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To neuter or not?

(15 Posts)
Pippin8 Sun 23-Oct-16 21:43:04

I've read lots of research & I'm not sure how credible half of it is. Please help me with this decision.

My female is 1 & she's a large breed. She had her 1st season at 9 months, it wasn't messy, but she didn't cope very well. She was lethargic, down & cried a lot. She also never left our side. We still managed to exercise her regularly & responsibly & had no issues with males.

Fast forward to now, I'm thinking of getting her done, had a date pencilled in for December. But, I know for sure she's not finished growing & wont do until she's approx 18 months.

I'm also worried, as some research says she'll be more likely to suffer certain cancers & heart problems if I get her done (her breed is prone to dcm).

Then others say she'll get pyometra or mammary cancer if I keep her intact. I'm swaying towards letting her have 1 more season & becoming fully grown then doing it. But the issue with her not coping well is playing on my mind & we also have a castrated male.

Thoughts please.

BeBopTalulah Mon 24-Oct-16 08:30:25

Some years ago our lab had pyometra. Her uterus just fit into a standard washing up basin on removal and we nearly lost her. I will always spay now.

NoIsAnAnswer Mon 24-Oct-16 08:37:37

We didn't neuter until our cocker was 3 for the reasons you stated but in hindsight I wish I did it around 1/2.

She attracted lots of male attention and the males could be quite aggressive and she was very defensive though by nature she's actually a very submissive and very friendly dog.

The seasons got messier each time and she was low/sad at each season.

Now she's much happier in herself all the time. No messy seasons. No aggression from other dogs etc.

My feeling is that a dog can get a disease or illness regardless of whether they're neutered or not. Plus there are so many unwanted dogs around in sanctuaries I think all responsible dog owners should neuter.

BombadierFritz Mon 24-Oct-16 08:40:47

I like your idea of one more seasin then neuter. we also know people who almost lost their dog to pyometra. awful!! I havent neutered my male as the risks are different.

Deadnettle Mon 24-Oct-16 08:43:42

My dog is a small breed who is currently having her second season (its only day 4). She was not a happy girl during her first season, she appeared to have tummy ache, was actually sick once and her behaviour became very paranoid. This season she is acting 100% her self and seems normal so your dog may not act the same if she has a second season.

I had surgery when my dog was due to be spayed after her first season but I'm not sure I would have had her done then as she would have only just been a year old and she has grown quite a bit since then.

I've looked at a lot of research too and I don't think the info is good enough to properly make an informed decision so you need to do what ever is best for you and your dogs.

happyvalley4 Mon 24-Oct-16 08:56:47

It's always best to neuter. Apart from pyometra they can also develop cancers of womb and breast. I had my female spayed at 5 and that was still too late for her. She died of mammary cancer at 7.

The best time to neuter is 3 months after the end of a season. So 3 months after her first or wait for another season and then do it. Don't wait any longer.

CatsTats Mon 24-Oct-16 09:03:46

We never got our female done until she was 3. We wanted to wait until she was done growing as she was a large breed. She was done once Dd left a door open and mdog almost got to her.

Pippin8 Mon 24-Oct-16 09:11:36

Thanks, the thought of an unwanted mating horrifies me. I'm definitely going to do it. I would ask the vet what the best time is, but I know what they'd say. Right now.

Our vets will neuter before the first season which I find a bit shock as surely not all animals will have stopped growing. She's very 'leggy' & ive read if you get them done too early they stay like that & don't fill out. I have booked the time off in December as that's 3 months since the last one. So I guess I'll go for a consultation soon.

I've only ever had males before. Does anyone know what the recovery is like? Will she have to be separated from our male for long?

OldTownNew Mon 24-Oct-16 09:56:01

I have a Rottweiler and were planning on spaying her after her second season but didn't end up getting her done until she had had 3... I think after they've had a few seasons then the risk of certain cancers doesn't go down as much after being spayed but we wanted her to stop growing first. And even if it's just to prevent pyo then it's worth it, I work in a vets and have seen so many dogs need emergency surgery.

Her recovery was absolutely fine, she was really drowsy the first night, she slept all evening (to the point where she couldn't lift her head off of the floor) and stumbled outside to go to toilet but was perky again the next morning. We had to keep her quiet for 7 days. I see dogs bouncing out of the vets a few hours after their op though so I think it just hit mine particularly hard but she wasn't in any pain, just very sleepy!

Whitney168 Mon 24-Oct-16 13:32:47

How large is a large breed? Bear in mind that urinary incontinence post-spaying is even more common in large breeds, and also increases the risks of bone cancer in large breeds, so if yours is one that is prone to that anyway that may be a factor.

I certainly wouldn't neuter a large breed before 2 years.

It's a hard decision, with no easy answer. I do spay bitches, but having a breed with a big coat, I do it later to reduce length of time dealing with poor coat quality and incontinence IF they occur.

This is a useful article: www.champdogs.co.uk/blog/pros-and-cons-of-neutering

Pippin8 Mon 24-Oct-16 14:07:01

She's a Doberman, so is prone to some of the heart issues & cancers I think.

stonecircle Mon 24-Oct-16 14:45:20

Oh my. How beautiful!

Neutering is always a tricky one but we've had all our dogs done having weighed up all the pros and cons.

Whitney168 Tue 25-Oct-16 15:42:48

Just came across this interesting article, and it reminded me of this thread:


StandardPoodle Wed 26-Oct-16 16:57:39

What a beautiful dog! I would always spay. We lost our first (unspayed) bitch to mammary cancer, our second had an emergency spay at about 7 for pyometra, and our third - rescue - was spayed 3 months after her first season. She's 10 now.

Peach9876 Wed 26-Oct-16 17:04:54

I've done quite a bit of research and seen the downside of early neuters and heard many tales about downsides of leaving them intact.
It can go wrong either way, but being a dobe I would encourage you as much as possible to leave her until she is 2. If you can't cope that long at least until she's older than 18 months.
The risk of cancer and pyometra grow the older she is, so at 2 the risk is very very low. I wouldn't want to risk leaving an unbred bitch unspayed past the age of 6 and that would be pushing it for me personally.
Plenty of people argue that they have done x,y&z and had no issues, but that to me isn't proof that what they have done is for the best. My research suggests that doing it too early or not at all is too risky, so that is what I plan on doing.

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