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View Full Version : ?'s on when to spay and spay incontinence in female dogs



NRB
Sep. 13, 2009, 09:05 PM
My female pup is 4 months old soon and I'm trying to make the right decision on when to have her spayed. Vet says between 5 - 6 months. breeder recomends 6-7 months. Co-owner of the pup's mom said that the mother didn't come into heat until a year old and felt that it's best to spay after one heat. I've read online about spay early vs spay late. The spay later folks seem to think that a later spay will help prevent female urine incontinence.

What does the COTH peeps think?
When did you have your female spayed? What size dog is she?
Anyone dealt with spay/urine incontinence?

I've heard that larger breed dogs should wait longer than 6 months, as they are slow to grow and mature.

My pup is 15.5 inches 21 lbs and should grow to be 17-19 inches and 30 -35 lbs.

Blacklabs
Sep. 13, 2009, 09:12 PM
When did you have your female spayed? 4 months
What size dog is she? smaller lab
Anyone dealt with spay/urine incontinence? yes unfortunatly she has it and in time it's getting better but do wish I waited until she was 6 months. She will be 2 next month.

Simkie
Sep. 13, 2009, 09:12 PM
I've had several females spayed between ... what, 4 and 6 months? with no issues, ever. Younger dogs heal faster. Never an issue with incontinence in any of the girls spayed early.

I had one girl spayed following her first heat (my mistake, time just got away from me, and I don't consider a bitch in heat to be a big deal) and she took longer to heal and tolerated anesthesia poorly. She had to be hospitalized for several days. She was perhaps 14 months at the time.

Spaying before the first hear really reduces the chance of mammary cancer.

Unless there's a REASON to wait--there's some question on whether the dog is quality enough to be bred at a later date--spay before the first heat.

Huntertwo
Sep. 13, 2009, 09:12 PM
I'm not a Vet, but as far as I know there is no valid theory to wait until they have had at least one heat.

Go to your Vet and find out for sure. I've spayed mine at 6 months. No reason to wait and possibly bring in a litter of puppies into the already way over populated pet population. :no:

maybedog
Sep. 13, 2009, 09:13 PM
We were always told once the permanent canine teeth were in completely was the time to spay/neuter. I adopted a boxer/lab that was supposed to be 11 months old and spayed. Six months later she came into her first heat. Had no choice but to spay her in heat. Thankfully I had a very good vet. Unfortunately she developed incontinence issues and is now on Proin. Vet does not believe it had anything to do with her being spayed while in heat.

mustangtrailrider
Sep. 13, 2009, 09:15 PM
Female dogs can get mammary cancer with only one heat cycle. I would not take any chance with that. It is awful. I have known of a few dogs with it....it isn't pretty. I have a very small dachshund female that I spayed at 5 months. She did great. I am glad that I didn't get her done any later. She is wonderful. I don't have any issues with incontinence with her. I would rather take incontinence over cancer any day of the week.

I would say sooner vs later. No heat cycle if you are not breeding her. Find a vet that specializes in spaying. We have a clinic that only does spay and neuter. I have used them for many years without incident.

Good Luck.

Simkie
Sep. 13, 2009, 09:18 PM
Also, with such a small dog, I would not count on her coming into heat late. I'd expect a 35 lb bitch to come into heat by 8 months. Sure, it can be later....but usually isn't.

FatPalomino
Sep. 13, 2009, 09:20 PM
Spaying before the first hear really reduces the chance of mammary cancer.



I've been told the most recent studies show that it's a pretty significant reduction in the chance of cancer. Definatly less than the risk for incontinence (which isn't a killer like cancer and is usually very easy to treat).

We had our most recent female spayed at 5.5 months- no problems at all.

MunchkinsMom
Sep. 13, 2009, 09:20 PM
Most of my dogs were spayed at 4-6 months, the last two pups were done at 4 months. My stray dog was just done, and she had at least one heat cycle. No issues with any of them.

I only had one dog with incontinence problems, her's came at old age, and Proin kept it under control. I also have one dog that was incontinent before she was spayed, that is because she has a birth defect called pelvic bladder. Proin also helps her keep that under control.

Bluey
Sep. 13, 2009, 09:28 PM
Our vet spays right before six months, but mostly after four, if there is any doubt she may be older.

We had many female dogs over the years, all spayed before six months and have never had one that was incontinent.

Some times it does happen, but not that common.
Those females that have had heats, even just one, tend to develop mammary cancer when older and that can kill them several years before their time.

A friend waited for the first heat and after that spayed her later agility champion and that golden was incontinent all her life, but on some medication didn't leak at all.
She spayed her next female before 6 months and she is now three and not incontinent.

NRB
Sep. 13, 2009, 10:05 PM
ok good to hear, I'll aim for before her first heat.

NOW for a really a stupid question; how do you count the age? She was born May 18th. So does that mean that she is 5 months old on October 18th?? Or does that mean she turns 5 months old on the 20th week; which is September 28th???? So confusing.

