|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.
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