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Spaying a bitch is ultimately based on the preference of the owner, I agree with Swampcollie. It is important to be if possession of all the information about your decision before hand and the benefits/risks of spaying a dog is hot topic. I would read this article to get some information.

However, keeping your female intact is a ****HUGE**** responsibility, really! My Selli was intact until six (this past summer) when she developed pyometra and had an emergency spay. Luckily, I was aware of the possibility of pyo, and caught the first change in her behavior and got her into the vet. Her recovery was no longer than a traditional spay but it cost mega bucks. However, I think if I had it to do over again, I would still keep her intact, I am really hoping that the five extra years with all her hormones will help protect her from hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma.

If you are a careful owner who can deal with heat cycles, have a good relationship with your vet, know about pyo and have a close eye on your girl to be able to tell the minute she starts feeling off (and the money to pay for a emergency spay if needed), I don't see a problem with keeping your girl intact. BUT it is a BIG responsibility.
 

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Doesn't PYO risk increase with age and is not a matter of being fixed, or am I getting this wrong?
Pyo risk does increase with age, but it most certainly is a matter of being "fixed". Every heat cycle increases the risk of a pyo. Removing the ovaries and uterus (or even just the ovaries) brings the risk of pyo to practically nothing. It is extremely rare for a spayed female to get pyometra (called a stump pyometra). Stump pyos are usually due to exogenous hormone exposure.
 

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Pyometra is due to the effects of estrogen then progesterone on the uterus. So the theory is if you remove ovaries that won't happen... I wouldn't take a chance. If you are not going to breed your girl what is the point to not spay? Obedience showing wise, my previously unspayed girls had just as much drive. I do see that neutering slows boy and girl metabolism... my guys aren't fat. I say feed them less!!
 

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YODA,
I think you know i live where you do.We share a common reality.You see that some of the people in this forum spay/neuter as early as 4-5-6 months.Well,4 or 5 rarely,but not unheard of.To me,that's still a puppy,not to say a little baby,and it's very,very early.I am not a vet,but i still think it's early.Babies need their hormones to grow and develop properly,believe me,that i know for sure.Being from Sofia(BG) you also know,that here people rarely spay/neuter before the age of 1-2.Until the dog is almost fully developed.It's only in the past 4 or 5 years,that we are starting to get into this very early fixing.I suppose it has it's advantages,they may even be more than the disadvantages,but you know yourself-it's just not done here.Like you've said-we feel guilty,thinking of taking away what nature has given,the men want their males to be intact.Sometimes they take it as a personal insult-ha ha. :)
You also mentioned the situation with the stray dogs,and believe me,i do understand way better than anyone here would.I love all animals and it hurts to watch them.But it's slowly starting to get better-animal rescues,people who care and help.Young people ;)
I would and maybe will do that myself.
The risks-Pyometra,cancer...I lost my 13 year old beloved Lora( german shepard) to mammary gland tumor,so i know first hand,unfortunately.Not to mention walks being nightmare while the girl is in heat.
My 2 year old boy is intact...He's healthy,not aggressive,but i still consider neutering him,for his health's sake.I think with the females this is even of much greater importance,so consult your vet and decide.
And hi from Sofia to Sofia!Малко дългичко стана! :) (It's a bit long!)
 

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Discussion Starter #25
great stuff! it sure is a hot topic...

hi, Bell! i know, i know...but i wouldn't say "guilty", just trying to learn more in terms of health for the years to come after spaying.

Sally's Mom, you wouldn't take the chance that surgery will minimize the risk of PYO but if the dogs are not to be bred, you would risk it?

So the increased risk of PYO is a combination of aging and the presence of ovaries which are not being used...it is only logical to spay a dog at an early age then.
 

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I recommend spaying any girl that will not be bred. Early age has nothing to do with it as pyometra is GENERALLY an older/ middle age bitch.
 

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I agree-the risk of pyo is almost always with increasing age. I don't think I have ever known of a 2 year old with pyo, personally, but once they start at age 4 and up, the risk just continues to increase.

I don't LIKE spaying, but right now there just aren't any other alternatives. I am interested in the "new" (to the US anyway) idea of removing the ovaries but leaving the uterus. With the hormones reduced, there is apparently no risk of pyo. I'm also interested in the idea of removing the uterus but leaving the ovaries, but that has the potential for a stump pyo.

My breeding bitches are kept intact and yes, it can be risky. Four of my friends, including myself, have all experienced a bitch with pyo. All survived but it was a near thing and very expensive to treat. Now mind you, for me it has been, so far, 1 bitch in over 30 years but still........ And my neighbors poor, dear, neglected Aussie died of pyo at age 8. By the time they took her to the vet, it was too late.
 
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