You can also search on here, but here is a post of mine from a different thread: Spaying/mammary cancer/vaginitis
Originally Posted by Burns
"In the information I've had through school and in practice, and by doing research on VIN, spaying before the first heat cycle (around 6 months) greatly reduces the risk of mammary cancer later in life. Bitches that are spayed after their first heat cycle have dramatically higher risk of mammary cancer later.
Premature spaying can lead to incontinence in some bitches so you don't want to do it too early either." End quote.
The incidence of mammary cancer in dogs spayed after their first heat, but before their second is still quite low (less than 10%
. About half of mammary tumors in dogs are benign and the only way to tell the difference is to surgically remove the mass and send it in to the pathologist (needle biopsies are not accurate). For most large breed dogs, we wait until after 8 mos. of age to spay.
Early spaying can also affect growth (taller skinnier dogs), and you can see an increased incidence of hip dysplasia and some behavior issues. It is very important to wait to spay for pups with vaginitis -- pups that have had recurrent vaginitis should go through their first heat cycle before spay or can have lifelong issues with it. Bitches should never be spayed WHILE they have vaginitis. Bilclaire is correct in that ideally one would wait 2-3 months after heat cycle to spay -- then the hormones should be back to a normal resting state. Regardless of whether a dog is bred, their progesterone levels increase like in pregnancy after the heat cycle (some dogs have significant false pregnancies - nesting, milk, etc).
Incontinence can be seen in dogs spayed at anytime and there is still a lot of debate about how to decrease the incidence of this.
A good site with lots of info: http://courses.vetmed.wsu.edu/vm552/...Vulvovaginitis
Last edited by reddobes : 09-26-2007 at 09:39 PM.