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Spaying question

Discussion in 'Doberman Puppies' started by Mearntain, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. Mearntain

    Mearntain Jr Member

    My pup is currently 5 months old, and I'm 95% sure that I'm going to spay her unless someone can give me good reason not to. She wont be around Male dogs, so that is not of concern, but dont want to deal with the mess of being in heat as I have in the past with my previous dog.

    My main question is, what is the best age to spay my pup, assuming I decided to go that route? The surgeon at the vet I was using says 6 months, but the vet at the same place says 1 year old is best for a large breed like a doberman to prevent possible hip/joint complications down the road, but doing it at that age also comes with possible risks.

    What are your thoughts? Thanks!
    • Like Like x 1
  2. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    First off I don't think lots of Vets are in the know on this subject. I think they are just trying to avoid owners of unwanted litters. Because yes in the U.S. there is a problem with unwanted and euthanized pets.
    The fact is being a responsible pet owner.

    Male or Female these are very important sex hormones. They help with Muscle and Bone Growth.
    Medium to large breed dogs have not completed growth and development by one year.
    Early spay/neuter can prevent some cancers. But also early spay/neuter can increase the chances of some aggressive cancers.
    Early spay/neutering could cause joint and hip issues. Also not having these hormones down the road can increase chances of Endocrine issues.
    Having early spay could cause incontinent at a fairly young age.

    Here is a lot of info on the subject.

    Best times:
    Never or unless having an issue.
    Look into these alternatives which they get to keep these important sex hormones. For females a Modified Spay Or Ovary Sparing Spay. For males look into a Vasectomy.
    For a larger breed dog. Wait until Bone Growth Plates have closed. Which is between 14-16mo.
    Most people wait until 18-24mo to spay/neuter. But I would wait longer at least 2yrs before doing anything. Then look into these other options of Ovary Sparing Spay for Females or a Vasectomy for Males.

    Ovary-Sparing Spay - Parsemus Foundation
    Projects Archive - Parsemus Foundationovary-sparing-spay
    Ovary-sparing spay
    is a way to spay female dogs without the increased cancer risk and health impacts from hormone loss.

    Effects of Neutering on Dog's Health and Behavior
    Oct 16, 2016 · In a desexed dog, it’s important to check all hormone levels if one is out of whack. Another example Valente cites is a spayed female dog who becomes incontinent at a fairly young age. This is usually the result of an estrogen deficiency, and if so, normalizing the estrogen level may resolve the incontinence.

    A Modified Spay Procedure Preserving Female Dog Ovaries
    Sep 23, 2013 · Dr. Michelle Kutzler believes that modified spay procedure, which preserves the ovaries of female dogs, is a better option than surgical sterilization. Call Toll Free: 877-985-2695 Free Newsletter

    Ovary sparing spay
    Image: petguide.com
    Ovary-sparing spay may be a way to have one’s cake and eat it too: a way to spay female dogs (thus addressing population concerns), without the increased cancer risk and health impacts from hormone loss (particularly in large and giant breeds) that are only recently beginning to be understood. Ovary-sparing spay is approved by the AVMA.

    Age To Spay Or Neuter, Ovary Sparing Spay, Vasectomy ...
    For bitches, the ideal procedure is an ovary sparing spay. This surgery removes the entire uterus and cervix, leaving the ovaries. The bitch can then no longer become pregnant or develop uterine diseases. A tubal ligation should never be performed on a female dog.

    Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay ...
    • Summary
    • Findings from Studies
    • Conclusions
    • An objective reading of the veterinary medical literature reveals a complex situation with respect to the long- term health risks and benefits associated with spay/neuter in dogs. The evidence shows that spay/neuter correlates with both positive AND adverse health effects in dogs. It also suggests how much we really do not yet understand about this subject.On balance, it appears that no compelling case can be made for neutering most male dogs, especially immature male dogs, in order to preven...
    What is the effect of sex hormones on dog development ...
    Mar 02, 2015 · Bone and muscle growth are the two things that I would like to hear discussed. Although a lot of research has not been done in the important role of the sex hormones play from birth to old age in a dog, it's in any physiology book on canines and anyone with a knowledge base to understand it will understand it.

    Effect of Hormone on Dog Aggressive Behaviour - Daily Dog ...
    Dec 17, 2016 · A dog’s endocrine system is composed by several glands that are meant to produce hormones which are then transmitted through the bloodstream where they have several effects on the dog’s body and mind. The hormone testosterone, in particular, is secreted by the male dog’s testes and is known for producing several physiological and ...
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 6
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  3. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I’m all for not spaying/neutering at all. If I decided to go ahead with the procedure then I would wait till the dogs 18 months minimum but preferably over 2 years old.

