When should i be spayed?

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Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 7:34am PST 
Hi, my name is June. I am 6 months now and i just got over some minor health issues (UTI). My vet told my mommies that he recommends waiting until i go thru heat (whatever that is) once before they spay me, but i am scared. He says that if they wait i will grow into a big strong girl with healthy bones. They seem confused as what to do. Heat is a scary thing for all of us.

Does anyone have advice that i can tell them??

Please help.....shrug

Barked: Tue Jun 30, '09 3:13pm PST 
not until after 24 months of age! if you go to:
www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/longtermhealtheffectsofspayneuterindogs .pdf you can get some good info on why you should wait!


Just the right- spice!
Barked: Mon Jul 6, '09 11:43am PST 
It's funny I should stumble across the very question I pondered a couple of months ago. I also found the link that suggests waiting is better. My breeder suggested waiting until Ginger was fully developed, but my vet (and another vet who I reqested a 2nd opinion from) both said it was very important to do it before Ginger's 1st heat cycle.

After posting my question (in the 'Answers' section, not in the GR Forum) and reviewing the answers I will share my thoughts with you.

After extensive research, it appears to be a case of the vets vs. the scientists. There are pros and cons to both, if you reviewed the link the other member provided in their post. The vets cited prevention of cancer as their main argument and the scientists feel waiting is critical to bone plate formation.

The thing that pushed me over the fence was a reader's comment that reminded me of a wonderful and gentle dog I once had many years ago. She was the best, most well-behaved dog I have ever owned! Even as a little pup she was an angel. When she went into her 1st heat cycle, I didn't even recognize her. Her behavior had turned wild and destructive. Had I had a sliding glass door at the time, I think she would have gone through it trying to get to the male dogs hanging out around my house. It was very scary. I prevented unwanted pups the first time, but the 2nd heat cycle I was not so successful. I had to take a quick trip to the store and left her in my fenced yard. I was only gone 20 minutes when I came home to find a male dog had cleared the fence.

Having a previous GR succumb to cancer before she was 10 years old also helped me make my decision (not the same dog as I just described above). My girl Tippy was also not spayed until she was over 2 years old. I can't say for sure if a late spay is the reason for her development of cancer, but it's enough to make me think long and hard about my decision.

My precious Ginger was just spayed 2 weeks ago, at 7.5 months of age. She recovered very quickly and I am happy with my decision.

So it's not just about bone plates and cancer. To me it was about the potential behavioral change, the chance of an unwanted pregnancy and aggressive male dogs. That's not to say all dogs are the same (of course they are not!) but you just never know. What I do know that now my sweet Ginger is safe.


Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 1:48pm PST 
i've read research of cancer maybe because of early spay, but not from late spay. it's hard when you decide not to spay/neuter until later. it takes a lot of responsibility on the part of the owner to make sure an unwanted pregnancy doesn't occur.


Barked: Wed Aug 5, '09 8:29pm PST 
June & Family

Here is a link to an article by Marianne Foote. Marianne was the owner-publisher of Retriever International ( a magazine that was exclusive to the 5 retriever breeds) and is a long time (50+ yrs) breeder of Labradors. This article has been reprinted in many breed magazines, dobermans etc, as the information is not exclusive to retrievers. It explains the studies that have led to vets now reccommending that you wait to spay or neuter your dog.

I hope this helps.


Best wishes, Mac little angel

Condemn the deed- not the breed
Barked: Mon Sep 6, '10 3:07am PST 

I've had the same problem when I spayed my dog. It's a Pit Bull and she was 18 months. The vet said that the sooner the better if i wanted to spay her. Unfortunately by law I had to spay her, so I did. He also told me that when we spay dogs they tend to not grow much, so if you have a large breed dog and don't want him to grow much it might be a good option, but not at 6 months old, wait until at least 1 year old to make sure the bones are almost fully developed. At least that's my opinion and the vet also smile.

Hope it helps,
Oliver and Kyra

Author of Obedience Training For Dogs blog