Hello everyone! First time posting here...but I have been enjoying all the discussions happening on this forum so far! My husband and I have a 4 month old Vizsla female (Finn) and we are wondering when to plan to have her spayed. We know the standard is before the first heat cycle. Our vet is recommending 6-7 months but we know Vizslas tend to come into heat later than other dogs (around 11-13 months).
Does anyone have any thoughts/recommendations/lessons learned from your spay experience? Right now we're leaning towards waiting until 8-9 months but wanted to see what the thoughts here were since you are all fellow V lovers and caretakers.
Thanks everyone! I've included a picture of our girl so you enjoy all the cuteness
Opinions are varying all over the place from before first heat to never and all in between.
To that end, I've been going to my local vet for all my dogs for the past 25+ years and always been pleased with the service, etc. However since owning V's for the past 2-1/2 years my patience has been wearing thin with them. Since November 2017 they have been insistent on neutering my male. We planned on keeping him intact for good, but did cave in after getting a female V for obvious reason. BUT we did wait until 27 months and glad we did so he could fully mature, etc.
Fast forward to our female V (which is 9-months old). Every single time we've walked in to get care for her they discussed spaying her...literally every time. Even with soft fear tactics about all that would happen if we didn't. We became so frustrated we spoke to the Vet owner who's been a veterinarian for over 50-years and unfortunately only works one-day per week b/c she's semi-retired now. She was furious to hear this news and explained the younger veterinarians tend to spay way too early with hunting breeds. When I explained that our 9-month female V's situation she was adamant about waiting at the very least to after the second heat. She explained a myriad of reasons, all of which have been detailed here in many posts.
Sorry for the winded post, but to answer your question directly, we are waiting at the earliest until after the second heat.
If you haven't already, I recommend reading the Spay/Neuter Vizsla study; you should be able to search for it on the forum. The results were essentially that both early spay/neuter and spay/neuter at any age correlated with an increase in all forms of cancer, aside from mammary or testicular. "Fixed" vizslas were also more likely to develop undesirable behaviors like fear of storms. Studies on other breeds have also found similar results. Your vet may respect your decision more if you're able to cite the research.
With females you do get an increased risk of pyometra around 5 years, I believe, so there may be more cause to eventually spay a female. Mine will be 7 in a couple months and is still intact. I find her cycles relatively easy to deal with and they don't affect her mood or behavior like they can with some dogs. If she seemed miserable I would have had her spayed sometime after she turned 2.