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Not Spaying at 6-months

November 23rd, 2005, 08:18 AM
I was reading everyone's contribution to 'Not Neutering My Dog' and had similar questions regarding my 5-month old female brittany. I received two conflicting pieces of advice:

1) The breeder said I should wait until after her first cycle before spaying because it will help her mature much more quickly than if she was spay before.

2) The vet said it makes no difference if you do it before or after, the difference is the release of estrogen and has no effect on the dogs maturity.

Given the posts from the other thread, I'm concerned I'll have many stray dogs sitting on my doorstep while contemplating the plate glass window!!!

November 23rd, 2005, 09:12 AM
Your vet is right. Spaying has nothing to do with how your dog matures. Your breeder unfortunately doesn't know the facts, this is just her opinion. The reason why many people think that spaying or neutering calms your dog is because at the time that most dogs are fixed, 6 months they are hitting the tail end of adolescence. It looks like getting them fixed is what has done it but in fact it is just that they have started to mature naturally. The one thing that does make a difference is traininig. The more training you do the better behaved they will be because they know what is expected from them in regards to rules. There is no scientific proof that states that fixing a dog will do anything to change a dogs behaviour except that it decreases the natural tendancy to mark, breed, etc and the behaviours associated with these if done early enough. It evens out the playing field.

November 23rd, 2005, 10:16 AM
I definitely would not wait until her first heat, dogs can be quite tricky and determined about getting out (in the case of your dog) and getting in (in the case of unneutered males.)

My dog was spayed at three months and she matured perfectly normally.


November 23rd, 2005, 10:42 AM
Agree w/ LM, we had a springer that was spayed at 5 mos. and she was larger than most of the male springers my friends owned.

November 23rd, 2005, 11:51 AM

It is pretty much universally agreed upon by vets that the best time to spay is BEFORE the first heat period. If a dog is spayed prior to the first heat, the odds of developing mammary cancer later in life are less than 1%. If spayed between the first and second heat periods the risk increases to about 8%. If spayed at any time after the second heat period, the risk of mammary cancer is about 25% in the dog (same as in an unspayed dog). There are no reasons not to spay prior to the first heat that I am aware of. A few dogs do develop incontinence from low estrogen levels after spaying but this does not appear to be affected much by the time the dog is spayed. Some dogs just develop this problem after spaying.

November 23rd, 2005, 11:58 AM
I agree with coppperbelle 100%. I just want to add that if you spay before her first heat, the spay itself is cheaper. Waiting until after her first heat will actually increase the cost of the spay at most vet clinics.

November 23rd, 2005, 07:30 PM
I do my rescues as soon as the vet will let me which is at 3 pounds! I do peds all the time haven't had a problem to date.