PDA

View Full Version : Spay before or after first heat



kiwi
26th March 2007, 03:16 PM
Hello,
Just wondering if anyone can give me some information as to whether to spay my almost 6 months old cavalier before or after her first heat.

She hasn't come into heat yet.

Are there any benefits to having it done before she has a heat?

Thanks in advance.

Karlin
26th March 2007, 03:54 PM
There are definite health benefits to spaying before the first heat in terms of cancer risks and no benefit to simply waiting for the first heat --though some choose to wait til the dog is about a year old and more or less fully grown. This requires a much more active level of guardianship though with the dog needing to be confined for three to four weeks around the start to the full end of heat.

Lots of info here:

http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2194

Barbara Nixon
26th March 2007, 04:04 PM
He people who suggest having one season, think that the dog won't mature properly if done too soon, but others disagree. A vet told me that spaying before the first season reduces the chances of mammary tumours developing, with waiting for one season having less advantage and waiting for two none, though all prevent pyometra, of course.

I would ask your vet for advice, but if you think you'll go the before any season option, you will need to act quickly, because, if a bitch is in season, she cannot be done .

kiwi
26th March 2007, 04:38 PM
thanks for the replies.

I think i might just go ahead and get it done before she has her first heat. I don't want to risk the chance of her getting pregnant. My younger sister has a cav as well the same age and they do see each other quiet often!

Another question, does it change her personality or is that a myth?

molly
26th March 2007, 04:51 PM
I think it is a myth. They don't get fat either unless you overfeed them or don't give them excercise. :badgrin:

lindsey
26th March 2007, 05:11 PM
I agree with Karlin. The vet I worked for said it was just an old wives tale, similar to letting your dog have puppies and then spaying her....spaying before the heat does reduce the chance of mammary tumors!

Good luck with your decision!

kiwi
26th March 2007, 05:42 PM
Another question (sorry!)

What kind of after surgery care will she need? Will she have scars?

Scouty girl
26th March 2007, 05:43 PM
I've had three female dogs that I've been fully responsible for in my adult life. They were all spayed at six months. None of them have even gone into heat. They have all been healthy. My Golden Retriever lived to be 12. My Newfounland is still going strong at 10, and of course Scout is only 11 months. Of course you and your vet have the final word, but my personal opinion is not to wait.

Harley & Carley
26th March 2007, 05:54 PM
Does it matter if they are still small? min are about 7.5 mos and only weigh 8 & 10 lbs. They shoudl be spayed soon, right?

WoodHaven
26th March 2007, 05:55 PM
Another question (sorry!)

What kind of after surgery care will she need? Will she have scars?

I've had two bitches spay recently. My Muffin has a three inch scar-- she needed rest for a couple of days and then I *wasn't suppose* to let her jump for two weeks. Well---- that lasted about 10 days at the most.

Lynn
26th March 2007, 07:04 PM
My vet wanted to wait until my two were at least 6 months old to be spayed /neutered. The timing was very good because they also found that Molly needed some baby teeth taken out, and we also wanted Maxwell microchipped....they also were given blood tests and their rabies vaccines.

I do not think it has changed their personalities one bit. They are just as loving and love to snuggle as they always have. I thought it would make Maxwell show fewer 'male' traits, but he is the exact same as he was. (it's been about 6 weeks since their surgeries)

I'd get the female dogs spayed asap because after reading about what Shay has gone through with Lily, (she had to let Lily go through one heat cycle) I am super glad I had Molly spayed at 6 months. :flwr:

enchantingdragon
26th March 2007, 07:45 PM
My breeder asked me to let Ellie have her first heat before I spayed her. She said it would help her fully develop so I complied. If everyone is saying they should spay before the heat though why would waiting after be better? Just so she can fully mature or is there more? Most breeders I spoke to had said to wait so I thought this was pretty typical. I know a lot of shelters and vets encourage to spay and neuter right away just because they fear that if it isnt done right away people will forget or get lazy and thus create more pups in this overcrowded animal world already.

WoodHaven
26th March 2007, 08:45 PM
My breeder asked me to let Ellie have her first heat before I spayed her. She said it would help her fully develop so I complied. If everyone is saying they should spay before the heat though why would waiting after be better? Just so she can fully mature or is there more? Most breeders I spoke to had said to wait so I thought this was pretty typical. I know a lot of shelters and vets encourage to spay and neuter right away just because they fear that if it isnt done right away people will forget or get lazy and thus create more pups in this overcrowded animal world already.

This is a very highly charged topic. :yikes

If you spay BEFORE she fully develops, she will be prepubescent her whole life. If you spay after she goes through canine puberty-- she may develop more normally. There is an increase in mammary cancer if you wait-- there are some bone cancers that are more prevelent if you don't. Some people who do agility with their dogs like to let them grow up and sp/neuter at 18 months.

Mom_of_2_Cavies
26th March 2007, 08:57 PM
Another question (sorry!)

What kind of after surgery care will she need? Will she have scars? I've just been through this with Milly.

