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Just got back from the Vet's, and my Bella is a healthy 47 lbs. (will be 9 months next week). Dr. asked me about spaying her and we had the discussion about everything I have read and the pros and cons of waiting until after the first spay (everything I have read on here and then some). Well, he seems to feel that there is NO benefit of waiting for her to have her first heat before spaying. We discussed the Breast cancer issue (he seemed to cite what I have read), I asked about Hip Dysplasia (he said that is based upon heredity and heavy weight can exacerbate it). I asked about needing the hormones to grow properly and having the growth plates close properly - he said that having her spayed would not affect her growth plates closing. He said most of the info out here is cited from old studies, and perpetuated by breeders that want to blame something other than heredity on their pups getting hip dysplasia.

I thought I had decided to wait until Bella went through her first heat (which I would think should be soon - her mom went into heat at 8 mths.) and then have it done, but now I am second guessing myself again! AAGGGHHH:doh: It is so hard to make a decision on what is best.
 

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I think it's a personal choice and one only you can make. What you are comfortable doing and will feel ok with.

Sorry I'm not of more help:)
 

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FTM 2 a preschooler + pup
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i had my gal spayed at age of 10 months - which i thought was too close to her first heat but after the surgery, the vet tell me it was still faaaarrrr away even for the first heat. i dont know what exactly it is and the vet said that it was the best decision to spayed before the first heat cause than she will get all the advantages of being spayed, no growth issue will be affected. BUT we just need to watch the dog's diet (read: not so many treats) to prevent it becoming overweight.
good luck :D
 

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I believe that this is the best article for Golden Retrievers. I am highly insulted by your vet's comment about breeders, but have to assume that he sees mainly BYB or for-profit puppies.

I don't think that spay/neuter timing and decisions are a one size fits all, and I do think that there can be differences between breeds, which is why I like Rhonda's article. It's not just about growth.

http://www.weebly.com/uploads/2/0/2...her_and_when_to_neuter_a_golden_retreiver.pdf

As a breeder, I wish that my puppy people could let their girls have a heat before spaying them. In reality, many pet people are not equipped to deal with a bitch in heat. Nine months is not a bad age to spay-much better than 4-6 months, IMO.

As important as we know hormones are in humans, I cannot believe that people think they are of little to no importance in animals.
 

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Unfortunately this is just one of these times when you have to gather all the information you can and make a decision YOU feel good about. It's a tough one!
 

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Matt
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I would do your own research and try to find a vet that is more in line with what you think. I am by no means an expert, I'm still trying to learn as much as I can before we bring our puppy home next year.

Imo from everything I have read, it is best to wait, for "responsible" dog owners at least. I understand that vets and doctors go to school for their fields, but if their views aren't in line with my own and I feel like I have done good research, then I would be looking elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I believe that this is the best article for Golden Retrievers. I am highly insulted by your vet's comment about breeders, but have to assume that he sees mainly BYB or for-profit puppies.

I don't think that spay/neuter timing and decisions are a one size fits all, and I do think that there can be differences between breeds, which is why I like Rhonda's article. It's not just about growth.

http://www.weebly.com/uploads/2/0/2...her_and_when_to_neuter_a_golden_retreiver.pdf

As a breeder, I wish that my puppy people could let their girls have a heat before spaying them. In reality, many pet people are not equipped to deal with a bitch in heat. Nine months is not a bad age to spay-much better than 4-6 months, IMO.

As important as we know hormones are in humans, I cannot believe that people think they are of little to no importance in animals.
In my vet's defense, he did say there are some very good breeders out there that definately look out for the health. He just feels there are alot of breeders that breed and show their dogs - get titles after them and charge more for their puppies, but not keeping health as the primary important objective for the breed. He doesn't get alot of breeders because alot of them will travel a couple hours to a more rural area of our state and go to a vet there that is cheaper.

Thanks for the article - I have read it a number of times.
 

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IMHO, it sounds like you've done everything right thus far. If you spay her relatively soon, or a few months from now, she will still most likely receive all the health benefits of a delayed spay since she is 9+ months.

Thanks for posting this question, btw. It's an important topic without a simple, "one-size-fits-all" answer!
 

