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I took Izzie to the vet yesterday for shots. The vet recommends getting her spayed at four months...sounds a bit young to me. I've done some reading on how early spaying can lead to increased bone growth. At what age would you guys recommend?

Thanks!
 

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I wouldn't spay before 6 months of age
 

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I have read that waiting for a dog to go through her first heat is better because of the completion of growth plates and it would make her a better dog. So with my current puppy, I waited for the first cycle and it just ended a few days ago. I hated myself everyday for doing this because of the mess and inconvenience, but now I see a difference in personality. She is much more calm in the house and no more counter surfing. I can't say for sure if it's the hormonal change or because she's almost 10 months old but she's not as hyper or mischievious as she was before the cycle. Since I have no plans for breeding her, I will be a responsible pet owner and have her spayed.
 

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Remember - hormones are used for things other than just reproduction.

I wouldn't spay a bitch until at LEAST one heat cycle, if not two.
 

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If as I know I could contain her safely, I myself would wait till at least 18 mths but probably 2 yrs.
 

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Originally Posted By: ILGHAUSIf as I know I could contain her safely, I myself would wait till at least 18 mths but probably 2 yrs.
I agree *IF* I can guarantee no unwanted pups I would wait until closer to two years of age.
 

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Hmm. Since two posters suggested to wait two years, would you explain why. What happens between the 1st and 2nd year? I just want to do what's best for the dog.
 

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I am on the opposite side of the spectrum in wanting to do it before first heat (about 6 months) due to mammary chain cancer. That is my overriding concern, so the reason I do what I do when I can-some of my girls I didn't have a choice! I do not see any difference in them other than just general personality and temperament, based on spaying early or late (from 8 weeks to 7 years range). Although Ilsa has an oddly deep voice.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Which types of personality/temperament changes should I expect?
 

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im with Jean on this. i had in done before her first heat cycle (right around 5 months) due to the concerns regarding mammary cancer. my vet, who i trust completely, strongly advocates this for anyone not wishing to breed.

here is some additional info:

Mammary Cancer
Race Foster, DVM
Holly Nash, DVM, MS
Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.


The risk of breast cancer is almost eliminated in dogs that are spayed before their first heat.
Spaying greatly reduces the chances of a female dog developing this condition. In those females spayed prior to their first heat cycle, breast cancer is very, very rare. The risk of malignant mammary tumors in dogs spayed prior to their first heat is 0.05%. It is 8% for dog spayed after one heat, and 26% in dogs spayed after their second heat.It is believed that the elimination or reduction of certain hormonal factors causes the lowering of incidence of the disease in dogs that have been spayed. These factors would probably be estrogen, progesterone, a similar hormone or possibly a combination of two or more of these.
 

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While I understand the concerns of Mammary Gland Cancer, I will not spay until at minimum of after the first heat. It might be more. Cheyenne was a touch over 3 yrs old when she was spayed, she had digestive issues which I wanted stablized before spaying and stressing her system. DeeDee was about 1 1/2 yrs old.
 

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Originally Posted By: PryghtWhich types of personality/temperament changes should I expect?
Mine just isn't as hyper any more in the house. It's like a whole new dog.
 
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