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Claire
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641 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have heard some things about growth and spaying/neutering. I want Phoebe to get as tall as she is supposed.to get. I know you are supposed to get them fixed at 6 months but now breeders are telling owners of males to get them fixed at 12-18 months so that they grow out properly. I was just wondering if that is the same with females? She is a big girl so i would like to see her grow to what she is supposed to be.
Thanks!! :)
 

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Davina
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392 Posts
I am wondering this exact thing. My vet told me to spay Sharlette at 4 months. she is 4 months today and I was going to call the vet today to set the appointment. But I don't want it to hinder her growth at all. I am curious to see what the over all view on this is.
 

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Dr. Rainheart
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5,563 Posts
What does the contract with your breeder say?

Some breeders say before the first heat cycle and some say after the first heat cycle. It really is something you have to decide. We have always spayed our females about 6 months before the first heat cycle.
 

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We spayed at 6 months and the main problem was keeping her calm afterwards. Wether to spay before or after the first heat cycle, is a never ending debate. You just have to do your own research and make a decision. There are pros and cons no matter how you look at it.
 

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Claire
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641 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I also don't have a contract with the breeder. I won't have a problem with keeping her calm after the spay, I just don't want to keep her indoors while she is in heat. But I will do that if spaying at 6 months will cause a stunt in her growth.
Our westie breeder told us to wait until the last possible minute to spay her which was 7 months old and her sister came into heat a week later. But for her males she advised the owners not to neuter until at least 18 months.
Thanks for the advice!
 

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Dr. Rainheart
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I personally don't have a contract. My Sharlette was from a BYB....
I would not spay at 4 months. I find that too young. 6 months is the youngest I would ever do. And then it is a judgement call on your part.
 
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" But I will do that if spaying at 6 months will cause a stunt in her growth"

There are not any studies that show spaying stunts growth. The growth is regulated by the hormones to some extent. By spaying they have found that some of their bones do not know when to stop growing which makes some bones longer than should be in some dogs.
 

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I had Jacey spayed at 6 months at the recommendation of the vet. I've never heard anything about having a female spayed too early that it would cause problems for their growth. I have heard you should wait until around 18 months for a male though because they need the testosterone for their developement, and if they get neutered too early they would look more like a female than male.
 

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We have had all of our girls spayed at 9 months as recommended by our vet. As he told me when I asked.....somewhere between 6 months and a year of age.

Mike
 

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Nancy
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I've haven't heard that early spaying effects growth, I've heard that neutering early can cause a male to grow tall & leggy. We always had our females spay done around 6 months, our male neuter was done at 1 year. None of the girls were stunted nor the boy leggy.
 

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Dakota Katie River's Mom
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Years ago in working dogs we spayed after they had gone through their first heat. If it was a pet, it was spayed at six months. I don't know if they still do the same or not. The belief was spaying before six months left them eternal teenagers, that they mature mentally after their first heat. Anyone know if this is still the norm? This was with herding.
 

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Golden Lover
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939 Posts
Yesterday, I was asked by our breeder not to spay our girl until she is a year old.
She also said, because she is a large breed dog, she will not go into heat until she is probably a year....true?
 

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In an ideal world, we wouldn't have to spay them, and they could reap the benefits of their hormones without risk. Unfortunately, there is a risk to both spaying and not spaying. My ideal would be for my pet people to wait until after the first heat cycle but that is just not always possible for pet people.

My girls typically don't go into season for the first time until close to a year of age, but that varies by line and even by individual bitches.
 

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Dakota Katie River's Mom
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In an ideal world, we wouldn't have to spay them, and they could reap the benefits of their hormones without risk. Unfortunately, there is a risk to both spaying and not spaying. My ideal would be for my pet people to wait until after the first heat cycle but that is just not always possible for pet people.

My girls typically don't go into season for the first time until close to a year of age, but that varies by line and even by individual bitches.
Just curious, why do you like to wait until after their first heat cycle. I spayed Dakota after her first, which was just after she turned one. I know what to do with a bitch in season, so wasn't worried about an accidental breeding happening.
 

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It allows for some of the protection of hormones, and allowing for sexual maturity but avoids the increased risk of pyometra.

I wondered for years why my personal dogs seemed to outlive the ones I sold as pets. I knew the pets were very well cared for. The one consistent difference I could come up with was that my dogs are not spayed or neutered until much later in life. Some recent studies have shown this to have a positive impact on life span.

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

Exploring mechanisms of sex differences in longevity: lifetime ovary exposure and exceptional longevity in dogs - Waters - 2009 - Aging Cell - Wiley Online Library

From another forum:

Theriogenology. 2011 Nov;76(8):1496-500. Epub 2011 Aug 10.

Probing the perils of dichotomous binning: how categorizing female dogs as
spayed or intact can misinform our assumptions about the lifelong health
consequences of ovariohysterectomy.

Waters DJ, Kengeri SS, Maras AH, Chiang EC.
SourceDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Purdue University, West
Lafayette, Indiana, USA. [email protected]

Abstract
In 2009, we reported findings from the first study evaluating the
relationship between canine longevity and number of years of lifetime ovary
exposure. All previous studies examining gonadal influences on canine
longevity relied upon categorizing females as "intact" or "spayed" based on
gonadal status at the time of death. Our study of Rottweilers generated a
novel result: Keeping ovaries longer was associated with living longer. This
result challenged previous assumptions that spayed females live longer. In
the present investigation, we explored a methodological explanation for the
apparent contradiction between our results and those of others, so we might
better understand the impact that timing of spaying has on longevity. We
hypothesized that naming female dogs as "spayed" or "intact" based upon
gonadal status at time of death - a method we refer to as dichotomous
binning - inadequately represents important biological differences in
lifetime ovary exposure among bitches spayed at different ages. This
hypothesis predicts that a strong relationship between years of lifetime
ovary exposure and longevity in a population could be obscured by
categorizing females as spayed or intact. Herein, we provide support for
this hypothesis by reanalyzing longevity data from 183 female Rottweilers.
In this study population, there was a three-fold increased likelihood of
exceptional longevity (living ≥ 13 yr) associated with the longest
duration of ovary exposure. However, categorizing females in this population
as spayed or intact yielded the spurious, contradictory assertion that
spayed females (presumed to have the least ovary exposure) are more likely
to reach exceptional longevity than those that are intact. Thus, by ignoring
the timing of spaying in each bitch, the inference from these data was
distorted. It follows from this new understanding that dichotomous
binning-naming females as spayed or intact-is inadequate for representing
lifetime ovary exposure, introducing misclassification bias that can
generate misleading assumptions regarding the lifelong health consequences
of ovariohysterectomy.

Copyright C 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Although it it not linked (as of today) on the Rottie page, you can obtain a
full text of it here:

http://www.gpmcf.org/PDFs/db.pdf
 

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Dakota Katie River's Mom
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1,684 Posts
Thank you, some very interesting reading. Papillons mature faster than Goldens, going into season the first time generally around six months, though I've had some as early as five months and as late as a year. It almost makes me wish there were some way to have our pups on birth control to allow the maturity to happen before spaying.
 

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Now, obviously, there are negatives to keeping a female intact, primarily the risk of pyometra and the increased risk of breast cancer, and of course, unwanted pregnancies. It's a balancing act, when to spay (not if, at this point, but when).

As a breeder, my girls are always intact until 7 or 8 years of age, so the breast cancer risk is a given. Knock on wood, I have only known of 3 bitches who developed breast cancer, one of which was a girl I owned. She died of breast cancer at age 13, which is still a long life for a Golden, although of course it wasn't enough.
 
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