I was told to keep her quiet for 2 weeks after the spay surgery. So I am planning on having her spayed during a less active time in our families schedule.
the best time to spay would be after her last Obed class Oct 16th or in the first of November. But I'm trying to figure out her age (see above) Nov 2nd starts her 25th week. Is she 5 1/2 months old then???

Bluey
Sep. 13, 2009, 10:11 PM
ok good to hear, I'll aim for before her first heat.

NOW for a really a stupid question; how to you count the age? She was born May 18th. So does that mean that she is 5 months old on October 18th?? Or does that mean she turns 5 months old on the 20th week; which is September 28th???? So confusing.

I would say October 18th she is five months and you want to spay right after that and before November 18th, unless your vet tells you different, knowing the dog.

The smaller the dog, the quicker they seem to mature sexually, so if she is a small dog, you want to spay sooner rather than later.

NRB
Sep. 13, 2009, 10:22 PM
Thanks Bluey, I think between 5 and 6 months is the way to go right now. So she'll get spayed between Oct 18th and Nov 1st. I'll call the vet for an apt tomorrow.

I don't tend to think of her as small, more of a medium sized dog. She's a Standard Schnauzer and the biggest pup from her litter. The dogs I met at the breeders were all knee height (17-19 inches). the same size as the Australian Shepherds we used to have in the early 80's (the Aussies now seem to be larger and hairier by comparison) I'd think a small dog, like a Miniature Schnauzer, would mature early.

Simkie
Sep. 13, 2009, 10:23 PM
I don't tend to think of her as small, she's a Standard Schnauzer and the biggest pup from her litter. The dogs I met at the breeders were all knee height (17-19 inches). I'd think a small dog, like a Miniature Schnauzer, would mature early.

I have 70 lbs dogs. A 35 lb dog is small to me ;)

And a 35 lb dog definitely doesn't fall into ANY "large breed" grouping. Small to medium instead.

NRB
Sep. 13, 2009, 10:29 PM
this girl is 21lbs now, I think that she'll easily go to 40 lbs. I think she is a Medium Sz Dog. NOT large by any means.

But yes, size is all relative isn't it.

I think large is a Great Dane/GSD.
medium is Lab/Aussie
small is Jack Russell/Bichon Frise

One Aussie we used to have was 75 lbs, but still she was a medium sz dog. I wouldn't call 70 large either, but again it depends on the dog, the breed and the height. And if they were overweight, like the 75 lb Aussie.

GreekDressageQueen
Sep. 14, 2009, 06:54 AM
But yes, size is all relative isn't it.

I think large is a Great Dane/GSD.
medium is Lab/Aussie
small is Jack Russell/Bichon Frise


Actually, I think Large Breed dogs is anything over 50lbs and "Giant" Breeds are over 100. It is a bit of a misnomer though because Labradors are Large breed dogs but due to poor breeding, etc. a lot of them are over 100 pds, but they shouldn't be considered "Giant" Breed like St. Bernards and Great Danes.

I spayed my female at 5 months as per the vet's recommendation and she started experiencing female incontinence at 2 years of age! She had to have estrogen shots and was on a drug called phenylpropanolamine for about a year. Thankfully, she grew out of that when she gained a bit more body fat and will only have an accident when she goes swimming and fills up her bladder. If I could do it over again, I would have waited a bit longer. My vet also did an entire hysterectomy (removal of uterus and ovaries) and I'm not sure that was the best idea either. We are pretty sure when she gets older she will have serious incontinence issues as a result of the loss of hormones - especially estrogen.

Personally, I think vets and animal rescues are so crazed about spay/neuter and keeping the unwanted animal population down (which I agree for the most part) that the secondary problems associated with the practice are usually brushed under the carpet.

Bluey
Sep. 14, 2009, 07:04 AM
---"Personally, I think vets and animal rescues are so crazed about spay/neuter and keeping the unwanted animal population down (which I agree for the most part) that the secondary problems associated with the practice are usually brushed under the carpet."---

On the other hand, having a female with pyometra or six or seven year old dog with prostate or mammary cancer is a sad way to see them die early and that is rather common on those neutered later or never.

I agree that neutering to curb the overpopulation is a worthy goal also, but it is not the only one.

Kiwayu
Sep. 14, 2009, 07:35 AM
I had this same post on Off Topic a few months ago. Here's what I did...

I had an Airedale Terrier puppy. My vet wanted her spayed BEFORE 6 months. The breeder said wait until after the first heat due to growing reasons. Claims puppies spayed too early will just keep growing and have joint issues.

I wanted until my dog was 7 months. And guess what??? My dog is smaller than she's supposed to be! So much for dogs that are spayed keep growing... Personally, I feel that they do need the hormones for developing but the cancer threat was too large for me. So I left her intact as long as possible before the first heat. Seemed to work nicely and I have a beautiful dog at 1.3 years old. :yes:

Bluey
Sep. 14, 2009, 08:07 AM
What the breeder meant is that at puberty, there are some growth plates that are set to close at sexual maturity, those hormones, especially in males, do help signal the growth plates of the long bones in the leg to close.

If we neuter before that surge of hormones and that doesn't happen then, of course, we may see a smidgen of longer time of growth in those bones, making maybe those bones a little bit longer than they normally would be.

