Originally Posted by Colleen57
Hello all! I'm quite new to these forums, but I feel like I need to ask this question
Firstly, a couple of years ago I got my pup from the SPCA. I got a black lab/airedale female dog, who was rescued from the Queen Charlottes because the mum was weak and emaciated.
She was 4 months old when we got her, and she had just been spayed. Some people think i'm stupid because she was spayed that early (even though I had no say in it whatsoever, any cat/dog that's rescued has to be spayed/neutered before going out). I have read that it can cause health problems later on, but i've ALSO read that it prevents them.
Does anyone have a say on this? When is a right time to spay or neuter a pet? I am only ever going to rescue pets, never get from a breeder, but I would still like to know. Thanks
When it comes to females, there are significant advantages to her health to having the spay done before her first heat. Since you can't predict exactly what age that will be, 6 months is fairly standard and only a few will have a heat earlier than that. There are no benefits (as far as I know) to the dog to have it done earlier than that, and there are various increased risks for early spays. For obvious reasons, the rescue you got your dog from weighed in favour of no dog rehomed unfixed, as not all adopters follow through with promises to get it done later. If you find yourself with an adult dog, it is best done about midway between her heats, and younger than 7 years old.
When it comes to males, it's a tougher decision. The risks of early neuter are also there, and the only advantage of neutering before 6 months is if you are homing a puppy to a source you do not trust to follow through promises. They become fertile at 6-12 months of age, so again 6 months is the standard. However, there are some concerns for structural soundness, particularly in large dogs and certain breeds, and it may be better to wait until 1-2 years. With older males, again, you would want to plan the surgery right away to avoid a senior going under anaesthetic.