When Should You Spay Your Female Golden Retriever
If you have a pet Golden Retriever and you are not intending to breed from her, should you have her spayed?
If yes, when is the best age to do this?
In this post I look at the pros and cons of spaying your bitch and when the right time is.
There doesnt seem to be a set in stone answer for this.;
Read on to find out the theories behind all of your potential options.
Benefits Of Spaying Or Neutering
Aside from reducing pet homelessness, spaying or neutering your dog provides potential medical and behavioral benefits. Spayed females tend to live longer, healthier livesespecially if they are spayed before their first heat, or estrus, cycle.
According to AVMA, Spaying can prevent uterine infections and breast tumors which can be cancerous in 50% of dogs.
Neutering male dogs prevents testicular cancer and some prostate medical issues.
There are several behavioral benefits of spaying and neutering as well:
- Spaying: female dogs that are spayed do not experience heat cycles, during which they may become nervous and agitated, with frequent urination due to hormonal shifts.
- Neutering: male dogs that are neutered are less likely to stray from home, display mounting behavior, and mark territory by spraying urine throughout their home. Neutering has also been linked to reduced aggression in some breeds.
It should be noted that neutering a male dog is not a solution for all behavioral problems. While neutering reduces some undesirable behaviors caused by higher levels of testosterone, the surgery does not eliminate the presence of that hormone.
Neutering will also not undo or counteract behaviors that your dog has learned, developed as habits, or are part of his personality.
Also, some dog owners have the impression that spaying or neutering their pets will result in weight gain and even obesity.
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.
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Is Spaying The Right Choice For Your Golden Retriever
Spaying your dog used to be the right choice and the responsible thing to do, but with so many controversies going on and new findings related to the health and well-being of your dog, is it still the right choice?
The answer used to be simple, if you didnt plan on breeding your dog then you got your dog spayed, or neutered. For decades dog owners who didnt spay or neuter their dogs were presumed as lazy and irresponsible. But, with new medical findings, the decision to spay or when to spay isnt so clear, and the social stigma surrounding un-spayed dogs is changing.
Spaying and neutering your dog is still the most popular choice in the US and Canada because it is the most effective way to prevent pet overpopulation and any unwanted behaviours.
It is interesting to note that in Europe spaying and neutering your dog is not a common procedure, and in some countries such as Norway and Sweden it is heavily frowned upon. What is even more interesting is that Europe doesnt have the overpopulation of pets problem that the US does.
For the majority of dog owners, spaying is still the best option in regards to the dogs health and well-being as well as for the dog owner.
Golden Retrievers Spaying Your Female Golden
Golden Retrievers spaying of your female Golden is very serious since surgery is involved.
There are benefits and risks whichever option you pick.
Spaying is essentially performing a hysterectomy on your dog, removing the uterus and ovaries to prevent pregnancy and menstrual cycles.
Female Goldens have a ‘heat’ about every six months, during which time they’re fertile and eager to mate.
Removing those sex organs eliminates the possibility of pregnancy.
But it also causes her body to reduce the hormones that cause heats as well.
The reduction of those hormones is one of the chief health reasons that so many vets recommend Golden Retrievers spaying.
Unspayed Golden Retrievers have about a 25% chance of developing breast cancer tumors.
Golden Retrievers spaying reduces the odds to about 6%, if the young female is spayed just after the first or second heat.
Beyond tumors, there are other conditions that can represent a health risk.
The odds of getting endometritis, for example, can be reduced by Golden Retrievers spaying.
There are other health-related reasons to consider Golden Retrievers spaying. Mating and pregnancy bring their own risks.
When a female is in heat, she sends out a pheromone that can be scented by males for a mile or more.
Larger males can, and will, often leap a fence to get to the female.
But mating with a larger species dog can represent an unwanted pregnancy that puts your Golden at risk.
But there are factors beyond health to consider.
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When To Spay & Neuter
The UC Davis Golden Retriever Study on the effects of early Spay & Neutering, and the age at which a dog is neutered, may affect the animals risk for developing certain cancers and joint diseases, according to a new study of golden retrievers by a team of researchers at the University of California, Davis.
The study, which examined the health records of 759 golden retrievers, found a surprising doubling of hip dysplasia among male dogs neutered before one year of age. This and other results were published Feb. 13 in theonline scientific journal PLOS ONE.