Since the body is growing all along and that is the way it is learning to be, it doesn't really matter if the leg bone is a few milimeters longer, as long as the whole body is growing at the same rate.

Now, if there is an injury and one bone only doesn't develop at the same rate than the rest, then you may have a problem later from that.

I hope this puts that in perspective, where yes, we may alter some growth for a minimal effect, but the advantages of not having a sexually active animal and later a very high risk of cancer from that, as we do in entire dogs as a species, that is something you as an owner have to weight.

Most good breeders I know neuter both sexes as soon as they know they are not going to breed any more, because they have been living with the consequences as their dogs get older and know, if it was not for their need to raise puppies, for a pet dog, it is not worth the risks.

The same happens in horses, that those males gelded before two may have a little more longer lower leg bones and so maybe be 1/2" taller than they would have been left intact past puberty.
Same principle, the growth plates closing at that time is not happening then for another six months.

In dogs, some breeds show that more, like whippets, because they are so long and lean anyway and you do get to see the males neutered early may be a hair leggier than those not.
Other breeds, that is not so noticeable, because of their heavier built or hairy coats, especially since the difference is really minimal.

cloudyandcallie
Sep. 14, 2009, 08:17 AM
I have my female dogs spayed (or my males altered) when they are a year old, because I want their bones and everything else to mature. I am very careful not to let anyone breed however.

Because of the huge overpopulation of dogs and cats, and because some people do not know they can take a bitch or queen in to the vet's within 3 days of being bred and get a shot to prevent pregnancy, humane societies and vets down south here started doing spaying/altering on puppies and kittens as young as 6 weeks old (started over 20 yrs ago). I do not have any of those animals, but friends have adopted some and they had no adverse effects from early spaying/altering.

My aussies used to come in season at 6 months of age, then due to some genetic changes by my breeder, they now come into season at 1 yr of age.

The issue about cancer is primarily genetic, not spaying/altering. I had a 3 yoa aussie die from cancer (genetic from an outbreeding by my breeder) and I've had aussies live to be 14/15/16 yoa.
All of these dogs were spayed (I only buy bitches) at 1 yoa. My male aussie was never altered and he lived to be 16 yoa. My male dogs (rescues all) lived to be 11, 14, and one is 14 now, and they were all altered at 1 yoa.) All my dogs were/are large.

(My WB was not gelded till he was 4 yoa and he's 16.2.)

wendy
Sep. 14, 2009, 08:21 AM
http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf

rather disturbing, read carefully. My conclusion is one should wait until age 2 to spay.

cloudyandcallie
Sep. 14, 2009, 08:25 AM
Forgot: Only one of my female dogs ever had incontinence, and she responded well to proin for the last 2 yrs of her life. She wasn't incontinent till she was 14 yoa.

Bluey
Sep. 14, 2009, 08:49 AM
http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf

rather disturbing, read carefully. My conclusion is one should wait until age 2 to spay.

My small animal vets and myself beg to disagree.
Those theories are not "disturbing", but part of how science advances, by bringing up questions.:)

As for the article, there is much that in the article is inferrence, not direct results from the studies, some of which also are not clear.

That article and some others like it have made the rounds in our dog clubs, clubs that some members are veterinarians and discussed at length.
The conclusion is still to ask your vet what is best for your dog and that most vets agree spaying before puberty is best with what we know today.:yes:

wendy
Sep. 14, 2009, 09:42 AM
The conclusion is still to ask your vet what is best for your dog and that most vets agree spaying before puberty is best with what we know today
BEST for YOUR dog though? usually this recommendation is based on an attempt to stop breeding, not on any consideration of the health of the actual dog being spayed.

CB/TB
Sep. 14, 2009, 11:17 AM
Cloudyandcallie, our old rescue GSP is taking Proin, also and it is helping her quite a bit. She gets 1/2 a pill 2-3 times a week. We started eery day, but have been able to get her down to that low dosage. Our vet says sometimes it's the sphincter muscles that are weak and the Proin gives almost immediate relief. It's not always a bladder issue and sometimes easier to treat than you'd think. Our other GSP, we bought from a breeder at 7 months old. She was spayed at 8 months. She is a bit smaller than the usual GSP, but not stunted by any means. Good luck with your girl, OP.

Bluey
Sep. 14, 2009, 11:28 AM
BEST for YOUR dog though? usually this recommendation is based on an attempt to stop breeding, not on any consideration of the health of the actual dog being spayed.

Maybe we ought to give vets a little bit more credit?;)

FatPalomino
Sep. 14, 2009, 12:34 PM
Maybe we ought to give vets a little bit more credit?;)

Heck, that 10 years of schooling was useless. Breeders often tell vets what to do.
I'll never forget the look in the vet's face when an owner brought his very sick 1 y.o. female dog in. He knew it had pyometra, and the breeder said if you bring it to the vet, they'll convince you to spay her, but I want to breed her! The vet said it's up to you, whether or not you want the dog to live another year or not.

Not too long ago we had a breeder in with a GDV. The dog clearly had a rock in it's stomach on radiographs. The breeder said that's impossible, she doesn't have rocks and her dog would never eat them. We have her back the rock, in a plastic bag, after surgery.

