View Full Version : what is the best age to spay?

18th September 2008, 05:27 PM
Hi Everyone

I tried doing several searches to find out what you all think is the best age to spay a puppy but I can't find what I'm looking for.

Maisy is now 6 months old. Should I make an appointment to have her spayed now or is there any health benefit to waiting? If so, what is a good age?

thanks for your responses

18th September 2008, 05:47 PM
There's a huge variation in what people think is the best time. I have always had my dogs altered at 6 months with no problems whatsoever.

18th September 2008, 06:34 PM
My Ellie was due yo be spayed at 6 months, but she came into season at 5 months ... We then had to wait 3 months for her to be done..

18th September 2008, 08:48 PM
Gabby as had her first season, on 1st October she is booked in for her spay, she will be 11 months old then.

18th September 2008, 08:49 PM
Here is a link to an earlier thread

There is lots of research on this issue and some of it appears to be contraditory, mostly in so far as dogs (males) are concerned. The benefits of spaying are clearer, I think, with bitches. If your Cavalier is a companion dog, then there is every reason to spay early. My personal take is that yes, there is some fairly good evidence that spaying or neutering before about 12 months, plus or minus a month or two, depending on the breed, before the growth plates are closed, does cause somewhat longer legs and slightly lighter bone and can cause coats to feel more like cotton than silk, but for the most part these differences are believed to be by small fractional degrees, more cosmetic than effecting function and are probably only factors to cause a delay in spay or neuter if you anticipate participating in Agilty and perhaps other Performance events at a very high level, not just for fun.

Hope this helps.

Brian M
18th September 2008, 10:10 PM

My three girls have all been six weeks after the end of their first season

18th September 2008, 11:18 PM
As other have pointed out, there's a huge difference in opinion in that - But keep in mind spaying before the first heat greatly reduces the risk of certain cancers - With my pets, I always spay them at about 6 months, unless they go into heat before then, then I wait 3 months, but for most cavaliers, spaying at 6 months is a good age to spay.

18th September 2008, 11:24 PM
Casey was spayed at 6 months and her fur could not be more silky if I tried!

18th September 2008, 11:38 PM
On coats: I think coat is still highly dependent on genes both unneutered and neutered. Of my four, all spayed and neutered, only one has a cottony coat but she also has mild dermatitis on her back, where her coat is cottony. The black hair is cottony; the white isn't. Go figure!

Jaspar was neutered at 8 months, Leo at 10 months, Lucy at 6.5 years.

On females --

* a female cavalier spayed BEFORE her first season will run no risk of mammary cancer
* a female cavalier spayed after her FIRST heat runs a 7% risk of this cancer over her lifetime
* a female cavalier spayed after her SECOND heat runs a 25% risk of this cancer over her lifetime

That's probably the most common cancer for females. The other reason to spay is of course, pyometra.

According to a Swedish study, female cavaliers have one of the highest risks of studied breeds for the serious and sometimes fatal infection pyometra -- a huge 41% risk over their lifetime (the average across all breeds was 23-24% risk by age 10). That is extraordinarily high for cavaliers -- nearly double the average. The ACKCSC breed health survey for cavaliers a few years ago noted females had a shorter life expectancy than males and I wonder if the pyrometra fatality rate might have been a factor.


Some like to wait to spay til around 12 months -- in that case, just be aware of what is involved with going through a heat (eg keeping the dog inside for 4 weeks, no walks, etc).