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I am currently the owner of a 7 yr. old female golden retriever. We are interested in getting a new golden puppy. The breeder contract says to wait until 18 months to have your pet spayed/neutered. My vet says that it should be done before that. How enforceable would this contract be and what could they do if you neuter before they are 18 months old?
 

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A contract is a contract, you will need to abide by it if you sign it. It's recommended to spay or neuter before 6 months of age.
 

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Yup, Pekinchick is right--six months is okay--find a new breeder if the 18 months doesn't fit for your lifestyle and the lifestyle of the dog you end up with. Did the breeder say why to wait so long?

I know I couldn't go to many places with my dog if he weren't neutered--that extra year of waiting would have put a serious dent into my ability to socialize my dog from 6-12 months. Some places just don't allow unaltered dogs.
 

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There is nothing wrong with waiting until 18 months to fix a dog. The breeder likely has their reasons. Either you like their reasons, or you find a different breeder. I wouldn't ditch a breeder over that though.
 

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A contract is a contract, you will need to abide by it if you sign it. It's recommended to spay or neuter before 6 months of age.
It is NOT reccomended to spay/neuter before six months, doing so increases the chance of osteosarcoma, joint issues and Hermangiosarcoma as well as Thyroid and behavioral problems.

OP please find a vet that is up to speed on the drawbacks of pediatric spay/neuter
 

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It is NOT reccomended to spay/neuter before six months, doing so increases the chance of osteosarcoma, joint issues and Hermangiosarcoma as well as Thyroid and behavioral problems.

OP please find a vet that is up to speed on the drawbacks of pediatric spay/neuter
I've seen this said a few times now and it's made me a bit nervous. Molly was spayed before we adopted her at 10 weeks. Is it terribly common to see these issue in dogs who were spayed too soon? Anything I can do and/or watch for in terms of prevention or early treatment?
 

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Yes, it's pretty common especaially in dog breeds prone to cancer, it's also being shown to raise the risk of bladder cancer, UTI's and Bladder stones. Much of the reason for the behavioral issues is that the sex hormones (especailly estrogen) help keep serotonin levels where they should be. This is a complete list of risk/benefits with research sited.

This is an excerpt from that write up

On the positive side, neutering male dogs




eliminates the small risk (probably <1%) of dying from testicular cancer


reduces the risk of non-cancerous prostate disorders


reduces the risk of perianal fistulas

may possibly reduce the risk of diabetes (data inconclusive)

On the negative side, neutering male dogs


if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a

common cancer in medium/large and larger breeds with a poor prognosis.



increases the risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 1.6



triples the risk of hypothyroidism



increases the risk of progressive geriatric cognitive impairment



triples the risk of obesity, a common health problem in dogs with many associated health problems



quadruples the small risk (<0.6%) of prostate cancer


doubles the small risk (<1%) of urinary tract cancers


increases the risk of orthopedic disorders


increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations


For female dogs, the situation is more complex. The number of health benefits associated with spaying may exceed the associated health problems in some (not all) cases. On balance, whether spaying improves the odds of overall good health or degrades them probably depends on the age of the female dog and the relative risk of various diseases in the different breeds.

On the positive side, spaying female dogs

if done before 2.5 years of age, greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors, the most common

malignant tumors in female dogs


nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra, which otherwise would affect about 23% of intact female

dogs; pyometra kills about 1% of intact female dogs


reduces the risk of perianal fistulas


removes the very small risk (0.5%) from uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors (because they are removed)

On the negative side, spaying female dogs


if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a common cancer in larger breeds with a poor prognosis


increases the risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 2.2 and cardiac hemangiosarcoma by

a factor of >5; this is a common cancer and major cause of death in some breeds



triples the risk of hypothyroidism


increases the risk of obesity by a factor of 1.6-2, a common health problem in dogs with many

associated health problems


causes urinary “spay incontinence” in 4-20% of female dogs


increases the risk of persistent or recurring urinary tract infections by a factor of 3-4


increases the risk of recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, and vaginitis, especially for female dogs

spayed before puberty


doubles the small risk (<1%) of urinary tract tumors


increases the risk of orthopedic disorders

increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations

One thing is clear – much of the spay/neuter information that is available to the public is unbalanced and contains claims that are exaggerated or unsupported by evidence. Rather than helping to educate pet






 

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I will never, ever again, neuter a dog before full maturity (physical and mental). I will spay between the second and third heat cycles (around 18 months old), and never castrate a male again. It can cause way too many problems, physically, and behaviourally. And if your breeder has a contract stating 18 months, they obviously care about the emotional and physical health of their dogs, and dont just buy into the neuter everything parade. If you dont want to deal with heats, then find another breeder, or get a male, but personally, I'd be happy with this breeder! The breeder my sister got her Westie from stated at least 1 year. that was a point in favour of that breeder for sure!
 
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