So when DO I spay my puppy?!!

(25 Posts)
IreadthereforeIam Sat 17-Mar-12 15:57:17

There are so many conflicting ideas - do I do it before her first season or after? I have a 3 year old dog already, and I waited until he was 18 months - they are both a wire haired breed, and I was told for my dog that it would affect his coat if I did it too early.
But I want what's best for my dog - its no good her having a lovely wire coat if leaving her un-spayed causes more problems!
The vet also got me thinking when he said that spaying her could cause incontinence when she got older! I know dogs can become incontinent when they age, but to cause it by spaying - well I've never heard of that!!
So before or after her first season?

Ooh I was going to ask the same question. Our pup is 6 months old and vet wants to spay her before first season, but lots of other people say wait.

With regards to incontinence issues, when we have her spayed we are having the keyhole option (less painful, tiny incision, much quicker recovery) where they only remove the ovaries. Apparently leaving the other bits behind means that there should be no bladder issues.

AllOverIt Sat 17-Mar-12 18:02:09

Our cocker is 6 months. Debating whether to do it at all, as we may decide to breed from her. Our vet is quite keen, though they charge a fortune so not surprised. Every time we go there, she tries to sell us something else. angry

IreadthereforeIam Sat 17-Mar-12 20:05:57

Someone I know has a Cocker - his dog (as in male!!) had a lovely coat prior to being neutered. Honestly it doesn't look so good now. I suppose you have to weigh up medical and social issues - not an easy one sometimes sad

AllOverIt Sun 18-Mar-12 07:47:51

I've heard that about Cocker coats too sad. Her coat is lovely and silky soft. Plus, they can put on a lot of weight too. Really don't know what to do sad I think we'll leave her to have a season and if they're too unbearable, we'll get her done. If they're okay, we'll leave it a while

haddock1976 Sun 18-Mar-12 08:17:37

3 months after first season. She must be allowed to mature physically.

Good coats are as much genetic as anything else.

outmonday Sun 18-Mar-12 21:14:12

A neutered boy dog can and will mate with a bitch in season. You'd have to keep them apart to give her some peace.
The vet gets the same fee whenever it's done.

ohbugrit Sun 18-Mar-12 22:04:37

They only gain weight if they're overfed. It's not inevitable, you just need to adjust feeding according to the individual's metabolism.

There are risks and benefits to spaying before or after the first season. Doing it beforehand minimizes the risk of unwanted matings, mammary tumours (by ~80%) and is arguably more convenient but increases the risk of incontinence and there is a potentially greater surgical risk (because she could be on the point of coming into season at the time of the surgery). Doing it after gives less protection against mammary tumours (only about 15% if done between first and second seasons) but allows you to be more certain that you are removing an inactive organ and allows physical maturation (important to avoid problems such as urine scalding due to immature vulva). Any incontinence is very treatable and may not be a problem ever or until later life.

LtEveDallas Sun 18-Mar-12 22:13:58

MuttDog was spayed at 6 months. She had not had a season. Vet took me through the pros and cons and agreed that it was better to get her done than to take the chance of an unwanted litter (she was around 3 complete dogs all the time). She recovered well and she's a lovely placid dog (no puberty, no hormones!)

She hasn't put any weight on and her coat is as glossy as ever - but I think both are a result of her almost RAW diet rather than genetics or the spaying!

I will always choose to neuter early, dog or bitch. But understand that it is very much a personal choice.

RobinSure Mon 19-Mar-12 08:59:45

My vote's for before the 1st season. Much improved tumour statistics, as stated above, and the incontinence thing is very much an uncertainty, with some studies suggesting early spaying has no effect.

I had our pup castrated at 6 months. No difference to his coat. He's a cocker/springer cross.

Taken Mon 19-Mar-12 09:28:57

We were advised by vet to do it after first season. (This was about a year ago.)

yesbutnobut Mon 19-Mar-12 10:12:03

The breeder I got my pup from begged me to wait until after her first season before having her spayed. However the vet says before first season. I'm not sure what to do - I can see the advantage of waiting until she is more mature, but I don't fancy dealing with the season bit if it means 3 weeks of staying at home.

