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Discussion Starter #1
Have read about the delay of growth plate closure with early spaying. Would like the opinion of those who have seen the effects about whether it is enough of an effect to delay spaying. What have you done with your own dogs, spayed early or waited until growth was finished?
 

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There are so many reasons to delay spaying/neutering until the dog is fully grown. Personally, I would not do a traditional spay or neuter on any dog of mine. There are other options that prevent pregnancy but keep the hormones and the endocrine system intact, they are ovary sparing spay and vasectomy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am considering just not spaying at all. I have misgivings about pyometra, but then again there are many countries where spaying is not done routinely.
I understand there are ovarian sparing spays, but spaying is a major surgery and in many places it is just not done.
 

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I am considering just not spaying at all. I have misgivings about pyometra, but then again there are many countries where spaying is not done routinely.
I understand there are ovarian sparing spays, but spaying is a major surgery and in many places it is just not done.
Good for you. :thumbsup:
 

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I find it amusing how a few years ago everyone was yelling for spay & neuter & now many claim it is no good. I don't care what anyone else does. I have had 4 females in my lifetime & all have been spayed at 6 months or soon after. All have lived healthy lives until 13 or more. I am just not sure encouraging novice pet owners to not spay or neuter is a good thing. I personally could not deal with a female in heat twice a year & traditionally many owners of male dogs have not neutered, because they think the problem of pregnancy is not their worry, just like many humans. Just don't like the bandwagons that go back & forth. JMHO
 

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I find it amusing how a few years ago everyone was yelling for spay & neuter & now many claim it is no good. I don't care what anyone else does. I have had 4 females in my lifetime & all have been spayed at 6 months or soon after. All have lived healthy lives until 13 or more. I am just not sure encouraging novice pet owners to not spay or neuter is a good thing. I personally could not deal with a female in heat twice a year & traditionally many owners of male dogs have not neutered, because they think the problem of pregnancy is not their worry, just like many humans. Just don't like the bandwagons that go back & forth. JMHO
Sure, but it also really depends on the breed and size of dog. The larger the dog, the better it is to wait neutering until the growth plates, joints, etc are finished growing. For mastiffs, the general rule is to wait until the 2 year mark. For these giant 130pd+ dogs, it is more important that they develop properly because of their weight impact and pressure on their limbs... and I've noticed that these dogs neutered earlier than 6 months experience major ACL or knee issues much earlier in life. Smaller breed dogs don't have as much of an issue with a 6 month or earlier neuter.

The dog owners I surround myself with do major training with their dogs, and do not have roaming dogs. I don't think the "average" owner these days would let their dogs roam.

I lived in Norway before, and it is considered cruel there to spay/neuter your dog if there is no good reason, and you could be legally charged for doing so. It is considered unnecessary surgery. Of course, there is no overpopulation problem there like in the US....

Also, dogs who were neutered too early usually have a more lankier appearance (taller, less muscle tone) than those dogs who were neutered after the adolescent phase. This makes sense, and also applies to humans - in the olden days, they used to castrate the priest boys (not sure what their formal name is...you know, the boys who worked at the church), and the studies shown that they were taller and lankier than the average male. The lack of testosterone made them grow taller and lessened muscle building.

I personally think it is advantageous to wait until a dog's personality has matured and body developed before doing the surgery. I wish there was a formal study on this stuff though...it's mostly informal studies and observation, but nevertheless I look at what makes sense and prefer to wait.
 

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Freyja just had an OSS done(ovary sparing spay). I would never spay/neuter a dog before they are full grown. The only reason people would do it is for their own convenience. Those hormones are important for grown and development. And I'm sure there are other things as well. Dealing with a heat cycle really isn't that bad, but does take some effort.
I know in danes that are spayed/neutered early tend to be taller/lankier. Joint and ACL issues are more common too. Osteosarcoma are also an issue. Of course waiting or not spaying/neutering doesn't eliminate these issues.
In my own experience my neutered boy is much more high strung than my intact boy. He also humps when he gets over stimulated or nervous. My intact boy is much more laid back.

*There will always be some situations where a spay/neuter are necessary. But waiting until the dog is done growing is important, IMO.
 

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I have just experienced my bitch's first heat, and other than the inconvenience of not being able to take her out for exercise in heavily dog populated areas, it was extremely easy. And I have a male dog in the house. I would seriously wait until dogs are full grown. There is no need to be doing that kind of surgery on babies. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I find it amusing how a few years ago everyone was yelling for spay & neuter & now many claim it is no good.
'Amused' is not the word I would use to describe the evolution that took place. I don't think the early pervasive spay/neuter was a bandwagon, I think many people saw the massive overpopulation of dogs/cats and at that time, the downside facts of early spaying/neutering were not available or they were not published.
Changing your mind when more information/facts are available is not only OK, in my opinion, it is a rational thing to do.
 

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You do you. Asking people on a dog forum about the ethics of spaying is like asking a group of people what they think about circumcision. Make a decision based on what suites your (and your dogs) needs and lifestyle. Keeping a dog intact is not for everyone just as spaying isn't. I'm kind of tired of people acting like either choice makes you a terrible dog owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
And, even so, people are free to discuss their thoughts and opinions as long as they do so courteously, that is what this site is for. FWIW, people discuss circumcision (elsewhere) all the time.
You cannot assure personal choice by censoring the opinion of others. Whether the opinion speaks to their own situation or is broader, saying what they think should happen to everyone (whether or not you think they are correct), it is the reader who needs to learn to pick and choose from the opinions presented.
 

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I'm just saying that some people do not discuss spaying/neutering very courteously here lately, among other things, there never seems to be a civil discussion when it comes to it. I'm not saying don't listen to anybody's opinions, just take them with a grain of salt because it's such a complicated, personal topic that a lot of people feel VERY strongly on based on their own experiences.

That being said, my opinion is that I think more research needs to be done on smaller dogs when it comes to growth plates. It is pretty well accepted that giant dogs should wait until 18months-2 years and large dogs 12-18 months, but I'd like to know more about how long to wait for small dogs. I also don't think hormone sparing spays are necessary, which probably won't be well received. Personally, I think both spaying and keeping your dog intact have equal pros and cons and that everyone should make their decision based on what their lifestyle demands. For every issue that can pop up if you don't spay, there's one that pops up if you do.
 

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Last week I got Lucy, my Shih Tzu x Maltese, spayed. She is just over 4 years of age. I have started competing in Agility with her and her not being spayed was causing me to miss out on training and trialing. Otherwise, I would not have had her spayed. Her heats have never been a problem even though I have two intact males, just kept them separated. My Doberman, I did not get spayed till after her first season. She was actually more of a problem when she was in season as she really needed to get out and get exercise which was hard to do when she was in season. I have always had intact males and probably always will.
 
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