Join Date: May 2008
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Early Spay/Neuter - Proper Growth?
I of course am still doing a lot of reading and surfing the net on any issues connected with doggie care that come up.
I am doing more reading on the subject of spaying and neutering before growth plates have closed, before a dog has reached physical maturity in terms of their bone growth and physical development. I'm running across quite a few articles and discussions from vets, pet owners and breeders that spaying neutering before 12-18 months can be detrimental in terms of bone growth (because the hormones affect that), as well as certain cancers and heart disease, possibly even some behavioral issues. I'm aware of the mammary tumor issue with later spays, but I'm wondering if that is less of a problem if the dog is on a very healthy diet and is still spayed before her second heat, and maybe that is not enough of a reason... ? I should say that it's a discussion taking place mostly regarding the larger breeds like goldens and labs because of their tendency toward things like hip dysplasia, but apparently can be an issue in any breed. I have to say.... it makes sense to me, that the sex hormones are important for growth and development. They are in humans, right?
I spayed my yorkie at 4 months, my breeder is recommending by 6 months for my new puppy, and I'm pretty sure I would void the contract if I waited longer, so it's probably not even an option to wait.
Just trying to educate myself and wondering if anyone else knows about this, particularly the breeders here and medical people (AKA Maryam!)