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Juno- 5 month old Moyan poodle
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all!
I have a moyan puppy named Juno and I was just wondering if anyone had any advice on when I should spay her. She’s 5 months old right now and her vet is recommending I spay her at six months, while her breeder recommended that I spay her at a year... from what I can find online it’s best to wait until right before her first heat, but even that changes depending on where you look and I don’t know when that would be anyway.
So any help would be great, lol!
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If your vet is willing, give or send them this study. I would follow the recommendations for the variety that your girl's size fits into (moyen is not recognized in the US so the study includes only toy, mini, or standard).
 

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Juno- 5 month old Moyan poodle
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If your vet is willing, give or send them this study. I would follow the recommendations for the variety that your girl's size fits into (moyen is not recognized in the US so the study includes only toy, mini, or standard).
Looks like any age is good for female poodles of all sizes... that’s a relief I guess 😅
 

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Ideally you want to allow your dog to finish maturing with full benefit of her hormones. The UC Davis study did not have a very large number of poodles, so I would be cautious to put too much trust into their findings. Previous studies UC Davis has done looking at other diseases in poodles suggest it is better to spay at an older age, though I still do not really trust studies with low sample sizes. As your dog is between the size of a miniature and standard, she will probably finish growing at 1-1.5 years of age. Personally I would wait at least a year to spay. The risk of mammary cancer does not actually increase much at all by letting them go through a heat cycle or two. The statistics you typically find quoted are from an outdated, misrepresented study. I would prefer to wait until after one or two heat cycles to spay.
 

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There are no individual medical benefits found in spaying before physical maturity and may be some to waiting til growth is complete. This is why your breeder is recommending waiting longer.

Many vets are, understandably, still recommending the 6 month age but that might be based on overall population reduction due to lack of owner vigilance rather than any medical benefit.
 
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She’s adorable!

We went against our vet’s advice on this one, instead following the advice of our trainer, breeder, and many knowledgable folks on this forum. Our initial plan was to spay after Peggy’s first heat, but it occurred quite early at 8.5 months and was easy peasy so we decided to let her continue maturing. Her second heat was a nightmare, but she had a major growth spurt shortly after, and we decided to let her finish growing before messing around with her hormones. Her third heat, so far, has been very similar to her easy first one, and we’ve now booked her spay for May—a couple of weeks before her 2nd birthday.

It’s a very personal choice and there’s probably no perfect decision. You have to be up for the responsibility of preventing an unwanted pregnancy, which has been easy for us, but could be more challenging depending on your lifestyle. There can also be some behavioural challenges, but there may also be behaviour risks associated with early spay.

I’m personally so glad we waited, because Peggy’s temperament really blossomed with her first heat. I have no way of knowing if that would have happened had we spayed her. Her vulva also had a chance to fully develop, which immediately resolved some problems she was having with discharge and irritation (puppy vaginitis).
 

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To dive deeper into this... How would you navigate the breeder contract situation you signed if you wanted to wait longer then a year to spay her? Is it more just like a good faith agreement not to start your own breeding program and to have owner vigilance like what Rose mentioned?

Would you just have a conversation with the breeder to let them know what your planning to do?

(I mentioned to Basil's breeder around 4 months that I would get her spayed by 1 year. Elana, the breeder, even mentioned breeding her and I said I would think about it. Fast forward to today at 10 months, I'm not super interested in putting Basil through being a momma and Im leaning towards waiting until after her third heat.)
 

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To dive deeper into this... How would you navigate the breeder contract situation you signed if you wanted to wait longer then a year to spay her? Is it more just like a good faith agreement not to start your own breeding program and to have owner vigilance like what Rose mentioned?

Would you just have a conversation with the breeder to let them know what your planning to do?

(I mentioned to Basil's breeder around 4 months that I would get her spayed by 1 year. Elana, the breeder, even mentioned breeding her and I said I would think about it. Fast forward to today at 10 months, I'm not super interested in putting Basil through being a momma and Im leaning towards waiting until after her third heat.)
I would discuss with the breeder. These days most breeders understand the benefits of late altering and many actually require it. You will even see some contracts that don't mind intact animals but do not want them altered before a given age. As long as you explain yourself and have a relationship with the breeder, they should be amenable.
 

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Juno- 5 month old Moyan poodle
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My breeder contract was that I would spay her and that I wouldn’t breed her, not when I would do it. I actually contacted her to ask for advice on the spaying thing, lol
 

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She’s adorable!

We went against our vet’s advice on this one, instead following the advice of our trainer, breeder, and many knowledgable folks on this forum. Our initial plan was to spay after Peggy’s first heat, but it occurred quite early at 8.5 months and was easy peasy so we decided to let her continue maturing. Her second heat was a nightmare, but she had a major growth spurt shortly after, and we decided to let her finish growing before messing around with her hormones. Her third heat, so far, has been very similar to her easy first one, and we’ve now booked her spay for May—a couple of weeks before her 2nd birthday.

