We have a 7 month old Labrador Retriever which I am in the process of training to become a Therapy Dog. She is not spayed although we plan on it. I have asked everyone I can and have discovered that breeders opt for from one year to two years before spaying and veterinarians go with six months or as close to that time as possible. I have done extensive research and am concerned of the possible consequences of early spay. Inhibit growth plate development, bone cancer increase incidence, incontinence that has been reported in dogs spayed earlier than one year. We know the benefits of spaying and plan on it, just not sure when; we lover your show and we are seeking a “second opinion” as we have another appointment today with our sixth Vet.
Answer from Dr. Gaylord Brown:
At the Sanctuary we spay at approximately six months of age. For the small breeds we may extend this to nine months. We want to spay before the first heat cycle. As you are probably aware public shelters are often spaying and neutering as early as 6 weeks. We do not advocate that plan. We feel the marked reduction of the incidence of breast cancer in dogs spayed before their first heat cycle outweighs the low incidence of incontinence you mention. Ultimately you will need to decide what is best for your situation.
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