when is the best age to spay/neuter

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trexgorawrrrrr
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when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby trexgorawrrrrr » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:57 am

I really don't know, which is why I'm asking.

my vet recommended that we get our puppy neutered around 6 months... But I had someone tell me that they had their female spayed at 8 weeks, and that 8 weeks is a good time... Not sure if I believe that since our doctor recommended 6 months, but I know pupies are spayed/neutered before then. I know that because some rescues won't place a dog without it, evem though some do contracts.

thanks!

msvette2u

Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby msvette2u » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:07 pm

I prefer before the pets first heat or before the male reaches puberty but there'll be a lot of mixed responses on that.
We do pediatric (8 weeks/2lbs) for rescue - for personal pets (our own) we usually wait until 4 mos.

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Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby starrlamia » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:47 pm

most vets recommend 6 months but it is really a matter of how well you can contain your dog and your preference.
We had grendel neutered at 18 months because we wanted him to finish growing before neutering him. But we were very careful that he was never left outside alone or in any scenario where he could get free and sire unwanted litters.

As for spaying, i would say after their first heat, there is more health benefits to spaying females earlier then males.

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Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby 1lila1 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:25 pm

IMO, the "best" time to neuter a male is when the body is done physically maturing. Not just when the dog is done "growing" but his muscles and joints have fully developed as well since testosterone is essential for their development. Obviously the dogs housing situation, behavioral concerns, owner responsibilty, and other issues have to be addressed as well. Females are a little more complicated (but of course we are :twisted: ). Waiting to spay until after the first heat reduces the mammary cancer risk reduction you get from spaying before their first heat. But their are other things you can do to reduce a dog's risk of cancer like feeding it a proper species appropriate diet without all the carbs and junk that is in commercial dog food. Honestly, if I was to get another female dog I'd have to do a lot more research before deciding when to spay her if she was not already.

My male Angel has some serious conformation issues, a poorly formed shoulder joint, knee's that are at an improper angel, and as a puppy my vet was almost sure he had hip displasia. I held off neutering, limited physical activity (or tried to at least), fed him a raw diet, supplemented wtih glucosamine, chondroiten, MSM, and Vit C. Then a few months ago at a year and a half his hips had improved so much that my vet and I decided it was safe to neuter him at that point. On the other hand I spayed Lila, my 13 yr old female, at about 6m but before her first heat and she has been battling malignant tumors on and off for the last few years. The first tumor started as an anal tumor that is rare in intact female dogs, somewhat prevalent in males and spayed females but when it occurs in spayed females it is almost always malignant. So her cancer is a direct result of her being spayed. Quite contrary to the vast majority of information available to the general public that spaying and neutering is a panacea for all dog illness.

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Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby PITtsburgher » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:43 pm

Eight weeks is when it is fairly safe to undergo anesthesia and also when it becomes legal to sell/adopt a dog - so that is why rescues do eight weeks. My shelter will do cats even younger if they are over 2 pounds.

I think most vets agree that if it's your own personal animal, they would prefer to wait longer than that. Now ask four different vets and they will tell you four months, six months, one year, two years... it's still in contention. There has been a lot of research on this topic, but there is not always a clear answer and some of the studies are in disagreement. There are health issues that can be prevented by early spaying (such as mammary cancer) and there are health issues that can be caused by early spaying (such as differences in bone development). There are also behavior issues to think of; there is research going both ways on this for dogs. I think most people would agree that intact cats are a pain in the butt to deal with (as are intact rabbits) but the difference for dogs is not as clear cut.

I am hoping that more research will be done on this issue and that we do some really good, comprehensive studies.

In my personal experience with the clinic I work at, we see a lot of mammary cancer and prostate issues, both of which would be largely prevented by early alteration. We do not see that much osteosarcoma, spay incontinence, or other issues that can be linked with early alteration. However, that is my experience and it is anecdotal and obviously other people will have other experiences.