GreekDressageQueen
Sep. 14, 2009, 01:23 PM
BEST for YOUR dog though? usually this recommendation is based on an attempt to stop breeding, not on any consideration of the health of the actual dog being spayed.

Bingo.

I'm not sure the threat of cancer overrides other considerations as Bluey suggests. For people that buy dogs from responsible breeders, issues with cancer would show up in breeding bitches and would be a known factor and not always part of the consideration to spay/neuter. In fact, most breeders force you to fix your dog to prevent market competition not to prevent cancer. Mutts and rescue dogs from unknown whereabouts are a different matter. I wonder how many female dogs per year actually suffer from reproductive cancers, how many of those are from pedigree dogs vs. mutts, and how many of those dogs had other contributing factors such as 1) were they bred/not bred, 2) is their breed known for such cancers, 3) genetics, 4) food, 5) environment, etc.

Personally, I did not have much experience with dogs before my female Lab and I trusted the vet's opinion. I probably would not have spayed her at all (for other reasons) but, at the very least, waited until she was at least a year old. I have a 6 month old male Lab now from top show lines and my new vet is quite adamant that I wait until he is over a year old before neutering him so his secondary sexual characteristics (like block head and thick chest) have time to mature.

GreekDressageQueen
Sep. 14, 2009, 01:32 PM
Maybe we ought to give vets a little bit more credit?;)

I have nothing against vets at all, but they are fallible. Everyone has stories where their vet said one thing and it was something else or the vet missed something and the dog died, etc. Heck, I took one dog in for stitches and neither the vet tech or the vet bothered cleaning the wound after it was shaved! :eek: The vet started threading the needle and I asked "aren't you going to clean it first?" "Nah, we are going to give him antibiotics - don't worry." :confused: Well, I told her to hold on and I walked over to the sink, washed my hands, picked up the gauze pads and cleanser and cleaned it myself. I also cleaned it after the wound was sutured before the vet tech wrapped it. So - why did I pay $200 exactly? :mad:

We should always strive to make an informed decision and feel comfortable taking more control over our animals' care if necessary.

Bluey
Sep. 14, 2009, 01:50 PM
---"I have a 6 month old male Lab now from top show lines and my new vet is quite adamant that I wait until he is over a year old before neutering him so his secondary sexual characteristics (like block head and thick chest) have time to mature."---

And lifting it's leg without stop on all and everything and roaming and dog to dog aggression and so many nice sexual characteristics we can do without in pet dogs, if they are not needed for breeding.;)

trubandloki
Sep. 14, 2009, 01:50 PM
The shelter where I have helped teach dog obedience for years does juvenile spay/neuters. Many of the adopted dogs come thru various classes, some for long periods of time (doing various levels of different things).
I have never encountered a female that was spayed young (as a young puppy prior to adoption) that has had an incontinence problem. For sure not a scientific study I realize.

Females I have a 12yo pit that was spayed at 5 months and a 5yo greyhound that was spayed while in heat when about 3. Neither have an incontinence issue.


I think spaying before the first heat cycle is best simply because most people are not capable of handling a female in heat and preventing it from getting bred. It is amazing the number of people who think putting their in heat female out on a tie out in their yard is safe.


I have a 6 month old male Lab now from top show lines and my new vet is quite adamant that I wait until he is over a year old before neutering him so his secondary sexual characteristics (like block head and thick chest) have time to mature.

Hmmm, my farrier has a very nice male lab that long before he was six months old already had a nice block head and thick chest.

wendy
Sep. 14, 2009, 01:51 PM
Maybe we ought to give vets a little bit more credit?
how would an individual vet know anything except the party line they were taught in school? they don't conduct large controlled studies.

trubandloki
Sep. 14, 2009, 01:53 PM
how would an individual vet know anything except the party line they were taught in school? they don't conduct large controlled studies.

Have most of the breeders conducted large controlled studies?

Bluey
Sep. 14, 2009, 01:55 PM
how would an individual vet know anything except the party line they were taught in school? they don't conduct large controlled studies.

Vets do keep continuing education practices all their lives.

Our vet keeps changing the protocols for different practices, as the one for parasite control or vaccinations, as the information comes to light.
We have discussed plenty the neutering question and so have vets with each other, they are not really as ignorant as some seem to think.:eek:

Wraper2
Sep. 14, 2009, 01:57 PM
I aske my vet about spaying my Boxer. I was tossing around the idea of her having one litter for family that wanted pups.

My vets words....'let her come into heat one time and you increase her chance of mammary cancer by 50%, let her come in a second time and you increase it by 80%'

Kira was spayed at 6 months, grew to be large for a female boxer (63lbs) and only has incontenance problems the first two weeks after a depo shot. Boxers are REAL prone to cancer... I am not giving it any more chances that I HAVE to!