The study results indicate that dog owners and service-dog trainers should carefully consider when to have their male or female dogs neutered, said lead investigator Benjamin Hart, a distinguished professor emeritus in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
It is important to remember, however, that because different dog breeds have different vulnerabilities to various diseases, the effects of early and late neutering also may vary from breed to breed, he said.
While results of the new study are revealing, Hart said the relationship between neutering and disease-risk remains a complex issue. For example, the increased incidence of joint diseases among early-neutered dogs is likely a combination of the effect of neutering on the young dogs growth plates as well as the increase in weight on the joints that is commonly seen in neutered dogs.
How To Identify An Overweight Golden Retriever
Use your eyes and hands. If you can see her ribs, shes too skinny. But if you cant feel them, shes too fat!
A survey in 2012 showed that 62.7% of Golden Retrievers in America are either obese or overweight.
While it might look cute or funny, overweight dogs actually have shorter lifespans. Being excessively chubby shaves off two years and causes health issues.
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Do Dogs Get Depressed After Being Spayed Or Neutered
You should expect changes in behavior when your dog returns home from fixing surgery, both resulting from the trauma of the surgery and the changes in their hormone levels. Exactly how their behavior will be different varies greatly. You can expect aggression, or anxiety and clinginess. But this should only last for a few weeks as they adjust.
For Female Golden Retrievers
For females, their sexual hormones play an important role in their growth. It is ideal that you wait out at least one heat cycle before you get their reproductive system removed. ;Again it is important that you keep them on a tight leash and not let them leave the house.
The ideal age for neutering is around 8-10 months, right after their first heat. Some females can go into heat as early as five months so make sure to watch out for that.
Again these are our suggestions and it is best that you consult a vet to determine the best age to neuter a Golden Retriever.
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What Are Spaying And Neutering
Both spaying and neutering are when you fix your dog so they are no longer able to reproduce.
Spaying is the process for female dogs and involves an operation that removes their reproductive organs. Neutering is the process for male dogs and involves removing their testicles.
The term fixed is used for dogs that have been spayed or neutered, though it is also not uncommon to hear neutered used as a generic term for both male and female dogs. Dogs that have not been fixed are referred to as intact.
As we have already said, there are a variety of reasons you might choose to put your dog through this process. It protects against overpopulation in general and unwanted pregnancy on a specific level. It can help diminish behaviour issues such as territorial behavior and humping. It can also help protect against certain health issues. For example, it significantly decreases the risk of testicular and pancreatic cancer in male dogs.
You should always speak to your vet to decide whether spaying or neutering is the right choice for you and your dog.
When To Neuter Spay Or Breed Your Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers are one of the most popular breeds of dogs due to their intelligence, gentle nature, and ease in training, and this can cause owners to wonder whether and when they should neuter, spay, or breed these dogs.
Fortunately, experts in overall canine health, breeding, and veterinary medicine are conducting new studies and research to examine the ethics and long-term effects of neutering, spaying, and breeding and when they should take place.
So, when should your golden retriever be neutered, spayed, or bred? When it comes to surgical sterilization through spaying and neutering, most experts agree that golden retrievers should be between one and two years old before undergoing such procedures. As for breeding, its recommended that golden retrievers reach full physical maturity before mating, which usually occurs around 24 months but can vary among individual retrievers.
Neutering, spaying, and breeding are all practices involving human intervention in the life cycle and natural selection of dogs.
Therefore, these procedures and decisions should be heavily considered by pet owners to promote the health, well-being, and quality of life for their dogs.
When it comes to your golden retriever, none of these practices should be undertaken without extensive research and reputable veterinary care.
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Golden Retriever Life Expectancy
In Golden Retrievers, taller dogs tend to have a shorter life expectancy. As noted previously, spaying your dog before her first heat cycle is likely to make her taller.
In a study done of pets in the Golden Retriever Club of America, the shortest females that were studied lived 1.1 years longer than the tallest females.
The difference in sizes was even more distinguished in male dogs.
The tallest males lived 2.2 years less than the shortest males. Spaying or neutering your dog after they finish growing is associated with a shorter, stockier dog, which may make them live longer.
When You Should Neuter Your Puppy According To Science
A 10-year study lays out guidelines for pet owners and veterinarians for each of 35 dog breeds to assist in making a neutering decision.
