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> Spaying A Nervous Youngster
skysky69
post 2nd Mar 2012, 12:24 pm
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Just wondered whether anyone has any opinions about spaying a 6 month old bitch who is quite nervous. She has never been a confident dog, very nervous around other dogs (has been socialised since day dot), hasn't had a season yet and the vets want to spay her now. I was wondering whether there would be any benefit in leaving her to mentally mature slightly before whipping all of her bits and hormones out - would allowing her to mature a bit first help her overcome some of her nervousness. The vetinary nurse indicated that in her opinion, a nervous girl can show signs of aggression if left to have a first season unsure.gif

Opinions gratefully received.
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Penninepoodlewelfare
post 2nd Mar 2012, 12:45 pm
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I woulnt spay any bitch until 3 months after its first season.
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ceri1
post 2nd Mar 2012, 12:55 pm
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QUOTE(Penninepoodlewelfare @ 2nd Mar 2012, 12:45 pm) *

I woulnt spay any bitch until 3 months after its first season.


But then many people and rescues do, so without giving some evidence-based backup of why not, that isn't really a very helpful comment.

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nikirushka
post 2nd Mar 2012, 12:57 pm
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Personally I would leave well alone, let her mature first. Although increased nervousness post-neutering is something I hear about more from the boys (and have worked with some affected that way), I would still be very, very wary of putting a nervous bitch through a big surgery and what will be a huge hormonal change at the moment. I would work on her confidence and let her mature a bit as she is then if you think it will benefit her later, have her spayed.

Have the vets given you a reason for wanting to spay now, or is it just their standard rhetoric? And does the vet nurse have any behavioural background?
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skysky69
post 2nd Mar 2012, 1:05 pm
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Thanks guys, my gut has told me all along to leave her be - the vets seem to be telling all clients to neuter at 6 months unsure.gif
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Raina
post 2nd Mar 2012, 1:45 pm
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My vet also advised spaying at 6 months - before my dog's first season.

I have every faith in her - but my gut instinct was to let her grow and mature before she had the operation.

She's a large'ish dog and has now had two seasons - I'd never want to put her at risk of health problems that may arise by not having her spayed - now I feel the time is right. But I have no evidence to say if I'm right or wrong - just my feelings.

Sadly though - my decision has completely ruled me out of rehoming a rescue dog at this present time sad.gif
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Jazzlet
post 2nd Mar 2012, 1:51 pm
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I would leave her whole a while yet to let her mature. I can not say that leaving my nervous GSD whole would have helped her, but in a similar sitiuation I would delay, quite possibly until eighteen months.

Having said that plenty of dogs sail throgh neutering with out any behavioural effect whatsoever and I wouldn't delay the spaying of a confident bitch.
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Penninepoodlewelfare
post 2nd Mar 2012, 1:55 pm
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ceri1 The comment was made on the feeling that the o p already had some basic knowledge of early spaying or could easily find out more.

This topic has been well discussed before so I am not going into it again.
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Bunter1
post 2nd Mar 2012, 2:18 pm
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There have been several studies made on the physical effects of spaying/neutering.

From a purely health POV, spaying at six months seems to be ideal to prevent mammary tumours. However, certain breeds and larger breeds seem to be more prone to cancers if not left to mature for longer.

Not so many studies into behavioural issues seem to have taken place. I guess this type of study would be more difficult as there are so many variables involved. You can't say what the dog would have been like had they not been spayed! Having said that, I do believe that dogs who are fearful would do better to be left for longer. I think I have read/seen somewhere that spaying a bitch means that testosterone increases and is likely therefore to make them more fear aggressive dunno.gif Can't for the life of me remember where I saw that now, which is helpful rolleyes.gif
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nikirushka
post 2nd Mar 2012, 2:52 pm
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QUOTE(skysky69 @ 2nd Mar 2012, 1:05 pm) *

Thanks guys, my gut has told me all along to leave her be - the vets seem to be telling all clients to neuter at 6 months unsure.gif


It seems to be quite common, my vets down south said the same for both my pups back then.
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Dalsmum
post 2nd Mar 2012, 3:16 pm
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QUOTE(Bunter1 @ 2nd Mar 2012, 2:18 pm) *
There have been several studies made on the physical effects of spaying/neutering.

From a purely health POV, spaying at six months seems to be ideal to prevent mammary tumours. However, certain breeds and larger breeds seem to be more prone to cancers if not left to mature for longer.

Not so many studies into behavioural issues seem to have taken place. I guess this type of study would be more difficult as there are so many variables involved. You can't say what the dog would have been like had they not been spayed! Having said that, I do believe that dogs who are fearful would do better to be left for longer. I think I have read/seen somewhere that spaying a bitch means that testosterone increases and is likely therefore to make them more fear aggressive dunno.gif Can't for the life of me remember where I saw that now, which is helpful rolleyes.gif


I don't think testosterone increases but the females hormones affect the testosterone. When you remove them- spaying- then the testosterone is able to have more effect.
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Bunter1
post 2nd Mar 2012, 3:48 pm
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QUOTE(Dalsmum @ 2nd Mar 2012, 3:16 pm) *

I don't think testosterone increases but the females hormones affect the testosterone. When you remove them- spaying- then the testosterone is able to have more effect.

Aha! That may well be it. Thanks smile.gif


Have just been reading Behavioural Effects of Ovario-hysterectomy on bitches from Journal of Small Animal Practice, 1990.

This is the abstract:

A questionnaire about their dogs' behaviour was administered to the owners of 150 spayed bitches at the time of spaying and again six months later. It was also administered twice with the same time interval to a control group of 150 unspayed bitches, group matched for breed and age. Principal component analysis of the questionnaire responses yielded 13 factors. On two of these factors, 'indiscriminate appetite' and 'dominance aggression towards family members', the scores of the spayed bitches showed a significant increase compared with their controls. The spayed bitches most likely to show an increase in dominance aggression were puppies under one year, already showing some aggression.
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Borderlass
post 2nd Mar 2012, 3:57 pm
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My first bitch was spayed at 6 months as I didn't know anything about it at the time and just accepted what my then vet told me. My 2 second bitch was spayed a few months after her first season, having discussed the matter with my current vet and generally looked in to it a bit more.

My old girl always had a slightly sensitive temperament from a young pup, and as an adult there were a number of situations that stressed her out although she was a happy, confident dog for much of the time. I've often wondered whether she would have been less easily stressed as as an adult if I had allowed her to mature properly before having her spayed - obviously something I will never know dunno.gif
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Sharpy
post 2nd Mar 2012, 4:10 pm
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Perhaps the vet just wants to prevent accidental pregnancies?
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Dalsmum
post 2nd Mar 2012, 4:30 pm
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My vet told the operation is much easier on a younger bitch.
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