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So what is the current thinking about spaying a female puppy?

The vet is recommending before her first heat.
The breeder is recommending waiting until at least 1 year old and has had 1 heat because of the growth plates.
 

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Puddles
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Follow the advice of the breeder. I loved my vet of 50 yrs, even worked for him but we saw a ton of unwanted dogs & puppies and tasked with putting down the unadoptable pound pups so their perspective is lowering the stray population most of the time. All rescues require you spay as early as 3 months, basically before the pup leaves their care!
Your breeder expects you to be a responsible owner and has your puppies interest 1st and foremost.
 

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I agree follow your breeders thought. Some are even talking about only having one ovary taken out. Some are saying this will help with the cancer rates in female dogs. We could not find a vet that would do that on our current girl. We did her after 1 year of age and after her first heat.
 

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I agree, listen to your breeder. Vets tend to push spay and neuter everything and do it as soon as possible (especially if they buy into the animal rights and adopt don't shop agendas). They see all the irresponsible owners who let their dogs run and get pregnant. You are a responsible owner who will never let your dog out of sight when she is in season. Vets are not used to that. Honestly, in Europe they only spay or neuter if a medical reason makes it necessary because the dog's health is better off if the hormones are left intact. You do need to be aware of pyometra though (uterine infection in girls that can be deadly if not treated immediately). It is extremely rare in dogs under age 5-6 years, but it can happen-my own girl got spayed a little over 2 years old because of pyo. Another option which will leave your girl's hormones intact but prevent any unwanted pregnancies and usually eliminate the risk of pyometra is ovary sparing spay. Your girl will still come into heat (but the bleeding is less to non-existent from what I understand) and be attractive to males, so you will still need to keep her away from intact males for her own safety (its not good for a male to tie with her). But she keeps her hormones and all the health benefits that they give. Now finding a vet who knows how to do an ovary sparing spay can be difficult. If you are on facebook, there is a group called Ovary Sparing Spay and Vasectomy Info Group. They have files which will answer a ton of questions as well as a listing of vets who do the procedure. I think if I hadn't had to spay my girl because of pyo, that is the route I would've gone (either that, or just left her intact). However, I can totally understand not wanting to deal with heats and all that, so if you prefer to just spay, that is your decision. But I would definitely wait at least until she is a year old-better still to wait until 18-24 months so that her joints are for sure done growing.
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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We actually waited until after the second heat. So many vets are going for 6 months now. I don't get it.
I get it. It's about money. Most vet practices operate on very small margins, and they use vaccinations and spay/neuters to make their overhead. Practice management courses encourage vets to push for early spay/neuters because surveys show that the longer a client waits the less likely that vet is to get the money for that procedure, either because the client moves or changes vets, because they decide not to have the procedure at all, or because the dog dies. So they teach vets to push hard on early spay/neuters, and they give them little pamphlets with "science" justification that they can cite to resistant clients.

Listen to the breeders, who care only for the health of the puppy. Not the vet who has a monetary interest in performing the procedure.
 

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my 18 month old has had two seasons. I feel like I need to make a decision. I’ve been leaning towards ovary sparing but my breeder isn’t familiar with it. I just read the UC Davis study and I’m wanting to know what they considered “late spay” because there was a HUGE difference in onset of hemangiosarcoma in a late spay vs early spay. And intact. Onset of under 3 years in late spay. 6 years in early. And barely nonexistent in intact. And once you’ve lost two dogs to hemangiosarcoma at 5 & 7...you think about it.
 

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I agree about not spaying early , but listening to a breeder with no medical experience over a vet? NO THANK YOU!
There is loads of information (from the world over) out there for people to discuss the pros and cons of spaying, with their trained medical professionals. Then it is up to the owner to make the best decision possible.

ie: my own vet promotes spaying at 4 months old. During my discussions with her, I asked why. The reply was that the State of Nevada says 4 months, and she is licensed by the state! Her message was very clear..it's Nevada and not her that recommends 4 months. Needless to say, I will wait until 12-24 months and my vet had NO problems with that!
My dog equals my decision.
 

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I've had two golden girls from puppyhood. Girl one was spay at 2 1/2 after 3 heat cycles. She died at 9 1/2 from Mast cell cancer. Girl two was spay on her 6 month birthday. She lived to 14 1/2. Girl 1 was girl 2's great aunt.
 

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I agree to wait until she grows. I spayed my girl just before her 2nd birthday. I find myself wishing I had waited a while longer.
 

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I agree about not spaying early , but listening to a breeder with no medical experience over a vet? NO THANK YOU!
There is loads of information (from the world over) out there for people to discuss the pros and cons of spaying, with their trained medical professionals. Then it is up to the owner to make the best decision possible.

ie: my own vet promotes spaying at 4 months old. During my discussions with her, I asked why. The reply was that the State of Nevada says 4 months, and she is licensed by the state! Her message was very clear..it's Nevada and not her that recommends 4 months. Needless to say, I will wait until 12-24 months and my vet had NO problems with that!
My dog equals my decision.
If you are referring to me, my breeder isn’t telling me what to do. I only asked my breeder if she’d heard it or known of anyone who’s done it. I’ve met breeders who never spay even after dogs are done having puppies and those who do. But when you read studies done by vets with statistics different from what traditional vets are telling people to do after it being proven not necessarily best (<6 months) says...it’s interesting. I got major attitude from my vet when I told them I wasn’t spaying before six months. Thank you, next. Haven’t been back to a vet I used for 15 years due to the attitude/treatment.
But if I look at my dogs who were spayed early (because I knew no better at the time), prior to 6 months, 3 of 4 fall into the statistics of the UC Davis study.
 

