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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve done a lot of research on spaying, but I would appreciate hearing personally from those who have female toy or mini poos. What age did you spay them and how much did they weigh? Originally I was planning on doing it at 8 months. I chose this age to avoid the first heat cycle, allow baby teeth to hopefully all fall out, and the breeder contract states it be done by this age. The last part is likely negotiable if need be. Both the breeder and my vet agreed this was a good age.

I’m going to have some extra time off work soon and am now considering doing it sooner. My girl is 25 weeks old, and weighs around 7lb, or 3.18kg. What was your expierence with spaying your small poo?
 

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It was forever ago, but Gracie was about 8 lbs and 6 months old when I had her spayed. I got her at 4 months and I swear she already had her adult teeth. Is that even possible?? ?

Anyway, not sure if this was related to her spay age, but she did end up developing terrible arthritis. The spay itself was uneventful (except when I cried dropping her off) and she healed very quickly.

One thing I'm personally hoping to avoid is scheduling the surgery during a possible fear period. I feel like this could be unnecessarily traumatic with long-lasting repercussions. So in that regard, the later the better. But I'm sure many would dismiss this as an over-abundance of caution.
 

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There is a tremendous amount of research out now that says early spaying ( before they have had a heat) is detrimental long term. There are breeders now advocating against early spays and neutering. I did not spay my own dogs for years.
 

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I’ve done hours of research and came to the conclusion that spaying after the first heat had the most pros vs cons. Beckie weighs 7 pounds and was spayed at 14 months, after her first heat.

The size of the dog does not matter as far as I know (unless you spay them before they’re fully grown, which is not advisable).
 

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Waiting til they reach physical maturity is the key. Studies are finding that the hormonal system has a big effect on the full body system's long term health. Hold off as long as you reasonably can, til after her growth has slowed way down, or even stopped. I know that's hard to tell exactly, so I'd go with 8 months as a minimum, up to a year or more if you can manage it.
 
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There is some research available that says that some rare health problems are less rare when dogs are neutered or spayed before reaching full size, but there isn't "a lot" of research — it's not as conclusive as some people seem to believe. An eight month old toy poodle has probably reached her full size anyway.

My spoo pup has a very petite mom and a dad on the smaller side of average and this past month, just about when he reached eight months, both his appetite and his growth rate slowed way down. He's not neutered yet and he is definitely stockier (for a poodle! no one would really call him "stocky") and more heavily muscled than his predecessor who was neutered at six months.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you everyone for your responses. I’ve decided for sure not to do it right now and will wait until 8 months minimum. I want her bones to be as strong and structurally sound as possible. I know smaller poodles reach adult height and size at a younger age, but her bones are likely still growing.

When it comes to the research regarding before/after first heat and mammary tumor risk, that’s a tough one. The peer reviewed studies that show before heat is protective is very old research. Many newer studies that show after heat cycle is more protective are biased/have issues in how the study was conducted. The info seems conflicting. I’m leaning toward waiting until as close to before the first heat as possible. I am extremely worried about accidental pregnancy, even though I or my boyfriend would always be with her whenever she’s outside to potty. There are 3 male dogs on my street with no fenced yards, and one is known to get out of his tie out occasionally. Unsure if he is neutered or not. I’d have to ask those neighbors if I decided to wait until after her first heat.

Anecdotally, my dad never spayed his sheltie and she died from mammary cancer. As an RN, I understand how sex hormones affect bone density and cancer risks in human females. I may change my mind again as time goes on.

it’s good to hear others’ experiences and choices since it’s a complex and personal decision for our dog children.
 

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I wrestled with this issue too, as there is not a clear cut answer. In the end, I decided to have Gracie, a mini poo spayed at just shy of 13 months, which was two weeks ago. She is 15 lbs.

She hadn’t come in heat yet, but her mother was two when she came in heat so it could have been a while. The vet said her uterus was immature, so we didn’t miss a silent heat. I think at 13 months she’s done growing.

Its a tough decision. Gracie is going to compete in agility, so thinking about her bones was particularly important. I looked at ovary sparing spay, which would preserve the hormones and protect the bones, but she still would be at risk for mammary cancer and would still cycle into heats- no bleeding but male dogs would be attracted. So we went the traditional route.
 
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