|Barked: Fri May 25, '12 10:48am PST |
|At just six months, it's unlikely that she's had her first heat.
If she has, though, it's not that big a deal. There are pluses and minuses to spaying at all, in health terms, and some of those risks go up while others go down if the dog goes through heat first.
Also, of course, if she has, there's nothing you can do about it now, and there's no reason not to spay her if you want her spayed.
The big reason to spay before the first heat is that then you don't have to go through a heat with your dog. Some keep themselves cleaner than others--Dora kept herself quite clean and only needed panties for a few days (and only because she sleeps on my bed, really.) Some are more persistent than others in trying to get out and find a male dog to mate with (Dora was a real challenge.)
But one of the advantages of a heat is that it's the sex hormones that close the growth plates in the long bones, and that makes for denser bones and stronger joints. For an active dog like a beagle, I think that's a real plus.
But, on balance, the real question is whether you feel comfortable going through a heat. If you do, none of the reasons against outweigh the reasons for it enough to be the decisive factor, If you don't, none of the reasons for it outweigh the fact that you don't feel comfortable doing that. Pregnancy is a health risk, too, and if your circumstances or your experience are such that you don't think it's a good idea, talk to your vet about when he/she feels is a good time to spay her, and do it.
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