Unsure of whether to have her spayed - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Unsure of whether to have her spayed

Well, if it's not teaching bite inhibition, house-training, OB, too much food, too little food, worms, day care, and the other hundreds of things I worry about, here's one more...

Sam will be six months here in a couple of weeks and I have been going back and forth on whether to get her fixed or not.

I need some pros and cons, or whatever else anyone has to offer.

So here is a little about my critter:

Almost turning 6 months and I was told to get her spayed before her first heat.

I am not overly concerned about her getting knocked up. She is with me almost constantly, as I am an over-protective father.

We are going the path of SchH or PPD, it's still a little early to tell. I don't want her getting fixed to affect her performance.

(Sigh) My worries are that she is so young that she really hasn't had time to develop. I am also worried that if I don't get it done then something awful is going to happen, but on the same coin, I am worried about going through what MrLeadFoot did.

Help?

s.t.s.

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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 12:54 PM
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Re: Unsure of whether to have her spayed

First off spays are for the most part safe.In my personal experience with other dog owners I don't know anyone who has had complications.I am a woman and from my point of view having a monthly or for a dog every few months sucks,don't put her through that.Why worry yourself about something happening if you can prevent it.Males dogs are very resourceful to get to a female in heat.It is safer for her to be spayed then to go through life and get different woman cancers.Unless you plan on becoming a breeder,I say just do it.(spay her)In females I don't think it will effect her performance level.

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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 01:13 PM
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Re: Unsure of whether to have her spayed

I would wait. She needs those hormones to develop, they don't regulate only heat cycles, but a lot of things more that are very complex and personally I wouldn't mess with, specially if you plan to work with her. Years ago I spayed my BC just after her first heat and I still regret it, there is no coming back, while waiting a few months don't harm. All the horror stories of females in heat are more than anything to scare irresponsible owners that don't understand the responsibility of having a dog (spayed or not) and sadly we need those bogeyman tales to control dog population. But if you are a caring owner simple measures prevent females to get pregnant, it is not rocket science either.

Most working people will recommend you to wait until 14-18 months of age, I'd wait even more, to 24-36 to ensure the dog is mature not only physically but psychologically.

http://www.caninesports.com/EarlySpayConsiderations.pdf

I like to let nature do her job before thinking in my own convenience (yes, it is easier for any owner to have a spayed female than not). Usually my philosophy is not to fix what is not broken.

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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 01:32 PM
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Re: Unsure of whether to have her spayed

If you spay here before her first heat her lifetime risk of mammary cancer is close to zero. If you wait until she's 18months old or so (a recommendation I often see on this board), the risk goes up to something like 22%. For me, that's reason enough. However, there are trade offs with either choice and you need to do what's right for you.

I will say though that the article above is a very poor piece of evidence for anything, other than the power of the Internet. It's an op ed by a person who is opposed to S/N. I know it gets cited all the time but if you actually read the articles he's claiming support his position, many of them don't. I think at least one of them doesn't even mention what he's saying it does.

So it pays to do your own research of actual scientific journals, otherwise you're getting everything filtered through someone else's opinion.


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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 01:57 PM
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Re: Unsure of whether to have her spayed

Spay before first heat/pediatric spay is an American thing - 'heats' are a natural part of life, if you're confident in your ability to manage, then I'd wait.
Surgical neutering dramatically alters the biochemical profile, we condone it for our convenience & stress the health benefits while downplaying the negative effects, instead of educating pet owners on responsible pet management.
North American vets push early spay/neuter - I have friends who loved their vet clinic but were informed that if they didn't alter their dog by 6months, they were no longer welcome as clients
Another friend purchased a lab from a breeder who included in the contract that the dog would not be spayed until 11-12 months, at every puppy appointment, the clinic continued to push spay (are we spaying her today - even though she was booked for vaccines - let's book her in for a spay next week etc) despite the fact that the owner had clearly stated that his dog would not be spayed prior to 11 months as per their contract!

As with any surgical procedure there is an element of risk, most pets come through alters just fine, a few do not - when it's your dog/cat in the few, the numbers seem alot more significant.

So don't let anyone make this decision for you or push you in one direction or the other - she <u>your</u> Sam, <u>you</u> get to decide.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 02:04 PM
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Re: Unsure of whether to have her spayed

Quote:
Quote:Surgical neutering dramatically alters the biochemical profile
Citation please?

Here's the thing about "natural" - Nature has designed us all to reproduce. Natural selection is driven by whatever traits allow maximum reproduction and survival of the offspring to reproduce themselves. It's called survival of the "fittest" but "fitness" refers to reproductive capacity, not actual health - health is only relevant in as much as it affects reproductive capacity. There is NO evolutionary advantage to living past reproductive age, and living into old age confers no "fitness". It's not a trait evolution favors because there's no way for natural selection to act on it.

So, while being unspayed (and having puppies) is "natural", it doesn't then follow that being unspayed is "healthier." Those are two totally different things when you're talking about a senior animal which is when a lot of the health problems we're talking about occur.

I totally agree about making your own decision, it's just important to do so based on facts and scientific evidence.


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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Unsure of whether to have her spayed

Yowsers!

I have always been leaning a little to letting her mature, you know doing the normal dog thing.

I knew coming in to the topic that there are very opinionated peeps in both camps. That is good. It is also good that others chime in, after all it's the 'net.

So playing devil's advocate here, other than the increase in breast cancer, what else would I be in for? How crazy do they get when in heat, etc.

Oh yeah ---&gt;

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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 02:08 PM
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Re: Unsure of whether to have her spayed

Depends on the dog. Some dogs you barely notice it, other than the drips, and a few dogs don't even drip much, still others it's like a gory horror flick.

Behaviorally, some dogs become very moody, some act depressed, some get a wanderlust, some seem completely fine. It really varies.

If you go that route, keep your eye out for pyometra which is an infection of the uterus and is potentially life threatening if not caught and treated.


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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 02:10 PM
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Re: Unsure of whether to have her spayed

I started this thread:
https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...=1#Post1068251 to ask about heat.

I have worked with a lot of spayed females (women). It did not effect their performance. Sorry! I've been dying to say that. It did seem like a lot of teachers I worked with had to have surgical procedures removing reproductive organs-and all were great teachers, lots of drive, and could still catch kindergarteners trying to run away that first month of school...





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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Unsure of whether to have her spayed

At what age does a German Shepherd reach physical and sexual maturity?

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