How young is too young to spay & neuter?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by JustaLilBitaLuck, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    What age do you feel is appropriate to spay and neuter dogs and cats?

    Personally, I would prefer to leave any animal intact until they were fully grown. However, most of the rescues here spay and neuter puppies and kittens between 8-12 weeks, since they can't adopt out intact animals and puppies/kittens are more adoptable than adults.

    Do you think that age is too young?

    *I just had a discussion with a customer about this, so I'm looking for additional opinions!*
     
  2. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    for responsible people? I would wait until the animal is full grown.. I usually wait until around age 3 IF AT ALL. For males, I usually wouldn't neuter at all. For females? I would wait until 3 personally, I am not in the position to deal with heats (too many dogs in the area, and just..ick lol)

    For shelters/rescues?.. before that animal goes to a home, wether it's 8 weeks or 10 years. I hate to say I don't trust people but I don't trust people lol and shetlers/rescues do TOO MUCH for over population to take the risk of even a well meaning person to have an oops litter

    Too young IMO is 6 weeks. But that goes hand in hand with animals shouldn't be adopted out that young anyway so the point is moot lol
    I have seen TINY TINY animals go through the surgery just fine.. but IMO it shouldn't be done until they are ready for adoption.
     
  3. Picklepaige

    Picklepaige Active Member

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    This :)

    The local shelter spays/neuters at 2 pounds/8 weeks. Would I do that to a puppy I got from a source other than a shelter/rescue? No. Do I support the shelter's choice? Yes.
     
  4. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    There are a million answers to this - none of which is 100% right.

    I tend to think of this as a question of what is best and who is it best for?

    Personally I think coming out of rescues at 8 weeks or 18 years the animal needs to be sterile. For most pet owners I think pets should be sterilized.

    For hobby breeders, responsible owners, etc - I think a question of when or if should be left up to their personal experience. I know for my own puppies I prefer male papillons be neutered before 3 months. Why? Nothing to do with health and everything to do with the #1 reason papillons get returned or sent to rescue is house soiling which is easier prevented than cured. It's no accident that most breeder's males wear belly bands or live in a kennel .
     
  5. joce

    joce Active Member

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    Kittens - as young as can be. I've said it before cut them off with toe nail clippers(only slightly kidding) as long as they can't reproduce.

    For rescues puppies are what go and you can't really count people will bring them back so they need altered early. I have no issue with eight weeks.

    For me not until they are fully mature if ever. I have never had an oops litter and have always had intact dogs. But I see we're a lot of people can not handle it.
     
  6. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    This. I will never, never judge a rescue for neutering their dogs before they are adopted out.

    For personally owned dogs? I also don't think there is An Answer. For some people, it may be quite young. For some people, it may be never. I had my male done at 10/11 months, and I've had people give me grief for doing it both too soon and too late. You'll never win, no matter what you decide.
     
  7. thehoundgirl

    thehoundgirl Active Member

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    I think it depends on personal preference. My dog, Dixie was spayed at 9 weeks before I brought her home from the shelter I worked at. I really didn't think it was too young, actually because I have seen many young dogs and puppies spayed and neutered young at spay and neuter clinics I volunteered at. And they did fine. She did fine as well. No effects from it.

    Kittens, well around here they have to be a certain weight and I usually don't feel totally comfortable having a totally small kitten spayed or neutered. I have seen some die from being fixed so young. We usually wait until 12 weeks if we can if they are small to make sure they are healthy at the shelter before sending them to be fixed at the vet.

    When we got Angel, not from a shelter I wasn't in a hurry to spay her as she was tiny as a kitten at 7 weeks when we got her! I only wanted her done before 6 months as they come into heat then and I did not want to deal with a cat in heat... I had her spayed at 3-4 months and she did fine.

    Again, I think it depends on personal preference. If a responsible owner can keep their dog from having an "oops" litter then I see no problem with it. But I won't own an intact dog, unless there is a medical issue or I am showing the dog. But, I think the general public should spay and neuter their pets because they are the least responsible.

    I have no problem with shelters/rescues spaying and neutering puppies and kittens so young as long as the puppy or kitten is healthy enough. I completely support it as I worked at the shelter for 6 years and volunteered at many spay and neuter clinics.
     
  8. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    I agree with shelters speutering tiny babies, though I don't think that it is in the best interest of the pet. Shelters have to practice herd medicine. It's not about the individual. I don't like it, but I don't see any way around it.
     
  9. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    For myself personally? I see no reason to spay/neuter unless the animal gives me a real reason.

    However, I know that that's not for everybody, and would much rather them speuter their pet young than have an oops litter.
     
  10. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    For me? If they're still breathing, they're too young. :p

    For shelters? I dunno, I don't really blame them for wanting all the animals sterilized before they leave, but I think it would be enormously beneficial for the very young animals to explore things like partial spays and vasectomies. Of course, that would mean a vet would have to be willing to do those things! :eek: :lol-sign:

    For the general public... yeah, like I said, I wish more vets would do sterilizations that preserve normal hormone function. I also think dogs would benefit enormously from being left intact until at least 18-24 mo. It's painfully obvious to me at work which dogs were intact until adulthood and which ones weren't. I wish every dog got that advantage.
     