FatPalomino
Sep. 14, 2009, 02:23 PM
Personally, I did not have much experience with dogs before my female Lab and I trusted the vet's opinion. I probably would not have spayed her at all (for other reasons) but, at the very least, waited until she was at least a year old. I have a 6 month old male Lab now from top show lines and my new vet is quite adamant that I wait until he is over a year old before neutering him so his secondary sexual characteristics (like block head and thick chest) have time to mature.

Why did your vet recommend not spaying until a year? :sigh:
The chances of mammary cancer grow nearly exponentially after the first heat. Lab's aren't exactly a breed that free of genetic predispositions, anyway.

I've seen mammary cancer- many times.. It's a horrible disease and even the owners who tried everything aren't able to beat it, from what I have seen.
I've only seen a small, less than a handful, amount of dogs with incontinence. All the older ones were easily controlled with Proin, which is cheap and safe.


We've gotten calls from several owners whose in heat dogs are out of control... can we spay them now (while they are in heat?). One I clearly remember was bashing out the window's and jumping out to get to the dog next door.

When I was a teenager, I thought I should also wait to neuter my Doberman later in life, as we wanted him to get "big".
He never got big, but did start marking on the couch (someone else marked first...) and for the rest of his life he was male dog aggressive. We were insane about his training, but he could never be left safely with another male, besides the one he was raised with.

Thankfully, the peeing on the couch stopped right after he was neutered. Although, he did seem to take more time to bounce back after surgery than the younger dogs we've fixed. And it was more expensive.

At 4.5 years old, that Doberman was diagnosed with a genetic heart disease that killed him in 6 weeks. Knowing the breed's disposition for such disease, we had chest rads and an EKG done on him 3 months prior. They were clean. He had chest rads 6 weeks prior due to an unrelated problem. They were also clean (as confirmed by one of the nation's best cardiologists). Had I chosen to breed him at age 3 or 4, we would have had a bunch more Dobie's running around passing on the horrible trait.

Why in the world would anyone consider breeding their dog, esp. a dog that's not a top, national champion, with the hundreds of thousands of great dogs (including purebreds) that are loosing their life today at any of the nation's overcrowded shelters?

I'm all about spaying/neutering some people, too, but that's a whole 'nother issue!

FatPalomino
Sep. 14, 2009, 02:27 PM
http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf

rather disturbing, read carefully. My conclusion is one should wait until age 2 to spay.

Darling, your "research" isn't research at all. And it's not done by a vet, or someone with a doctorate degree. And it's not peer-reviewed (like the research on mammary cancer is). And it's out of date ;)

TheRedFox
Sep. 14, 2009, 02:31 PM
I had my shepherd spayed at 4.5 months. She was fine and never had any problems after.

cloudyandcallie
Sep. 14, 2009, 03:02 PM
Cloudyandcallie, our old rescue GSP is taking Proin, also and it is helping her quite a bit. She gets 1/2 a pill 2-3 times a week. We started eery day, but have been able to get her down to that low dosage. Our vet says sometimes it's the sphincter muscles that are weak and the Proin gives almost immediate relief. It's not always a bladder issue and sometimes easier to treat than you'd think. Our other GSP, we bought from a breeder at 7 months old. She was spayed at 8 months. She is a bit smaller than the usual GSP, but not stunted by any means. Good luck with your girl, OP.

Yes when Scheherazade became incontinent at 14, I started her on the recommended dosage for her size, then gradually reduced it. Her 3/4 sister Binkie (both Las Rocosa aussies) did not become incontinent in her old age. Both were spayed at one year of age after their first "season."
Scheherazade is the only aussie I've evern had who became incontinent in old age. And the proin worked like a charm.

cloudyandcallie
Sep. 14, 2009, 03:06 PM
---"I have a 6 month old male Lab now from top show lines and my new vet is quite adamant that I wait until he is over a year old before neutering him so his secondary sexual characteristics (like block head and thick chest) have time to mature."---

And lifting it's leg without stop on all and everything and roaming and dog to dog aggression and so many nice sexual characteristics we can do without in pet dogs, if they are not needed for breeding.;)

:lol::lol:My boy dogs did and still do that after being altered at 1 yoa ( lifting leg outside only though and in fenced yard, but will fight and beat up any unaltered dogs). And my bitches have always had the motto that "they are ladies and will beat h*** out of any boy dog who says they aren't." :lol: not that I would encourage my dogs and cats to be aggressive or anything like that.............

ETA: I did not have my first aussie bitch spayed till she was 6 yoa because I kept thinking I might breed her and I owed the Hartnagles the pick of the litter female. 40 something years later, they are still waiting, but they've sold me more bitches since then. Coze, the one who was spayed at 6 yoa, never became incontinent and died at age 14 yoa. So I don't see the difference between spaying at one year, or spaying at 6 yrs (other than my male dogs were locked up 2x a year which Coze was in season.)

cloudyandcallie
Sep. 14, 2009, 03:11 PM
Vets do keep continuing education practices all their lives.

Our vet keeps changing the protocols for different practices, as the one for parasite control or vaccinations, as the information comes to light.
We have discussed plenty the neutering question and so have vets with each other, they are not really as ignorant as some seem to think.:eek:

Yes, how many times have I gone in for a refill of medicines to find that they have been causing dog and cat deaths and liver damage? The vets who do their continuing education are great and change things when they are educated.