Some dog breeds have higher risk of developing certain cancers and joint disorders if neutered or spayed within their first year of life. Until now, studies had only assessed that risk in a few breeds. A new, 10-year;study;by researchers at the University of California, Davis, examined 35 dog breeds and found vulnerability from neutering varies greatly depending on the breed. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
There is a huge disparity among different breeds, said lead author Benjamin Hart, distinguished professor emeritus at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Hart said there is no one size fits all when it comes to health risks and the age at which a dog is neutered. Some breeds developed problems, others didnt. Some may have developed joint disorders but not cancer or the other way around.
In most breeds examined, the risk of developing problems was not affected by age of neutering.
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Are There Other Options
If youre doing what I am doing and looking at this research and reconsidering what you had considered a decision well made? I really dont blame you.
The good news is that there are other options. Its good to know that there are other options available.
So, Yes there are other options! On the presumption that these issues are caused by the lack of hormones there are a couple of ways to keep hormones but not facilitate breeding.
How Long Will My Dog Be In Pain After A Fixing Operation
Your dog should only feel discomfort for a few days after a spaying or neutering operation, and shouldnt be showing symptoms of distress for more than a week. That is except the discomfort of wearing a cone and not being able to jump around. They should be prevented from damaging their stitches for at least two weeks after the operations.
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Male Dog Neutering: Case Of Golden Retrievers
Male dog neutering can be a rather touchy topic but it has some very practical benefits.
The term;neutering;simply means to de-sex an animal.;Technically it can refer to both females and males.;But for some reason the term is more commonly associated with males.
Maybe thatâs because most men canât stand the word;castration.;They shudder at the mere idea of a scalpel going âdown there.â
For the sake of our discussion about male dog neutering, weâll limit the term;neuter;to a reference to males.
Orthopedic Issues From Spaying
Studies, such as those reported by the Purina Pro Club, show that pets that are spayed earlier tend to be taller pets.
The lack of sex hormones means that the growth plates in their bones take longer to close, generally making them taller. Your dogs body proportions can then be altered, which can increase the risk for joint issues.
Common joint problems that arise in Golden Retrievers as a result of spaying too early include hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. These problems can lead to dogs developing arthritis, especially at a younger age.
Unfortunately, when a dog of any breed tears his or her ACL in one leg, they tend to be at a higher risk of tearing the ACL in their other leg, which results in an expensive and painful problem.
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Answers On Spaying Your Golden Retriever Dog
Many Studies show that spayed female golden retrievers outlive non-spayed canines.;Spaying entails the excision of the ovaries and uterus. It is the golden retriever version of a human hysterectomy.
Spaying a dog is recommended if your are owner of female golden retrievers because it helps prevent breast cancer and another condition called pyometra . Both these conditions maybe are detrimental to a golden retriever’s lifecycle. Nearly 50 percent of female golden retrievers die every year from breast cancer.
Spaying a female golden retriever prior to her first menstruation cycle provides it with the protection from pyometra and breast cancer.
In male golden retriever dogs, neutering represents a myriad of advantages too. For instance, it can prevent them from unwanted litters and testicular cancer . Additionally, neutered golden retrievers are less likely to runaway from home. It can mean that an golden retriever owner does not have to worry about their golden retriever digging a trench or escaping only to be injured.
Neutering a male golden retriever involves surgical removal of the testicles. One of the underlining advantages of having a golden retriever neutered or spayed is that they will not mark their territory by spraying a strong urine. Neutered golden retrievers are more family-driven.
To avoid early golden retriever aggressive behaviour, neutering is recommended early on.
Health Issues That Can Influence A Puppys Growth
Certain issues, such as hookworm or ringworms, might compromise your Goldens growth. This will prevent her from reaching her full potential.
If left untreated, it can cause lasting damage to their bones, muscles, immune system, skin, and digestive system.
Being ill for an extended period might also affect her development. Your puppy may be stunted due to malnutrition.
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Should You Wait Till Two Years Of Age
One of the questions Im always asked is when to have your golden retriever neutered or spayed. For so long, in the breeder community and beyond, the answer was as soon as possible. Mostly this answer stems from shelters trying to prevent overpopulation and euthanization. Recent studies suggest a different view because early neutering comes at a cost with disregard to the health of the puppy
First and foremost I am not a veterinarian. So I am not offering a medical perspective, rather my observations. A new study was done recently by UC Davis. The article by UC Davis is titled Neutering health effects more severe for golden retrievers than Labradors. The actual study results are found here: Long-Term Health Effects of Neutering Dogs