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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am so confused as to when to spay my Havanese puppy. My traditional vet wanted me to spay at six months, I waited and scheduled it for eleven months which is tomorrow. Today, I was at my holistic vet with my other dog and mentioned my puppy was getting spayed tomorrow. My vet asked how old and I told her eleven months and she was horrified. Why would you take all her hormones out of a baby animal, that will totally change her personality. My holistic vet told me to wait two years and ideally three years. My traditional vet warned me to spay her before her second heat cycle or it will significantly increase her chances of mammary cancer, but my holistic vet disagrees.
I canceled her spay for tomorrow to give me time to do some more research. I only want to do what is best for my puppy. She is an amazing dog from an awesome breeder. The breeder, a show breeder in Ohio, had originally, kept her to show and breed but she developed a slight underbite so she had to place her in a pet home. We brought her home at 14 weeks and she has been amazing. She is happy, confident, outgoing, loves everyone, and is eager to learn and please. She is, currently, in pre-agility classes and therapy dog training and excels at everything she does.
Please let me know when you decided to spay your Havanese.
Thank you,
Cris
 

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I am so confused as to when to spay my Havanese puppy. My traditional vet wanted me to spay at six months, I waited and scheduled it for eleven months which is tomorrow. Today, I was at my holistic vet with my other dog and mentioned my puppy was getting spayed tomorrow. My vet asked how old and I told her eleven months and she was horrified. Why would you take all her hormones out of a baby animal, that will totally change her personality. My holistic vet told me to wait two years and ideally three years. My traditional vet warned me to spay her before her second heat cycle or it will significantly increase her chances of mammary cancer, but my holistic vet disagrees.
I canceled her spay for tomorrow to give me time to do some more research. I only want to do what is best for my puppy. She is an amazing dog from an awesome breeder. The breeder, a show breeder in Ohio, had originally, kept her to show and breed but she developed a slight underbite so she had to place her in a pet home. We brought her home at 14 weeks and she has been amazing. She is happy, confident, outgoing, loves everyone, and is eager to learn and please. She is, currently, in pre-agility classes and therapy dog training and excels at everything she does.
Please let me know when you decided to spay your Havanese.
Thank you,
Cris
New research is being done about this. Look into Dr. Michelle Kutzler, Oregon State University. Her research into LH (luteinizing hormone).
 

· Metrowest, MA
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There has been a LOT of research done on this. Not just one study. One of the best "distillations" of the subject is this booklet published by the Puppy Culture people:


While spaying later SLIGHTLY increases chances of mammary tumors, mammary tumors are easily caught by examining your girls breasts regularly, and are easily removed. Late spaying is PROTECTIVE against a number of OTHER cancers, with much worse prognoses, like osteosarcoma. So it is a bit of a red herring that vets shove that in owner's faces. Early spay/neuter is also complicit in MOST of the cases of cruciate ligament tears in dogs. And vets never tell you THAT bit of information...

There can be reasons that early spay or neuter is the right thing fofr a specific dog in a specific situation. It is NOT, IMO, the best thing for MOST dogs. And it is something where everyone needs to make their own, informed decision for their own dog, keeping all the information in mind.
 

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There has been a LOT of research done on this. Not just one study. One of the best "distillations" of the subject is this booklet published by the Puppy Culture people:


While spaying later SLIGHTLY increases chances of mammary tumors, mammary tumors are easily caught by examining your girls breasts regularly, and are easily removed. Late spaying is PROTECTIVE against a number of OTHER cancers, with much worse prognoses, like osteosarcoma. So it is a bit of a red herring that vets shove that in owner's faces. Early spay/neuter is also complicit in MOST of the cases of cruciate ligament tears in dogs. And vets never tell you THAT bit of information...

There can be reasons that early spay or neuter is the right thing fofr a specific dog in a specific situation. It is NOT, IMO, the best thing for MOST dogs. And it is something where everyone needs to make their own, informed decision for their own dog, keeping all the information in mind.
Would you consider 11 months/ after their first heat "early" spaying (the timeline the OP was planning)? I thought that was the timeline to wait for and that you would have gotten the benefits of a later spay by just waiting til after the first heat.
 

