May 8, 2005 at 8:02 pm #1769Anonymous
First of all congratulations Dr Jeff on a great new message board! Definitely a big improvement!
I have a 4 and a half month old bitch Rough Collie and the time will come soon for spaying. I read alot of articles on the net and some say it’s better to spay before the first heat cycle and some say after. What is your opinion and other readers opinions on this matter.
Thanks very much,
MarkMay 9, 2005 at 9:18 am #1770Dr. Jeff FeinmanKeymaster
Welcome back, and thanks for your input about the new board.
Spaying before the first heat markedly reduces the risk of breast cancer later in life. There is still a protective effect if she is spayed before the second or third heats, but not as great.
I usually advise early spaying unless you want to breed her when she is older (which of course you can’t do if she is spayed).
The other protective effect of spaying (at any age) is that she will not be prone to pyometra (uterine infection). This disease is not uncommon and is *usually* seen in older, unspayed dogs.
Here is a comprehensive article on the topic [url]http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1625&articleid=926[/url]
Dr. JeffMay 9, 2005 at 10:54 am #1771Anonymous
Thanks for your advice Dr Jeff, much appreciated! That link is also great.
The thing that I read against spaying before the first heat cycle was that if a puppy is spayed before her vulva has fully matured then it could lead to urinary problems later on. Have you ever come across this problem before?
Just one more question. Do all female dogs start their first heat cycle at the same time or are they all individual? My Echo is 4 and a half months old and a Rough Collie so I was wondering if you or anyone could give me a hint as to when to expect the first cycle? I know the signs to look for it would just be great to know at what age roughly it should begin.
Thanks in advance and best wishes.
MarkMay 9, 2005 at 6:31 pm #1772Dr. Jeff FeinmanKeymaster
if a puppy is spayed before her vulva has fully matured then it could lead to urinary problems later on. Have you ever come across this problem before?
Nope. Theoretically a good dose of sex hormones should be necessary before the vulva matures fully. In 99% of dogs though spaying before they develop those hormones has no effect on vulvar maturity and future urinary problems.
Just one more question. Do all female dogs start their first heat cycle at the same time or are they all individual?
The 6 month cutoff is a generalization. It is really totally individual. The best clue is to find out what age her mom and other half-sisters have come into heat. Most dogs will come into heat before 1 year of age. Could be 6 months, 8 months or older.
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