It’s a very personal choice and there’s probably no perfect decision. You have to be up for the responsibility of preventing an unwanted pregnancy, which has been easy for us, but could be more challenging depending on your lifestyle. There can also be some behavioural challenges, but there may also be behaviour risks associated with early spay.

I’m personally so glad we waited, because Peggy’s temperament really blossomed with her first heat. I have no way of knowing if that would have happened had we spayed her. Her vulva also had a chance to fully develop, which immediately resolved some problems she was having with discharge and irritation (puppy vaginitis).
[/QUOTE
I dont have my puppy yet but am worried about delaying her spay appointment until 18 months, which is what my breeder wants. What happens when they go into heat? What makes a heat easy or difficult? Can dogs in heat get painful cramps and feel ill? How can a dog in heat be walked without risking an attack from a random male? Is there anything else to worry about in regard to heats and delaying the spaying? Sorry for the newbie questions, and thanks.
 

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I would recommend searching the word “spay” on the forum and soaking up all the experiences our members have had. As I mentioned, they vary. But if I were to forget the awful first few days of Peggy’s second heat, they’ve been mostly a piece of cake. We just exercise her primarily in our yard while she’s fertile. It helps that she get extremely lethargic.

These threads will give you lots of insight into the experiences we’ve had:



Please help me calm Peggy (Poodle in Heat) (At the end of this thread, I describe her third heat, which has been the definition of easy.)
 

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I would recommend searching the word “spay” on the forum and soaking up all the experiences our members have had. As I mentioned, they vary. But if I were to forget the awful first few days of Peggy’s second heat, they’ve been mostly a piece of cake. We just exercise her primarily in our yard while she’s fertile. It helps that she get extremely lethargic.

These threads will give you lots of insight into the experiences we’ve had:



Please help me calm Peggy (Poodle in Heat) (At the end of this thread, I describe her third heat, which has been the definition of easy.)
oops, didn't even realize I had posted this by accident before ready. Please see the next post below that I posted before realizing this one.
 

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Hello, first time on forum, hope this is the right place to post my question. We have a standard poodle female that is 7 and a half months old, presently 40 lbs, torturing ourselves over when to spay. Have been doing just as suggested, soaking it all in, and the lack of consensus is pretty shocking. This is our third standard / second female (one at a time, so we're long term fans). The two main camps seem to be (a) 6 to 8 months, and (b) ranges from a couple months after the first heat to around 18 months. I have yet to find a vet to be in the second camp (even one vet that is a long-time standard poodle fan/owner).
Our last girl died at 8 years from lymphoma (after spending an insane amount of $ trying to save her, before they realized it was cancer) and she did seem to have some hip concerns starting around age 6. She was spayed at 6 months. Certainly no definite connection, but a "maybe" connection in our minds. The UC Davis paper, and looking at this link below, it certainly identifies a risk of LSA for males neutered early (like 27%), and even though not identified for females, it certainly makes me wonder about the girl that we lost way too young. So I'm leaning towards the second camp. But....I see a lot of references that say the chance of mammary cancer risk goes like this: spay before first heat risk is 0.5%, after first heat risk is 8%, risk after 2nd heat is 26%. So presently thinking of waiting until one year mark if no heat yet, and if there is heat by then we wait until 2 months after. But it is kind of distressing when our vet is strongly recommending doing it now, and we really like and trust our vet generally speaking. Even called our old vet that we used to use a long time ago, and the response was that breeders tend to have fads that come and go, and this recent trend towards waiting longer might not stick. Also called a few vet offices at random that we don't know. None were in the second camp. But at the same time, it wasn't long ago that we lost our 8 year old and that still hurts, don't want a repeat.

Oh, and for the actual questions..... For those in the second camp (wait longer before spay), were you aware of the increased risk of mammary cancer when making your decision? Does that info change anything for you? And if anyone has any additional thoughts to add, anything is appreciated.

Overall it seems like there are pros and cons either way, which explains the varied opinions, and people just need to decide the best they can. Thanks for your time.

 

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Hello, first time on forum, hope this is the right place to post my question. We have a standard poodle female that is 7 and a half months old, presently 40 lbs, torturing ourselves over when to spay. Have been doing just as suggested, soaking it all in, and the lack of consensus is pretty shocking. This is our third standard / second female (one at a time, so we're long term fans). The two main camps seem to be (a) 6 to 8 months, and (b) ranges from a couple months after the first heat to around 18 months. I have yet to find a vet to be in the second camp (even one vet that is a long-time standard poodle fan/owner).
Our last girl died at 8 years from lymphoma (after spending an insane amount of $ trying to save her, before they realized it was cancer) and she did seem to have some hip concerns starting around age 6. She was spayed at 6 months. Certainly no definite connection, but a "maybe" connection in our minds. The UC Davis paper, and looking at this link below, it certainly identifies a risk of LSA for males neutered early (like 27%), and even though not identified for females, it certainly makes me wonder about the girl that we lost way too young. So I'm leaning towards the second camp. But....I see a lot of references that say the chance of mammary cancer risk goes like this: spay before first heat risk is 0.5%, after first heat risk is 8%, risk after 2nd heat is 26%. So presently thinking of waiting until one year mark if no heat yet, and if there is heat by then we wait until 2 months after. But it is kind of distressing when our vet is strongly recommending doing it now, and we really like and trust our vet generally speaking. Even called our old vet that we used to use a long time ago, and the response was that breeders tend to have fads that come and go, and this recent trend towards waiting longer might not stick. Also called a few vet offices at random that we don't know. None were in the second camp. But at the same time, it wasn't long ago that we lost our 8 year old and that still hurts, don't want a repeat.

