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Before or after first season - how did you decide?

(12 Posts)
Just10moreMinutes Mon 13-Jun-11 22:11:37

My canine girl is just over five months and I'm finding it so hard to decide whether to let her have a season or just go ahead and get her spayed at 6 months (as my vet suggests)

She is a bundle of energy and I think she would be utterly miserable only being walked on the lead for a month (and the op is going to restrict her for a while too). From a selfish point of view, I'd like to avoid all the hassle that a season could entail but I do have this niggling doubt that maybe I should let her fully "mature".

It probably sounds silly but I also feel a bit anxious just waiting for the season to come and not knowing how she would be..

I'd be so interested to know what factors swayed other people's decisions

MovingtoSolihull Mon 13-Jun-11 22:16:25

I went with the vets advice. Before.

I was panicy that she would get 'caught' whilst off the lead and I couldnt stand the stress, so easier to have done before and all that.

Happymm Mon 13-Jun-11 22:17:04

Am a novice, and someone with much much more knowledge than me will be along soon, but from what I've read it should be later rather than sooner, so that it allows the bitch to be sexually mature and all that entails, and reduces the risk of long term incontinence...

beautifulgirls Mon 13-Jun-11 22:21:55

Speaking as a vet earlier. Surgery is easier before the first season so therefore safety is improved and less risk of unwanted puppies in the (probably unlikely) event of an accidental mating. My own dog was spayed at 5 months for these very reasons.

DogsBestFriend Mon 13-Jun-11 22:25:27

It's very much an area with two distinctive schools of thought, both for what seem to me to be good reason. I can only say that I worry about the vets who advise that you should wait for fear that they are unaware of the reality of the unwanted dog problem. I know that I'll get flamed for that comment but can honestly say that I have met maby vets who are unaware and who are sometimes overconfident in their trust that owners can prevent their young bitches from getting caught. (Not saying that you're one of these but such owners do exist and IMHO and IME there's far too many of them).

I work with rescue so I'm very biased. All I can say is that I ONLY work (at least knowingly only work) with reputable rescue and all those would advise spaying before the first season if possible. I trust their experience and their unbiased care - the only thought they have is for the dog, not for any personal gain) and would therefore go with them and recommend spaying before the first season, as has been the case for thousands of pet dogs and rescue dogs for decades. Some might argue that there is a need for full growth before spaying but I have honestly yet to meet the bitch who has suffered through being spayed pre-first season.

My opinion alone - I am not an expert and am only going on experience as detailed above.

BluddyMoFo Mon 13-Jun-11 22:26:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

blurdylurdy Mon 13-Jun-11 22:32:21

I was in 2 minds, but then she started at 11 months so the decision was made for 'after.' The vet had told us a few weeks earlier that she was months away and would probably start about 18 months like her mum hmm

I think I would have just left it until after her first because we do live somewhere where we can keep her away from other dogs - if that hadn't been an option, I don't know what I'd have done as she's big and needs exercise.

Saying all of that though, since we got her, I have been asking everyone for advice on everything - on walks, I chat to all the other walkers and I am AMAZED at how many intact dogs there are. So many of their owners just say things like, 'oh he's never shown an interest' or 'he's quite good at coming back'. confused

So, my girl gets done next month.

chickchickchicken Mon 13-Jun-11 22:37:16

i went with my vet's advice - before. she is now 14 and very healthy

Lizcat Tue 14-Jun-11 13:22:19

Previously it used to be believed that if you spayed before the first season they were more likely to get unrinary incontience. However, in 2000 a very large study retrospective study was undertaken that showed that urinary incontinence is not related to age at spaying.
Bitches spayed before their first season have a 99.9% reduction in the risk of mammary tumours, bitches spayed between the first and second season have a 92% reduction in the risk of mammary tumours and after the second season there is no reduction in risk.
If you spay before the first season the blood vessels to the uterus are smaller and easier to tie off so the risk of post operative bleeding is less than after the first season.
There is some evidence that dogs who are neutered before the age of 5.5 months are more at risk of hip dysplasia, haemangiosarcoma and cranial cruciate rupture.
I hope this provides some of the pros and cons for you.
Personally in my own dogs I neuter after 6 months of age and before the first season in females.

Avantia Tue 14-Jun-11 14:20:57

Mine done before first season when she was 8 months.

She was only on a lead 10 days after op and made excellent recovery.

Just10moreMinutes Tue 14-Jun-11 21:40:11

Thank you so much for everyone's posts. Going to get her done before her first season and feel happy with that decision. Just need to organise the date.

CoffeeIsMyFriend Tue 14-Jun-11 21:56:36

well I didnt have a choice. We had talked about getting Lolly done after we had been to Scotland on holiday, however, she came into season the evening we got to Scotland. Luckily we had a secluded beach that we could run the dogs on and my boy is done and he wasnt interested in her at all.

Keeping her in the garden for the other 2 weeks was not much fun for her, but I used that time to do some training and grooming and all she wanted to do was be with me, her mum.

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