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I see a lot on the forums about neutering males and when and if it should be done, but not a lot about spaying females.

I have no intention of breeding Mandi. She is 14.5 weeks now. We are going away for a week at the end of July and she will be staying in a kennel while we are gone. I do not want any accidental puppies when we get back and I know she should be going into heat around that time. I also dont want her to have to be kept away from all the other dogs as I have chosen this kennel because they have such great play and socialization time (other reason, too, but that helped).

Can I/Should I have her spayed before that time? I always had my females spayed around 16-20 weeks and never noticed any difference in them, but I also never owned a GSD before.

Are there advantages or disadvantages (like there are with males) to having her spayed young other than the obvious of accidental litter prevention?
 

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that is early on having one spayed where I am at the earliest is 6 months they won't do that before that age, I know Ihave heard some doing it at 8 weeks but it is rare to find a vet that will. they won't go into heat until around 6 months of age or later all of mine didn't have their first heat until almost a yr old
 

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http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=670602&page=2#Post670602

Has some information.

I prefer to do it before first heat because of the studies on mammary chain cancer. I can deal with a leaky pee dog more easily than cancer. That's what my research has led me to-trying to use information that is from sources that don't have an agenda (either pro or con). The girls I have have been spayed anywhere from 8 weeks (from a shelter) to 7 years (also from a shelter).
 

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Okay. Well I feel better about it after having had read that other thread. Thank you.

My Dobie was spayed about 4 and a half months and she did develop incontinence, but with 1/ of a pill every third day, it was controlled withput a problem.

None of my other females ever had a problem. I had a Beardie and a Rott that were done at about a year and the rest of them were all done young (less than 6 months).

I am back to feeling better about having her done before she reaches 6 months and before I leave her at the kennel while we are away. Its just that I know I am going to do it anyway and I would really hate for her to go into heat while I am gone and have to go through that with strangers at the kennel. Then there would be the intact males at the kennel who'd be wandering around.

Thanks much everyone!!
 
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I've had two female GSDs now although my father had several as a breeder. He always spayed his own late after their third litter or so if I remember correctly.

My first female was spayed quite young. Less than six months I think and she never came into heat. Some people think this leads to a larger, more "male-like" female and in the case of Dutch this was certainly so.

My second female came to me at the age of 1.5 years as a breeder re-home. Since I had her papers I considered breeding her for awhile but my life caught up with me and I came to the realization that there was never going to be the time to do that I felt it should be done so I had Frigga spayed last month at 2.75 years of age. She was a very aggressive and dominant female when I got her and training had accomplished much but the spay has certainly had an effect already on evening out her disposition. The late spay's best benefit from my standpoint is that she fully developed as a female and has the proper size and elegant build of one.
 

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My vet recommends to do it before the first heat however in large breed dogs it can lead to incontinance (sp?) later on in life.
 

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My personal preference is to spay after the first heat cycle!
 

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I speyed Quynne at just under 6mo as I was moving about 4 hours away from the vets I trusted, and would not be easily able to have got it done later with them. She does have a immature vulva and while she is not incontinent she does lick a bit more than I would expect and my current vet says I will have to watch for signs of incontinence.

My previous dog had her first heat at right on (or slightly before) she was due to be speyed at 6 months and was not speyed til about 9-11 months. The vet would not spey until well after the heat was finished but then she had a false pregnancy which delayed it again.

She became incontinent around 11-12yo which was controlled by stilboestrol fortnightly and sometimes more and sometimes less. She did have a mammary cancer at 14 yo but no reoccurence after it was removed. It was very small because I always checked for it.

If I could guarantee there was no chance of a female being mated I would wait until after the first heat. If there was the slightest chance of an "oops" I would spey but as late as possible before the first heat.
 

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Curious as to the thinking behind the spay after first heat?

Like I said, my reading (from sources without obvious agendas-I try anyway) indicates that you can reduce the chance of mammary chain cancer to almost zero, so that is what I am going with. I would spay regardless, but have decided on that timeframe for that reason.

I was unable to choose that on 4 of my girls-one had a litter, one had many heats, one had one heat, and I am not sure how many heats Anna had before being spayed. Two were spayed before first heat-one at 6-7 months and one at 8 weeks before leaving the shelter.

Just wondering what the benefits are for spaying after one heat?

Sorry-I am Curious Jean (an annoying monkey)!
 

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In my case, Jean, I feel my previous dog was more physically and mentally mature after the first heat yet was not totally hormonally driven. I do not ever want any dog of mine to have pups and I always intended to spey prior her first heat. However, while she did get mammary cancer, it only ocurred at an advanced age.

With Quynne, I can see she still has a slightly immature physique (bodily) - maybe I'm looking for it. The vet called the vulva immature and, while not certain, the possibility of having to hormonally treat a dog for incontinence for extended periods of time, IMO, may result in the same effect HRT can have on women. Yes, I fear that that, may also result in mammary cancer - especially if the hormones are what is causing it in the first place. I have groomed many intact elderly dogs who have not had pups and who do not have mammary cancer.

There are positives and negatives on both sides of this question and I am only expressing my interpretation of my experience. My reason to spey early was based on my previous dog's vet advice. Some of his other advice regarding food has since been shown to be ill advised.
 

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Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAANCurious as to the thinking behind the spay after first heat?
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I prefer spaying a bitch after her first heat to allow her to mature both mentally and physically.

I spay them to prevent them from having puppies. I personally don't believe in removing various body parts just because there's a slim chance of cancer some time in the future.
 

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Both of my females were spayed at 6 months, before their first heat. Chama has occasional leakage (only in warm weather and started when she was 11) and it is easily controlled with Berry Blend and herbs that I give her only during these episodes. The herbs are not harmful.

Massie did develop spay incontinence at age 4. it was easily controlled with a VERY low dose of bovine hormones. She never leaked as long as I gave her the pills. She did not develop mammary cancer. She died just short of age 12.
 
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