Originally Posted by bluejeans
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 11:30 PM.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.