· Metrowest, MA
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Would you consider 11 months/ after their first heat "early" spaying (the timeline the OP was planning)? I thought that was the timeline to wait for and that you would have gotten the benefits of a later spay by just waiting til after the first heat.
I ask my puppy owners to wait until at least a year, preferrable 18 months for spay/neuter. I would not want any puppy of mine spayed before one year, regardless of first heat. Is a girl who has her first period at 12 years old fully mature?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your comments and I did order the spay-neuter booklet. After watching Dr. Karen Becker's video on spay neuter, I am hesitant to neuter before seven years. I never thought of the consequences of taking out all those hormones on a baby dog. I believe removing any body part has huge consequences on the dog, every body part is there for a reason and that is why I make sure if I purchase a puppy they have dews, natural tails and ears no matter the breed. I always in my gut felt bad about spaying and neutering but it just seemed like that is what responsible owners do and the good outweighed the bad. Now, with all the research I just recently did, it really gives me pause. I am, also, considering tubal ligation which is where they leave the hormone-producing ovaries in the dog. Has anyone done that instead of the typical spay where they remove the uterus and ovaries.
Thank you to the breeder who recommends later spays, I know most breeders prefer early spays because they are worried about unwanted pregnancies but if you have responsible owners this is not a problem.
Thank you, everyone who chimed in, I appreciate your input.
 

· Metrowest, MA
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Thank you for your comments and I did order the spay-neuter booklet. After watching Dr. Karen Becker's video on spay neuter, I am hesitant to neuter before seven years. I never thought of the consequences of taking out all those hormones on a baby dog. I believe removing any body part has huge consequences on the dog, every body part is there for a reason and that is why I make sure if I purchase a puppy they have dews, natural tails and ears no matter the breed. I always in my gut felt bad about spaying and neutering but it just seemed like that is what responsible owners do and the good outweighed the bad. Now, with all the research I just recently did, it really gives me pause. I am, also, considering tubal ligation which is where they leave the hormone-producing ovaries in the dog. Has anyone done that instead of the typical spay where they remove the uterus and ovaries.
Thank you to the breeder who recommends later spays, I know most breeders prefer early spays because they are worried about unwanted pregnancies but if you have responsible owners this is not a problem.
Thank you, everyone who chimed in, I appreciate your input.

I think Karen Becker goes a little over-board, frankly. The dog is completely mature well before 7 years, and you definitely reach a point of diminishing returns. And there are convenience factors for you AND your girl. Twice a year, you re going to have to keep her TOTALLY away from boy dogs. If she is your ONLY dog, and you don't do sports, or never interact with other dogs maybe that is OK. Girl dogs in heat are NOT welcome in "mixed (dog) company". It's a pain in the neck. In spite of that, and in spite of the fact that it meant that Panda couldn't trial or go to our training center when she was in heat, I DID leave her intact until she was 6 years old. For me, what decided it at THAT point, was that I kept her son. And we go camping. The thought of having to deal with an intact boy and her in heat in a 30' trailer while camping was NOT something I wanted to contemplate!!! LOL! She was finished with her conformation show career, and I did not intend to breed her again, so it made sense to spay her.

With Pixel, my younger girl, she had a false pregnancy, which was horrible for everyone involved. (including her!!!) We were NOT doing THAT again, and once they have one, they are likely to do it every time they come in heat. So I had her spayed at about 18 months. The answer for every girl should be individualized.

I CAN tell you that I would never EVER do an oveary sparing spay (or tubal ligation) OSS is more common in dogs, because if you leave the uterus, they are still open to pyometra, a potentially deadly infection of the uterus. But even with an OOS, stump Pro is possible. Your dog will STILL go in heat every 6 months (more or less. She will STILL be a persona non grata anyplace there are boy dogs. It will be JUST as important that you NEVER allow a male dog to tie with her, or they could SERIOUSLY harm her!!! AND... If you decide you HATE the OSS (as many people I know who have tried it have) it can be a BIG DEAL to go back in and FIND the tiny ovaries that are now floating around in the abdomen, no longer attached to the uterus and simple to locate and remove.

My vet had this done to her girl last year, a lovely Border Collie. She THOUGHT it was a good idea at the time. I questioned her decision at the time, and we talked about it. But she was sure that was what she wanted to do... She has regretted it ever since, and plans to have her ovaries removed at some point in the future. She says, if anything, she is MORE attractive to her son than she was when she was intact, and it is just confusing to them both.
 

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My are two weeks out from my girl’s spay (stitches out tomorrow… thank goodness!) and she’s just over 16 months old. We’d decided to wait at least until after her first heat or a year, whichever was later. She Didn’t have her first heat until a couple of weeks after her first birthday, and it reinforced that we’d definitely be spaying her once it was safe to do so. She also stopped growing quite a while ago so we figured she probably had most of her adult hormones. As @krandall said, everyone needs to make their own choice. I was set on waiting through one heat despite the challenges, but it was tough for us— she was very dramatic and needy for 3 weeks, she couldn’t go to any of our normal places to tire her our, or with her walker, and we have an 10 yo neutered male who despite being totally asexual forever, still got humpy with her when she was in standing heat so we had to separate them. And it really confused him. I hadn’t thought it would be that big of a deal, so for us, it was definitely a little harder than anticipated. But if your girl has already had a heat and it was no big deal, I’d say it can’t hurt to wait!
 
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