German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I have a 16 month female who's is not spayed, She's not aggressive but can be reactive to certain things (We're in training for that) I initially planned on spaying her after her first heat cycle, then bounced around with the thought of breeding her and didn't end up getting her spayed.

Her second heat came and she went into training for two weeks while we were away (During her cycle). We thought sending her to training would help with the reactivity, but because she didn't display it, they really couldn't work with her on it, so I looked back into getting her spayed and found an study that showed a more likely INCREASE or SUDDEN APPEARANCE of aggression. Reading this set me back, but I'm being heckled to get her spayed by family because they are completely on boar with spaying/neutering and think theres no other way of life for a dog, I'm studying to be a vet so I wanted to do my research before I made such a huge decision.

I know there are a ton of health benefits to spaying but I think the reason I'm such on the fence is because there are so many articles saying that if you don't spay you could put your dog in danger because of ________ . But then theres also studies and personal stories given about people who have spayed their dogs and they became aggressive or more aggressive instead of calming down like a male would after being neutered.

So I guess I'm wandering what everyone's thought and experience is on spaying. I know theres the chance of health issues in females, but what are the chances actually? are they highly common and could it be prevented? and if not, would it be more worth it to just spay her and have potential aggression? or would it be more worth keeping her intact and avoiding aggression but having potential health problems? This is a huge decision and I need all the help I can get making it. The only thing i'm not even worried about is the potential of her getting pregnant, because she's with me almost 24/7 and I'm responsible enough to watch and keep her on a leash during her cycle.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
850 Posts
The numbers I hear is if you don't spay they have a 50/50 chance of getting female related cancers. I say don't spay until after the first heat cycle if at all for proper development. I also wouldn't breed if I was you. Sorry but you should leave that to the professionals (not sure of your breeding history). The reason this breed has went downhill so fast if because of people breeding them that don't do any of the right tests and don't know they history of their pedigree. They just breed hip displaced dogs over and over again. That's just how I feel about it, the GSD is a working breed first and foremost and if you don't breed working line GSDs than you shouldn't be doing it at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The numbers I hear is if you don't spay they have a 50/50 chance of getting female related cancers. I say don't spay until after the first heat cycle if at all for proper development. I also wouldn't breed if I was you. Sorry but you should leave that to the professionals (not sure of your breeding history). The reason this breed has went downhill so fast if because of people breeding them that don't do any of the right tests and don't know they history of their pedigree. They just breed hip displaced dogs over and over again. That's just how I feel about it, the GSD is a working breed first and foremost and if you don't breed working line GSDs than you shouldn't be doing it at all.
That was a thought when she was still young, we decided after a while we didn't want to breed her. Just added that in to explain why she wasn't spayed after her first heat. Either way she'll get tested just like any dog that we planned to breed just for the reason of health. I don't really agree with "if you don't breed working like, you shouldn't breed at all" But I do think that if a shepherd isn't going to improve the breed it shouldn't be bred and I haven't seen anything in her yet that I could see improving the breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,202 Posts
What health benefits of spaying? The only one I'm aware of is reducing the risk of mammary gland cancer. According to my vet, that risk reduction for your dog is moot because she's already went though 2 heat cycles.
As far as breeding, please leave that to competent professionals. I would love to have a son out my pup but won't let her have a litter as I'm not a breeder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
What health benefits of spaying? The only one I'm aware of is reducing the risk of mammary gland cancer. According to my vet, that risk reduction for your dog is moot because she's already went though 2 heat cycles.
Hmmm thats interesting, i've always wondered that. I know they say that theres a higher chance of getting mammary gland cancer after the second heat. Theres also Ovarian Cancer which would be prevented.

I personally don't feel think I want to spay her, but like I said in the main post, when you read stuff and when vets tell you that you're putting your dog in danger for not spaying it becomes pretty alarming. Which is why I'm not so sure, and I know that if I talk to my vet about my concerns that will most likely steer me towards spaying.

Like I put in my reply to Julian, it was a thought when she was younger - We had friends who are professional breeders and trainers who we were going to work with, but after she grew and started to show her self with age we decided against it. That part was just added in to explain why she wasn't spayed after her first heat like we initially decided.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,726 Posts
Y

What's the health history of her line? I'd be less concerned with possible aggression (studies on that show overall increase in anxiety based behaviors including aggression, which coincides with reports from humans who have undergone similar surgeries) then the possibility of diabilitating injuries and life threatening cancers.


PLOS ONE: Neutering Dogs: Effects on Joint Disorders and Cancers in Golden Retrievers

Will Spaying/Neutering Increase Your Dog's Risk of Cancer?

Spayed dogs are more significantly more likely to suffer from CCL tears. (Sex hormones are responsible of muscle mass, fat to muscle ratios, and bone density). If your dog is going to be highly active this could be a deal breaker on its own.

Spayed females are 4.3 times more likely to develop lymphoma.

Spayed females are 9 times more likely to develop hemangiosarcoma. (If you aren't familiar with how devestating hemangio is with GSDs there is a sticky either over in preparing to say goodbye or the health section on this forum. Devestating. Takes them fast. Not really treatable. Common in our breed)

Spayed females are 3.5 times more likely to develop mast cell tumors.

All this in addition to the increase of possible unwanted behavioral changes.

I did find the rottweiler study to be interesting. Females spayed after the age of 6 were 4.6 times more likely to reach the age of 13 than females spayed earlier. Hormones are important for overall health and longevity.

Personally I wouldn't spay. Do some research on pyometra (pyo and mammary cancer are the reasons often cited as why to spay- the boat has kinda sailed on you preventing mammary cancer though..) and decide where you want to place your bets.

