When Should I Spay Or Neuter My English Golden Puppy
We believe that part of being an ethical breeder is protecting;your breed. Part of protecting the English Golden Retriever is to make sure our Golden Retriever puppies go to incredible pet homes or highly ethical breeder homes.
Here at Recherche Goldens, we sell almost every one of our pups with a spay/neuter contract because we simply do not have the time or energy to fully vet potential breeders. We have decided to only sell full registration to established English Golden Retriever breeders that have a solid history of breeding ethically. Because of our rules in this area, we are quite often asked the question; when should I spay or neuter my English Golden Retriever puppy?
Ideal Age To Spay Female Golden Retrievers
Determining the best time to spay female Golden retrievers is pretty tricky. Female Goldens sexual hormones play a massive role in supporting their growth and healthy development. When they are fixed, they no longer receive these hormones, which can have a serious negative impact on their health and well being !
Therefore, some vets and researchers recommend that you dont spay female Goldens at all. However, if leaving your female Golden retriever intact isnt a possibility for you, Dr. Benjamin L. Hart recommends that you wait at least one year before spaying them. If you choose to fix your female dogs, make sure to take them in for regular vet visits to assure that they remain happy and healthy.
As always, if you have any questions, make sure to consult your local veterinarian professionals, as they will be able to help you determine whether or not spaying is proper for you and your Golden retriever.
The Golden Retriever Gender Gap
My opinion does vary on the gender of the Golden Retriever. I personally have a much stronger opinion on when to spay a female than when to neuter a male. From most veterinarians and multiple websites, I believe that a female should be spayed prior to having her first heat. Again, some veterinarians believe you should wait until the first heat, but the majority of theriogenologists; and practicing veterinarians agree that it should be done before the first heat.
The reason for this is that studies have shown that females who are spayed prior to a heat have almost little to no chance of many types of reproductive cancers. For example, breast cancer is very common in female Golden Retrievers. In fact, it is the most common tumor type in female dogs. Female dogs that are spayed prior to going into their first heat have a 0.5% chance of getting mammary neoplasia. Female dogs that are spayed after going through one heat have an 8% chance, and females getting spayed after going through 2 heat cycles have a 26% chance of having tumors sometime in their life .
These are astounding FACTS. Because of this I HIGHLY recommend spaying a female before they go into their first heat. Female English Golden Retrievers typically go into their first heat between 8-14 months old. Our average English Golden Retriever goes into heat closer to 10-12 months of age. Our recommendation is to have a female spayed between 7-8 months of age.
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An Update On The Health Effects Of Spay/neuter In Dogs
Spaying or neutering a pet has been common practice in the United States for many years. It is estimated that over 80% of U.S. dogs are spayed or neutered in an effort to control the pet population, decrease the risk of mammary and prostate cancer, and decrease unwanted behaviors such as aggression and roaming. Over the past 20 years, the scientific literature has shown that the decision if, and when, to neuter a dog is not so straightforward. The AKC Canine Health Foundation and its donors have invested in research to explore the effects that neutering can have on dogs health. Evidence-based, breed-specific information is needed so that caregivers can make the best decisions for the long-term health of their dog.Since 2010, Dr. Benjamin Hart and his team at the University of California, Davis have received three grants from CHF to examine the health implications of neutering:
- 01488-A: Health Implications of Spay and Neuter: Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever
- 01840: Health Implications of Early Spay/Neuter on Canine Health
- 02275: Disease Risks Associated with Spay and Neuter: A Breed-Specific, Gender-Specific Perspective
Table 1 – Dog breeds studied for the health effects of spay/neuter with CHF funding
|;Australian Cattle Dog|
|;Parson Russell Terrier||;|
Benefits Of Male Dog Neutering
Is neutering male dogs really necessary?;Most veterinarians think it’s a good idea.
Here are some benefits of neutering that you may want to consider:
- Neutered dogs tend to be less aggressive
- Your dog won’t contribute to pet overpopulation
- Territorial marking is reduced
- That means marking both indoors and out
- Chance of testicular cancer is eliminated
- Chance of prostate cancer is reduced
- Male dog neutering tends to make pets gentler and calmer
- The urge to mate is eliminated
- The inclination to roam is reduced
- A neutered dog is often easier to train
- That’s because he can concentrate better on you
- He doesn’t have to deal with the distraction of lady dogs
- If your dog isn’t championship breeding stock, you should strongly consider neutering him.
Best Age For Male Dog Neutering
What’s the best age to neuter a dog? Surgical castration can take place as early as six weeks, but generally only animal shelters and rescue organizations do it that young.
They want to know that when they release their pups to new homes, they won’t contribute to pet overpopulation.
Some;breeders;may also choose to have puppy neutering performed on their pet-quality pups before selling them at about eight weeks of age.
In general, neutering a dog becomes safer after he’s had all his;puppy vaccines; and weighs a bit more. Taking all factors into account, most veterinarians prefer to have male dog neutering take place at around five to six months of age.
The only difference is that younger dogs heal faster.