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If you are referring to me, my breeder isn’t telling me what to do. I only asked my breeder if she’d heard it or known of anyone who’s done it. I’ve met breeders who never spay even after dogs are done having puppies and those who do. But when you read studies done by vets with statistics different from what traditional vets are telling people to do after it being proven not necessarily best (<6 months) says...it’s interesting. I got major attitude from my vet when I told them I wasn’t spaying before six months. Thank you, next. Haven’t been back to a vet I used for 15 years due to the attitude/treatment.
But if I look at my dogs who were spayed early (because I knew no better at the time), prior to 6 months, 3 of 4 fall into the statistics of the UC Davis study.
Nope..Not referring to you or anyone else specifically. Just my feelings in general.
Those thinking that vets propose early spaying for money are missing those vet's medical points (Mostly). Vets here have to go by what the State recommends since they do the licensing. Having been with my vet for over ten yrs....I get the straight skivvy, but still do my own research. She is a UC Davis grad and #2 surgeon at the practice (the owner is #1 of course..LOL)

I will be spaying my own Golden between 12 months and 24 months old. This is not set in stone, and will depend on her 1st heat.

Also those thinking that most breeders are not in the game for the money, should do a bit more research. Yep, there are breeders that are in it to better a breed, and for the sheer enjoyment; but from what I see, they are rare indeed!
 

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My first thought on these questions is always asking the person to do an honest assessment of your lifestyle. If you're the type who just lets the dog roam alone within your fenced yard when it's time to potty, you might better spay early because a male dog will find a way to get access to her. If your personality is to be extremely responsible and very vigilant, then I see no reason to spay early. Listen to your breeder and wait.
 

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All rescues require you spay as early as 3 months, basically before the pup leaves their care!
I adopted a Golden Retriever puppy from a Golden Retriever rescue group that had rescued the litter from an abusive backyard breeder. I convinced the rescue group to allow me to wait until he was 2 years old to neuter him. I had to give them contact information for the breeders I had used and my vet as references so that they could speak on my behalf regarding my degree of responsibility. Thankfully, it worked but it wasn't easy. I also think they were open to my request since they were a breed specific (Golden Retriever) rescue group. I'd say that Puddles is going to be right 99.9% of the time when you're dealing with a rescue group, but it never hurts to ask - if you can document your experience as a responsible pet owner.
 

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So what is the current thinking about spaying a female puppy?

The vet is recommending before her first heat.
The breeder is recommending waiting until at least 1 year old and has had 1 heat because of the growth plates.
I have been line breeding Field Goldens for over 30 years, I tell my clients to wait until 2 years old. If you are not aware, a Golden is considered fully developed at 24 months, That's why OFA will not grant any developmental clearances until 25 moths of age. Spaying and neutering definitely affects bone development. That's a fact! Do what works best for your puppies health and wait until your golden is 2 years old, a heat cycle is not that difficult to deal with. Any other questions, email me at Hollandfarmretrievers(dot)com
 

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Yep, not spaying Maggie. To much risk with increased lymphoma, MST, late closing growth plates WITH early spaying and late spaying with hemangio so my decision is not too spay. My vet agrees as well. OSS was also a no done with even the slightest part of the uterus left behind had the same risk of pyo of left intact. So why do that and potentially still have to do a full spay down the road and put them through 2 surgeries?

If you're responsible to not let accidental breeding happen, then that is an alternative (to leave them intact) if not I feel that late spay (after 12 months) it's certainly the way to go IMO. Everyone had to look at the data and evidence and make the best choice for their dogs.
 

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Yep, not spaying Maggie. To much risk with increased lymphoma, MST, late closing growth plates WITH early spaying and late spaying with hemangio so my decision is not too spay. My vet agrees as well. OSS was also a no done with even the slightest part of the uterus left behind had the same risk of pyo of left intact. So why do that and potentially still have to do a full spay down the road and put them through 2 surgeries?

If you're responsible to not let accidental breeding happen, then that is an alternative (to leave them intact) if not I feel that late spay (after 12 months) it's certainly the way to go IMO. Everyone had to look at the data and evidence and make the best choice for their dogs.
this is where I’m at. Mentally, the hemangiosarcoma freaks me out beyond belief that the onset shows average age of 3 in late spay vs 6 in early spay. And I lost a lab confirmed to hemangiosarcoma at 7 years old and suspect my lab at 5 years old who died same way/exactly as the confirmed case of my 7 yo...it’s awful. Not that any pet loss is easier than another (it’s not)...but seeing what a dog with hemangiosarcoma is like in its final moments...gut wrenching.

I have spoken to a vet who does traditional and has done OSS for 25 years. Still haven’t decided what I will do.
 

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this is where I’m at. Mentally, the hemangiosarcoma freaks me out beyond belief that the onset shows average age of 3 in late spay vs 6 in early spay. And I lost a lab confirmed to hemangiosarcoma at 7 years old and suspect my lab at 5 years old who died same way/exactly as the confirmed case of my 7 yo...it’s awful. Not that any pet loss is easier than another (it’s not)...but seeing what a dog with hemangiosarcoma is like in its final moments...gut wrenching.

I have spoken to a vet who does traditional and has done OSS for 25 years. Still haven’t decided what I will do.
I was going to do it but after talking with my vet (who also does surgeries at U Penn) feels the risk or leaving a uterine stump is high enough that she feels that there's roughly the same risk of pyo as there is just leaving them intact, so for me... there is no spaying unless she develops pyo then that's the general course of treatment, a spay. Most likely time for pyo to occur is 4-6 weeks AFTER a heat cycle. for me it's easy no tto have my dog at risk for accidental breeding and the heat cycles are fine to deal with every 6-8 months.

Just so you are aware, in an OOS they will still attract male dogs because they still go into heat cycles.
 
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