Oh, and for the actual questions..... For those in the second camp (wait longer before spay), were you aware of the increased risk of mammary cancer when making your decision? Does that info change anything for you? And if anyone has any additional thoughts to add, anything is appreciated.

Overall it seems like there are pros and cons either way, which explains the varied opinions, and people just need to decide the best they can. Thanks for your time.

The study that found increased risk of mammary cancer is very old and was not well conducted to draw such conclusions from. Better more recent studies I have found indicate an extremely low rate of increased risk from a delayed spay. But proponents of early spay never cite recent research. The reason? It doesn't support them. UC Davis has published multiple studies and in a previous one it did find risk for female standards with early spay. Just for diseases that were not included in the more publicized study. I will link a thread below that details my research on the matter. I would recommend reading the whole thread for full details.

 

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Just a quick note ftm. Early spay/neuter came into widespread use in the US in response to overpopulation and high rates of euthanasia in shelters (need to check my research for when that was).
It was not for any medical benefit to the dogs.
The general practice before then was to hold off til growth plates were closed and to allow all the endocrine system to do its work thru maturity or to not desex at all. That's where the pendulum is swinging again with a bit more emphasis on looking at the benefit for the individual dog.
 
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Thank you both very much for your quick reply. I'm responding to both at the same time, kind of mixed together.

Regarding that other thread you pointed me to, I hadn't seen that one yet and there were questions posted on it that were practically identical to mine (citing the 8% and 26% mammary cancer risks etc).. It is going to take me a little time to get through all of it, but I've seen enough already to know to cancel the surgery that is scheduled for next week. I kind of got myself boxed into a corner....when we called our vet over a month ago they were very firm in their suggestion that it was already getting late, and that they were scheduling more than a month out. So we went ahead and scheduled during the call, and we've been scrambling ever since to make a more informed decision / running out of time. I did let them know yesterday that we're really struggling with it and might be cancelling, and they weren't jerks about it (which is nice).

Right now my mindset is to spay two months after her first heat (unless the first heat is really really late), but still have a little more time now to figure it out. In that thread I saw an option mentioned about leaving ovaries intact and remove uterus/ never thought about that (very unlikely we'll go that route but will certainly study up on it). I'm next going to go back through that thread completely.

Updating my response: I just learned that the mother had her first heat at 11 1/2 months, for what it's worth.

I think the comment about the momentum of widespread use is a really good point, and sometimes it takes a long time for things to change in the right direction.

I'll also throw in here that this, our third standard, just reinforces for us the similarities in behavior that all three have had, and also the significant differences / all three really great / we enjoy the similarities and the differences. I wish in a way they could have overlapped a little, to know each other.

Thanks again.
 

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Thank you both very much for your quick reply. I'm responding to both at the same time, kind of mixed together.

Regarding that other thread you pointed me to, I hadn't seen that one yet and there were questions posted on it that were practically identical to mine (citing the 8% and 26% mammary cancer risks etc).. It is going to take me a little time to get through all of it, but I've seen enough already to know to cancel the surgery that is scheduled for next week. I kind of got myself boxed into a corner....when we called our vet over a month ago they were very firm in their suggestion that it was already getting late, and that they were scheduling more than a month out. So we went ahead and scheduled during the call, and we've been been scrambling ever since to make a more informed decision / running out of time. I did let them know yesterday that we're really struggling with it and might be cancelling, and they weren't jerks about it (which is nice).

I'll try to find out when the mother had her first heat. We might not be able to figure it out because the breeder got her when she was 2 I think / she is presently 4 yrs old). Right now my mindset is to spay two months after her first heat (unless the first heat is really really late). In that thread I saw an option mentioned about leaving ovaries intact and remove uterus/ never thought about that (very unlikely we'll go that route but will certainly study up on it). I'm next going to go back through that thread completely.

I think the comment about the momentum of widespread use is a really good point, and sometimes it takes a long time for things to change in the right direction. Thanks again.
I believe that's a wise course of action. For larger dogs the first heat can be quite late. My friend's golden just went into her first heat and she's (I think) something like 14-15 months. But they can happen as early as 8 months. I was very pro early spay and neuter when younger because it was drilled that it was the responsible thing to do, but I've changed over time to feeling it's something that needs to be decided based on the needs of individual dogs.
 
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