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Discussion Starter #1
I know this topic has been talked about before, but I just had some specific questions that the other blogs didn't answer.

I want to spay my female, but I'm REALLY struggling with determining what age to spay her. The breeder, her trainer (who shows dogs), and a very knowledgeable family friend all told me that with females the longer you wait the better. They all want her to have her first heat before spaying. NOW, the vet of course does not agree with this and would happily spay her at 6 months and told me all the risks of cancer if she has her first heat...however, I'm planning to do agility with her so it's important she develops a healthy skeleton.

SO, when do I spay her...there seems to be evidence for both sides. Does anyone have any information or guidance? I'm specifically interested in spaying.

Thanks!
Melissa
 

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I'm with the Vet. If you are going to do it, the earlier the better.
To the best of my limited knowledge, there is no clinical evidence that supports waiting until after the first heat cycle as either a benefit, or detriment.
It's really a personal decision on your part. If you're not comfortable doing it earlier, then don't.

The only pause for thought I see is that you plan to campaign her.

I have 2 females that are both spayed. One at 22 months, and one at 11 months. I haven't seen any changes
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Gunnr -

Spaying at 11 and 22 months is a lot later than at 6months. Did your females go through heat at least once?

Thanks!
Melissa
 

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Hi Melissa,

you mentioned that you are spaying early as you are doing agility with her and you want a good skeletal development. How does spaying early improve the skeletal development of a dog??

Just wondering !

Graham
 

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Melissa

I can't say for certain that either of my dogs had not gone through a heat cycle.
I got Tika at ~20 months old,and Gunnr at ~11 months old. I highly doubt Gunnr had been through a cycle. Tika may possibly have been.
You have to make the decision that only you yourself will not second guess. There is nothing more angst ridden than second guessing yourself when it comes to the care of your dogs. Do what You believe is best. Not the breeder, nor the vet.
 

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grahama said:
Hi Melissa,

you mentioned that you are spaying early as you are doing agility with her and you want a good skeletal development. How does spaying early improve the skeletal development of a dog??

Just wondering !

Graham
I am not sure if there are studies or scientific data behind this. But, I've been told that waiting until they're a bit older ensures they don't grow too fast and allows the bones to grow slower decreasing the chance of problems when they're older...dunno if that's true. Maybe has something to do with the hormones??
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've read that too about how your should wait to spay because the hormones or something allows them to develop a stronger skeleton.

I think something got mixed in this blog...I want to wait to spay my pup until as late as possible since I'm planning to do agility. I'm just not sure if there is data to back up that claim that waiting is best for skeletal development. If there is no data, then I minus well spay her at 6months and get it over with. I'm just not sure...since there is evidence on both sides.

Vets says 6 months, breeder says 12months...I don't have a clue!
 

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It seems every source is different. I've heard it's best to wait as long as possible - at least till 18 months to ensure good bone developement. I know a vet who got a vizsla about two weeks after I got Catan and he hasn't spayed yet and doesn't plan to right now. I've also heard that waiting helps prevent cancer.
 

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Anyone have any updated info on this topic? Savannah turns 6 months in February and the vet recommends spaying at 6 months. I have to admit, I like the idea of having her recoup time in the winter rather than the spring. However, if health concerns are minimized by waiting, then she can watch the birds through the windows for a while.
 

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No updated infor from me, but I am curious to know! I too have read later is better; however, our vet says it doesn't matter. Our Pumpkin had a UTI at 8.5 wks, was not cleared after 2 wks of antibiotic, and the UTI became symtomatic again. As spaying relates to an UTI/reaccurance, the research I read indicates allowing a 1st heat cycle reduces the risk(s) of UTIs later in life??? As for bone development, I have no clue. Would love to know, because I would like for Pumpkin to be a jogging partner when she is more mature.
 

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I spoke with the vet on this as well for Holley. They said she could have it whenever we would like based on her weight and all but the after speaking with the vet she stated that we should wait until she is 6 months old, which is in December. We want to make sure this is okay for her though. Any thoughts?
 

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Hi Melissa,

Here is my two cents on the topic. We had the same dilemma you are going through and here is what I learned through the process. You are going to have a range of recommendations from 6 months (the vets) up to 18 months (usually the breeders). We had a frank discussion with our breeder and here is her reasoning for waiting. She says that neutering or spaying early changes the build of the dog. They tend to grow a little taller and not fill out as much. For her, this is very important because she is showing the dogs. She told us that she doesn't like to have her dogs neutered or spayed before 6 months, but understands that people who are not showing her dogs do have this done. She recommended waiting as long as YOU want, but she would like it to be on the later side to keep the breed standard of her dogs. There is nothing wrong with either time frame. We ended up getting Darwin done at around 9 months and although he will grow a little taller and a little less bulky, we still have the puppy that we had before the surgery!

I think Gunnr summed it up best. Do what you think is best! Waiting or getting it done early each has it's pros and cons, but feeling you did the right thing is going to be more important!

Now how to keep your dog occupied for those two weeks that she can't run is a whole other thread! :)
 
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