Spaying! Would love advice ASAP! - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Spaying! Would love advice ASAP!

Ok so today we are spaying our 7 month old girl. Our breeder is not happy since she believes it is not good for her since her plates will not be together yet and it messes with growth. Our vet however disagrees with her saying that she sees alot of breast cancer in dogs who are not spayed. I even contacted a vet oncologist and a vet orthopedic surgeon and they both said we should do it now.
I am so torn. We just want to do what is right for our girl but I feel like no one person is 100% right.

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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 08:36 AM
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One thing to consider is the contract you have with the breeder. Most have a clause stating you will wait and you need to see what actions the breeder can take if you break this contract.

My question to you is... would you have a 10 or 12 yr old little girl fixed? Pretty much the same thing. The body needs the harmons to grow properly.

The vet... well it's easier on him to spay early :-) you are also paying him to do so. Most vets deal with a whole lot of unwanted puppies and usually advocate for early spay vs putting down lots of unwanted pups.

So guess you need to decide why you want to spay so young. Convenience for you? If you are concerned for your puppy you should wait until at least 18 months or whatever your contract states. If you used a good breeder they know what works for this breed, your vet (unless they also breed goldens) does not... he is speaking "in general" not breed specific.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 09:06 AM
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You asked...I wouldn't do it. In my contract early spay/neuter voided the contract with my puppy people. Other vets just might say something different from what you have been told.



Why not ask your breeder? Why not check with GRCA for info?
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 09:11 AM
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My vet was fine with delayed neuter. There is a lot of evidence that it is better to let them go through one heat. I don't think an oncologist would be an unbiased opinion. I also don't think breast cancer is particularly common in Goldens compared to some of the other cancers. My vet does want to neuter at 2 but I doubt if I will.


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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 09:21 AM
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Do not spay now...my vet advised me to have all my girls owners wait until at least 18 months and boy owners two years.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 09:22 AM
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My breeder recommends 18-24 months of age before spay/neuter. If you're talking spay, I would not do it till 18 months minimum. Also check with your vet about an ovary sparring spay that ties off the ovaries and only removes the uterus. This keeps them intact basically with the hormones but make them sterile as far as reproducing, best of both worlds.

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 12:13 PM
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My contract states not before one heat and then schedule 3 months after first heat.

My vet asked. I told her what contract stated and her response was, “Good.” I expected pushback. I received zero. She’s been very good about my approach to Stella’s healthcare. And the only thing the vet wanted to know was at what age her mom/grandma/sister went through their first heat.
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 01:32 PM
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I am sorry you are feeling this way. This topic 'spay/neuter' is always a sensitive one, and many vets have different opinions when it comes to it.

As far as I know if you do spay at an early age (less than one year old) there are risks of growth and development problems and also the risk of hip dysplasia is increased. However, keep in mind that does not mean you dog will have these problems! Early spay does not give a life sentence.

And if you spay at an older age (more than one year old), perhaps there could be more benefits when it comes to growth and hip dysplasia. However, spaying at an older age does not mean your dog will be safe from these problems!

Over all, by doing the spay surgery at any age, your dog is at a greater risk of becoming overweight and developing urinary incontinence.

Lately it has been said that spaying increases the risk of osteosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma. However:

Genetics are important, yes. But diet, nutrition, environment, lifestyle etc, do play a great role, even in diseases like dysplasia and cancer. It is important for you to keep an eye on these things throughout your dog's life, spayed or not. As I said before, the spay surgery does not come with a life sentence.

And there's another important question there: do you pretend to do a spay surgery or an ovary sparing spay (OSS)? Each has advantages and disadvantages.

IMO the traditional spay surgery (ovariohysterectomy) is the better one.

Regarding pyometra - the spay surgery nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra - as there is still the risk of stump pyometra. Spayed female dogs can get stump pyometras if any ovarian tissue is left behind during their spay and the uterus is removed. Further, when a uterine stump develops pyometra, diagnosis is often delayed because it is initally assumed that there is no uterine tissue remaining after a spay.

So why do I still think the ovariohysterectomy is better? Most importantly, because the risks of your dog developing some types of cancer after this surgery are very low.

