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Remember Your Beloved Pet
When Is It Time to Spay or Neuter?
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Will Draper, DVM posted:
If you ask five vets their opinion on the best age for neutering or spaying a pet, you might get six different answers. However, one thing that most agree on is that spaying and neutering earlier, around 4 to 6 months of age, is better than waiting.

Neutering males before 6 months of age can make them less likely to suffer from obesity later in life, and make them less likely to wander. Males who are neutered later in life will be more prone to express male tendencies, such as jumping fences or escaping yards to find females, spraying to mark territory in and outside your home, and being aggressive to other pets and people. Spaying females before their first heat can significantly cut the possibility of mammary gland tumors. Spaying early also prevents other potential issues, such as uterine infections.

Some veterinarians are wary of "pediatric neutering," when spays or neuters are performed on pets at around 6 to 8 weeks of age. There is some concern that doing so makes pets -- mainly larger breed dogs -- more prone to certain types of cancer in their later years. However, there has been no reliable science or research to support this. The best thing to do is trust your veterinarian, and follow their recommendations.

At what age did you have your pet spayed or neutered? How did you reach this choice?
Dr. Will
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kathykatt responded:
my 2 were fixed/spayed when my Vet recommended. for my boy, it was at 4 months when he was 5.9 lbs. for my girl it was just under 5 months when she was 4.2 lbs. you may consider that small, but she is a small kitty and now at age 6 is only 8.4 lbs, she keeps her figure well :)

i'd like to know if you think that is in the satisfactory range? thank you.
 
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Annie_WebMD_Staff responded:
I had my boy kitty Charlie neutered a year ago around Valentine's Day. He was 5 months old and weighed 7 pounds at the time so I didn't want him to get any bigger before I had it done. We didn't know how big of a cat he would grow up to be but he was already growing like a weed back then! We had brought him home in mid November and he grew a lot between then and February! Neutering has kind of made him fat, he's 13 pounds now but he is long in the body. He's 23.5 inches from the tip of his nose to the base of his tail. One thing about him is that he pees standing up in his litter pan, it's like he pees on the litter pan back wall so we had to get a pan with high sides and line the sides with newspaper too.

My late Russian blue girl cat Samantha was always a small cat, she only weighed in at 5 pounds her entire adult life. Because we got her from a shelter, she was also older than we thought at the time we got her so she was probably spayed when she was more than a year old. She definitely wasn't the 5 month old cat we thought she was. She always had a marking behavior, she would pee on dirty laundry and that wasn't fun. She may have been an underfed runt of the litter but she was old enough that she had already developed unwanted marking behaviors.

My dog Lilly was spayed when we got her when she was a year and a half old. I don't know how old she was when she was spayed but I would guess that given that she was well cared for that she probably was fixed when she was a puppy. She's a lovely dog. She does have spay incontinence so she gets a DES pill once a week for that and that works to control that issue well.

- Annie
 
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Rohvannyn replied to Annie_WebMD_Staff's response:
I spayed my female calico at around 6-7 months of age, though it could have been later because we didn't know for sure how old she was. Also she was underfed and a runt so she could have been a little older than we thought. She has no major behavior issues but males will act somewhat like she's unaltered.

My male who has now passed on, was neutered around 6 months. He had no behavioral issues and ran slightly to the tubby side but only in later life. Middle age spread, dontcha know.

My new cat is also male and 6-8 years old, and was neutered when we got him. I often wonder if he was altered late in life because he acts rather tomcattish and has some issues where he likes to challenge authority by hissing when we tell him to stop doing something.
 
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Will Draper, DVM replied to kathykatt's response:
kathy, that is considered an acceptable range. In some cases pets are spayed/neutered as young as 3 months of age ("pediatric spay/neuter). Thank you!
Dr. Will
 
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Will Draper, DVM replied to Rohvannyn's response:
It is likely that since he is showing some tomcat behaviors that he was neutered later in life. Usually toms in this category will have developed the larger jowls as well. Thank you for your comment!
Dr. Will
 
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veronica3186 responded:
My dog is a female morkie and she is almost 3yrs old. I wasnt sure if I was going to mate her or not but now I have decided not to. I cant take her to any doggy day cares without her being spayed. Is it too late to spay her.
 
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Home2strays replied to veronica3186's response:
its never too late to spay (as long as your pet is healthy) however being as shes been through so many heat cycles, she wont get the same health benefits as a dog that is spayed before their heats start. Its still a good idea though to do it so she wont ever have a pyometra or an unplanned litter.
 
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Will Draper, DVM replied to Home2strays's response:
Well said, H2S. Well said.
Dr. Will
 
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CllConnie replied to Will Draper, DVM's response:
I have always had working dogs, and found that early neutering often adversely affected their working ability. Why might this be?
 
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Rohvannyn replied to CllConnie's response:
Do they have decreased muscle mass? What kind of work do they do? Neutering drastically decreases the amount of testosterone in the body, which has an effect on muscle tone and how fast it can be built. Not to say you can't build muscle without testosterone, but it does have an effect.
 
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An_221268 responded:
I've been asking this question and I've heard several answers

I have a 4-5 mo Border Collie male puppy. I have no intent of breeding the dog.

I do want to neuter but I want him to compete in dog sports too. I hear neutering too soon hinders there athletic ability.

I here the other side that if I don't pediatric neuter him or past a set in stone date, I'm being "irresponsible" and begging for puppies from a dog who's balls haven't even dropped.

I heard 10-11 months from one person and 6-9 months and the ASPCA says 8 weeks is the best time.

So given this dog, with this intent, When is the best time?
 
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Home2strays replied to An_221268's response:
For a responsible person that keeps their dog indoors and doesnt let him roam the neighborhood I would say it's completely up to your discretion. In older dogs that are unneutered we see prostate enlargment, testicular cancer, and hernias but in a young dog that things are very very uncommon. I would say as long as it's before 5 yrs old then you are good and you'll let him fill out to a nice looking dog. Dogs that are neutered early tend to be smaller but also don't (usually) mark. The aspca will spay or neuter anything as long as it is over 2 pounds- that way when its adopted out there's no chance its offspring will be filling the shelters in a yrs time. If you think there is a chance your dog will be able to get out of your yard, neuter him. Also, if there is a dog in heat or coming in/going out of heat at any of your trials most likely he wont do a good competition either.
 
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irishjeanie replied to Rohvannyn's response:
My male Australian Labradoodle was neutered at 8 weeks, a common practice of breeders. He is much smaller than his parents at 40 pounds and does not resemble them. My suspicion is that early neutering does have an effect on male dogs ( don't know about females), and if I had it to do over I would not buy from a breeder that does early neutering. I would be interested in hearing from other owners of Australian Labradoodles about their opinions regarding this issue. My boy is now 3 years old and except for a bout of pancreatitis has had no known health issues.
 
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SASQUATCH7 responded:
We have a giant breed puppy, a Leonberger. This is the third giant breed we've owned over the past 19 years. Giant breed breeders now state, do not neuter a male before 12 months old athe earliest 18 months preferred. This is due to bone growth plates must have a chance to fully mature.
If neutering is done to early the dog will become leggy and also it is stated that they will be more prone to some types of cancer at an older age.
Our previous Leonberger male was neutered around 8 months old and he did grow to be somewhat leggy for the breed. He never developed any type of cancer though


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