    The removal of hormone-producing organs during the first year of a dogs life, leaves them vulnerable to the delayed closure of long-bone growth plates.

    I would definitely look into sterilising without desexing. A procedure that will prevent pregnancy whist sparing the ovaries so that she can still produce hormones essential for her health and well-being. Whether it be a tube ligation or modified spay (modified is when they remove the uterus but preserves the hormone-producing ovaries)

    Research shows that our pets drastically need these hormones to prevent the most aggressive cancers (bladder transitional cell carcinoma, osteosarcoma, prostate cancer, lymphoma and mast cell tumours)
    IMO, I would let her have 3/4 heats, this will give her the added benefit of reducing the risk of mammary cancer.
    The cancer rate in dogs today is 1 in 2! Making any decision for the overall well-being of her after researching all angles is always the best way to go!

    A few years back they did a Vizsla study on 2505 dogs.
    The study is titled “Evaluation of the risk and age of onset of cancer and behavioural disorders in gonadectomized Vislas” The stats are pretty scary! Take a look for yourself.....

    Evaluation of the risk and age of onset of cancer and behavioral disorders in gonadectomized Vizslas. - PubMed - NCBI
    • Agree Agree x 5
  4. Antman408

    Antman408 $ Forum Donor $

    I’m not at all for neutering or spaying. I don’t think it should be done for the reasons stated In Dr. Becker’s video.

    Also, I think just because you don’t want to “deal with her heat” is a poor excuse to alter the animal. I view it on the same lines as debarking.

    My two cents.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  5. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Hey there!

    I admit I have never lived with an intact female dog, and the heats sound like a hassle, but I bet once a routine is established it isn't that bad. I know there is something that can be put on their food that makes their scent less attractive to male dogs – right?

    From the start, back when I had very little technical dog knowledge (not that I have much now, ahaha) I just had the feeling and thought that it was best to let a dog fully mature before neutering them.

    Turns out now there is research to back it up.

    I have not yet neutered one of my Dobermans. They have not displayed any of the behavior problems that are traditionally said to be associated with intact dogs. They certainly do not "roam," for one thing. They in fact are so devoted to their owner and family that they really do not want to leave!

    So, if you keep her intact for longer, of course you probably know you need to be aware of the possibility of dogs from the area maybe breaking into your yard to get to her. I would hope she is not a Dobe that is left alone in a yard for appreciable periods of time though.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $


    Regardless of what vets say, you have to let them use the natural hormones to grow and mature.

    So that means you would have to deal with the heat cycles. Is it worth it?? Well, if you spay and your pup comes up with urinary bladder incontinence or something of the sort because maturity wise it was just to young to spay, then yes....waiting the 18-24months and putting up with those heat cycles would be worth it.

    Your Doberman, your decision but a pretty easy one in my book.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  7. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    It isn't that bad and that's coming from someone that owns an intact pair, that's right 1 male and one female that are both intact. We have had no problems at all and no puppies. Does it require more diligence on the owners part? Absolutely! Primarily just paying attention.
    Yes you can give chlorophyll at the first signs a cycle is going to start and it helps with the smell that drives the males nuts.

    As far as any mess, I don't have any problems there either. My girl learned panties are just a way of life for her. I use french cut bikini panties with just a mini pad in them and they are a GREAT fit for a dobie. It can be different for all girls but Rumor only has to wear hers for a few days out of her cycle. Other dogs it may may be longer and some not at all.
    French-Cut Panties for Girls
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  8. Archer

    Archer Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    As a breeder I strongly suggest waiting until they are 18-24 months. I have seen firsthand what premature spay/neuter can cause. Larger breed dogs mature more slowly and their growth plates don’t close until 18 mo. Since dogs require hormones for proper growth altering your dog before 18 months can be VERY detrimental to their skeletal system and general health. The body needs hormones to grow and develop. Altering at less than a year is the equivalent of castrating a prepubescent boy or giving a 7 year old girl a hysterectomy. It also reeks havoc on their hormonal system. Cushings disease, Addisons disease and torn ACLs have all been linked back to pediatric altering. My oldest male was neutered at 12 mos per breeder contact and has been through hell healthwise due to his early neuter. He has Addisons and has had surgery on both knees to repair torn ACLs before he was 5.

