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Our 9 month old came into heat several weeks ago. I THINK she's done. Today I was sitting on the couch and smelled something awful and she leaked out a small amount of watery blood that smelled to high heaven!!! I'm hoping it was the last of the "clean out." I don't know. She's eating really well, high energy etc... I talked with the breeder and she said I need to wait til she's at least 2 years old before I spay her or I will destroy her. ALL the females we have had we spayed after first heat. So around a year old. We've only had one female that had incontinence out of all the dogs we've had. She says I will have a dog that will be incontinent and on medication her whole life. Not to mention her growth will be diminished. Is this all a line of bull? I talked with my vet and she suggested getting her spayed before her next heat.
 

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I'm with your breeder on this one. Many vets (and I guess you) haven't caught up to speed on the more recent stuff on spaying/neutering. There are many health benefits in waiting until later to spay - it reduces risks of cancer (specifically the one I alerted to was hemangio) and waiting at least until 2 allows the dog to develop more fully. Before I learned this, I spayed as recommended by vets at the time which was before their first heat except for one dog that came in before I had it done. Most of these lived to be 12 to 15. One died at 8 or 9 of hemangio. Now with the current two, the eldest was spayed at about 4 only because she was having false pregnancies and they were getting extreme. The youngest is still intact at 5. Spaying is largely a convenience for the owner unless it is dictated by health issues.
 

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I spay my gal midway between her 2nd and 3rd heat. She was 18 months at the time. My gal did well going through her first but the 2nd was an emotional roller coaster, for her and my boy. The only health downsides in waiting is that it may increase the chances of mammary cancer and pyometra. With other issues, it tends to decrease the chances of problems. You could also consider an Ovary Sparing Spay.

All my other females have been mutts and spayed young or when I got them. They had long healthy lives. With my current gal I wanted to wait since she has crazy good drive, loves to run. I wanted her to develop her body structure in a sound way.
 

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With all the dogs in shelter/rescues and what they're taught in schools I believe most of the vets are trying to control unwanted dogs and puppies...it's the industry standard IMO..so to speak...over the years I've always followed our vets advice and speutered fairly early around a year give or take.


That said based on what I know now (or at least "think" I know)......i wouldn't have spay/neutered early if at all...on a day to day basis as I watch my 2 arthritic seniors get around.....I'll always wonder if I'd waited to spay/neuter and kept hormones flowing while bones and joints were developing.....Is it possible that the development and/or severity of arthritis and dysplasia may not have happened as it did....I think it's very very possible and it's changed my views on spay/neuter....In your shoes I'd go with your breeders opinion---she has no reason or personal benefit to shoot you a line of BS...she cares about your dog...period


I get that females in season are a bit messy...I had females before over the years...that's why they make diapers....IMO to spay simply because of the "mess" is more about the owner than the dog.
 

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I can understand why shelters feel the way they do. There are many irresponsible people letting their intact dogs walk around unsupervised making puppies. They are the reason why spay and neutering is pushed. I remember growing up it was crazy - people moved out to the “country” and let loose there dogs. Dogs were mating in the middle of highways, stores ,bus stops, people’s yards. There was a line of dogs trying to get into out house to our female dog. One male dog followed me on the bus going to school. No owners cared about their dog. It resembled a third world country. After That was when spay and neuter were pushed despite the health risk -owners were not just there to care.

It is important that dogs finish growing and get their hormones before they are spayed and neutered. I plan to spay Luna around 4 years old. I believe in keeping male dogs intact. Max had a retained testicle so I decided to neutered him when he turned 2. Females can get pyometria they are very lucky to survive surgery if it is caught in time. Right now Luna is due to come into season. We have little pants so it is not messy. I have woods I take for her for walks in them or places where it is very quite. My first gsd was intact he started getting first signs of arthritis around 8 years old. He lived till 12 but we had to put him down because he can no longer walk or get up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The breeder wanted to breed this pup I have when she was old enough. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do that. So that's why I was second guessing her.

I now know I do not want to breed. Just not my thing. We will wait to spay her til she's more mature. But I won't push it in full adult hood. I will do it sooner than that.
 

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I was going to spay right after her first heat. The more research I've done, I decided to wait until she is 24 months old. Until she's fully developed with her joints/bones and what not. The heat isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be so I dont mind waiting.
 

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You could also consider an Ovary Sparing Spay.
I don't understand why shelters and vets don't just do this along with vasectomies for males.

"But muh mammoreh toomers!" vets and shelters say. Yeah, well any dog can get tumors or cancer of any type as they get older. Oh well, that's life. You pick your poison in terms of the type of potential cancer.

Hormones are too important to the basic physical and psychological functioning of any mammal to just remove them willy nilly. So why not keep them in place but do something else to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
 

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I got an ovary-sparing spay done for my collie - the only downside is that she still has heat cycles and behaves as if she is in heat - but there's no mess, no odor, and no potential for unwanted pregnancy. Just some genital swelling and she gets sort of mopey and needy for a few days.

I have no regrets.

(I know the research isn't there for dogs yet, but studies have shown that women live longer when they have a partial vs total hysterectomy, and I chose to assume the same logic applies to dogs.)
 

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You could also consider an Ovary Sparing Spay.
I don't understand why shelters and vets don't just do this along with vasectomies for males.

"But muh mammoreh toomers!" vets and shelters say. Yeah, well any dog can get tumors or cancer of any type as they get older. Oh well, that's life. You pick your poison in terms of the type of potential cancer.

Hormones are too important to the basic physical and psychological functioning of any mammal to just remove them willy nilly. So why not keep them in place but do something else to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Glad this was brought up again. Something I talked with one of my trainers who's had this done with her GSD. Mei has the best temperament and personality. I can't ask for anything better. I'm afraid a full spay may change that.
 
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