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Discussion Starter #1
My lab Molly is 19 weeks yesterday...and we want to get her spayed.

The question is when...
we want it to be idealy before she goes into season, a) avoid unwanted pregnancy - my village is loaded with dogs! And b) to avoid the heat season, as it's just easier and cleaner for us but if it's better for Molly then we will put up with it for the 21 days or so it lasts!

Heard different opinions of 5 months, 6 months and after her first heat.

Ultimately want the best for Molly and that's the most important factor here.
 

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we usually do it around 5 close to 6 months right before the first heat cycle but a lot of people have strong opinions on the matter. Also sometimes dogs come into heat early sometimes later. most of the time you catch it at the right time between 5 and 6 months old.

The reasons are - if you spay a dog to young the organ tissue is very delicate and easy to tear during surgery. the female organs are very under developed making the removal process much more difficult. This can be dangerous. There are other reasons but this to me is the main one. It is a nightmare trying to spay a female dog that's tissue tears easily.

The reason we do not like to wait for their first heat cycle is because of the reasons your worried about, but also it takes awhile for the system to get back to normal after the heat cycle ends about 1 month. and if you catch it to early there is a lot of bleeding and swelling during the surgery.

so 5-6 months! if your worried about it pay the extra money for the blood work ahead of time to eliminate a lot of complications. Make sure your vet sends home with you antibiotics , pain meds, and an E-collar ( or buy one yourself) all vets have differing opinions on what is needed and what is not and I believe in playing it safe rather then taking a chance. MAYBE your dog wont go after her incision but if she does then your have another problem.
 

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We just had our Chi mix spayed this week. She's 7 months. Everything has gone quite well so far but the operation was yesterday. She's in a bit of pain but pain meds help. So far she's left her stitches alone but that could change as they switch from painful to itchy.

We've generally had our cats and dogs spayed/neutered at about 6-8 months. For dogs, waiting until they have their adult teeth is good since this allows the vet to handle any tooth problems in the same operation time.

We've adopted some cats that had pediatric operations by a rescue. This hasn't been a problem for them as they've grown up. We've never had a dog that's had an early procedure though. Since most dogs grow more, early fixing may have a negative impact according to some info I've seen.
 

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Mine was fixed at 5 months and she acted like she never had surgery. She didn't need the pain medication and she was back to herself as soon as she walked in the door. The hardest part was keeping her on the calm side, so she could heal. I even checked the incision to make sure she was fixed because she didn't even acknowledge it.
 

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I have only ever had three female dogs ... that were spayed. Abbylynn was spayed at 5 months old at the rescue and she is a year and a half old now with no health issues. Lucy (rescue) was accidentally spayed twice and the second time at approximately 5-7 years old! :/ .... and one dog I rescued, Kokomo ... was spayed after her first heat ... I waited until she was 11 months old ... and is now almost 10 years old and has absolutely no health issues. :)
 

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Talk to your Vet, but before the first heat, 5 -6 mos is fine. Also, try to make it convenient for you b/c you may need to watch her to keep her calm and you may want to rent an Elizabethan collar to prevent her from licking/chewing on the incision. (My Vet provides one on loan as part of the procedure.) I was able to tell my male Lab "Don't Lick!" (no, I didn't train him).

Take the 3 days of pain meds, but most Labs wake up a little groggy, then they're ready to go! So you have to work to keep her quiet for 1 - 2 weeks, depending on recommendations from the Vet. Usually, Vets have some type of handout. You also want some type of after hours contact, just in case she does something typically Lab, and you need advice.
 

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With large dogs it can be better to wait until over a year old. Small dogs and big dogs grow at different rates, and while a small dog may be close to fully grown at 6 months, a big dog is not. I think it is better to wait until the big dog is closer to adult size because their eggs and testicles produce bodily chemicals and hormones that help aid in their growth.
 

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With large dogs it can be better to wait until over a year old. Small dogs and big dogs grow at different rates, and while a small dog may be close to fully grown at 6 months, a big dog is not. I think it is better to wait until the big dog is closer to adult size because their eggs and testicles produce bodily chemicals and hormones that help aid in their growth.
I have a german shepherd and fixing her at 5 months has not affected her growth at all. I also have a 2.5 year old golden that wasn't affected and he was fixed at the same age...My 7 year old was also fixed at the same age and she hasn't had any problems..growth or otherwise. I think it just depends on the dog itself. The younger the dog, the easier the surgery is on them. That would go for the healing time too.
 

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I have a german shepherd and fixing her at 5 months has not affected her growth at all. I also have a 2.5 year old golden that wasn't affected and he was fixed at the same age...My 7 year old was also fixed at the same age and she hasn't had any problems..growth or otherwise. I think it just depends on the dog itself. The younger the dog, the easier the surgery is on them. That would go for the healing time too.
All dogs who are neutered young growth is affected. Dogs fixed early on are taller since the growth plates do not close properly. Also, in females spaying to young (at all, actually) can cause incontinence. I did tons of research and I will never own another fixed dog. Not worth the risks to me.
 