And, if the choice if that a dog or cat will get pregnant and produce unwanted litters, then spay and alter younger.

BTW 91 aussies were seized in coweta county ga. They have been taken to the Atlanta Humane society and some should be up for adoption this week on their website. Another puppy mill.:mad:

Foxtrot's
Sep. 14, 2009, 03:23 PM
FWIIW - my greyhound was two before she was spayed and came to us. She is five now and is incontinent. However, the little pink pill, given on a Friday and Monday does the trick nicely and they are not expensive since I only need two a week. I stick my middle finger in the butter, stick a pill on top and stuff it down her throat, yum.

wendy
Sep. 14, 2009, 03:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendy
http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongT...uterInDogs.pdf

rather disturbing, read carefully. My conclusion is one should wait until age 2 to spay.

Darling, your "research" isn't research at all. And it's not done by a vet, or someone with a doctorate degree. And it's not peer-reviewed (like the research on mammary cancer is). And it's out of date
yeah, it's not "primary research" it's a review of the literature, pulling all the peer-reviewed primary research findings together. Want a newer review of the literature that says much the same thing?

http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/pdf/10.2460/javma.231.11.1665

it's just a narrative review, but cites all the same primary studies.

bottom line, if you spay between 1.5 and 3 years of age, you can reduce the risks of sex-related cancers dramatically without risking the orthopedic complications, reduce the risk of pyrometra to near zero, and can reduce the risk of incontinence. Vets may minimize the impact of delayed long-bone closure caused by early spays, but many more dogs suffer from pain caused by skeletons that don't quite fit together the way they were intended to than ever develop sex-related cancers.
Of course if you aren't sure you can't keep your dog from breeding during her heats you'd better spay younger. Much younger.

Casey09
Sep. 14, 2009, 04:27 PM
It has been a while since I've thought about this since my dogs are older now. However, isn't there some recent research or suggestion that early spay and neuter might increase the risks of bone cancer and hemangiosarcoma? I thought that, especially for certain breeds, such as Rotties, early spay and neuter might be contributing to some of those other cancers.
For males, I personally would definitely wait until a year or so to neuter. With females, I think that it is harder to decide because of the risk of mammary tumors. I ended up having my (large breed) female spayed at 8 mos. of age. So far, she hasn't had any incontinence problems. I wasn't really worried about incontinence so much as the other issues I was hearing about - i.e. the mammary cancer risk vs. the other cancers. She still lifts her leg, though!
However, I would have any pet altered as soon as possible if I didn't feel confident that I could control early breeding. My dogs are never outside unsupervised and walked on a leash. They do not run loose in my yard. Therefore, that's not really an issue for me.

NRB
Sep. 14, 2009, 10:01 PM
All interesting info.

I absolutely don't want my girl to get cancer, nor do I want to go through a heat cycle with her. I just wanted to give her the chance to grow as much as possible before I go monkeying with her hormones.

My male mutt, who we think was 6mo when neutered, died of hemangisarcoma at 14yo. Horrible disease. I cried my guts out over his loss. He was 45 lb, black sort of a mini flat coated retriever spitz looking cross. I am sure he was a heinz 57. He acted like a puppy til the end, I had thought he'd live to be 16.

My mom's pound puppy was spayed at aprox 6 weeks, or so they think. She could have been younger. No one is certain on the age. So far she's been as expensive as my purebred bitch since she rapidly came down with Parvo, then Coccidia, then coccidia again and spent many trips to the emergi vets. I think that she's on the mend and could be about 11 weeks old now. I understand the reason the pound requires her to be spayed at such a young age, but really it couldn't have helped her health to go through the surgery and then come down with Parvo and the Coccidia.

I haven't called the vet about my girl yet, my horse got diagnosed with a suspensory grade 1 lesion and a small bone chip in his RF fetlock so my minds been elsewhere. I've been singing "It's my Pony and I'll Cry if I Want to, cry if I want to..." ever since the vet came to the barn. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRbsz1Ha7Zo

GreekDressageQueen
Sep. 14, 2009, 10:57 PM
---"I have a 6 month old male Lab now from top show lines and my new vet is quite adamant that I wait until he is over a year old before neutering him so his secondary sexual characteristics (like block head and thick chest) have time to mature."---

And lifting it's leg without stop on all and everything and roaming and dog to dog aggression and so many nice sexual characteristics we can do without in pet dogs, if they are not needed for breeding.;)

Are you worried my dog will pee on you? Because I don't get the "we" part unless you assume I am one of those horrible, stupid, ignorant, irresponsible people out there who let their intact male dogs run amok. :D

Yes, these issues might occur as an undesirable secondary effect of waiting until later to neuter (or not neuter at all), but certainly you don't think that everyone is so incompetent that they can't handle, train, or manage their dogs appropriately?

My dogs don't ever roam the neighborhood and it would be quite impossible to get out of the yard as I have an 8 foot concrete fence with locked wrought iron gates. The dogs are only allowed off-leash at large parks/trails and the farm where there are 5 other dogs around that HAVE been neutered (some were young others were older) and STILL show dog-on-dog aggression and lifting their legs to pee. It's a part of being a boy dog.

