.

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