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A while ago we posted about what dog to choose. We did decide on the Chessie and couldn't be happier with our choice. She is a fantastic dog! She is now 5 months old and we need to make a decision about spaying. We have read good and bad about doing it now versus waiting for her to mature. So we are looking for experienced opinions on the subject. We have considered breeding her, but are not sure that it will actually happen. Any opinions appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

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I can't remember the age ? I think it's 6 months ? They have to be at least that old to have it done. I do know that it's a lot cheaper to have it done before they come into there first cycle. I know that in my situation it's very nice to have had it done, no dogs hanging around, not having to watch her like a hawk every time she's outside, no mess to clean up. It's just better all the way around. I've had pups once, and that was enough. Everyone says they will take one until it comes time, then all you will hear is the excuses why they can't take one, just a big pain in the backside.........:)
 

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I would second what mike L said. If you don't plan to breed her, you can have it done at six months before all her "plumbing" develops. Easier for her, and, cheaper for you.;) I had my husky done right at six months and she recovered with in a week. The only side effect, and I don't know if she would have done this otherwise, is she marks territory like a male. Turf tearing up and all.
 

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My suggestion would be to talk to your vet or give MSU a call and see if you can get someone there to give you the pros and cons of it. I believe there is an increased chance of complications that can occur as the dog gets older.
 

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I'm in the "wait until fully mature camp"
Two years old minimum.
...but at this point you lose all the benefits of preventing female reproductive cancers.

I'm on the fence on this issue. Too soon and you may have effects on maturation and growth. Too late and you increase your odds of cancer down the road.
 

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I'm in the "wait until fully mature camp"
Two years old minimum.
I agree with Scott.

There are physical, physiological and psychological reasons for waiting. These reasons have been discussed, at length, on these pages before. And, "IF" she turns out to be of breeding quality, its a minimum of 2 years of age for OFA certification, whch is a "Must Have" for a CBR.

Natty B.
 

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You can do it now if you want. My dog was much younger than 6 months, maybe 5 at most, and my parents' bird dog needed eye surgery at 4 months and they spayed her at the same time with no issues.

A vet will tell you that if you really don't plan on breeding her, you have a case to spay her as even waiting for the first heat cycle drastically increases the chances that she could develop cancer in her female areas in the future. Spaying dramatically reduces the chance, but if you wait for the first or second cycle and then spay, the gains are not nearly as significant.

You'll get a million opinions on whether to spay or not and when to spay, and could do a search in this room to get other threads from the past.

Do you want to deal with diapers twice per year, and her "season" possibly creating an issue if this happens during hunting season and you want to hunt with a buddy's dog as well as yours? You can't show her or do hunt tests if she is in "season". On the other hand if she turns out to be the best dog in the world, you may want to breed her for a puppy in the future. These are a couple of things to think about.
 

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...but at this point you lose all the benefits of preventing female reproductive cancers.
That statement is incorrect.

I'll take issue with the "all benefits of preventing" part.

Natty B.
 

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Research indicates that dogs spayed prior to their first heat have less than a half of one percent chance of experiencing mammary cancer as compared to an eight percent chance after the second heat.
http://www.oregonvma.org/petowners/spayneuter.asp#5

....maybe "all benefits" was a bit strong. But with each heat cycle the chance of cancer down the road increases.
 

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i've got a couple females i spayed for convenience. another i might do and two more that i probably never will.

i understand that people with house dogs prefer it, but i wouldnt be in a rush. i'm highly skeptical of the ovarian cancer fears. cattle, horse and other domestic animals are never spayed, breeding animals live much longer lives than dogs and there is no problem with cancer with any of them.
 

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One of my father's past bird dogs was not spayed and never bred. She developed mammillary cancer by age 8 or 9 and needed to be put down even though she otherwise would have been a good hunter/pet for another few years. I am sure that there are millions of dogs out there that have never been spayed or bred, or spayed and bred in a number of combinations, and have died of old age. You just never know.

Yes spaying does not eliminate the chance by 100% but I believe all studies point to the idea that if you do plan to spay, you should spay before the first cycle to increase your chances of avoiding mammillary cancer.

I was on the fence with my pup, but the fact that she is a house dog, I did not think I would ever breed her, and the possibility of losing her too soon to cancer led me to the decision to spay. She had issues with her baby teeth and one needed to be surgically removed so the adult tooth would develop properly and since they were putting her under anesthesia to do that surgery, I had her spayed and microchipped at the same time at 5 months of age.

Good luck with your decision, it is about as difficult as picking male vs. female.
 

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i'm highly skeptical of the ovarian cancer fears. cattle, horse and other domestic animals are never spayed, breeding animals live much longer lives than dogs and there is no problem with cancer with any of them.
You should be skeptical. If it's a consistent problem it's probably a genetic issue that breeders should be looking out for. If certain members of the world's population are more predisposed to cancer than others then the same would seem to apply to dogs as well, and unlike people, it should be possible to selectively breed that out through careful selection.
 

