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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering what your thoughts on the proper time for spay should be.

I was always told that younger puppies recover faster and have fewer surgical and post-surgical complications than their older counterparts. As there is very little to no body fat to contend with, the incision is smaller, surgery time is reduced and recovery time is very short.

On the other hand, I have heard to wait six months, or even later. Doing so, decreases the risk of mammary tumor by doing it before her first heat, and you increase risk of ligament injury and incontinence by doing it on a very young female.

I have also heard that the whole cancer risk increase at six months old is completely false.

So when is the best time to ensure proper growth, least likely side effects from horomones and ease of recovery?
 

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All I can tell you is that MY vet won't spay or neuter before about 5 months old. I normally let my girls have their first heat cycle before spaying (at around 6 months) - tho I didn't let Chloe ever go into heat first, she was very small, and at that time Romeo was intact - and he was more than twice her size. Many rescues and shelters spay puppies as young as 2-3 months old - my vet refuses to do that - he says it's too young - and it's very difficult to judge the right amount of anesthetic to give them and they often don't wake up. With shelters there are no owners to care if they don't wake up. My boys are usually neutered about 4-5 months old - and they recover quickly (the girls do too). I have ten beagles - and, except for the one "special breeding pair", and two younger females who may be bred in the future, ALL are spayed or neutered, as has every dog I've had in my almost 70 years!
 

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Usually it's best to spay before the her first heat. THIS is what reduces the rist for cancer, and not the age. Some pups get their first heat at 9 and 10 months old, so the age is less relevant.
However, since they can get their first "period" at 6 months of age, it is recommended to spay by 6 months old. I've heard of people who spayed their dog at 4 months even. I think it's a weight issue too...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess this is why I am confused. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/hihi.gif

I am hearing let her have her first cycle and also hearing wait until after her first cycle.

I certainly don't want an "accidental" litter of puppies, which makes me want to spay before. But I want to ensure that she is mature enough to not have complcations during surgery.

I know this may seem weird to worry over, but all my previous dogs were already spayed/neutered prior to me rescuing them.

I just want to do what is best for her and her future. I love her so much, that I don't know what I would do if something went wrong during her surgery.
 

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I hear from all the vets these days that if you do it, do it BEFORE her first cycle.
Another thing is, and I don't know if it's true or not: If the dog is spayed before her first cycle, she is less prone to gain more weight... again - not sure if it's true. The only "evidence" I have is that Chloe was spayed "before" and she is still in tip-top shape, and Abby (her pal) was spayed "after" and has gained about 10 lb since. No change in diet or exercise.
 

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Abby was spayed in October 2006, when she was about a year and a half old. .

She had her first heat in April 2006 and was coming up on her second...I debated having her spayed so I put it off. Her first heat was hard on her and I didn't want her to have to go through another one so she went early October for spay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When you say that Abby's first heat was hard on her, what do you mean? *concerned look*
 

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In the UK they generaly don't like to spay until 3 months after the first season but times might have changed since I last had a bitch spayed.

The reason for this is two fold. One because after the first season all the plumbing, urinary tract etc is fully mature and there is less risk of incontinence later on. And two because if you let her have a season then wait 3 months then you can be fairly certain that it is finished and she is not just about to go into season again. Performing the surgery on a bitch that is in season is more complicated with increased risks so I'm told.
 

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Every vet I've ever had suggested spaying at about 6 months. My Li'l Girl was a year or more old when I adopted her, and had had puppies. For some reason, she had a harder time recovering from the spay than any of my other females. It could be that she hadn't had enough time to get built up with good nutrition, etc., before the spay since I had to get it done within a short time of adopting her.
 

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Jennifer, There is no guarantee.... Abby (Chloe's pal) was spayed about 3.5 months after her first cycle, and during the surgery the vet called her owners and told them that she was still in heat
and also charged a little extra for the procedure (but that's another issue). She recuperated just fine from it /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/hapfac01.gif, but it's highly unadvisable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gee....I wish I had a poll on this. Before? After?

I am so terribly confused.... /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/hihi.gif
 

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Originally Posted By: Chloe's MommyJennifer, There is no guarantee.... Abby (Chloe's pal) was spayed about 3.5 months after her first cycle, and during the surgery the vet called her owners and told them that she was still in heat
You're right there are no guarantees but it is the only safeguard they can work to.

It is confusing Deb but there are pros and cons to doing it both before and after I'm afraid.
 

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During Abby's heat she slept a lot, her nose was dry, her eyes glassy, she even shivered a lot. She also moped around and just wanted to be left alone. She didn't really eat or drink either. She was just miserable! I ended up taking her to the vet because I thought she was very sick...it was all her heat cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Originally Posted By: BeagleBabeDuring Abby's heat she slept a lot, her nose was dry, her eyes glassy, she even shivered a lot. She also moped around and just wanted to be left alone. She didn't really eat or drink either. She was just miserable! I ended up taking her to the vet because I thought she was very sick...it was all her heat cycle.
Wow! I don't want to make Peanut go through that. I am leaning more and more towards getting her spayed before.
 

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My first dog Lilly's season was horrid. She bled loads and loads. I had to put newspaper all over the floor. She used to shake herself and spray blood up the walls. She was moody, irritable and a right pain to be around (bit like me really).

Rosa was totally different. Her season was so slight I almost missed it. She didn't change in temperament at all and it all seemed to be over before it even began. So every dog is different.
 

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Zoe was around 6 months when I had her spayed and they said she was in heat when they spayed her, thus charging me quite a bit more money. She had never bled, or acted as if she was in heat around the house. I did it at 6 months, which was my vet's recommendation.

She didn't gain any weight or change in personality. She was back to her normal self within probably 12 hours.

Was I ripped off? Zoe is my first dog personally so this was my first time having the operation done. I have, however, grown up around dogs in my family since day one but they were all male dogs and none of them were ever "fixed."
 

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The best age to spay is around 6 to 8 mos of age. Most vets don't like to spay before that because 1. Anesthesia is a bigger risk for younger dogs. 2. The dogs need to more mature phyically, bone growth ect.. The dogs do not need to have a first heat cycle to be spayed. So ideally, 6 to 8 mos is best. Also to spay a dog during a heat cycle costs more and is more risky due to more bleeding. When I sell a puppy, in my spay and neuter contract the puppy must be spayed or neutered between 6 to 9 mos of age.
 
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