Meanwhile, by doing an ovary sparing spay, your dog will remain at risk for ovarian and mammarian cancers. And as she will still be stimulated by reproductive hormones, there is an even GREATER risk of developing an infection of any remaining uterine issue (stump pyometras). Even if the surgery is done correctly. Why choose this surgery and still be at risk of cancer and stump pyometra? For me it's just a no.

When an ovariohysterectomy is properly done, your dog will not suffer from pyometra. The risks of mammarian and ovarian cancers are pratically nonexistent.

As for my experience, I had a Poodle who suffered from mammary cancer. Unfortunately I couldn't spay her because of old age and after every heat cycle her condition would get worse.

You said you feel like no one is 100% right -- your words reminded me of my vet's words. He said to me once, "veterinary medicine is no mathematics". It isn't a exact science. However, I think you should talk with your vet -- she knows your dog better than anyone here on this forum. Ask her your questions.

And please, keep in mind that you are doing the best for your dog - I'm sure of it. Don't be afraid.

Last edited by TheLittleDuke; 11-15-2018 at 01:38 PM.
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 02:28 PM
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Mentalities have changed a lot in the last 10 years or so, and the research today is pretty solid on the benefits of waiting until the dog has finished growing before altering it. I remember when I got my first Golden puppy, about 11 years ago, I decided not to spay her and I was in a very small minority who thought this was a good idea. The knee-jerk reaction of all pet owners was to spay/neuter early. However, my breeder told me about pups she had sold that had been spayed at 6 months of age, and had grown into poorly proportioned adults with longer legs that were more susceptible to joint injury. My contract back then required me to wait until my pup was at least 2 years old before spaying her.



These days, many breeders ask their puppy buyers to wait until the dog is 18 months old before spaying. It's fairly common practice. Look on the web for texts by Dr. Chris Zink, who is a world-renowned expert on dog structure. She is very clear on the benefits of waiting to spay.


My current Golden is a male. He's almost three years old and he will not be neutered at all unless there's a good medical reason for doing so. I don't know of anyone in my circle of dog-sport friends who spayed or neutered their current dog before 18 months of age.


But you know, many dogs are still spayed or neutered early, and they go on to live long and happy lives. Don't beat yourself up for taking your vet's advice - although I might suggest that you look around for a vet with more up-to-date views. And if you do go ahead with the spay, remember that, while it may be routine surgery, it's also major surgery with a long recovery time. Your pup should be kept on full rest - no jumping onto or off furniture, no running, no stairs, etc. - for at least two weeks, and then on restricted exercise for at least another two weeks. Even if the incision looks healed, you can't see the internal stitches and it's important for them to heal properly before resuming normal life.



Best of luck, whatever you decide to do.

Christine

Ruby 13-01-2007 to 18-03-2015.
My dog of a lifetime. I'll miss you forever.

Last edited by ceegee; 11-15-2018 at 02:58 PM.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by OnceAGoldenAlwaysAGolden View Post
Ok so today we are spaying our 7 month old girl. Our breeder is not happy since she believes it is not good for her since her plates will not be together yet and it messes with growth. Our vet however disagrees with her saying that she sees alot of breast cancer in dogs who are not spayed. I even contacted a vet oncologist and a vet orthopedic surgeon and they both said we should do it now.
I am so torn. We just want to do what is right for our girl but I feel like no one person is 100% right.
Breast cancer in dogs left intact through one season is only like 3% more risk- but breast cancer in canines is not terribly common. A much more common cancer is osteosarcoma and the odds for getting that are reduces pretty substantially by letting your bitch have a season. So.
Your vet is your partner in care- your breeder will be affected if your dog dies young from osteo because it will appear that it is in the pedigree. Do your own research- and consider what I said - don't let her get pregnant of course- but realize your vet opinions are based often on the clients who cannot be counted on to keep the girlies safe from being bred.Also realize that her long bones will possibly not stop growing at an appropriate time- this is a feedback system- and if that happens, she will not be as attractive or as correct as the dog with the correct leg length. Plus the stress on her joints will not be as it should if the bones stopped growing when they should have.
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