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Thread: Desexing - Before or After a Season?

  1. #1
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    Question Desexing - Before or After a Season?

    Had a phone call from a client's friend who wanted general info about my boarding etc for some time in the future. She has a maltese x shih tzu who is about 4 1/2 months old, female. Anyway we got chatting and the subject of desexing came up, they are planning to do it at 6 months, to which I said great. She then went on to say that a few people had mentioned it was better to let the dog have a first season (some even said let her have a litter! Lucky she said no way to THAT one!) as it helps with the pups maturity - but they couldn't tell her what that meant, so she asked my opinion.

    Now obviously, coming from a rescue perspective I told her that I'd rather desex the pup asap and hope that she doesn't have her first season. Yes I have strong views about this, and while I may not change MY mind about it, I'd rather be able to have a balanced view about the pros and cons. And it annoyed me that I couldn't answer her question fully.

    I kind of understand the whole concept of big dogs/solid built dogs needing time to mature, growths plates etc, but what about the little dogs? Does it really make a difference? If a pup (let's say any size) is desexed before it's first season is there really any health risks or even psychological risks.

    I guess no matter what size dog I'd always go the desex route (and I am talking about a pet only, not for show etc). But I'd still like to understand this, I've seen discussion about it before, but I've never really seen anything that makes me go "hmm, maybe a bitch SHOULD be allowed to have a season".

    Gawd, did that make sense?

    In My Home Dog Minding
    www.greyhoundrescue.com.au

  2. #2
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    IMO it makes little or no difference to medium and small breeds. I've advised my whippet puppy owners to have it done around 7 months. Being site hounds we have a bit more time.

    And it's just a personal preference to let the large and giant breeds mature physically for appearances sake. So again IMO not a necessity.

  3. #3
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    Is it physical maturity or behavioral maturity that your client's friend wants to know about?

    I don't know much about female dogs, but even I've heard that letting them have a season (not a litter) can help them become more sensible? Not that it's really relevant for me anyway, but I am curious about the replies.

  4. #4
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    Great thread, Grey's.

    In the old days (lol, here we go again) many vets preferred to de-sex dogs when they were VERY young puppies. Back then many vets did not see the requirement to let dogs have more phsycial, mental and structural maturity before de-sexing. The issue of any risk was weighed to be far less than the issue of so many dogs falling pregnant.

    But with time and education comes change. Today, as you know, it is widely believed by veterinarians and the likes that it is best to allow them longer to develop. The whole idea of the 6 month aspect is to get the dogs in to be de-sexed before their first season.

    Personally speaking, unless one is keeping a dog or bitch specifically for showing or breeding purposes, there's no way on this earth I would allow them to have any season! I would make sure that option was removed before it began.

  5. #5
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    I suppose as an additive I would state that IMO having a season has very little to do with mental maturity or physical maturity. It does have to do with sexual maturity though. IMO for a companion dog there is nothing better than one who has been de-sexed before experiencing any of that.

  6. #6
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    I followed my breeders advice and did not de-sex my Rottie. Only because I knew I could keep her safe from other dogs as I definately do not have the experience to breed dogs of her pedigree.
    I really noticed a huge difference in her behaviour, concentration and affection once she came into season. Her obedience has improved so much as well. It also let her body fill out. It was a hard time but in my very limited experience well worth the three weeks effort.
    I have her booked in to be de-sex next Tuesday!!! I hope she recovers quickly!

  7. #7
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    If you are not going to breed from it I really dont think there is anything to be gained by letting them have a season. IMO.

    Breeding, Showing, Training and general crazy making!!!
    If you seek understanding listen to the music, not the song.

  8. #8
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    I agree, I have no knowledge on it medically, it is just my preference. I had no choice with Pretty but Jodi will be done in just over 2 weeks, at 5 and a half months.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  9. #9
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    My setter grew a brain after being de-sexed.

    One of my best trialling dogs was de-sexed at 6 months old. She was a little runt we kept and then couldn't sell because we fell in love with her. She never had a season.

    I like large to giant breeds to have a season because I like them to physically mature.

  10. #10
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    We recommend between 4 and 6 months of age, before they actually become 'sexually' mature. Large to giant breeds are encouraged to be done between 6 and 10 months, because majority don't even have their first heat till they are 12-24 months old.
    Desexing a female before her first season almost completely elliminates the risk of her getting mammory cancer.
    Education not Legislation

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