My female Lab who WAS spayed early is much more aggressive than ANY of the other male dogs and is without a doubt the Alpha bitch of the pack. I don't see how getting her spayed so early made a difference in behavior. :no: She also pees like 10 times on our walks just like a boy dog who marks, but she doesn't lift her leg and do it. Is horizontal pee really that offensive? :lol:

hauntedoblivion
Sep. 14, 2009, 11:02 PM
When I was younger, we had a female miniature dachshund. I don't remember exactly how old she was when we had her spayed, but it was definitly after her first heat. She became incontinent at about 13 years of age, but that was easily fixed by medication.

The only dog I have right now is a male GSD/Husky mix, and I had him neutered promptly at 6 months. He was a very pig-headed puppy and definitely had his own ideas about the way things should go, and he liked to wander. I hoped that neutering him before sexual maturity would make him a bit easier to deal with. It did. The only possibly negative thing I've noticed is that people tend to think he's female :confused:.

Now that I think about it, my gelding is also very feminine looking and I wonder if he was gelded early, or if that's just how he is.

Bluey
Sep. 15, 2009, 07:16 AM
---"Are you worried my dog will pee on you? Because I don't get the "we" part unless you assume I am one of those horrible, stupid, ignorant, irresponsible people out there who let their intact male dogs run amok."---

No, noting personal, I was just commenting that there are as many "good" as "bad" results from sexual maturity, when it comes to animals being pets.
You mention liking the look of the male dog as expressed by those hormones, I was suggesting that there was more to that than just the looks.
I hope this explains what I meant.:)

Of course there are some consequences to neutering/gelding before sexual maturity and each one of us has to decide according to what they want for their animals, be it dogs or horses, if and when to alter them.

As our vet told me, in general, the advantages are considerably more in altered animals, for what we want of them, other than reproduction, than the disadvantages, compared with the disadvantages of not altering them.

Several have brought cancers and incontinence in old age.
That happens if you had altered your dogs early or not.
Cancer is part of old age for all.
The statistics show a very small difference in those few types of cancers in altered dogs.
We may think that because of many other factors, because we altered our dogs also, so many are living into old age at all.

In agility circles, there has been for many years now much talk about this, because top competitors are looking for every edge that they can think and if that little bit of difference in skeletal balance brought by altering after puberty helps their dog be a top dog, they are ready to chance their possible cancers later from spaying after puberty.

Well, several in our dog club did that and their dogs were top dogs, but then, their previous dogs, altered before puberty, were just as good, top agility dogs also.
The same small percentage of females became incontinent as those spayed before or later or used for breeding.
Especially older females may become incontinent, if spayed early, later or not at all.

I agree with our vet that we are still better off all around with dogs neutered before puberty, because, even if it is not perfect, when weighing all the factors, it comes in still for spaying right before puberty having the most going for your dog's future best life possible.

MistyBlue
Sep. 15, 2009, 08:08 AM
I've had females spayed at 5 months and males around the same age.
Waiting for males can also cause neutering to be a bit more involved since there is now excess skin that covered the testicles that is removed. I like to avoid the nutsack-nip&tuck. :D :lol:
As for allowing the full male characteristics to come in first before neutering...never made sense to me because a neutered dog isn't being used for breeding and normally not showing so waiting is only for the owner's sense of aesthetics with the dogs. Since younger dogs heal faster, neutering or spaying early doesn't cause bone growth issues, females avoid mammory cancer and male dogs avoid nutsack-nip&tuck...never makes sense to wait to fix a pet if it's just for the owner's personal sense of aesthetics. Pet's health and comfort healing should pobably come before an owner's belief in what a dog should look like. No need to emulate show dogs if you're not showing...show dogs are intact and have the more masculine characteristics because of that. Why try to have your pet look like a breeding male show dog or chance cancer for a female?

GreekDressageQueen
Sep. 15, 2009, 04:06 PM
In agility circles, there has been for many years now much talk about this, because top competitors are looking for every edge that they can think and if that little bit of difference in skeletal balance brought by altering after puberty helps their dog be a top dog, they are ready to chance their possible cancers later from spaying after puberty.

Well, several in our dog club did that and their dogs were top dogs, but then, their previous dogs, altered before puberty, were just as good, top agility dogs also.
The same small percentage of females became incontinent as those spayed before or later or used for breeding.
Especially older females may become incontinent, if spayed early, later or not at all.

