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When to spay a dog

July 19th, 2004, 04:18 PM
I have an IG (Italian Greyhound) that is nearly 8 months old. i have been holding off on spaying her because my vet said that while it is not necesarry to wait for them to go through their first heat it minimizes the stress of it. The thing is that she has not had her first heat and my stepfather that used to breed and show akitas says that he doesn't know anything about IGs but it does seem a bit odd. I was wondering if anyone knew about when IGs go through their first heats and if maybe I should have Candi check at the vet to make sure nothing is wrong. i know that might sound parinoid but i'm starting to get worried because the vet said it should happen around 6 months. I was also wondering if anyone could tell me if it would be too stressful to have her spayed even though she hasn't had her first heat. I'm starting to get tired of constantly checking on her when she's outside alone (while not often can get annoying when she is) to make sure there arn't any males around that somehow got through the fence. any help would be greatly appriciated. thanks in advance.

July 19th, 2004, 04:37 PM
OK - here is how it reads out of the Merek Veterinary Manual;

Mammary tumors in dogs are most frequent in intact bitches; they are extremely rare in male dogs. Ovariectomy before the firest estrus reduces the risk of mammary neoplasia to .5% of the risk in intact bitches; ovariectomy after one eutrus reduces the risk to 8% of that in inact bitches......

What that mumbo jumbo translates as if you spay your dog BEFORE the first heat cycle you are knocking her chances of breast cancer to just about 0%. After the first heat cycle the risk goes up......

Not to mention the messiness of the cycle. And it is not unusual for a female to vary in onset of puberty - some don't cycle till they are 18 mnth, though around 6 mnths is the "norm" and quite frankly is the age it is most commonly quoted at because most people want you to get her spayed before the first heat to prevent pregancy and all the lovely stuff that goes along with trying to find homes for the thousands of surplus animals produced each day.

I don't know why your vet recommended that.....makes no sense to me...we were taught in school that sometimes a vet that has been around for a while (that is the nice way to say older) may hold on to the somewhat antiquated ideas that a heat cycle is better for the dog.

Happy surgery - glad that you are on top of it soooo well! The world needs more people like you!

July 19th, 2004, 04:44 PM
thanks for the info. as for my vet she is actully young maybe 35-40. she told me the reason to wait for the first heat is because in IGs the anistethia is very stressful for them because they have so little body fat. she said that between the anistethia and hormones that start at that age it might be too much for her and many IGs loss their hair after the operation. (especially since my Candi has a skin disease that requires constant treating that made her loss her hair when i first got her). She says that after the first heat the dog has become accustom to the hormone changes which makes the operation less stressful. now i don't know too much about all that. thats just what she told me. but i think i'll get her spayed now anway because i don't like the idea of breast cancer becoming an increased risk. thanks so much for your help. it's really appriciated.

July 19th, 2004, 05:26 PM
Ok - gothca - that does make more sense with the body fat issue, but at least she should be a fair size by now.
Good luck with her, and ask what anethetic they will use, you may find that thier protocol is to go with the highest priced safest stuff for her, but you may find that in some clinics there is a bit of a two tiered system to try and keep costs down for the owners - make sure that she is getting the "good" stuff if you are able to pay the higher fee.

July 19th, 2004, 08:14 PM
I was wondering about this. Lindy(the reserve rescue for those who don't know ;) ) was spayed only a couple of weeks ago after she was rescued. She is estimated to be about 10 mos old. I was wondering how she got away with not having a litter if she had been running around free. I would be able to tell if she had a litter right? Protuberant nipples?

Lucky Rescue
July 19th, 2004, 08:35 PM
Freyja, often big dogs dont' come into heat until they are nearly a year old. I would say your girl probably (luckily) got spayed in time. Having litters at very young ages is bad for dogs.

July 19th, 2004, 08:52 PM
I agree!! She is a lucky pup!

July 19th, 2004, 10:31 PM
thanks for the help. i will ask for the "good" stuff even if it means i might have to skip my dentis appointment. her health is more important than one cleaning. thanks for the help.

July 19th, 2004, 10:41 PM
My pup just got done she was 7mons :D

July 19th, 2004, 11:04 PM
My good ol' border coll shep cross SPCA mutt was 4 mnths when she was done, in BC they are just starting to explore pediatric spays and neuters and pop control wise it sounds lovely!