Generally when this argument comes up there are two perspectives. One is to look at the health of the individual animal and what is best for that animal in a vacuum. This would take into account its breed, how large it is expected to grow, how long its likely lifespan will be, and how well its owners are prepared to manage its behavior. For male dogs, this usually means later castration; for female dogs I would still spay around six months depending on the breed. The other perspective is the herd health perspective, which takes into account the quality of life of any possible offspring and the millions of animals that are dying in shelters and on the streets because of overpopulation. This perspective would prompt someone to recommend alteration before sexual maturity because it will prevent unnecessary suffering for future generations.

Both these perspectives are valid; I am in the second camp because I am focused on shelter and rescue work and I am thinking from the herd perspective. I have not had to make this decision for my own animals: my male rabbit was adopted thus already neutered, and I got my female as an adult (and female rabbits are extremely prone to reproductive cancer anyway, so the issue is pretty clear cut for them). I think when making the decision as an owner or a veterinarian, a lot depends on the owner and how responsibly they can manage an intact animal.

One more thing - if the animal is being put under anesthesia for another reason like a hernia repair, entropion surgery, or cosmetic surgery, I believe that the alteration should be done at the same time so the animal is not subjected to multiple rounds of anesthesia. It drives me crazy when people want a hernia repair without a spay on their young mixed breed female bullies.

msvette2u

Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby msvette2u » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:32 am

Quite contrary to the vast majority of information available to the general public that spaying and neutering is a panacea for all dog illness.


The information out there does not say it's a panacea to all dog illnesses, but it is a panacea to pet overpopulation which is, of course, the goal.
It is simply the "lesser of the two evils".
I can tell you that in our rescue, we've altered hundreds of dogs per year, many pediatric s/n, and none have suffered ill effects.
I have seen 2 nasty cancers over this past few months in dogs left intact until their golden years (specific to intact dogs) and it is not pretty.
It boils down to a choice (cancer from being intact or cancer from being spayed or neutered), and for pet owners (that is, not show or working dogs who have titles) the choice is more clear since none of us want to add to the burden of pet overpopulation.

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Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby 1lila1 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:22 am

msvette2u wrote:
Quite contrary to the vast majority of information available to the general public that spaying and neutering is a panacea for all dog illness.


The information out there does not say it's a panacea to all dog illnesses, but it is a panacea to pet overpopulation which is, of course, the goal.


It's been my experience that spaying and neutering are heavily promoted to the general public as being the healthy responsible thing to do for ones dog. Now as better scientific information is becoming available we are learning more and more that that is not always the case...as I found out personally with Lila. Unwanted pets are caused by a small percentage of irresponsible or ignorant owners. Intact dogs don't reproduce...two intact dogs allowed to mate do. I'm most definitely not against spaying or neutering when done at the right time and in the right situations, I just think the information available is heavily skewed to spay/neuter no matter what, the earlier the better, and the real risks and life long consequenses of the procedures are not stressed enough to the owners. Had I had such information then maybe I would have made different choices regarding my own dog.

msvette2u

Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby msvette2u » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:56 am

Unwanted pets are caused by a small percentage of irresponsible or ignorant owners.


Actually it's the majority of owners that are irresponsible and ignorant. Just pick up the newspaper, and look at CL in your area to see that.
I believe the minority is responsible. Why is there BSL if only a small percentage of folks are ignorant/irresponsible...?

You can ask shelter people, too - when dogs are picked up and impounded, are the majority intact, or altered?
Food for thought ;)

And yes there are a number of very preventable problems (think pyometra in females and perianal tumors in males) that are indeed prevented by s/n.
I'm not denying there are problems later in life for some altered pets, but when you throw in no chance of an accidental litter, the option to s/n outweighs far and away the option to leave them intact.
Even one oops is too many.

