Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

I have been reading through all of the past posts, but I am still struggling.  Our Australian labradoodle will end up being around 30 lbs when she is full grown.

Our vet says we should wait until at least 9 mos. to spay her.  They told me it is unusual for a female to go into heat before a year old.  That just doesn't seem right to me.  Our breeder told us that 6 mos. is a good time to get her spayed if we want to avoid the first heat.

I want to do what is bets for her overall health, but I understand that waiting may result in an unexpected heat cycle that can increase mammary cancer.

Any repsonses will be greatly appreciated.

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This can be a very controversial subject with very different opinions.  Some will say not before a year, others will say between 6 months and 1 year and even some will say not at all.  There are studies that show both health  benefits and health risks any where from 6 weeks to even over 1 year.  I would suggest doing a little research and then ask your vet what concerns he or she would have if you spayed at 6 months as opposed to 9 months.  It really comes down to how you personally feel about it and if you are comfortable with your vet or breeder recommendation.

I agree with Nancy that this is very controversial.  In my case, when I got my puppy, my breeder required I sign a document that my dog be spayed by 6 months of age, or pay the difference in cost for a breeding dog (several thousands of dollars. The actual document said my dog would be spayed before I got her at 11 weeks, but the breeder said she was too small to do that.) (My dog is a mini Australian labradoodle, about 17 pounds now at adulthood.)

Many (IMHO responsible) breeders do not want their dogs mating with other (random) dog breeds, to a person of unknown responsibility.

I did make a visit with a vet before I got Echo, and she said also there was controversy. 

This study from UC Davis (a prominent vet school) said found there was a difference between males and females, and between goldens and labs.  (I have found no studies that directly studied labradoodles.)

As Nancy said, do your on research, in consultation with your vet/breeder.

I read a bunch of stuff after reading your comment - partly for me too since we are thinking of getting a puppy soon.

A few common themes in the stuff I read:

- Over 6 months seems to be widely regarded as "safer" in general

- Giant breed dogs (and large dogs) tend to have joint problems when spayed/neutered early and should be spayed later

- Negative effects of early sterilization are more potentially damaging in male dogs than female dogs (especially in joints - my somewhat educated guess is this has to do with their larger body size and needing the male hormones for longer to encourage their growth)

- Negative effects of NOT sterilizing or sterilizing late are more potentially damaging in female dogs than male dogs (spaying after first heat cycle increases mammary cancer risk in female dogs by up to 30%)

- In general, spay/neuter reduces or eliminates the risk of reproductive system cancers but increases the risk of certain other types of cancer (but the increase in risk is smaller in female dogs than male dogs)

Anyway do your own research, consult with your vet... my personal opinion is that because she is a medium-sized dog and will likely be almost fully grown at 9 months you could always split the difference and do 7-8 months.

We had our doodle spayed at 10 months on recommendations.  Then before she turned 2 she tore her cruciate ligament and had to have expensive surgery to repair.  She has a stiff leg to this day.  She is 7 now.  I keep her weight down so she doesn't tear the other ligament.  We were told the hormones need time to develop bone growth to strengthen the joints.  This is around the age of 2.  I researched the growth hormones in dogs.  If I had another puppy, I would wait.  Good luck to you and your future furkid!

Thank you so much for the reply.  Had she already been through a heat cycle at 10 mos?  I just worry about increasing the risk of mammary cancer by waiting.

That's what worries me too.  

For our next puppy we are likely getting another female dog and this seems to be the primary concern with spaying after first heat.

Luna was spayed at about 5 months and never seemed to have joint issues but she is smaller than standard (about 40 lbs, so medium) and I know bigger dogs usually have more trouble.

I think we're probably going to have next dog spayed at about 8-9 months (expected to be bigger than Luna) but may adjust depending on vet recommendations.



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