    I have five Dobermans. Two males (one neutered one intact) and three females (one spayed two intact) and have zero issues. The heat cycles are not a nightmare to deal with and get easier as you are used to them. Just be REALLY sure you educate yourself on the ins and outs of heat cycles so you spare yourself some issues. Their cycles are not like ours and there is a learning curve, but an easy one. We are here to help if you need
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  9. Mearntain

    Mearntain Jr Member

    Wow! Thanks for the all the detailed answers and links to different places, I will certainly check them all out. I'm glad you guys mentioned the alternatives to spaying, I was never aware that there were any alternatives.

    My decision that was leaning towards the spaying goes beyond just "not wanting to deal with the mess of heat". I'm not knowledgeable in this at all, but I was under the impression that there were several health benefits to spaying which was the main reason I wanted to do it (and it now sounds from yall that it is the complete opposite) , and not having to deal with the mess was just going to be an added perk.

    Sounds like I have some more research to do on this topic, thanks again everyone.
    • Like Like x 7
  10. ksirr

    ksirr New Member

    How do you feel about cropping and docking? I have been very torn about this and would like your opinion about altering.
  11. Antman408

    Antman408 $ Forum Donor $

    My dog is cropped and docked. I have zero issues with that. My view is this, natural dogs in the wild have ears that stand up which makes it easier to hear and hunt. The dobermans tail is fragile and skinny. If my dudes tail wasn’t docked I’m 90% sure he would have broken it by now based off our activities and how much of a dumbass he is lol.

    As far as neutering or spaying? Is that what you mean when you ask about altering?
  12. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $


    I can discuss cropping and docking, which is a deep topic, though it really shouldn't be complicated. For now, I can point you to these two threads:

    My Grim, Fearful Prediction

    Is cropping purely cosmetic?
  13. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    Something else to consider;
    After a female dog is spayed, the strength of her urethral sphincter decreases in the year following her surgery. As she gets older, this weakness worsens. Roughly 20% of spayed female dogs will develop incontinence within three years of being spayed.

    Larger breed dogs are more likely to develop spay incontinence than smaller dogs.

    • Agree Agree x 5
  14. ksirr

    ksirr New Member

    I'm mostly concerned with cropping and docking but I am interested to know people's opinions across the board for all altering. (Spay, neuter, crop, dock) I'm not including stupid things like debarking because in my head that is not even a thing. Lol but I might just start a new thread about that. Or search to see if there already is one.
  15. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    That's a highly controversial topic with many different opinions. Crop and dock is something that isn't legal in many countries so they have no choice but to leave their dogs natural. I'm all for crop and dock but I think they're beautiful both ways.

    Both of our dogs are cropped, docked, spayed and neutered but it is important to do all of those procedures at the correct time so it doesn't affect their health or comfort.
    • Like Like x 2
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  16. Izzy’s Mom

    Izzy’s Mom Jr Member

    So if I’m reading this right if you want to spay early, like at 5 months then having an ovary sparing spay done is the best route to go. She will retain her hormones for helping to grow healthy bones but greatly decrease the chances for cancer or uterine diseases and not become incontinent at a young age. Am I missing something? I’m very interested in this topic as I’m trying to decide what to do and realize opinions vary greatly. Thank you!
  17. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    Speaking from experience here. I had Jazz spayed before her first heat in ignorance of possible consequences. Yes, she developed spay incontinence, controlled now by a low dose hormone tablet once weekly. I am totally for leaving any future dogs unaltered, or a modified spay at most. There are issues with intact dogs at kennels or daycare situations, otherwise I would just take the necessary actions at heat time. There are so many more options these days if you do your research, and our vets are slowly catching up on these things, but I find you do have to ask for anything out of the ordinary. I'm in Australia and it's still the norm to have a dog "fixed" before maturity.
  18. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    That’s the norm in Canada too. It’s like we’ve been conditioned to believe that an intact dog will be aggressive or dangerous. People always get surprised to see his “large and in charge” bits, lol, and then they ask me if we are breeding him :rolleyes:
    • Funny Funny x 3
  19. Atingles10

    Atingles10 Notable member

    We get the same thing! We are in Maine and our guy is 15 months. When people realize he's intact they instantly asked if that's because we plan to breed. We have no intention of breeding him so we are just giving his his time with his manly bits :rofl: Thankfully we have made it to 15 months with no aggression issues what so ever and I'm sure Red appreciates having his bits :)
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  20. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    Most times neutering will not correct aggression issues! Training does.
    I would also look into a Vasectomy when ready.
    • Agree Agree x 3

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