ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Age to Spay Dog

Updated on March 5, 2012

With Rottweilers you may want to wait to spay

 

The big debate is open: when should a dog be spayed? Veterinarians, shelters and breeders may all give you different answers. My opinion? It really depends on a case by case basis.

The veterinarian protocol

As a veterinarian assistant our hospital protocol was to spay dogs at around six months. When owners were to call inquiring about spaying that was always the age we mostly suggested, along with all the benefits that came along with the ovariohysterectomy procedure such as lower incidences of uterine cancer and less chance of mammary tumors if spayed before the first heat. We also told owners of the lower chances of cystic ovaries, false pregnancies, pyometra and all the annoying symptoms related to heat cycles.

The shelter protocol

As a foster mom, I was fully aware that shelters recommended the sooner the better. Shelters are highly concerned about the pet overpopulation. Their primary goal is to decrease the instances where a dog can get pregnant and give life to a litter of unwanted puppies. With shelters overfilled with pets it comes not as a surprise why they are so concerned about having your dog spayed. And it very much makes sense. Shelters have been known to have vets on call that spay pets even as early as 8 weeks old. It was discovered at this time that the earlier the pets were spayed the better they recovered. I have personally witnessed puppies and kittens spayed this early, and it is true, they quickly bounced back to normal within hours or days post surgery.

The breeder protocol

Once I purchased my first Rottweiler from a breeder he told me not to get my female spayed earlier than 12 months. He told me that spaying earlier than that would have slowed down her growth rate and she would not have reached her full potential. He also mentioned the risk of osteosarcoma. It appears that there are statistics showing that large breed dogs spayed or neutered earlier than 12 months were often diagnosed with deadly osteosarcoma. Another concern about early spay was spay incontinence, a condition appearing mostly in dogs which were spayed earlier than 5 and a 1/2 months.

The topic still remains a debatable one. There is much controversy between benefits and risks associated with spaying at a certain age versus another. In my opinion several factors need to be weighed. If you own a large breed dog such as a Rottweiler I would stick with the 12 month old protocol. The risks of this disease are way to high to underestimate it. If you own a female dog that will be around intact males I would suggest the shelter's protocol, and finally if you own a small dog that will not risk pregnancy I would go with the veterinarian's protocol. Please consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate age by addressing the conditions that worry you the most and then listen to the pros and cons your vet suggests.

Spaying your dog is ultimately the best choice, however choosing the correct age will be quite challenging, each dog shuold be evaluated on a case by case basis along with the expert advice of your veterinarian.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      tracey 

      3 years ago

      thanks for the great article. it answered most of my questions. my rotty is 18 months old and has come into season twice, iwas going to mate her on her third season but my cercumstances have changed and i haven't got the same free time i used to have. so now im going to get her spayed.

    • profile image

      J B R 

      7 years ago

      For female dogs, the situation is more complex. The number of health benefits associated with spaying may

      exceed the associated health problems in some (not all) cases. On balance, whether spaying improves the

      odds of overall good health or degrades them probably depends on the age of the female dog and the

      relative risk of various diseases in the different breeds.

      On the positive side, spaying female dogs

      • if done before 2.5 years of age, greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors, the most common

      malignant tumors in female dogs

      • nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra, which otherwise would affect about 23% of intact female

      dogs; pyometra kills about 1% of intact female dogs

      • reduces the risk of perianal fistulas

      • removes the very small risk (0.5%) from uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors

      On the negative side, spaying female dogs

      • if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a

      common cancer in larger breeds with a poor prognosis

      • increases the risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 2.2 and cardiac hemangiosarcoma by

      a factor of >5; this is a common cancer and major cause of death in some breeds

      • triples the risk of hypothyroidism

      • increases the risk of obesity by a factor of 1.6-2, a common health problem in dogs with many

      associated health problems

      • causes urinary “spay incontinence” in 4-20% of female dogs

      • increases the risk of persistent or recurring urinary tract infections by a factor of 3-4

      • increases the risk of recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, and vaginitis, especially for female dogs

      spayed before puberty

      • doubles the small risk (

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)