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Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby Deniselynn » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:53 am

1lila1 wrote:
It's been my experience that spaying and neutering are heavily promoted to the general public as being the healthy responsible thing to do for ones dog. Now as better scientific information is becoming available we are learning more and more that that is not always the case...as I found out personally with Lila. Unwanted pets are caused by a small percentage of irresponsible or ignorant owners. Intact dogs don't reproduce...two intact dogs allowed to mate do. I'm most definitely not against spaying or neutering when done at the right time and in the right situations, I just think the information available is heavily skewed to spay/neuter no matter what, the earlier the better, and the real risks and life long consequenses of the procedures are not stressed enough to the owners. Had I had such information then maybe I would have made different choices regarding my own dog.


Couldn't agree more! I had Logan neutered when he was 5 months old. I thought I was doing the right thing by getting him neutered at an early age. I will NEVER do this again. Granted, he turned out fine has great muscle tone, very lean, didn't affect his personality but I think it is wrong for a dog to not fully develop. It is not unusual for rescues to condone getting a pet spayed/neutered at an early age.

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Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:07 pm

msvette2u wrote:
Unwanted pets are caused by a small percentage of irresponsible or ignorant owners.


Actually it's the majority of owners that are irresponsible and ignorant. Just pick up the newspaper, and look at CL in your area to see that.
I believe the minority is responsible. Why is there BSL if only a small percentage of folks are ignorant/irresponsible...?

You can ask shelter people, too - when dogs are picked up and impounded, are the majority intact, or altered?
Food for thought ;)

And yes there are a number of very preventable problems (think pyometra in females and perianal tumors in males) that are indeed prevented by s/n.
I'm not denying there are problems later in life for some altered pets, but when you throw in no chance of an accidental litter, the option to s/n outweighs far and away the option to leave them intact.
Even one oops is too many.


:goodpost:

msvette2u

Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby msvette2u » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:46 pm

lol our leanest dog (not muscular) was neutered as an adult male, the most 'buff' (muscular) was neutered before puberty.
Genetics play as large or larger role in adult body style than early neuter/spay.

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Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby Adrianne » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:21 pm

My friends mom alters her borderstaffies as pediatrics. She says they bounce back and recover from the surgery unbelievably fast and almost without fail. It has a lot to do with the elasticity of their health at that age supposedly? I'm still not comfortable with it yet though, maybe eventually. She also recommends the altering as the unaltered until later in maturity borderstaffies she has produced have without any fail always gained more size and muscle than those altered as babies.


Personally I have no issues with those who alter as babies, especially rescues. I myself though wait until maturity to alter my dogs. I have read to many compelling studies that encourage me to believe although it's not going to kill the dog one way or another letting nature work as nature intended in the aspect of growth is best.

Of course I am very careful and responsible with my intact animals and have never and will never have (god willing) an accidental breeding and if I did I have no qualms with aborting a litter.

The average pet owner however should not maintain ownership over intact animals at a breeding age IMO as they do not want the hassle (even if they think they do) of owning one.

msvette2u

Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby msvette2u » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:24 pm

Yep, the younger the pup the quicker they bounce back, and heal up. Another bonus lol

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Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby trexgorawrrrrr » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:31 am

at this point we have our unaltered 12 week old puppy, and I guess I need to do alot more research than I had before. I originally wanted to wait until he was 2yrs, and fully mature... But I'm not sure, we were thinking of adding a female to the family. Actually the female we are looking at is coming from a rescue, they're the ones that said they would alter her before she came home. I told her at this point I'm not exactly sure if we want her altered, but would sign a contract. She wouldn't be able to come home until 8 weeks (a few more days after that if we get her altered.) she's going to be a week old on thurs, so we still have plenty of time to decide. I just don't know if I want to have two unaltered dogs in my home... I also wouldn't have a problem doing an espay, like adrianne said, but also don't want to deal with the risk (even though I consider this a responsible home/environment.)

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Re: when is the best age to spay/neuter

Postby buckaroo » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:53 am

I'm surprised the rescue would adopt to you with an unaltered dog in the house. He's still young so maybe that is why but did you tell them you're thinking of leaving him intact until he's 2?


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