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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
Guide To Australian Shepherd Training and Care

Spaying

I have a 3 month old female Aussie... I have heard it's better for the dogs health to let her come into heat at least once before having her spayed and another school says to spay them before... what's best and why? Richard

Comments for Spaying

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Spaying
by: Anonymous

You will hear many people, many veterinarians, recommend spaying around 6 months --before the first heat. Obviously that method will prevent unwanted pregnancies. There is one type of cancer (mammary) for which this early spaying decreases the incidence, but the percentage of dogs getting other types of cancer increases with spaying. But there is another very important issue and that is the closure of the bone growth plates. (Different bones stop growing at different ages of the dog and spaying interrupts the process.) It has been found that dogs Spayed or neutered at less than a year of age were significantly taller than those spayed or neutered at more than a year of age. The sex hormones promote the closure of the growth plates at puberty, so the bones of dogs spayed before puberty (no more sex hormones) continue to grow. Dogs that have been spayed or neutered well before puberty can frequently be identified by their longer limbs, lighter bone structure, narrow chests and narrow skulls. This abnormal growth frequently results in significant alterations in body proportions and particularly the lengths (and therefore weights) of certain bones relative to others. For example, if the femur has achieved its genetically determined normal length at 8 months and then the dog gets spayed, this will cause the tibia, which normally stops growing at 12 to 14 months of age to continue to grow, and then an abnormal angle may develop at the stifle. In addition, with the extra growth, the lower leg below the stifle likely becomes heavier (because it is longer), and may cause increased stresses on the cranial cruciate ligament. In addition, sex hormones are critical for achieving peak bone density. Researchers recommend that dogs who are to be involved in canine sports not be spayed until 12 to 14 months of age. Athlete or not, I have decided to wait until then with my pup - which means going through one heat.

spaying
by: Gayle-- Big Run Aussies

Newest studies show that it is better to wait until the dog is mature at a year or more. Cancer rates and bone injuries are higher in early spay/neuters. Of course, you will have to be a responsible dog owner and keep her exclusively indoors when she is in season, except for the times when she has to relieve herself with you watching her like a hawk.

A dog's joints need to mature
by: Anonymous

I am in complete agreement with the previous two posts, and am not neutering my two Aussies until they are 2 years old (just before her third heat). Hormones direct protein synthesis, cutting off hormones too early could prevent important things from happening. Lastly, there are reputable sources, and research, that support not spaying at all. I'm not advocating that; but it's a position that should be heard. On balance, the only reason to neuter before 1 year (at least) is to ensure there isn't an unwanted pregnancy.

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