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AngieW 11-24-2012 01:08 PM

any issues I should know of that could crop up because of early spay?
We got our GSD puppy from the shelter at 10.5 weeks old. She was spayed by the shelter when they first got her at 8 weeks. She was first adopted at 8 weeks, but that family brought her back 2.5 weeks later because she had too much energy for them to deal with. We got her just a few hours after she arrived at the shelter again.

Are there any issues I should be aware of that might be caused by being spayed so young?

Freestep 11-24-2012 01:14 PM

I've heard that there may be a higher occurence of spay incontinence when the surgery is done that young, but I haven't seen any statistics.

Bone and joint issues would be my concern. Keep her lean as she grows, and don't overfeed. You want her growth to be slow and steady, so that the long bones don't grow faster than they should. Gentle exercise is good, but I'd try to avoid a lot of jumping, going up and down stairs, or hard running until she is mature.

llombardo 11-24-2012 01:32 PM

I'm not to sure about that young either. Mine was done at about 5 months or so. She is now 14 months and per the vet her body has done exactly what it should. She grew upwards and gained weight very evenly. I believe she is done going upwards, but she is now in the process of filling out. I weighed her today and she is 65.6 pounds, she has gained about 6 pounds in the last two months. I would like her to get no more then 70-75 pounds.

JeanKBBMMMAAN 11-24-2012 01:39 PM

I have posted this before:
I have and have had females spayed early (8 weeks), late (7 years) and in between, most were out of my control, so what I do is...
  • Keep them active, fit and at healthy weights
  • Train and keep them mentally into things
  • Safely contain them - leashes or in the fenced yard outside, and supervised, kenneled/crated when I am gone so they can't eat cords, etc. :eek: (I need to improve in the car safety)
  • Feed them foods that they do well on
  • Keep them hydrated
  • Keep them out of the sun for long periods of time
  • Minimize as much as I am able, use of de-wormers, tick, flea stuff, even though I do follow the AHS recs to do HW meds year-round
  • Minimize exposure to smoke, air pollutants, cleaning chemicals
  • Minimize exposure to others' and do not use my own lawn/plant pesticides
  • Look at research on PVC/vinyl and cancers (someone has a good link for that) and radon
  • Live an area that does not have cancer pockets, or is not known for its toxicity (an over the top example is Love Canal, NY where they saw increases in 3 types of cancers)
  • Address health issues that I find as early as I can
  • Do preventative health screenings as available (tick/HW) and be sure to get a yearly wellness visit in, as they get older I get baseline blood work done
  • Vaccinate core vaccines every 3 years (I do rescue, won't skip distemper/parvo because of that and always do rabies every 3 year), keep an eye on Lepto symptoms as I do refuse that. If you are an area where there are ticks, focus on that too but no evidence the current Lyme vaccines are effective (double check me on that!)
  • Know bloat symptoms and symptoms of other common illnesses
  • Use probiotics and joint supplements as needed
  • Have genetically superior dogs who don't have a family history of cancer. :rofl: Okay, I can't do that with mine! But if you look at Goldens...yikes, that shows what a HUGE part genetics play in all of this.
Basically, genetics is your foundation. All we are doing beyond that is tinkering, helping and making ourselves think we can control cell mutations.

ETA - forgot TLC and attention!


As it turns out, incontinence, which is defined as involuntary urination, is quite common in dogs, especially spayed females, where approximately one in five dogs (20 percent) is affected.

Estrogen responsive incontinence or hormonally responsive incontinence, commonly called spay incontinence, is the most frequent cause of involuntary urination in dogs. It can occur anywhere from immediately after spaying to ten years later, with the average being around three years.

A recent study showed that early spaying (before the first heat) reduced the chance of incontinence, from 18 percent to 9.7 percent in large breed dogs, but increased the severity when it occurred. It is possible that spaying midway between heat cycles may help prevent spay incontinence, but this is just speculation, as no studies have been done. Hormone-related incontinence can also affect neutered males, though much less commonly than females.

Incontinence can occur for many other reasons, including urinary tract infections, bladder stones, congenital structural defects (e.g., ectopic ureters), spinal cord disease, and excess water intake. Older dogs, overweight dogs, and dogs with neurological problems may develop a weak bladder sphincter. These causes of incontinence can affect dogs of both genders, whether intact or neutered.
From: Articles: Incontinence in Dogs I don't consider 1 in 5 to be that high. Pee happens!

CONGRATS on your puppy!

msvette2u 11-24-2012 01:48 PM

I had a dog while growing up that was spayed at age 6 and developed incontinence later.
My old girls in my home now, one of whom was spayed prior to 1st heat (is now 10 1/2yrs.old), have not developed it. The other old girl is 13...not sure when she was spayed.

Keep in mind sex hormone related cancers are quite common in older dogs, we've seen those cancers many rescued dogs who make it to their golden years and are still intact.

Congrats on the new puppy, I'm sure she'll be fine :)

wyominggrandma 11-24-2012 07:40 PM

Been spaying females early for years and years(over 40) and have had them live long healthy lives with no issues............

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