Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Brad Eden

      TO THOSE REGISTERING FOR MEMBERSHIP ON UJ   01/06/2018

      To the Guests who have decided to register for Membership. PLEASE read Terms of Service, not just checking it off. This is covered there: Add more info than just "hunting" or "Upland hunting" or "birds" or "outdoors" or similar nebulous terms in the required INTERESTS field. Despite this Boards strong spam filtering function, some Spam registrations do sneak through. I need an inkling that you are a human being not a Spam Bot tagging onto key words. Also please do not use a business name as your User Name. Thank you.
terrym

What age to spay?

Recommended Posts

terrym

They say to wait 24 months to Nueter  a male so the growth plates have all matured properly but does this also apply to females? I read all kinds of theories but one that seems common is wait until first heat cycle. I guess the next question is at what age do the females have their first heat cycles? Thinking about possibly getting a female next time educating myself as much as possible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SLR

There are many pro and con considerations about spaying/neutering. Some can be found in articles like this one: http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf

 

Personally, I wouldn't neuter a male unless there were a compelling medical reason, like a testicular tumor.  Cryptorchidism would be a close call, but that is a condition that should not be passed on by breeding. Perhaps one exception might be if I kept intact females and definitely didn't want any chance of that male breeding one of them. That would assume suitable kennel facilities for isolating a bitch in heat were not available. My thought is: if we are talking about hunting dogs, they are athletes and need their androgenic hormones for optimal performance. When human athletes use performance enhancing drugs, they increase  hormone levels, they don't decrease them. 

 

Females are a closer call. If there is no intention to breed the female, no matter how outstanding that pup turns out to be, then there is the benefit of early spaying reducing the incidence of breast cancer. On the other hand, if one monitors the bitches breasts regularly and remove any masses when small, breast cancer can be cured. I have a female that had an adenocarcinoma of the breast excised 6 years ago and she is still fine.  And there is the nuisance of estrus cycles and protecting the intact bitch from accidental breedings. For example, I have a rescued stray beagle, with no registration papers, that I had spayed, as we have an intact male setter and her estrus cycles were a real inconvenience.

 

Postponing the age for castration until after skeletal maturity has merit, except that practice  loses the breast cancer reduction benefit in females. Females usually have their first estrus sometime between 6 months and one year of age. Another down side is that castration is a surgical procedure with general anesthesia all the attendant risks and expense. 

 

In summary, much depends on one's personal situation and the intended use of the dog: hard hunting, possible breeding, available secure kennel, etc, etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dogwood

I recommend spaying athletic/sporting female breeds after the first heat cycle, which usually occurs at 10-14 months of age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pjeisch

Ted Kerasote did a lot of research on the topic in his book Pukka's Promise. I learned enough there to change my thinking on the matter. My only recommendation would be to pick up a copy from the library and read the material on the topic. Very well researched.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
terrym

One concern I have about early spaying is a documented increase in cruciat injuries. Makes sense as skeletal proportions can be affected by the hormone changes. I'm living through one dog with an ACL injury and don't want to go through that again if at all possible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Craig Doherty

I have a different situation than most -- I don't keep dogs that I wouldn't consider breeding and I have adequate secure kennel space to keep bitches in heat isolated and even the dogs that spend time in the house are well adjusted to kennel life as well -- that said I have never had a dog spayed or neutered and have always felt that there is some down side to doing so.  It turns out that much of the research being done now supports my anecdotal conclusions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brad Eden

I've only had two females so my test group is very small. The first was a Springer we had spayed at I think 6 months. If she had any resulting health issues because of it I never saw them, and she lived to a healthy 13 or so years. After much deliberation and phone calls to breeders, some from UJ, we decided not to breed our new Cav spaniel. And she was also spayed at 6-7 months. Decided to leave breeding to the professionals and avoid heat cycles, blood etc., (our new house is almost completely carpeted). She's only a little over a year old, so jury is out whether we should be arrested for animal cruelty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UplandHntr

interesting topic as I have a 10 month old F Springer and have been debating to get it out of the way to not interrupt our first season or try and hold out until after the first of the year.  Need to make a decision in the next 30 days or so..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bobman

Years ago I would spay females for my convenience, as I became better informed I quit doing it.

