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Old May 25th, 2011, 03:12 PM
Colleen57 Colleen57 is offline
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When should Dog's be spayed/neutered?

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
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Old May 25th, 2011, 03:35 PM
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Gail P Gail P is offline
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Opinions vary about what age is best. I've had/have lots of dogs over the years and have always had mine spayed or neutered by 6 months of age. Some people prefer to wait a little longer thinking it is better for joint health etc. but of the 9 dogs I have now all have healthy joints and 7 are athletes that run about 250-300 miles per season (how many miles depends on the dog and which team they're running on).
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  #3  
Old May 25th, 2011, 04:22 PM
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14+kitties 14+kitties is offline
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Welcome Colleen57.
Quite simply shelters, rescues, HS's, etc. s/n the cats, dogs, puppies, and kittens before they adopt them because of the over burdened pet population. Presently there are approx 10 to 12 million cats/dogs/puppies/kittens euthanized every single year. And that is in Canada only. The States have the same numbers or worse. A lot of other countries aren't far behind.
The fine folks who work at these shelters, rescues, HS's, etc are just plain tired of having to go pick up an animal that has been dumped or not cared for properly or abused. They are also plain tired of having to choose which animal's number is up when it comes to being overcrowded and having to make room for the ones that keep coming in.
I know your question is when is the best time to get them fixed but that question is not an easy one to answer. Personally I have always had my pets fixed at/around six months except for my little one who could not be fixed due to seizure activity. All of them have lived to a ripe old age with only the normal issues of aging.
Unless you are showing your dog or you have an exemplary dog that will continue a purebred's line in this day and age with the overpopulation crisis I see no reason for not s/n your pet at six months. JMO of course.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 05:23 PM
SamIam SamIam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colleen57 View Post
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
IMO
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.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 06:47 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=76896

The recent thread I linked above in and of itself will give you an idea of the complexity of your question. Within the thread I posted a list of articles you might also find to be interesting reading on the age to spay or neuter. There certainly is not a "one size fits all" answer. You are quite correct, research shows neutering prevents some health concerns but is associated with higher counts of other health concerns.

One thing you can definitely say to any who rudely disparage an operation you had no control over, it did save your pup's life. Most shelters and rescues demand the critter be neutered before leaving their facility. What would have happened to your pup otherwise? Illness or death on the streets?
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Old May 25th, 2011, 07:48 PM
Colleen57 Colleen57 is offline
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Thanks for all the opinions, guys!

Glad to know that i'm not the only one who get's them spayed/neutered at an early age.

My pup is only 2.5 years old, but she sure is happy and healthy!

And thanks Longblades--i'll be sure to check out those links
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  #7  
Old May 25th, 2011, 09:03 PM
Choochi Choochi is offline
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Colleen the shelter certainly didn't do it because they didn't care about your pup's health. It's standard procedure for any rescue or shelter to only release altered animals in order to prevent further unwanted litters. You would be surprised just how irresponsible some people can be with keeping their intact animals from accidentally breeding.

That being said, a lot of the new medical and research material coming out is pointing more in the direction of delaying altering until the pet is fully grown and has benefited from the presence of the hormones. This is especially the case in large breed dogs. That should always be balance with your own personal ability to maintain an intact animal, and some times behavioural issues may be a factor too (intact males marking or becoming aggressive or territorial) that an average pet owner may be unable to deal with.

It's all a balance and in most part a personal preference. The best thing you can do is read up on the subject and form your own educated opinion.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 04:00 AM
Elaina Walker Elaina Walker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colleen57 View Post
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


Hey Colleen!

Don't worry, these are only myths. Many people think that spaying makes the dog fat and lazy, and also adversely affects the health. These are common ideas of everyone.

But be assured spaying is only having positive effects. It's better to take the safety measures as early as possible, and you have already done this. Now your pet will have a better health and will show a better behavior.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 09:22 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Elaina, welcome to the forum. Get your post count up and I believe we can PM you and you can post photos of your pets.

In the meantime, I realize posters often don't read anything other than the OP so I'd like to suggest you take a look at the same link I provided for the OP. Much recent research by accredited Vets in peer reviewed articles points to at least as many risks with spay/neuter as benefits as far as health alone is concerned. Some behavioural advantages of spay/neuter are also questionned, some confirmed. Take a look, I think you will find some surprises. I think there is no one hard answer either way. It's not the best thing ever, nor is it the worst. As many of the articles say themselves, more work needs to be done.
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  #10  
Old June 2nd, 2011, 12:35 PM
Choochi Choochi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elaina Walker View Post
Hey Colleen!

Don't worry, these are only myths. Many people think that spaying makes the dog fat and lazy, and also adversely affects the health. These are common ideas of everyone.

But be assured spaying is only having positive effects. It's better to take the safety measures as early as possible, and you have already done this. Now your pet will have a better health and will show a better behavior.


Elaina your statement couldn't be further from the truth.

While some lazy owners like to blame their balooning pet on a recent spay, there is scientific evidence that has shown a corelation between spay/neuter and weigh gains in controlled laboratory settings, it is not a myth.

Your statement that spaying only has positive results is also completely wrong, especially in the case of female dogs. Spaying can result in minor to serious medical complications and long term effects, including behavioural effects.

I would strongly suggest you research this topic and read some of the medical papers Longblades posted links to. There is hard scientific evidence that spaying and neutering is not 100% better for our pets and in fact can have some serious long term side effects.

Every one considering if or when to spay or neuter their pets should be aware of these issues. Mind you that is not an excuse to take on the responsibility of keeping an intact dog if you are unable or unwilling to do so safely and responsibly (ie accidental pregnancies).
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