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Discussion Starter #1
I was just told by my vet (who owns 3 mini poodles) that I may want to wait to spay my 11 month girl until after the coat change as she’s seen spaying affect the coat and make it harder to manage. I assume it would be a temporary change, but thought I might as well wait.

I thought that was interesting, and it makes sense that hormonal fluctuations with a spay could affect the coat, Particularly if there was a transition.

Anyone experience this?

She hasn’t come intl heat yet and I’m in no rush.
 

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I know spaying can cause a wooly, difficult coat in spaniels, but I have never heard of it affecting poodles. Perhaps it is correlation, with spaying happening around the age of a difficult coat change and being associated with it, rather than spaying actually causing it?
 
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I have never heard of that.

When I was going to spay Beckie, around 12 months, she came into heat so we had to postpone until 13-14 months. I didn’t know it could happen but Beckie went into a depression, from the hormones, I suppose. For about six weeks, she was a very sad little dog, having basically no zest for life. I wish I could have avoided that. It’s probably not that common, but something to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
FJM, I don’t know if it is just a correlation with a coat change that happens anyway, but it seems she has noticed something particular with a poodle coat change and spaying. I thought it was interesting.

Dechi, that’s terrible about Beckie’s depression. I’m glad she recovered. Never would have thought of that either.

If her heats aren’t bad, I might consider leaving her intact. I think there is a lot we don’t know, and hormones play such a huge role in general health. We’ll see what I think after dealing with a heat!
 

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FJM, I don’t know if it is just a correlation with a coat change that happens anyway, but it seems she has noticed something particular with a poodle coat change and spaying. I thought it was interesting.

Dechi, that’s terrible about Beckie’s depression. I’m glad she recovered. Never would have thought of that either.

If her heats aren’t bad, I might consider leaving her intact. I think there is a lot we don’t know, and hormones play such a huge role in general health. We’ll see what I think after dealing with a heat!
Cancers of the uterus are a risk for intact females. Read into that carefully. There is much less a debate about spaying females than neutering males, because of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I hear you Dechi! I have read some of the studies. I think there is a lot we don’t know. For example, if spaying is related to longevity or better overall health. Any information on that?

Oh the decisions! This little poodle has me going in a zillion directions. Good thing she’s really cute :)
 
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If you want to keep the hormones but not breed, I'd definitely go the route of ovary sparing spay. They leave one or two ovaries so they retain hormones, but take out uterus so no pyometra. They still have heats but no discharge which is the worst to deal with. Still rough if it's difficult for you to keep your dog away from males though. Keep in mind the first heat is usually the worst to go through as they don't know how to deal with it.

For ovary sparing spay, see
https://www.parsemus.org/
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Starvt and Raindrops for the advice and resources! Good food for thought. I’m going to talk to the vet about ovary sparing surgery. It won’t help with the mammary cancer risk, but it will preserve the hormones, and remove the pyometra risk.

No intact males in my household but she will be at agility trials and classes with intact males. So, I assume she will still ovulate. Considering that, will she still periodically act like a dog in heat and attract males the same way? Or does the removal of bleeding change that?
 

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Thanks Starvt and Raindrops for the advice and resources! Good food for thought. I’m going to talk to the vet about ovary sparing surgery. It won’t help with the mammary cancer risk, but it will preserve the hormones, and remove the pyometra risk.

No intact males in my household but she will be at agility trials and classes with intact males. So, I assume she will still ovulate. Considering that, will she still periodically act like a dog in heat and attract males the same way? Or does the removal of bleeding change that?
I cannot say for sure as I haven't been through it personally. I looked into it a lot for a previous dog though. I believe they still get vulval swelling and mood swings, but I'm not sure if they are less attractive to males. I'd think no discharge would mean less attraction in terms of scent, but I think your girl will still be interested in the boys. There are facebook groups dedicated to people interested in OSS where people with experience could answer questions. One of the difficulties with the procedure is finding a vet who knows how to do it, as it's still not commonly taught. But I think it is becoming more and more common and that link should help with locating a vet in your state that offers it. The vet I use here in Miami is actually one of the few on their list for Florida.

I think if I had a lone female dog I would have a hard time deciding what to do, as there are benefits to both routes. I think it comes down to what will work best for you and your dog.
 

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Thanks Starvt and Raindrops for the advice and resources! Good food for thought. I’m going to talk to the vet about ovary sparing surgery. It won’t help with the mammary cancer risk, but it will preserve the hormones, and remove the pyometra risk.

No intact males in my household but she will be at agility trials and classes with intact males. So, I assume she will still ovulate. Considering that, will she still periodically act like a dog in heat and attract males the same way? Or does the removal of bleeding change that?
The senior vet at the animal clinic where I work, says that with OSS they still go through all the same stuff- be in heat, attracted to/by males, and he says they still have discharge (although likely less), since apparently the majority of the discharge is from the vulva and outermost section of the uterus. Stump pyometra is still a possibility although she wouldn't be able to get a closed pyo (where the pus stays inside) which is the more dangerous version. There are a couple vets in my area that do OSS but I don't know any dogs that have had it done so I don't have any firsthand knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I cannot say for sure as I haven't been through it personally. I looked into it a lot for a previous dog though. I believe they still get vulval swelling and mood swings, but I'm not sure if they are less attractive to males. I'd think no discharge would mean less attraction in terms of scent, but I think your girl will still be interested in the boys. There are facebook groups dedicated to people interested in OSS where people with experience could answer questions. One of the difficulties with the procedure is finding a vet who knows how to do it, as it's still not commonly taught. But I think it is becoming more and more common and that link should help with locating a vet in your state that offers it. The vet I use here in Miami is actually one of the few on their list for Florida.

I think if I had a lone female dog I would have a hard time deciding what to do, as there are benefits to both routes. I think it comes down to what will work best for you and your dog.
Unfortunately my vet is not on that list, but they do specialize in reproductive health so maybe they do it and just are not on the list. I did find a vet that is only a couple hours away on the list.

I’m going to find out more about it, I found the FB group, it is pretty active, and a few other websites. This one has good info.

https://www.bahvs.com/articles-parent/gonad-sparing-sterilisation/
 
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