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I keep getting conflicting info from my vet, whom I like very much, and my breeder, who is very reputable. They both feel strongly about their positions of waiting until after the first heat or before. Please tell me your opinion, as my vet wants me to bring her in next week when she turns six months.
 

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My personal preference is to wait until after the first heat. However, many pet owners are not prepared to care for a bitch in heat and so I think 6 months at the absolute earliest. My girls generally do not go into heat until they are close to a year of age, so I ask my pet people to wait until at least 9 months of age.
 

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Listen to the person with the DVM when it comes to conflicting advice about health issues.

If you break down the statistics of risk for mammary tumors, there isn't a huge difference between before and after the first heat. By the third heat, the numbers shoot up, so it becomes crystal clear by then.

Pyometra is also a risk at every heat, even the first.

There are a bunch of studies that have begun to suggest protective effects against some kinds of cancers and bone issues for dogs who are neutered a bit later, but the research is hardly conclusive at this point.
 

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I had Karly spayed last week at 6 months old. I live in Germany and our vet here said 6 months is the earliest she would do it. She told us that she feels it is not important to get it done before the first heat cycle but definitely before the second. Karly had not had a heat cycle yet and we have not had any experience with a female in heat so we wanted it done to avoid having to deal with that. Another reason we had it done as soon as possible is because the three male dogs in her obedience class are not being neutered until they are 18 months old so we thought it would be best to have her spayed as soon as possible. We are with the dogs 100% of the time during the class but I didn't want to take any chances!
 

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There is so much information out there on wait to spay or not waiting. You need to do what you feel most comfortable with. Having a dog go thru heat is a lot of work and worrying about not leaving the dog alone outside at all. me I would not like to have a dog go thru it but that is me.
 

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I would agree with your breeder, wait until after the first cycle is completed if you're going to spay your female.
 

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We didn't want to go through one with Lucy, and frankly I wanted to lessen her risk of cancer. Lucy was spayed at 7 months.

With Dory, she was spayed far too early IMHO, but the rescue was going to do it no matter who adopted her. I tried to get them to let me sign a contract stating that I would have her spayed at six months, but that didn't fly.
 

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Rosie turned 6 months this week and she was spayed this week. We didn't want to go through a heat cycle with her, and our vet (whom we trust and respect very much, and who also owns a golden retriever) recommended we do it any time after 6 months of age.
 

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I would definitely allow her to have her first season. It isn't a huge deal. When Tilly went through hers, the only difference was she was kept on the lead during walks for a few weeks, she kept herself very clean so it wasn't exactly much to cope with. I firmly believe that it is healthier for any animal to grow to adulthood with their natural hormones.
 

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I'm new to all of this heat cycle talk, so please explain when do they go into heat? I don't have my pup yet(born today), but I want to know as much as I can. Thanks
 

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We have never had a female Golden before, but with our female GSD we waited until she finished her first heat cycle before having her spayed, which is what both the vet and her breeder recommended. She was right around 11-12 months old when she had her first cycle and she was spayed shortly after that. She is now almost 11 years old and very healthy, other than some arthritis, but that's pretty much the norm for German Shepherds.
 
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