In your shoes, I'd go ahead and have her done now, before she goes into heat for the first time. Unless there's a specific reason to wait, given by your vet for this particular dog, I wouldn't. You really don't want to go through a heat with her if you don't have to. It's a pain. (Edit: I do respect the opinions of the breeders here who think it's better to wait, but I guess the bottom line is that you need to weigh the pros and cons for yourself and make a decision with your vet. Milly is one year old--I recently acquired her from a breeder--so I guess the mammary tumor thing will be her risk at having been spayed at this age.)

Milly also has about a three inch scar--she also had an umbilical hernia repaired at the same time (along with microchipping and a baby tooth removed). I'm sure the scar will fade over time, plus she will regrow a bit of fur there that they shaved. Keeping her quiet for the full 10-14 days was the hardest part, because she was wanting to be back to her active self after about day 3. The main thing to do is make sure you pick her up properly and don't let her jump, etc. --otherwise there's no actual wound care involved. (Just checking to make sure it's not getting infected or anything.)

I bought some "onesies" (baby one-piece undershirts with snap bottoms) and cut holes for her tail (as recommended in other threads on this board) and kept her in those instead of a collar--although she didn't pay attention to her stitches area until they were ready to come out (they were probably starting to pull or something), and she couldn't really get at that part of her stomach anyway. But the onesies are nice to protect her and keep her clean, if nothing else. I changed it every day, and took it off to go outside (you can try rolling it up to her shoulders instead--Milly didn't like that though, so I just took it off).

We just came back from getting stitches out. Yay!

WoodHaven
26th March 2007, 09:14 PM
I agree with "mom of two (I can't write it) a cavie is a cousin to a guinea pig"
Some people can't handle an in season female. Being a female myself-- Once or twice a year is a cake walk. AS the mom of two human daughters -- once or twice a year is EASY.
I insist that my puppy owners wait until the pup is at LEAST 6 months old. As the owner of intact bitches-- I worry A LOT more about pyometria than mammary tumors.

Karlin
26th March 2007, 09:35 PM
Being a female myself-- Once or twice a year is a cake walk. AS the mom of two human daughters -- once or twice a year is EASY. :lol: Yes that does give perspective!

The scar is negligible and you probably will never even notice it a year from now. The scars tend to disappear on most dogs and are generally very hard to find anyway -- so much so that all of us who do rescue have a darn hard time telling if most female dogs have been spayed! The vets have a hard time too -- with my Lily being Exhibit A: she went in to be spayed only for the vet to find.... she was already spayed. But only after they opened her up, poor thing. She didn't care -- she's the tomboy of female cavaliers and probably liked showing off her stitches. :roll:

If you have your female around a male be aware this would have to end completely for a full month as she goes into heat and you would need to watch her like a hawk for signs of going into heat -- they can get pregnant in a second of contact and the male would go crazy around her as well, so visits are totally off and the two could never even be out at the same time; one would need confining the entire time the other was running around.

I think for the majority of pet owners, spaying sometime around 6 months works best because most pet owners have a frustrating time working the management of a heat into a normal home schedule; they aren't prepared for a female spotting blood around the house; they can't walk the dog or have any males around including any male neutered within the previous two months; and they also have to deal with the possibility of unwanted male dogs hanging around the outside of the house as they can scent a female in heat from a mile off, easily. A male can and will scale a high wall or fence too, to get to a female in heat and that includes much larger breeds -- they don't discriminate much :lol:.

I also think people prepared to take on the extra responsibility and time commitment can manage without much hassle -- but you need to know the full implications and how to manage the dog during that time. Remember too that pregnancy itself is a higher death risk to your cavalier than many of the illnesses you prevent through spaying so making sure she absolutely cannot get pregnant needs to be the top priority. And that no one wants cavalier mixes any more than they want any other mix at the local shelter or pound so there are real moral issues of not being a firm guardian of your girl(s). :)

For those who put off spaying past 6 months the likelihood is very high the dog will go into heat (at 7 or 8 months in particular snd usually before 10 months) so if you are thinking of spaying and you have females this age, call the vet TODAY and get her in right away. If she goes into heat you will need to wait til 3-4 months after the heat ends to think of spaying again plus you will need to mind your female through those heats. :thmbsup:

Though I often see this claimed in discussions on the topic, it isn't technically true that a neutered animal remains pubescent all its life. Certain aspects of development are halted but these are only some secondary sexual characteristics. Back when human males were regularly castrated in several cultures, including in Europe to create the singers known as castrati, this was done when they were young pre-pubescent boys. They still grow into men and many were famous for being quite the ladies' men. :) But their voices didn't change and they didn't grow as much body hair and still had sexual drives (just as most neutered males will still find bitches in heat of interest to some degree). The dog still grows to adulthood, gains many adult sexual behaviours (eg raising legs to pee for most males), etc. :)

Mom_of_2_Cavies
27th March 2007, 03:20 AM
they can't walk the dog or have any males around including any male neutered within the previous two months I read somewhere that even a neutered male can tie with a bitch in heat--and even though (if there's been enough elapsed time) it wouldn't result in a pregnancy, I certainly wouldn't want this to happen with young inexperienced dogs, just on general principle. From what I understand, finding themselves in a tie for the first time can be traumatic, and injury (especially to the male) can occur if one of the dogs panics. I don't know if a neutered dog would maintain a tie for as long as an unaltered dog, but unaltered dogs can remain tied for quite a long time (30 minutes to an hour, possibly?).