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Is Spaying And Neutering Safe
Spaying and neutering are very safe procedures. It is one of the most common surgeries performed on dogs. The majority of veterinary clinics offer this service. Spaying and neutering can also be done at a variety of local low-cost clinics.
Complications related to spaying and neutering are very rare. For large male dogs who are difficult to keep calm, a complication that can sometimes happen after their neuter is a swelling of their scrotum. It will make it look like they were not actually neutered and as if they still have testicles.
This can happen if your dog is too hyper after surgery. It can also sometimes happen if a tiny blood vessel begins to leak into the empty scrotum. It is nothing to worry about. The swelling will eventually subside, but it can take many months to look completely normal.
What Is The Best Age
There is a lot of argument about the best age to neuter a Golden retriever. However, two top options will be before 12 months of age and after 12 months. The following are the advantages and disadvantages of both sides of the debate.
Neutering Before your dog reaches one year
Behavioral issues in Golden retrievers increase after sexual maturity. In the past decades, vets recommend that you get your dog neutered prior to reaching sexual maturity. However, recent studies reveal contradicting evidence.
The development of the sex hormones is crucial to your dogs growth. Thus, getting them neutered before they reach the age of one year can have grave side effects on their health.
For example, a male golden retriever that is neutered before reaching the age of one has an 80% risk of developing hypothyroidism compared to dogs neutered after the age of one.
Similarly, a female retriever neutered before reaching the age of one will have a 60% risk of developing hypothyroidism compared to those neutered after a year.
Studies even show that dogs that are neutered before their sexual maturity have a tendency to grow taller. This is bad news for your retriever since taller retrievers are believed to have a shorter lifespan. Short male Golden retrievers can live at least two years longer compared to short retrievers. Similarly, short female retrievers will live more than a year than tall female retrievers.
After One Year
The Best Age
Male Golden Retrievers
Female Golden Retrievers
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Care Before And After Spay/neuter Surgery
Veterinary clinics provide clear pre-surgical and post-operative instructions and advice for spaying/neutering dogs. This may include dietary requirements and administering pain control medication.
According to;ASPCA, There are many ways to help your dog recover after such a procedure:
- Provide a quiet place indoors for rest, away from other animals
- Prevent the dog from running and jumping as much as possible for up to 2 weeks after surgery
- Prevent the dog from licking incision area, as that may cause infection
- Avoid bathing dog for at least 10 days following surgery
- Inspect incision area daily to ensure proper healingany redness, openness, swelling, or discharge at surgery site should be treated immediately by a veterinarian
- Watch for signs of distressany lethargy, decreased appetite, vomiting or diarrhea should be treated immediately by a veterinarian
The most important care you can provide for your dog before and after their spay/neuter surgery is gentle love, adherence to veterinary instructions, and close monitoring of their well-being so any complications can be addressed immediately.
When Is A Female Golden Retrievers First Heat Cycle
This will vary, depending on if they are a small, medium, or large breed dog. For Golden Retrievers, this typically occurs before they are one year of age.
Most veterinarians recommended spaying before your pup is 6 months of age. However, for Golden Retrievers, this recommendation has now changed to 18 months.
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What Is The Best Age To Neuter Golden Retrievers
Whether you call it;neuter,;spay,;castrate;or;desex, the right time to get it done in dogs is a subject of much debate. This is because it varies from breed to breed. Recently, a study was published on the best age for neutering in Golden Retrievers.
While the paper isnt perfect , it does provide the first evidence for Golden Retrievers on choosing a time of desexing with the fewest health problems. The study compared dogs neutered at different ages for their rates of:
UI was not reported in any of the spayed females.
Pictured here are the results of a larger study by the same research centre which show similar effects of desexing on CCL and HD in the Golden Retriever.
What Are Cons Of Spaying
- Some owners report a side effect of spaying their bitch is urinary incontinence . Some studies suggest this is only an issue if they are spayed too young/before any heat cycles as the lack of hormones can cause weak muscle tone around the bladder. However, anecdotally, our Goldie was spayed at 2 years 9 months of age and she developed mild urinary incontinence afterwards
- According to this study, the occurrence of Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tears was significantly more prominent in bitches that had been spayed before age 1. In fact the study suggests that almost 8% of the bitches studied that had been spayed before age 1 had an incidence of this painful injury, whereas no incidents were reported in intact bitches. The study did also consider bitches spayed after age 1 and they found they also had no incidence of this injury
- Increased incidence of Hypothyroidism/obesity Spayed Goldens have a higher incidence of becoming overweight due to a change in hormones/metabolism;
- Increased risks for certain common cancers for Goldens including Hemangiosarcoma, Mast Cell Tumours, Osteosarcoma and Lymphosarcoma
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The Cons Of Neutering Your Golden Retriever
Here are the cons of neutering your golden retriever;
First, the cons of neutering your male golden retriever;
- Neutering your dog will triple the risk of obesity;
- Neutered dogs could develop bone cancer;
- Weight gain;
- If the neuter surgery has gone wrong, your dog will be at high risk of hip dysplasia;
- 1 in every 5 dogs may suffer from anesthesia after the surgery;
- They will be at high risk of developing dementia
- The chance of having hypothyroidism will be high;
- If the surgery was done at the wrong age it will cause more health issues
Cons of spaying your female dog
- The spaying could lead to vaginal infection or urinating tract infections;
- If the spaying was done at the wrong age, it may cause more health problems;
- One of the side effects of spaying your golden retriever is low thyroid level which will result in weight gain and obesity;
- Spaying your golden retriever increases the risk of deadly canine cancers such as hemangiosarcoma
- If the spaying surgery was done wrong, it could risk your dogs health with more problems such as bone cancer, urinary incontinence, and uneven bone growth.