  11. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    I do think that shelters and rescues need to have their animals altered before being adopted out. For me personally, I prefer to leave a dog intact until mature/as close to maturity as possible, but I will alter all my dogs unless I have a specific reason not to. With a male horse I would leave a colt intact for as long as possible to let him fill out, but as soon as he starts getting too "study" the nuts would be gone.
     
  12. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    What differences do you see? I'm genuinely curious - I've done a lot of research on the health benefits/risks of sterilizing/not sterilizing, but I haven't seen a lot on the social/temperament aspect. Both of my dogs were sterilized as adults, and all of my fosters have been adults who were sterilized shortly before they came to me or while they were with me.
     
  13. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    Physically, they're far better developed. In females, it's milder, they simply seem to have a more natural shape and carry weight much better. In males it's like painful, those altered "late" have large heads, necks, shoulders, are much better proportioned in general. The neuters done before maturity tend to appear slab-sided, narrow fronts, small heads. I've yet to be surprised by a client telling me, "He was HUMPING? But he got 'snipped' at 5 months!" vs. them telling me a dog was rescue as an adult (likely intact until then) etc. I can spot the "manly" boys from a mile away.

    We even had a young female dog come into work that I looked at wondered if she was really spayed. Turned out she had a retained ovary and came into "heat" shortly after she first started coming to us.

    Behaviorally, they act... neutered, lol, in the purist sense of the word. Genderless. That's what some people want, actually, I just happen to find it weird. They do tend to act slightly... immature. I'm not sure that behavioral differences are particularly significant though, tbh. The early neuters still mark and hump, they just kinda look like they have no idea why they're doing it, LOL! (ETA) Intact or late altered males seems to be very clear that they're marking their territory, or interested in girls, etc, in contrast.

    Don't get me wrong, there are exceptions, of course, but this is what I've seen by far and large.
     
  14. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    Personally like most people on Chaz I like to leave them till they are mature, if speuter at all. I really wanted to get my cat done young, but then after something seirous though I realized he has no NEGATIVE behaviors around being intact. So... might as well leave him.

    Bandit was done at 3 because I really didn't want to own an intact dog. He had no negative behaviors either it was just a choice I made at that time.

    For shelters I think they should alter before they leave. So yes, while some of those animals will be altered before I personally would like I think they are just doing what they need to help pet population issues.
     
  15. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    This has been my experience as well. Early neutered animals look weedier to me than dogs neutered late. I'm speaking of both males and females when I say neutered there. Guess altered would be better, but yeah. Huge difference in the boys. If you're not shy lol you can see the boys "junk" looks just like a puppies. Which is very weird to me.

    Girls do tend to hide early altering better.
     
  16. TahlzK

    TahlzK New Member

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  17. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    ^ Yup. Finn got neutered almost RIGHT at six months due to being cryptorchid (vet wanted to do it earlier, I met in the middle). His repro organs hadn't matured fully. Overall he turned out well-developed anyway, which I'm thankful for. He's filled out nicely, nice lines and structure, but you can't even see his sheath in photos and such, it's puppy-sized. Not that I WANT to see it per se, but it still bothers me. It's a reminder of the poor decision I made.

    As a whole, I'm a fan of waiting at least a year if not more to alter, but if I get any future breeder dogs I will likely leave them intact.
     
  18. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    Agreed about the rescue thing. While I'm not keen on spaying/neutering a young puppy, I'd rather spay or neuter at 8-10 weeks than send the dog home where it won't be spayed or neutered at all.

    Dusk was neutered early and he's... just weird. I don't think it has too much to do with him being neutered early, he's just weird, but his dong is also teeny tiny.

    Eve was spayed when she was 4. I'm glad I waited quite a while.
     
  19. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    In females, a typical spay is an ovariohysterectomy, the removal of both ovaries and the uterus. To do a partial spay, you would remove the uterus only, making the dog incapable of going into heat or becoming pregnant, but the ovaries are still there and still releasing many of the hormones. You could also (theoretically) do a tubal ligation (just severing the fallopian tubes), the dog would have hormones and heat cycles, but couldn't get pregnant.

    In males, a typical neuter is a castration, the complete removal of the testicles - no testicles, no sperm, no babies. A vasectomy would just be the severing of the vas deferens, so the dog could still ejaculate, but wouldn't be able to impregnante another dog.

    Neither option are popular in veterinary medicine.
     
  20. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    LOL about the small junk, you guys, so true. True for girls too, actually, but you're way less likely to notice. Mackenzy has no nipples. NO. NIPPLES. YOU GUYS. They're flat spots. As for her vajayjay... the running joke is that it only exists in theory, nobody's actually seen it.
     

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