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I think I'd rather deal with incontinence than pyo, mammary gland cancer, and the possibility of accidental pregnancies. I did tons of research and I'll never own an unspayed dog. Not worth the risks to me.
 

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With large dogs it can be better to wait until over a year old. Small dogs and big dogs grow at different rates, and while a small dog may be close to fully grown at 6 months, a big dog is not. I think it is better to wait until the big dog is closer to adult size because their eggs and testicles produce bodily chemicals and hormones that help aid in their growth.
I agree with this and with Willowy ;-) . Sex hormones play a huge part in regulating the growth speed and it has been found that waiting for one season before spaying helps reduce orthopaedic issues. And the earlier you spay the lesser the chance of mammary cancer. I think it is around 0-1% chance before 1st season and then around 5-7% chance if you wait after one season. (there are hereditary factors as well). It is your decision and your lifestyle that is paramount.Such as being absolutely 100% sure your girl won't get pregnant. And seasons are a bit of a pain for all of you. We had to be more creative where we walked and when so not to encounter any intact boys. Also we have a six foot walled garden and we live in a city that you don't have wandering dogs. So personally after studying the pros and cons I spayed my five after a season.
 

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I think I'd rather deal with incontinence than pyo, mammary gland cancer, and the possibility of accidental pregnancies. I did tons of research and I'll never own an unspayed dog. Not worth the risks to me.
I am with you on this 100%. While some people think that there is no need for spaying/neutering, others believe the exact opposite. Anyone who has ever worked at a vet, a shelter, or a place like this will agree that spaying/neutering is beneficial. I would much rather base my decision on facts and things I've seen then any research I can read. We are living in a real world where real things happen....this is not a decision that is based on "I've never seen that so it must not be happening". Dogs that are not fixed can end up with many more issues then a dog that is fixed...that is a fact that I've seen hundreds of times.
 

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All dogs who are neutered young growth is affected. Dogs fixed early on are taller since the growth plates do not close properly.
This is a very broad statement and again I stress that all my dogs(they are medium to large) have been fixed early with no problems with there growth. They are as normal as the next dog within their breeds. So for me to have 3 dogs in my house with no issues really makes your statement not true. And even IF it was true I would rather deal with a tall dog then a dog with cancer or enflamed uterus, etc.
 

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I am with you on this 100%. While some people think that there is no need for spaying/neutering, others believe the exact opposite. Anyone who has ever worked at a vet, a shelter, or a place like this will agree that spaying/neutering is beneficial. I would much rather base my decision on facts and things I've seen then any research I can read. We are living in a real world where real things happen....this is not a decision that is based on "I've never seen that so it must not be happening". Dogs that are not fixed can end up with many more issues then a dog that is fixed...that is a fact that I've seen hundreds of times.
I don't think anyone said to not spay it is more about when. With larger boned dogs, in my opinion after looking at pros and cons, I decided to let my girls have a season (or another depending on their maturity) before spaying. It is a really loaded thing spaying - vets are very divided.... It is up to you to do the research and decide what is best for you...
 

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Think that's what it comes down to...so many varied opinions...just from this thread alone! There are pros and cons to both but I am definitely getting her spayed, and as soon as it is safe to do so, the sooner the better I guess. Things can go wrong both ways unfortunately just as with human ops, she will be fine I'm sure though, and she will be oblivious to the whole thing in the end!
 

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I have always spayed my female dogs around 5-6 months old. it effects males and females differently obviously. Male dogs have less health issues intact as females dog from personal experience but both have very high percentages of getting a serious health problem intact. i just read an article online that 28% of intact females get pyometra before they are 10 yrs old. and 1 in 4 intact females will get mammary gland cancer. that is only 2 of the problems intact females get! those are HIGH numbers! In the past 2 months we have had 3 Pyometra emergency spays and 1 mammary gland tumor removal. ( and a lot of not removed mammary gland tumors ) and in the past 6 years not have one dog come back with complications due to spaying or neutering.

we get a lot of people in who feel it is wrong to spay or neuter the dog. Mostly neuter. its a man hood thing. Male dogs do not develop the same if they are neutered young. I will always neuter my dogs at 2 years old. They develop perfectly and look "manly" and have good muscle structure. where is a male dog neutered young, do not fill out and their genital area is generally under formed and small.
 

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Spaying is a convenience procedure. I've talked with many experienced breeders of many different breeds and only 2 breeders had any issues (one was cancer, one was pyo, both treated and dogs had many healthy years after that) in all the years they had been breeding. Its not hard to keep an unfixed animal (or more then one for that matter), but I understand that not all pet owners want that responsibility. My dogs don't get unnecessary procedures. I don't vaccinate. The risks aren't worth the "rewards" for me. To each his own.
 

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I don't vaccinate. The risks aren't worth the "rewards" for me. To each his own.
Seriously? o_O How do you get away with this?
Where I am, it's the law to have your animal regularly vaccinated, especially for rabies. That, and I have no idea whether or not someone else's animal has been vaccinated. If another animal is sick, and mine aren't vaccinated, I'm screwed, most likely.
How are vaccinations unnecessary, exactly?
 
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