Aria turned 7 months old on Saturday, and I know she is getting close to that time where she will need to be spayed.
I just don't know what to do. Since I got her I have been hell bent on having her spayed after her first heat. I have been told by both my vet and my breeder that it may be beneficial to her if I let her go through 1 heat cycle. Neither of which, have told me I need to wait, but that I may want to. My problem is, everything I read about it is contradictory. I find just as much articles saying its better to wait for them to go through 1st heat cycle as I do saying its best to have her spayed before her first heat cycle. I mainly wanted to wait because I have been told by my vet that because she had a UTI when she was younger, she may be prone to get more and waiting to spay her could reduce the risk of chronic UTI's. I also though it could reduce the risk of bladder incontinence. Then I read a feed on here about how many females still suffer from that even though they were spayed later.
I'm just so confused and nervous. I don't want to cause her problems because I waited to long or didn't wait long enough.
What are your guys suggestions? What's funny is I've always had my dogs spayed around 6 months and never have let my dogs go into heat, I don't know why this dog is making it so hard for me to decide when. After reading a lot about spaying in now leaning towards getting her spayed next week and getting it over with. I'm beginning to think there are more benefits to getting it done now then if I waited. Plus, my husband and I are going out of state mid feb and I am terrified of her going into heat while she is staying at my parents. I just don't want my mom having to deal with that responsibility.
Names of dogs: Toby & Tucker (litter mates 2007); Teesha (2011-2014); Missy (T&T's full sister 2008-2011)
Poodle Type: Standard; 2 blue/white parti boys
Location: AB, Canada
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I can relate to your dilemma. I seem to be second-guessing every decision I make about our spoos. They're just so important to me that I don't want to make a mistake. Plus, with the internet, there's so much more information (and misinformation) that it's hard to know what to do anymore.
When we got our female, the breeder urged us to wait until she was 2 years old before spaying her. But we take our dogs for daily off-leash runs, and we didn't want to have to deal with heat cycles. Plus, as you say, there are some sources that point out the benefits of earlier spaying. We compromised and held off for as long as we felt comfortable. As a result, we had our girl spayed just after she turned 11 months old. We had read that many spoos start their heat cycles at around a year old and, even though our girl's dam and older siblings were closer to 18 months old before beginning theirs, we were a bit nervous about waiting any longer.
SInce your vet is urging you to wait so your pup won't have chronic UTI's, and because larger dogs, like Standard Poodles, tend to go into heat later than smaller dogs, I don't think you'd be wrong (or sorry) to wait a few more months. From what I've read (and this makes perfect sense to me), delayed spaying helps dogs in their development. I truly regret having our two males neutered at 6 months. I hope they don't experience health problems, down the road, because of it.
I don't want to advise you...only you can decide what's right for you and your dog. I just wanted to share my thoughts and experience. Hopefully, others will be able to tell you when their female spoos had their first heats, so you'll know if you can safely wait (and not worry about your parents dealing with a heat in your absence).
The second paper is not sayig that the research on mammary tumours was incorrect, simply that its findings may not be as reliable as we have believed.
Personally I would follow your vet's advice. A protected family pet is at low risk of accidental pregnancy, and it really is not that difficult to cope with a heat cycle these days (unless you have a lot of free ranging male dogs locally, and no enclosed yard, of course). In some European countries spaying is only done in response to disease - they are horrified at the thought of doing it for what seems to them simply "convenience" - these are often the same countries that have very few stray or homeless dogs, so the pressure for prophylactic spaying is very different.
But it is a decision only you can make, knowing your dog and your household. There are risks either way, and the research is neither as complete nor as up to date as one would like for such an important decision. After a great deal of thought I decided not to spay my two - it seemed to me that the whole hormonal and endocrinological systems were too complex and interconnected to remove chunks "just in case". But I know my decision leaves them at risk of pyometra and mammary tumours, and that it might be one I regret in the future. Meanwhile I watch them and check them over very, very carefully.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring- it was peace.
~ Milan Kundera
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Thank you for your inputs and the articles. Her accidentally getting pregnant is not a worry of mine. She is never aloud to be in the yard alone even though we have an 8ft privacy fence, I'm always just so paranoid someone will steal her. And she comes to work with me and practically everywhere else, and is kenneled when I can't keep an eye on her. Also, I have never seen a roaming dog in our neighborhood so it appears that my neighbors are mostly responsible.
I was going to go in and talk to my vet today also and see what she says. I am in a contract that I just have her spayed by 12 months so I always planned on having it done by 11 months if she doesn't go into heat by then.
Well I can't wait that long, I will have to do it by 11 months. I know it's very possible she would go into heat after 1 year, just been very hopeful. I'm beginning to lean towards sooner then later for spaying. I'm beginning to feel that the benefits out way all negatives, and I would be able to put my mind at ease faster. I've never had to go through a heat before and I'm really nervous putting myself through it.lol
We had our Luna spayed somewhat early actually. I think she was 5-6 months. Our vet whom we trust and has been an excellent source of support for us always seems to lean on spaying/neutering early as opposed to later. I would probably lean on getting her spayed as soon as possible. I agree that there is more of a benefit to spaying before she comes into heat. I believe the chance for certain types of cancer can go up significantly if spaying isn't done before the 1st heat cycle.
However, I don't want to step on the toes of your vet. We've always been pretty consistent with neutering and spaying our dogs with enough time before it becomes an issue. I'm sure you'll make the right decision.