Huh... I wonder if we are in the same club! :)

D Osborn
Sep. 15, 2009, 09:46 PM
I compete in obedience, and have been in dogs for over 20 years.
When I was growing up we spayed neutered at 9 month, not sure why.
Now I have to fight the vet techs giving people advice to do it at 5-6 months, and often these dogs do turn out to be be leaky long leggy dogs I much prefer for people to wait until a dog has matured, as structurally the dogs need the hormones. One of my vets who is rescue happy actually agreed when we asked her to wait to spay a poodle until his hips were stronger.
In competition we ask a ton in jumping and running and staying in shape, and also in mental toughness. For my males, they are not neutered unless there is a reason, and my youngest is a wimp, so he needs all the testosterone(sp) he can get-They live inside and don't run loose, and the cats are "fixed" by the time they are 8 months:))
I still think the old vets had the right idea, 9 months for females seems reasonable:)

Bluey
Sep. 16, 2009, 12:42 AM
Huh... I wonder if we are in the same club! :)

Don't know, but if you are competing in obedience or agility, you probably have been coming to our shows.
We get people from all over TX and surrounding states to them.:)

Bluey
Sep. 16, 2009, 12:47 AM
I compete in obedience, and have been in dogs for over 20 years.
When I was growing up we spayed neutered at 9 month, not sure why.
Now I have to fight the vet techs giving people advice to do it at 5-6 months, and often these dogs do turn out to be be leaky long leggy dogs I much prefer for people to wait until a dog has matured, as structurally the dogs need the hormones. One of my vets who is rescue happy actually agreed when we asked her to wait to spay a poodle until his hips were stronger.
In competition we ask a ton in jumping and running and staying in shape, and also in mental toughness. For my males, they are not neutered unless there is a reason, and my youngest is a wimp, so he needs all the testosterone(sp) he can get-They live inside and don't run loose, and the cats are "fixed" by the time they are 8 months:))
I still think the old vets had the right idea, 9 months for females seems reasonable:)

I have been training in obedience, tracking, agility and herding for some almost 40 years now with several different dog breeds and all our dogs were female but one, all spayed before they came in heat, we didn't want any half coyotes puppies.;)
I don't think that vets used to spay at different times before, just did what the clients asked them to do if they had set ideas.
We also never had one had cancer or be incontinent, but I guess that we may just have been lucky.:)

vacation1
Sep. 16, 2009, 01:39 AM
My first dog was spayed as an adult who'd possibly had a litter before we adopted her from a shelter. It was very hard on her. My others were spayed at maybe 3-6 months, and neither seemed affected at all. Based on this experience, I'd have to have an extraordinary reason to delay a spay until the first heat or beyond. It just seems to make a serious operation that much harder.

NRB
Sep. 17, 2009, 01:18 PM
I just ran into 2 other people the other day that were strong supporters of wait until after the first heat. They actually didn't spay the females for the first 3 years.

it is interesting how strong some peoples opinions are on this topic. it would be nice to see actual hard data one way or the other.

trubandloki
Sep. 17, 2009, 01:24 PM
Now I have to fight the vet techs giving people advice to do it at 5-6 months, and often these dogs do turn out to be be leaky long leggy dogs I much prefer for people to wait until a dog has matured, as structurally the dogs need the hormones.

You must have some strange dogs in your area. I have seen tons of dogs speutered as very young puppies and I have met none that came out "leaky long leggy dogs".

My pit was spayed before she was 6 months and she is for sure not leaky or long legged. (She is now 12.)

The greyhound was spayed at 3-ish, she is long legged for sure. A dog on stilts. But I am guessing that is how she is supposed to be shaped.

I will agree with the poster that says the surgery is rougher on them when they are older.

Pancakes
Sep. 17, 2009, 05:38 PM
First, some facts (backed by peer-reviewed research and literature and taught by our boarded oncologist):

Risk of mammary cancer if spaying (ovariohysterectomy) is:
Before first estrus – 0.05%
After first estrus – 8%
After second estrus – 26%

That said, 50% of mammary tumors are malignant.

Also, keep in mind that if you wait until your dog is in heat, the spay surgery can be more difficult with more bleeding due to the changes in the uterus at that time.

"Spay" incontinence is called so because it is hormone-responsive, and has not been linked to age at spaying. The incidence of “spay incontinence” or “reproductive hormone responsive incontinence” may reach 20% in all spayed female dogs and 30% in dogs weighing > 20 kg. It has also been diagnosed in relatively young patients and may even present as a congenital abnormality. There are several structural and physiological factors that may play a role in the development of this condition. These include aging and relative lack of estrogen which may affect the collagenous support structures of the urogenital region as well as decrease the availability and/or responsiveness of alpha receptors. Abnormal positioning or morphology of the bladder or urethra can contribute to functional failure. Obesity or vaginal structural abnormalities can contribute to development of clinical signs. Breed predispositions suggest underlying genetic factors ( Doberman pinschers, Wheaton terriers).

I don't know, I guess it's your question of if you want to take that risk of having your dog have a 1 in 4 risk of getting mammary cancer, which is pretty darn high, or letting it grow taller for the sake of appearances? I know what I'd choose. Hormone-responsive incontinence is seen later in life, and is treated by supplementing hormones. I think cancer is far, far worse than either of those other possible problems, not including pyometra, other tumors...etc.

NRB
Sep. 17, 2009, 10:04 PM
yup cancer is far worse than incontinence any day.

Spoke to a vet friend on the phone tonite. Her advice is 6 months. She said that in the 20 yrs that she's been doing spays she's never had one of her surgeries get spay incontinence when old. knock wood. She has no data as to why, only theories. So I'll go with that. As well as the data on cancers.