How long does it take a male dog to recover from neutering?;
Just like humans, your male dog will mostly take fourteen days to heal and they will not be able to do any activity for about a month.
How do dogs do after they get neutered?
Do dogs cry after being neutered?;
Can a dog be left alone after neutering?
Where should my dog sleep after being neutered?;
Are There Any Alternatives
Despite the health concerns, wanting to get your golden retriever neutered is understandable. The benefits are there, but no one wants to put their loved ones at risk.
Much like everything else, there are most definitely other ways to prevent reproduction in your golden retriever that could be a safer alternative.
In dogs, there are several alternatives that you could explore:
- Chemically sterilizing
- Tube litigation
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Pros And Cons Of Spaying And Neutering
Just like most things in life, there are both pros and cons to spaying and neutering. Generally speaking, there are definitely more pros to spaying and neutering than cons. That being said, each dog and pet owner has their own needs and priorities.
When deciding whether or not to spay or neuter your Golden, work closely with your veterinarian and discuss all of your concerns. Together you can come to a decision on what is best for you and your individual pup.
The most obvious point about Spaying and Neutering is that your dog will not be having puppies. Now this can be listed on both the Pro and Con list depending on your plans for the futureso we left it off the list.
Why Spay Or Neuter Your Golden Retriever
Spaying or neutering dogs is considered standard practice among pet owners who do not intend to breed their animals. Many of the reasons that owners would cite for spaying or neutering their dogs are the same reasons that advocates of surgical pet sterilization claim are straightforward.
These reasons include control of animal population and reduction in pet homelessness, decreased risk of certain cancers, and inhibiting behaviors such as aggression and roaming.
Animal overpopulation and pet homelessness are considered national problems in most countries. In the United States alone, there are millions of dogs that enter shelters each year either as strays or relinquished by owners.
Sadly, a large percentage of these shelters, or excess, animals are killed every year due to shelter capacity and the inadequate number of adoptive homes. Routine spaying and neutering would significantly reduce the numbers of excess animals and pet homelessness.
However, recent research;indicates that spaying or neutering procedures may have negative long-term effects on the health of dogs, particularly in certain breeds.
The implications of this research may invite more examination of surgical sterilization risks for pet owners who fully commit to preventing their dogs from an intentional or accidental breeding. Factors that influence the effects of spaying and neutering are whether the dog is male or female, its breed, and its size.
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Breed Differences By Size And Sex
Researchers found that vulnerability to joint disorders was related to body size.
The smaller breeds dont have these problems, while a majority of the larger breeds tend to have joint disorders, said co-author Lynette Hart, professor at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
One of the surprising exceptions to this was among the two giant breeds great Danes and Irish wolfhounds which showed no increased risk to joint disorders when neutered at any age.
Researchers also found the occurrence of cancers in smaller dogs was low, whether neutered or kept intact. In two breeds of smaller dogs, the Boston terrier and the shih tzu, there was a significant increase in cancers with neutering.
Another important finding was that the sex of the dog sometimes made a difference in health risks when neutered. Female Boston terriers neutered at the standard six months of age, for example, had no increased risk of joint disorders or cancers compared with intact dogs, but male Boston terriers neutered before a year of age had significantly increased risks.
Previous studies have found that neutering or spaying female golden retrievers at any age increases the risk of one or more of the cancers from 5 percent to up to 15 percent.
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The Best Age To Spay Or Neuter A Golden Retriever
There are many reasons you might decide to spay or neuter your golden retriever. Shelters often perform the procedure to help reduce the number of homeless dogs. Some pet parents also do it to control aggressive or highly sexualized behavior, or protect a dog from repeated and unwanted pregnancies.
But while the procedure is common, it is not without risk. In particular, fixing your dog when they are too young can predispose them to a variety of serious health conditions in the future.
So, when should you spay a female golden retriever and neuter a male golden retriever?
The short answer to this question is that you shouldnt have your Golden fixed before they are one year old. Doing it earlier than this cuts off access to hormones that they need for healthy development and can lead to joint problems and hypothyroidism in both male and female golden retrievers, and a predisposition to various forms of cancer in female golden retrievers.
This does go against the advice that you will hear for most dogs, in that they should be fixed before they are six months old, so lets take a closer look at exactly why you should wait when you have a golden retriever.
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