The vet said if you wait until after the first season the op is more complicated (more blood vessels or something) so would cost more. I'll be looking into the keyhole option mentioned by Thunderboltkid though.

The vet also said to cut down the food by 10% after spaying to prevent weight gain.

Lizcat Mon 19-Mar-12 12:27:25

Only you can weigh up all the pros and cons and make the decision. For me they are:-

Pros
No risk of pyometra (not the case if you only have an ovarectomy)
Reduced risk of mammary tumours 86% before first season 75% before second season (Prof.England's figures)
No seasons
No risk of unwanted pregnancy

Cons
Risk of anaesthesia
Possible chance of incontinence (easily treatable) very large study found that bitches who were going to get incontinence regardless of when they were spayed.
Weight gain (cut back food by 10% straight after surgery)
Coat changes

Studies have shown that for growth the most important thing is to wait until after the bitch is 5.5 months of age.

yesbutnobut Mon 19-Mar-12 12:32:57

Thanks Lizcat. My vet mentioned 5 months as the age to do the op but as my pup is now 19 weeks and only weighs 5 kgs, I'm reluctant to put her through the op for a while.

One thing I'm not sure of - how great is the risk of mammary tumours/pyrometra anyway?

Lizcat Mon 19-Mar-12 12:38:15

I did quite a bit of research in the literature recently and there was quite a lot of evidence that before 5.5months is less good. Pyometra happens in the vast majority of unspayed bitches over 8 years of age it is a life threatening condition, if they are not too sick medical treatment can be used to remove the infected pus, but ultimately spaying is advised and we are then spaying an older dog.
Mammary tumours are fairly common in unspayed bitches over 8 years of age no numbers for that I'm afraid. We often end up doing mammary strip and spaying at the same time in these bitches this is a huge very aggressive surgery.

Lizcat Can I ask, what is your opinion of keyhole surgery v normal spaying?

Lizcat Mon 19-Mar-12 13:31:14

I personally have not performed the laproscopic ovariectomy or ovarohysterectomy. If performed by a trained operator it should be a less traumatic procedure.
I do feel that clinics are not necessarily telling all clients that there are risks with only performing an ovariectomy and that certain drugs must be avoided and that also there is a very small risk that on some occasions it maybe necessary to convert to an open procedure.
It is more expensive than a standard spay due to the cost of the equipment required.

yesbutnobut Mon 19-Mar-12 15:07:34

Lizcat, thanks for the info, it's very helpful indeed. It seems there are definite health advantages to spaying and I will definitely get my pup spayed. It's just the timing really that I can't decide.

AllOverIt Tue 20-Mar-12 12:48:45

Lizcat - would you recommend spaying before or after the first season?

Lizcat Tue 20-Mar-12 13:57:54

I think every owner should consider all the pros and cons about when to spay. My emphasis that the most important thing is to do it before the second season.

GOLDENLiquidAngel Fri 19-Oct-12 08:45:49

Another lurker adding my love, light, prayers and healing wishes to the rest. Get well soon Bea. Sending love, light and hugs to you Cup, and all of the teaset too xXx

GOLDENLiquidAngel Fri 19-Oct-12 08:46:54

Balls wrong thread. Stupid multiple pages open on iPhone muttermuttermutter

<slinks out>

rachmultiplemum Sun 21-Oct-12 06:28:46

A dog should be neutered once he has reached a year old. A bitch should be spayed once she is over a year old and 3 months past her first season.

Early neutering can delay the closure of the growth plates leading to 'wonky' bone growth. It can also increase the risk of bone cancer. Dogs that have been neutered before they are mature are more likely to have behavioural problems, such as fear aggression (they need the hormones to help them mature mentally). The recent research is pretty damming. I can dig some papers out for you if needed.

LST Sun 21-Oct-12 10:23:14

My nan has just had her pup spayed. She never had a season. I'm getting my collie neutered as soon as he turns 6mo.

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