My gsd is almost 6 months old. We do not plan to breed her. What is an appropriate age to spay her? I've heard wait until after her 1st heat. Any thoughts?
Personally I would not spay a bitch prior to maturity, sex hormones govern more the fertility.
I would never fix(brake) any dog.
But bitch I would concider at 5-7 years old, or no sooner then full maturity.
Often spaying is the safest way to ensure that a bitch doesnt get caught. I've known bitches to literally chew their way out of places to get to a male.
I have found that if bitches have 2 season - with the first being after 6 months and then the 2nd 6months later, is usually ok. Its amazing to watch them change/mature with each season. If you can afford to wait until they are 2 years old then do, however I have had no bad experiences with the 2 season rule. Also make sure the bitch is in the middle of her cycle when you spay her, as you halt her in what ever stage she is at, and you dont want her post or pre season when the op is done.
I personally wouldn't spay a bitch until 2 years old preferably 3
bitches need time to mature physically and emotionally
If a bitch goes through one heat, her chance of breast cancer increases from almost zero to about 8%. If she goes through two heats, her chance of breast cancer shoots up to about one in four. As you can imagine, breast cancer in a dog can be a nightmare. Sometimes the entire mammary chain on both sides has to be surgically removed. This requires multiple surgeries--there isn't enough skin to stretch across to do it with one surgery. All of this is hell on the dog and horribly expensive. And you can still lose the dog. This is why vets like to spay when the bitch is about six months old, before the first heat.
There would have to be some REAL medical problem before I would spay any bitch under 2yrs of age and 6 months is totally unacceptable in my book!
Susan, let me ask you a question what dose breast cencer has to do with fixing? hmmm can I see some medical research that makes this claim?