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Spaying before first season?

(14 Posts)
Khalessi Sun 15-Feb-15 18:36:11

Is this possible? Dpup is almost 8 months and no sign of season yet. We're away for a week when she will be 13 months and I don't want to give her to our dog sitter in season..
How can I coordinate this?

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sun 15-Feb-15 18:43:29

You can have her spayed before her first season. Some people advocate it, some say you should wait until after so they've had a chance to produce enough growth hormones. I think it's a bit of a debated issue. There's lots of material available online but it doesn't really give a definitive answer either way.

It's a bit of a minefield. This might be our dilemma this year, depending on whether the new pup is a boy or a girl, so I'll be following threads like this. grin

Chattymummyhere Sun 15-Feb-15 18:49:11

It can depend on your vets, some vets will not spay a bitch who has never had a season some will.

Personally if I was to spay mine it would be after their 3rd season which is the same season to breed from to allow maximum growth and maturity.

Queenofknickers Sun 15-Feb-15 18:52:24

I understand there's a study being currently conducted on this topic using Dogs for the Blind. We were told by one vet to wait until after 1st season which happened when our dog was 11months old. However I've since been told by another vet that there's no need to wait and now we have to wait until 3 months post season for her to be spayed! Sorry - no answer but this has been our experience.

RedRugNoniMouldiesEtc Sun 15-Feb-15 18:55:58

The main reason to spay late is that the hormones are needed to close the growth plates once they've reached physical size. Closing the growth plates helps to gaurd against hip and elbow problems that plague many breeds and also arthritis and "old" dog stiffness. You don't say what breed you have but any larger or more active breed will benefit from this. With a medium or medium/large breed I would do all I could to spay over 1 yo. With a smaller breed I'd be less concerned but the short answer is speak to your vet. They may or may not be willing.

Khalessi Sun 15-Feb-15 19:10:10

Thanks for your replies, I will be speaking with the vet this week. She's a bichon frise x toy poodle.

VetNurse Sun 15-Feb-15 22:09:53

I've got a small breed and she was spayed at 6 months before her first season.

EveDallas Sun 15-Feb-15 22:13:47

MuttDog is a collie/springer/something else - medium sized.

She was spayed bang on 6 months; she was with 3 entire dogs daily and I didn't want to take any risks. 5 years on she's still fine, no injuries, no illnesses, nothing to make me think we shouldn't have done it. Most of my friends do the same and no adverse effects so far.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 15-Feb-15 22:33:53

Chatty are you aware that if you wait till after the third season you lose any protective effects against mammary tumours. These are gained by spaying before the third season.

sweetkitty Sun 15-Feb-15 22:37:17

Our large breed bitch is getting spayed in 2 weeks time, 3 months after her first season and she will be 19 months old

Mominatrix Sun 15-Feb-15 22:41:01

We spayed before her first season upon vet's advice. Also, we live in a very urban environment where the local park is where we principally walk the dog, and most dogs are off lead there. We felt more comfortable spaying early rather than risking any unwanted results.

SunshineAndShadows Mon 16-Feb-15 15:09:53

Unfortunately the widely-touted recommendation of spaying before the first season to drastically reduce the risk of mammary tumours does not have a strong evidence base - its something which has persisted in veterinary teaching despite little research or evidence. A systematic review of the data in 2012 found that

"One study found an association between neutering and a reduced risk of mammary tumours. Two studies found no evidence of an association. One reported “some protective effect” of neutering on the risk of mammary tumours, but no numbers were presented. Due to the limited evidence available and the risk of bias in the published results, the evidence that neutering reduces the risk of mammary neoplasia, and the evidence that age at neutering has an effect, are judged to be weak and are not a sound basis for firm recommendations."

Its unlikely to be detrimental in terms of mammary neoplasia to spay early, but the benefits may not be as strong as widely believed. Also for breeds with already high-risks of neoplasia, neutering can increase these risks, which can be significant depending on the breed and type of neoplasia (e.g. possibly osteosarcoma in rottweilers) but again this is an area of ongoing research.

There's increasing evidence of potential problems of early neutering in some breeds relating to cranial cruciate ligament rupture or patellar luxation and this is an area of ongoing research. It may be that neutering later once the dog is skeletally mature my confer some protection. Larger breeds may also be at increased risk of urinary incontinence if neutered before maturity.

There are also various behavioural considerations that should be weighed up

Unfortunately most vets will not be up to date with a lot of these issues and will trot out the magical 'spay at 6 months' advice regardless of breed or gender (and yes I am a vet too!). Often its a case of carefully considering when to spay rather than whether to spay, and considering the age of sexual maturity and the prevalence of disease risks within the breed.

mrslaughan Mon 16-Feb-15 16:32:03

Just to add in the breed I have - a giant, the recommendation is to wait until after the 2nd season, because they are not fully grown after the first. ....they are a slow maturing breed.

It is not only about growth plates etc, but also about risk of incontinence.

Blistory Mon 16-Feb-15 21:00:32

Neither of my girls are spayed despite me having every intention of doing so when I first acquired them.

One is a Bernese who has seasons every 15 months. One's a Newfie who has just had her first season at 19 months. Everything I read was that the risks of mammary tumours increase in line with the number of seasons. That being said, it's still a very small risk. Given the small number of seasons both girls are likely to have in their lifetime and given the small risk of mammary tumours I wasn't prepared to put them through operations largely for my convenience.

Other factor for me was reporting from the BMD breed club that there does appear to be a link between early neutering and cruciate ligament damage - not something I want with big dogs.

I also considered that my dogs are never kennelled, I live remotely, no-one we know has entire dogs and I'm happy to deal with the inconvenience of on lead walks or stick to our fields during fertile times. If the worst happened, I accept that I'd have to suck up the costs of having to keep any pups produced. Without any of that, the decision may well have been different.

For me, it depends on the dog and my circumstances but I've moved away from a prior policy of neutering regardless.

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