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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)
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    Default Best age to spay pyr puppy?

    We are owned by 2 great pyrenees, both rescues. We have a 6 yr old male who was neutered before he came to our home five years ago. We recently adopted a female puppy, currently 18 wks old. The rescue advised us to spay her by 6 mos of age; our vet agrees, and says that in giant breeds, the sooner the better - because the surgery is easier/less anesthesia/quicker recovery/generally safer for the dog. Upon doing some internet research, there seem to be a lot of people who think the dog should go through one heat before being spayed. Also, I found conflicting information on spaying too early and bone cancer. Confused. I do like (& trust) our vet and we have used them for over 10 years total, they have wonderful "bedside manner" and are very compassionate. However, we want to make the most educated decision on timing possible. If it factors in at all, she weighed 41 lbs at her 16 wk checkup/shot appointment. She is growing quickly although I don't expect she will come close to the size of Hercules (170 lbs) when full-grown.

    Would you all please share your experience with this? I appreciate advice from other GP owners. Thanks,
    Pam

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Tsunibear's Avatar
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    I got Missy spayed at five and half months old. My concerns were that if I spayed her too soon she wouldn't develop properly and would be too small or too leggy. So when I got her spayed I voiced my concerns and my vet out of curiosity about the issues x-rayed her growth plates and informed me that spaying her that soon wouldn't effect her at all.

  3. #3

    Flock Guardian (Moderator) Chicag0_Red's Avatar


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    I would have to go with your vets advice on this one.

    Caveats being I'm not a vet and I don't have a female Pyr, just my experience with the larger breeds. The only reasonable excuse I have seen for delaying the early spay / nueter is that _sometimes_ the males will get heavier faster. The un-nuetered dogs tend to be slimmer, but this is something that is normally easily controlled with an increase in excercise and dietary modification.

    It has been my experience the pros far outweigh the cons.

    _Red

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar
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    Welcome Pam!!
    Two Pyr's...guess you can't have just one (sorry bad joke)
    This is a big question/debate. I think you can find research that will back any decision that you make. Here is what I have found.
    Our first female was spayed at 6 months, lived to be 10 years, no problems with growth plates or weight or height.
    Nick was neutered at 8 weeks, he was definatley over weight by the time he was 1 and not very tall. He did however, die from osteosarcoma when he was 6...connection from early neuter...I don't know.
    Holly was spayed at 6 months, she has remained slim, 105 pounds & is average height.
    You trust your vet, trust your judgment.
    Nancy & Holly

  5. #5

    Flock Guardian (Moderator)


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    Don't blindly trust any vet. Get to know them and DO YOUR RESEARCH. Yes, altering is linked to osterosarcoma, however it's more clear in neutering dogs. Personally I'd never neuter a dog but bitches are different. Given you don't know the history, I'd do it. They are a pain, the coat may change.
    My breeders has no problems with intact bitches so I don't worry. They can have problems, but again it depends on the line. The earlier you do it, the better the recovery, but the later you do it, the better she develops, etc. Personally I'd wait atleast two years, but I know my lines. A rescue, I'd just spay after a heat or two.

  6. #6
    Road Dawg
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    Here is a link about a recent study that correlate a female dog's longevity with spaying.

    http://www.purdue.edu/uns/x/2009b/09...nResearch.html

    From my own experience, littermate Great Danes, where one (Blizzard) was spayed at 6 months and the other (Drizzle) was spayed at 8 years old. Blizzard was very noticeable taller, bigger bone, and heavier. She lived for 10 years and died of cancer of unknown origin. Drizzle at 12 years of age, is still with me.

    There are many studies to support whatever you decide, but for me the combination of this study and my experience, says if I have an intact female, I will not be spaying her until she reaches age 4.

  7. #7

    Flock Guardian (Moderator)


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    I knew of rottie littermates, the one that got spayed at 1.5 years lived 11+ and the other spayed at 7 years lived 9 years, but that was a bad litter of dogs.

    Every breed is different, and lines. with rescues especially...It's a headache. Intact bitches are brutal to deal with. I'd do one heat if you can do it safely and then spay. Either way, you never know. Do what you feel is best and what you can handle.
    good luck.

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar
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    My first pyr was spayed after her first heat. She stayed on the small end of breed standards and slim her whole life. She was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma at age 7 and died 9 months thereafter. Hemangiosarcoma is a cancer which one study shows occur at a much higher rate in spayed females - but to put things in perspective, notwithstanding the increased risk, the chances of a dog getting this cancer is really not high to begin with.

    I did an "unscientific" survey of the members of this site some months ago. It seems that many of the member have had females spayed at various ages and indeed it seemed to me that a majority of the spayed females owned by our members lived long lives.

    Spaying a female before first heat pretty much erases mammary gland cancer risk. On the flip side, some studies say that spaying at early age will delay the close of growth plates and thus the dog will grow larger and raises the risk of bone cancer. So, in the end it is really up to whatever you feel okay with. Additionally, don't know if you have dealt with a female in season before. It is not pleasant to deal with. It is a very big responsibility - she MUST be confined indoors if she cannot be supervised every minute she's outside - for 3 full weeks, sometimes more.

  9. #9

    Flock Guardian (Moderator)


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    Spaying before the age of 7 seems the be the magic number according to my vet who breeds, rescues pyrs and has been in it for years.
    She says in Canada anyhow, Osteo and Hemo cancers are the most common. At the GPCA conference/dog show this past week they discussed these cancers and their genetic link. They are working on in it, and pyrs are in a study,. I donated some of my two DNA for the study. They are looking for more DNA.
    In the USA, apparently displaysia is common, thyroid problems, alllergies.
    The Canada we seem to have some luxating patellas, addisons, and eye issues, not much though I gotta say.
    Anyhow, I'm getting off topic. Bitches are a pain in the rear. Males are easier! )

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)
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    ...as soon as you can, or what your vet recommends.

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