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possibly genetic, possibly enviromental. a number of forms of cancer are linked to enviromental causes. i have some first hand knowledge of some of that.

one of my favorite expressions is "there is no free lunch". in other words, what are the adverse effects of spaying at an early age?
 

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A while ago we posted about what dog to choose. We did decide on the Chessie and couldn't be happier with our choice. She is a fantastic dog! She is now 5 months old and we need to make a decision about spaying. We have read good and bad about doing it now versus waiting for her to mature. So we are looking for experienced opinions on the subject. We have considered breeding her, but are not sure that it will actually happen. Any opinions appreciated. Thanks in advance!

I have some real good reading material about when to alter a dog.

Also as a longtime breeder you might want to give serious thought on why you should not...
First of all there is the 2 year waiting period before you could OFA certify the hips, with no guarantee they will pass...then there is other testing, Cardiac, Eye Testing...and if it is a breed prone to thyroid...that too.

Then you need to consider that you are not a KNOWN breeder of Chessies and will no doubt need to find great homes for 8+ puppies...not an easy task. Especially in this economic climate.
The buying public is very educated about buying from long established breeders that offer warranties. So be prepared to raise up and keep whatever you cannot sell.

If you want the info on spaying... Here is GOOD reading

http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf
 

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Then you need to consider that you are not a KNOWN breeder of Chessies and will no doubt need to find great homes for 8+ puppies...not an easy task. Especially in this economic climate.
The buying public is very educated about buying from long established breeders that offer warranties. So be prepared to raise up and keep whatever you cannot sell.
Before breeding, take a walk through the local animal shelter and a few rescues and ask the question, "Does the world really need more dogs that no one wants or can't afford?"
 

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I waited too long to get cleo spayed, and she developed cancer. 1 14" scar later she should be ok. I would have her spayed asap. Just knowing I could have prevented this is really eating at me!
 

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Gina,

Good Stuff in that reference- the whole picture laid out in plain sight, for all to see. Thanks for posting this reference up, once again.:cool: I wish all breeders were as informed and concerned about their puppies as you.:)

That reference in post #10 recommends spaying a prepubertal puppy at eight weeks of age. And that recommendation is absolute rubbish.

The actual incidence of mammary tumors in dogs is of the order of 198.0 per 100,000 females. Only half of these are malignant; the remainder (benign) are of no threat to life expectancy. Spaying a b###h between the second and fourth heat cycle, will reduce the incidence of mammary tumors by four times. So there is an anti-cancer benefit, even if spaying is delayed until full maturity is reached. Mammary tumors can be detected quite early and easily in dogs as well, further reducing the risk. However, mammary cancer can happen in b###hes spayed as puppies and also in male dogs as well. And ovarian tumors are even rarer in dogs, as noted above.

The most important health benefit of spaying has been overlooked by all the posters above- and that is in eliminating pyometra ie. literally "pus in the uterus". This uterine infection is much more common and widespread in dogs that mammary cancer. And is much more difficult to diagnose by an observant owner, which often leads to an early and unneccesary mortality, often linked to an uncontrollable bacteremia.

Natty B.
 

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Gina,

Good Stuff in that reference- the whole picture laid out in plain sight, for all to see. Thanks for posting this reference up, once again.:cool: I wish all breeders were as informed and concerned about their puppies as you.:)

That reference in post #10 recommends spaying a prepubertal puppy at eight weeks of age. And that recommendation is absolute rubbish.

The actual incidence of mammary tumors in dogs is of the order of 198.0 per 100,000 females. Only half of these are malignant; the remainder (benign) are of no threat to life expectancy. Spaying a b###h between the second and fourth heat cycle, will reduce the incidence of mammary tumors by four times. So there is an anti-cancer benefit, even if spaying is delayed until full maturity is reached. Mammary tumors can be detected quite early and easily in dogs as well, further reducing the risk. However, mammary cancer can happen in b###hes spayed as puppies and also in male dogs as well. And ovarian tumors are even rarer in dogs, as noted above.

The most important health benefit of spaying has been overlooked by all the posters above- and that is in eliminating pyometra ie. literally "pus in the uterus". This uterine infection is much more common and widespread in dogs that mammary cancer. And is much more difficult to diagnose by an observant owner, which often leads to an early and unneccesary mortality, often linked to an uncontrollable bacteremia.

Natty B.

;) thanks NB

I used to really push the altering...just because I felt the dogs and bitches were easier to manage...after I saw one of my Golden Retrievers who had been neutered at 9 weeks...and how hideous he looked (like an Afghan hound) I advised clients to wait until a year
now I push 2 years IF you have to neuter at all. Spaying is another story
go through one season and then do it...I am of the opinion they need the hormones...why wouldn't they? We need ours right?

Anyway...I find it absolutely hypocritical that a vet will say that tail docking, dew claw removal is 'cosmetic' and unessesary and damages the dog and is cruel...and early altering is not????? :rant:

I am ALL FOR responsible pet ownership...and I think the vast majority of folks can make an informed decision.

Here is another article by a veterinarian..

Castration of Male Dogs
 
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