Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ocean Springs, MS
Verdict on Spay/Neuter Age...
Finally got to talk with my vet today on the Spay/Neuter issue. I've been on the fence about this from recent reports stating that early spaying/neutering can affect the growth of my dog, and personal information shared with me from other GSD owners. My vet was very knowledgeable on this discussion and gave me his "medical" point of view and information.
This is what he told me. Neutering at an early age has adverse affects on males as it alters their development due to the lack of testosterone. Testosterone contributes greatly to the growth of males and muscle development, which in turn usually results in the less muscled, lanky males. However, in females, this does not have the same affect. He explained that a females development is only altered during heat cycles, and that spaying early has no effect on their growth whatsoever. He explained about their growth being contributed to their pituitary gland (sorry, I don't have a great short term memory for conversation so I don't have specifics of what all he said). But that spaying before the first heat will also greatly reduce the risk of mammary cancer, which I'd already read.
So his recommendation: for males, it is best to wait until full development, but necessary to implement training to offset some of the bad behaviors that develop with intact males. With females, it is safe to spay early and she will continue to develop normally. I liked his explanation and now believe I will go ahead and have Kaiya spayed before her first cycle. The question I forgot to ask though is, at what age do the females usually go into their first heat?
Achilles (GSD) ~ 1/31/11
Kaiya (GSD)~ 9/18/2009