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How soon to spay?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Arya

Serious Face
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 12:32pm PST 
Starting to think about when Arya will need to be spayed and I'm having trouble finding an answer? Our vet recommended 6 months but I wanted to do some research anyways.
Some sites say you can spay as early as 8 weeks, some sites say to spay before first heat, some say after, some say if you spay too early there are health risks, and some say the are risks for waiting until after the first heat...

Soooo what do dogsters think? Is 6 months a good age, and if not, how long should I wait?
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UCH Onyx TT,- CGC

Do you even- lift?
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 3:54pm PST 
There are pros and cons to spay/neuter at any age. The age to spay especially can be a little tricky. Personally I feel it's almost always best to wait until the dog is mature before spaying or neutering. Your pup is small breeds, so six months would probably be fine, but I'd say closer to a year after she's gone through one or two heats would probably be better.

As you've discovered, there are a lot of opinions on the subject and everyone you ask will probably give you a different answer. This article is a good source of information that may help you in your decision: Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs
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Fritz

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 25, '13 3:27am PST 
Well, a lot of it depends on your willingness and ability to deal with a dog in season. We spay at around 6 months before the first heat, as your vet recommends. We have never had a health problem.

Little Bellatrix came to us just coming out of season and had an emergency spay because I didn't know her history and she was likely interfered with while a stray.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 25, '13 7:04am PST 
I personally have done both and in all honesty prefer to wait until after at least the first heat. That is provided you can manage the steps necessary to prevent an accidental pregnancy during that heat cycle. While I'm sure many will say it makes no difference at all, I feel that giving them a little more time allows them to mature a bit more and grow-up a bit mentally. we waited through several heats with Mika and it seems that it allowed her to lose some of her puppy like behaviors. With Kai we had him neutered at 6 months and it seems that he stayed more mentally immature as well. That has just been my observation over many years with several different breeds, when spayed or neutered before sexual maturity it also tends to arrest mental maturity as well. I just used Mika and Kai as an example but this has been my experience over many years of seeing both before and after sexual maturity.wishes
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Arya

Serious Face
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 25, '13 9:03am PST 
Thanks for the advice everyone smile I'm leaning towards waiting until after first heat.

Is it difficult to manage? I'm not worried about accidental pregnancy, she's always on-leash and supervised outside. But are there any difficult behaviors or physical symptoms?? One of our cats went through a couple of heats before she was spayed, and while there was nothing messy with it, I remember the soliciting behaviors being really really obnoxious.
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Charlie

Turd Burglar
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 25, '13 11:16am PST 
We always wait until our dogs are fully mature. Usually they go through 1 or 2 heats. Heats are fairly easy to manage if she's not around intact males (it gets annoying with those persistent buggers). Dog panties will be your best friend for preventing blood and dog goo getting all over the house. Charlie was a year and a half and our German Shepherd was two when they were spayed.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 25, '13 11:36am PST 
Aside from the mess and actually that depends on the dog, Akita's for example are very, very, clean and we noticed no mess at all except for where our girls slept(doggie panties work great)some can be a bit nasty in their mood at times, some may get a little clingy and more needy but generally it isn't too bad. As long as you keep her leashed and supervised from the day her heat starts for about 6 weeks from that date just to be safe, everything should be fine. If anything does come up or concerns you all you have to do is post here and someone will try to help.hugwishes
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UCH Onyx TT,- CGC

Do you even- lift?
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 25, '13 4:14pm PST 
I've only had one female (a Golden Retriever), but in my limited experience, heats weren't difficult to deal with. She kept herself clean and didn't really act any differently. She was intact until she was about 4 and never had a problem. Like M&K said, it varies from dog to dog, but I don't think most dogs are as annoying as cats in heat. In the weeks following her heat, watch for signs of false pregnancy and pyometra.
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Dora

A-Dora-ble!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 25, '13 4:30pm PST 
If there's an intact male around, you want two closed doors between them at all times.

And she can NEVER be outside off leash while she's in heat.

How difficult these things are will depend on your household, schedule, and experience.

Different dogs produce different amounts of blood in the process, meaning how messy it is, and how important you'll find it to keep her in doggy diapers or panties is really individual.

I went through one heat with my newest girl, Dora, unexpectedly, when she arrived last year. It was not fun, but it was totally doable.
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 26, '13 11:24am PST 
I personally prefer waiting until around the two year mark, for the dog to mature more, both physically and mentally. How the dog is in terms of behavior or cleanliness depends on the individual dog.

Ria's first heat, she started off not really cleaning herself very well, and was a little more messy, until she got into the full swing of her heat, which was when she figured out how to keep herself more clean more frequently. Instead of doggy diapers, we just gated her into the kitchen - that way I could run a mop or something over it and disinfect the area and not end up with blood on my carpets in the instance she dropped.

Managing her was another thing entirely. She WAS more defiant and snarky, both with other dogs(fixed or female). And there were about three days of Charlie's incessant whining due to her being at that point in her heat where she was fertile and receptive, that drove me absolutely up a wall! I started separating them AS SOON as I noted her cleaning herself more frequently, because I knew it was right around that time and didn't want to risk an accidental litter - the next day, she was in the beginning of her heat.

What you can handle will be up to you, and how well you can keep her from getting pregnant accidentally too... I find it's far more difficult in a multi-dog household than it is to deal with a female in heat on her own.

Ria will likely have at least one more heat before she's fixed. Although, her being a small dog(30 lbs), and over a year now, we may decide to do it sooner just so it's less hassle to handle her and Charlie when my baby is born.
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