You may also consider an ovary sparing spay. No heats, no chance of pregnancy, no pyo - but your girl reaps the hormonal benefits of having her ovaries intact.

Personally I would not spay. I'd be sure to be on the look out for pyo as the dog ages. But I figure nature has designed dogs to be perfect biological systems. I'm not going to tinker with that. Endocrine deficiencies have been widely studied across dozens of species and pretty much the results are the same - hormones are really important for many body systems beyond reproduction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
What's the health history of her line? I'd be less concerned with possible aggression (studies on that show overall increase in anxiety based behaviors including aggression, which coincides with reports from humans who have undergone similar surgeries) then the possibility of diabilitating injuries and life threatening cancers.


PLOS ONE: Neutering Dogs: Effects on Joint Disorders and Cancers in Golden Retrievers

Will Spaying/Neutering Increase Your Dog's Risk of Cancer?

Spayed dogs are more significantly more likely to suffer from CCL tears. (Sex hormones are responsible of muscle mass, fat to muscle ratios, and bone density). If your dog is going to be highly active this could be a deal breaker on its own.

Spayed females are 4.3 times more likely to develop lymphoma.

Spayed females are 9 times more likely to develop hemangiosarcoma. (If you aren't familiar with how devestating hemangio is with GSDs there is a sticky either over in preparing to say goodbye or the health section on this forum. Devestating. Takes them fast. Not really treatable. Common in our breed)

Spayed females are 3.5 times more likely to develop mast cell tumors.

All this in addition to the increase of possible unwanted behavioral changes.

I did find the rottweiler study to be interesting. Females spayed after the age of 6 were 4.6 times more likely to reach the age of 13 than females spayed earlier. Hormones are important for overall health and longevity.

Personally I wouldn't spay. Do some research on pyometra (pyo and mammary cancer are the reasons often cited as why to spay- the boat has kinda sailed on you preventing mammary cancer though..) and decide where you want to place your bets.

You may also consider an ovary sparing spay. No heats, no chance of pregnancy, no pyo - but your girl reaps the hormonal benefits of having her ovaries intact.

Personally I would not spay. I'd be sure to be on the look out for pyo as the dog ages. But I figure nature has designed dogs to be perfect biological systems. I'm not going to tinker with that. Endocrine deficiencies have been widely studied across dozens of species and pretty much the results are the same - hormones are really important for many body systems beyond reproduction.
Thank you! this is super helpful. I want to do right by my girl and ensure she has the most healthy development and lifestyle, I know both Sire and Dam are healthy joint wise, but definitely still getting her tested just so I can have peace of mine for that.

She's small according to most people, though she is within standard and even considered a larger female (still small compared to most females and males) so I think that this will really do her well as she gets older since she won't have to worry about heavy strain on her joints.

She's still young and very active and I know we want to start doing small low level agility trials. Its so hard to make the decision to spay or not to spay (especially when you're not even going to breed) because so many people are 100% for spaying so you only hear one side of it and never hear the benefits from the other side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Yes you eliminate the risk of ovarian cancer, which is less likely than mammary gland, if you remove the ovaries. I'm still on the fence about spaying, but if I do it'll be OSS as I believe sex hormones are vital to good health and would take that inherent risk.
I think thats where I'm at now as well. still on the fence, leaning more towards not spaying, but if it comes down to it and I feel it needs to happen I would do OSS as well. We don't need any babies but would sure like those hormones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,726 Posts
Do yourself a favor and find a veterinary practice that offers sports medicine, reproductive, or holistic services.

They see a lot more intact dogs than your average general practitioner. They'll be more knowledgeable about things to look out for in regards to health of an intact girl and you won't have to deal with the lectures from vets that push the speuter agenda...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,714 Posts
I have a 6 year old intact female. I just got in a nasty argument because the neighbors intact male is behaving like an ass because my dog is in heat and somehow thats my fault.
I used to get grief all the time about my intact male. He was fine with other dogs but they seemed to have issues with him.
Be aware that public pressure can get brutal.
The increase or liklehood of aggression is the key for me. Spayed females are way more prone to dog issues in my experience. The health risks with not spaying imo where brought to light by supporters of early spay/neuter since they are insignificant compared to the benefits of leaving dogs intact.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,381 Posts
Living with a bitch in season is not fun. There's pros and cons for both. I've not known a bitch to become more aggressive. You're average town vet will push for neutering and spaying because of the abundance of people who allow their bitches to get bred and then the problem of all the puppies. If you're studying to be a vet, talk to the vets at your school, not here. They are the ones who can answer your questions the best. As to breeding her? What is your reason to breed her? Is there a goal in mind for the puppies? Do you have homes lined up that will follow what your goal is for them? The breeding part is easy. The finding homes and being willing to take back one of you puppies whether it is six months or six years (and now has some serious behavior problems) is a whole nuther story. So think about all of this clearly, the now and the future, and talk to the experts, the vets at your school for your questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,873 Posts
Pyometra is a real risk in mostly older, intact female dogs. Far greater a risk than cancer. I've read it can be as high as 20% or greater in intact females over 10 years of age. But it can affect a dog at any age. Very dangerous, and requires immediate surgery unless caught early.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,084 Posts
Most health risks behind spay and neuter are seen with EARLY spay and neuter. I see no need to neuter my males but personally, I would spay a female, largely to avoid heat cycles and the risk of pyometra, which sits around 23% in females and requires immediate emergency surgery (you're probably looking at an average cost of about $2000-$4000 + for a pyometra spay).

I would wait until around the age of 2 to spay to allow for full maturation with growth hormones.

The recent UC Davis study looking specifically at intact vs. early neutered german shepherds is probably the best one to follow.

https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/early-neutering-poses-health-risks-german-shepherd-dogs-study-finds/
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top