It all just sounds very unpleasant and difficult for someone who is not a breeder to deal with. :shock:

WoodHaven
27th March 2007, 03:36 AM
they can't walk the dog or have any males around including any male neutered within the previous two months I read somewhere that even a neutered male can tie with a bitch in heat--and even though (if there's been enough elapsed time) it wouldn't result in a pregnancy, I certainly wouldn't want this to happen with young inexperienced dogs, just on general principle. From what I understand, finding themselves in a tie for the first time can be traumatic, and injury (especially to the male) can occur if one of the dogs panics. I don't know if a neutered dog would maintain a tie for as long as an unaltered dog, but unaltered dogs can remain tied for quite a long time (30 minutes to an hour, possibly?).

It all just sounds very unpleasant and difficult for someone who is not a breeder to deal with. :shock:

A breeder told me last week she had a tie that lasted over 2 hours.
For three plus weeks we just treat the in season girl like it is her special time. You never allow the opportunity of a tie to happen by accident.

I guess we are all just differently experienced. To me, this is no big deal-- raising daughters was harder-- working as a teacher in a day care was much harder. Giving birth was 1000 times more difficult. Housetraining a pup is much harder. Doing our taxes (about 80 pages of forms) is harder. learning how to drive a stick shift was harder. dissecting a fetal pig was much harder.

nlg679
27th March 2007, 04:06 AM
Eww... :roll: .Oh boy, even more ammunition for my to think about Katydid getting spayed sooner :roll: ....
End of April....she will be just under 11 months.

WoodHaven
27th March 2007, 04:13 AM
If you want to have her done BEFORE her first season-- I would aim to do it between 6-7 or so months . The longer you wait-- the closer to having the surgery during her heat becomes. All of my girls came into season between 6-9.5 months.

kiwi
27th March 2007, 10:22 AM
Thanks for all the replies.
Have decided to get it done before she comes into first heat, better safe than sorry!

I've booked her in for this Friday morning. I'm nervous for her already :(

Barbara Nixon
27th March 2007, 03:21 PM
Note: pyometra isn't a disease only in older bitches. Milly, belonging to Anita ( a member on here) nearly died from it when well under a year old.

Mom_of_2_Cavies
27th March 2007, 09:35 PM
I guess we are all just differently experienced. To me, this is no big deal-- raising daughters was harder-- working as a teacher in a day care was much harder. Giving birth was 1000 times more difficult. Housetraining a pup is much harder. Doing our taxes (about 80 pages of forms) is harder. learning how to drive a stick shift was harder. dissecting a fetal pig was much harder.

Sandy, I'm sure that managing breeding dogs does get to be old hat after you've got a system figured out and have been through it a few times! But I still admire you breeders who are skilled at keeping several dogs separated (and calm???) during heat cycles without totally disrupting family life. You probably have places you put them where they essentially stay for the duration? From everything I read about dogs who will travel miles and scale six-foot fences to get to a female, I just can't imagine what it would be like to have all those hormones (male and female) going under one roof! (or even on one property!) :lol:

WoodHaven
27th March 2007, 10:49 PM
I guess we are all just differently experienced. To me, this is no big deal-- raising daughters was harder-- working as a teacher in a day care was much harder. Giving birth was 1000 times more difficult. Housetraining a pup is much harder. Doing our taxes (about 80 pages of forms) is harder. learning how to drive a stick shift was harder. dissecting a fetal pig was much harder.

Sandy, I'm sure that managing breeding dogs does get to be old hat after you've got a system figured out and have been through it a few times! But I still admire you breeders who are skilled at keeping several dogs separated (and calm???) during heat cycles without totally disrupting family life. You probably have places you put them where they essentially stay for the duration? From everything I read about dogs who will travel miles and scale six-foot fences to get to a female, I just can't imagine what it would be like to have all those hormones (male and female) going under one roof! (or even on one property!) :lol:

It is never old hat--LOL. I have daughters who bring friends in the house. They open doors, gates etc... I have a hubby who (Bless him) tries to help. I try to have three layers of separation between a girl in season and the boys. That way when someone opens a gate or leaves a door open-- I don't have an accidental breeding.
Males are only "crazed" when they can tell a female is receptive (about LH surge on)--for about a week.

Mom_of_2_Cavies
28th March 2007, 03:54 AM
I guess so long as the worst of it generally lasts only about a week, it's manageable--with those extra layers of protection to guard against mistakes. :yikes I guess it all keeps you sharp and on your toes. :)

kiwi
30th March 2007, 11:49 AM
Hi all,

Just to let ye know Millie was in surgery this morning and the vet rang to say she's fine.

She was supposed to have been fasting since 6pm yesterday but got up this morning and a gone off pork chop had gone missing from bin! :oops:
the vet said it would have been fine though.

When i brought her in this morning the girl that was there said they weren't sure if the vet would do it because she was small but he did in the end anyway.

Thanks for the advice!