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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello Friends,

We are looking for opinions on our situation.

We have a 7 month old West German Showline. She is a bit small for her age (we think). Our vet recommended we spay at 6 months but we were worried about how that would affect her growth. I found some sources saying that it is best to wait until after their first heat or until they are about a year. At first this was the plan. We asked our trainer her thoughts (she is also a vet tech) and she said that growth may not be finished for two years and the chances of cancer increase substantially. We read up some more, asked the vet more questions, and decided to spay sooner rather than later.

I asked our vet if there was a way to sterilize her, but keep her hormone production intact. This does not seem to be an option. We signed a contract that she will be spayed by a year and so that is the longest we can wait.

We read up on the different methods used and decided we want to go with a laproscopic spay since it is less invasive and has a shorter recovery time. We can't get a laproscopic spay done until late July. We could get a regular spay done by he 12th of this month.

My questions are, should we wait out for the lap spay or just do the regular one? Would it be worth possibly going through a heat cycle.

Thank you so much for your time

EDIT: I feel we are def. being pressured to spay but we worry about growth and development. We are trying to find a vet that will do a OSS, that way her ovaries stay intact.
 

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I would wait. I would not do it until at least after their first heat. The cancer they speak of is mammary cancer. Spaying early has correlations to torn acls, hip dysplasia and hemangiosarcoma. I spayed a female early. She hit all three of those. Another was spayed after her first heat, lived to be 13. Another at 3 years old, lived to be 12. I think genetics play a larger role but studies are showing correlations to increase of other diseases.

Why would you buy a dog and have the breeder dictate that they have to be spayed? I don't get that at all. That's way to much control for me.
 

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I would wait. I would not do it until at least after their first heat. The cancer they speak of is mammary cancer. Spaying early has correlations to torn acls, hip dysplasia and hemangiosarcoma. I spayed a female early. She hit all three of those. Another was spayed after her first heat, lived to be 13. Another at 3 years old, lived to be 12. I think genetics play a larger role but studies are showing correlations to increase of other diseases.

Why would you buy a dog and have the breeder dictate that they have to be spayed? I don't get that at all. That's way to much control for me.
That is really good to know. We were told that if we don't spay, her chances of mammary cancer go up 50%. I just looked that up and found out that is untrue. I feel like there is pressure to spay her and my initial thought to get her through a first heat cycle at least may be the better choice.
 

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Two things... ovary sparing spays do exist, perhaps your vet just meant that they don’t offer it (?). Also, I believe lap spays can be performed while a dog is in heat with no additional or significantly lower risk than traditional spays....if your concern was having to reschedule an appointment.
 

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I wouldn’t do it before the first heat. If I was going to spay, I would wait until two years. You’re vet sounds like they are pushing an agenda, and I don’t believe the things they are saying. I have never seen or heard of a German shepherd breeder wanting a dog fixed that soon. You’re contract is between you and the breeder, but spaying early opens you up to a host of issues later.
 

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Here is a list of veterinarians that perform alternative sterilization
 

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What happens when you wait until 2 years? Will the breeder come and confiscate the dog? You could have another vet write and sign a statement that she should be spayed later due to health concerns. That will probably override the contract.
 

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What happens when you wait until 2 years? Will the breeder come and confiscate the dog? You could have another vet write and sign a statement that she should be spayed later due to health concerns. That will probably override the contract.
I don't think the breeder would be upset if we hold off, especially if we ask. I think their main concern was someone buying one of the puppies and then breeding the pup without knowing what they're doing and without the goal of improving the breed.

We just found another vet that confirmed we should bring our puppy through at least one or two heat cycles. We have an appointment with a third vet to learn more about the Ovary Sparing Spay option. Our biggest concern with the ovary-sparing spay is that she will continue to get the hormones that increase the chances of mammary cancer. The vet we just talked to said that we should wait a year before we spay which is more in line with what I have been reading here.
 

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I had a good relationship with my dog's breeder, I asked and explained why, she was ok with me delaying desexing my dog till he was older than 12 months.
 

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The protection for mammary cancer goes away once they have gone through the first heat. A few months ago I had Deja (6.5) fully spayed when she developed a mammary tumor so spay and tumor removal in one surgery. I was on the fence for more than 5 years on what to do: ovary saving, uterus saving or a full spay. I am happy with the full spay and would not wait as long with a next female.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The protection for mammary cancer goes away once they have gone through the first heat. A few months ago I had Deja (6.5) fully spayed when she developed a mammary tumor so spay and tumor removal in one surgery. I was on the fence for more than 5 years on what to do: ovary saving, uterus saving or a full spay. I am happy with the full spay and would not wait as long with a next female.
Our vet said with each heat cycle the chances of tumors go up. The first heat cycle doesnt seem to increase the chances by too much but the following ones make me nervous.

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