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Jill -- Maisie's "Mom"
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Additional Info

Maisie's trainer's Facebook page (in the Notes section) has links to four articles on this topics if you want more detailed information including from the American Veternary Medicine Association. It's at Best Friends Dog Obedience. My summary of the four articles agress with the Rhonda Hovan article provided by an earlier respondant: after the dog's first heat seems to be the best compromise from an overall health perspective. That's what I'm choosing for Maisie.

For what it's worth, her vet takes the position that there are arguments both ways and that from her (the vet's) point of view, the most important factor in the timing is to wait until your dog is large enough to be spayed laparoscopically which she views as safer and much easier for the dog's recovery. She also highly recommends doing the optional procedure in which the surgeon makes a few stitches "tacking" the stomach (sorry, I don't know the technical terms) so that it can not twist in the case of bloat. This can be done at the same time as a lap spay.
 

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My vet told me the same thing. He thought the best time was between 6-8 months. Darby is almost 7 months and I am going to get her scheduled for next week. However, If I were not going back to work soon I would probably wait. Good luck with your decision.
 

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All I will say is. Hormones control EVERYTHING. Growth, development, when the growth plates close.

I dont care if they are old studies, they are still studies. What do you think would happen if I took the hormones away from a growing baby? Think about it..

If it were MY dog..I would wait till 2. If your vet cannot respect that, I think you need a new vet

Hops off her soap box

http://www.thedogplace.org/HEALTH/SpayNeuter_Zink-0603.asp

http://www.weebly.com/uploads/2/0/2...her_and_when_to_neuter_a_golden_retreiver.pdf
 

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I personally would never spay or neuter my dogs unless it is absolutely necessary. The only reasons why I would speuter my dogs would be if they get testicular or ovarian cancer or some disease involving their reproductive organs that could be cured by removing them.
 

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Kye & Coops Mom
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We have made the decision to hold off until about 2 yrs for both our male and female. Our Vet feels that if you take the responsibility then the advantage to allowing the dog to mature is valuable in overall health. Know we will go through a few heats with our girl, but working on solutions to this now BEFORE she comes in. In the end they will both be neutered/spayed. In our past goldens and dogs we have always spayed/neutered very very early so this decision is a first for us. Only time will tell, but feel we can make it through the heats with careful planning.
 

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It is a drastic and serious responsibility to cope with a female in heat.
 

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I have had a number of dogs because of the rescue work we have done over the years and I have spayed females at 6 mos for a number of years. The first and for most reason was that I DIDNT want any puppies. I was trying to find homes for these abandoned dogs not bring more in to the world. I few of these dogs we ended up keeping. Gemma a yellow lab spayed at 5mos livd to 15yrs old, Matayah a mutt spayed at 6mos lived to be 9yrs old( her kidneys staredt to shut down). Blue Jean a lab cross spayed at 7mos lived to be 13yrs old.
The one dog my sister brought home from a rummage sale and didnt spay only lived to be 7yrs old.

All of the dogs that I have spayed and kept in contact with all lived to be old some older than their breed expectancy.
It is a personal choice to the OP I hope you find the choice that is right for you.
 

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I have it in my contract that folks can not spay prior to 9 mos at the earliest I prefer them to wait one heat cycle and honestly am starting to lean toward two considering how slowly my girls mature... However, vets and breeders often have very differing opinions on some of the "husbandry" things.

Collect the info and make the best decision you can and if you have a good breeder I honestly would talk to them and get their thoughts .
good luck
s
 

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The reality is that it is known that spaying a bitch before one year of age is protective against mammary cancer. That is a fact. And it is a huge responsibilty to accept the risk of mammary cancer when keeping a bitch intact. Since I show mine in conformation, I have accepted that risk. And this Fall when Tiki was spayed at 7 years, she had a mammary mass that the expert who removed it told me was cancerous. Fortunately, the pathologist read it as benign adenomas. Then there is the responsibilty of accepting the risk of pyometra. While it is unusual to have pyometra in a young bitch, it is not unheard of... As I see it keeping my bitch from getting pregnant is the easy part (since my boys are neutered), but I have no control over the health issues, when my gilrs remain unpsayed past one year.
 

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I also think there is something to be said about knowing that your dog had a normal heat cycle before spaying. If you are responsible going through a heat cycle is not that hard, JMO. Sure, it can be messy and you have to be careful.

Ultimately it is your decision and not everyone wants to deal with a heat cycle and that's fine.
 
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