 

IMO the myriad of hormones mammals  have in them are there for a purpose, and we know less than we think we do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dogwood
On 8/21/2016 at 10:52 PM, terrym said:

They say to wait 24 months to Nueter  a male so the growth plates have all matured properly but does this also apply to females? I read all kinds of theories but one that seems common is wait until first heat cycle. I guess the next question is at what age do the females have their first heat cycles? Thinking about possibly getting a female next time educating myself as much as possible. 

I assume you consulted your veterinarian, the best source for this type of information.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
welsh

Early spay/neuter is associated with increased risk of CCL tears, hip dysplasia, and patellar luxation -- all orthopaedic problems related to disrupting normal development. Also, early spay/neuter is associated with some behavioral problems: noise phobia, persistent mounting, and general fearfulness. Another health problem associated with early spay/neuter is urinary incontinence (rarely). The ASPCA, which is committed to spay/neuter programs because of its focus on shelter dogs, discounts the risks, arguing that they affect only a small number of dogs. On the other hand the orthopaedic risks are hard to set aside if you have a hard-driving hunting dog.

 

Have you seen this?

http://www.caninesports.com/uploads/1/5/3/1/15319800/spay_neuter_considerations_2013.pdf

 

One of the guys in my training group is a vet, which is handy ... I get free veterinary advice from someone who knows hunting dogs. :) His advice re my new pup was not to spay before one year of age. The question for me at that point will be whether to spay at all.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
terrym

I was thinking at first heat but hopefully that isn't at under 1yr old. I want to bring her home at 1yr of age hopefully everything lines up?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Spin
On 8/22/2016 at 3:58 PM, bobman said:

Years ago I would spay females for my convenience, as I became better informed I quit doing it.

 

IMO the myriad of hormones mammals  have in them are there for a purpose, and we know less than we think we do.

I can see this line of reasoning and it has some merit but in nature the primary concern is continuation of the species so giving off scent to signal readiness to breed and simply ability to reproduce are, I believe, the paramount goal.

I also know and sympathize with the reality or latent regrets that breeding down the line becomes no longer possible.

    I generally believe that waiting until after the first or second heat cycle is completed to allow all hormones to be present assisting in full physical development. 

   These are my own thoughts and beliefs. In the end each of us must make whatever decision we believe is best in our own circumstance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brookieslayer

After going through 2 CCL tears in my male Weim, I have made a decision not to spay our young female. This was after a long consultaion with our vet and the orho that did the TPLO's on our male. The ortho surgeon made some valid points. In fact the recommended age to neuter at in our clinic here has been moved to 2 years base on the issues our boy went through and consultations with our vet clinic and the University hospital the ortho worked at.

 

Hormones keep growth plates in check and keep quad muscles growing faster in males. Dogs were born with 'em for a reason!

 

Some people even do a "clip" and leave the gonads in place.... some also do a uterus removal and keep the ovaries... interesting alternative...

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
terrym

Here is an update to this post i started. I ended up buying a female ES and the breeder and I worked out an agreement he would keep her and train her until her first heat was done with. Well she has recently had her heat at 10.5 months and I'm picking her up next week. My thinking is that I now have roughly 6 more months of her maturing/developing before I have her spayed. I have no desire to breed her but the breeder is disappointed as they were hoping to sort of have her as a possible candidate for a litter. She has apparently shown great promise so far. I have an intact male in the house and just don't have the facilities to separate them. I also don't want a dog coming into heat during hunting season. I hunt with other dogs and have seen the trouble that can start with fights etc. So, my plan is to have her spayed roughly at 18 months or so at her second heat. I have lived through a dog have two cruciat injuries and sure as hell don't want to live that again so don't want to increase that risk. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×