Spay after first or second heat?

Discussion in 'Health & Nutritional Care' started by Jarena, May 15, 2018.

  1. Jarena

    Jarena Well-Known Member

    So now we are one week into Lettie’s first heat. She is almost 13 months old. When she was a pup she had issues with a recessed vulva and multiple UTIs. It has been suggested to me to wait for her second heat so that maybe her vulva will “pop out” a bit more. I’m not too worried about that (could be wrong) because we haven’t had an issue with UTIs since she was a pup. She may have outgrown that, and I think she does a better job at cleaning herself.

    So, what other benefits are there to waiting longer? Or are there any benefits to spaying after the first heat? Also, we are considering having the Gastropexy procedure done at the time of spay. We haven’t decided yet on that one. Does anyone have opinions on that?
  2. April Nicole

    April Nicole Well-Known Member

    I myself would wait. Because she is still growing and spaying will cause a change in hormones. And since she did so well with her first heat, it probably wouldn't hurt for her to go through another. Just my opinion though
    Jarena likes this.
  3. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    I think it's not so much about how many heats, but age. If she's not having issues with UTIs then I don't know that I see the benefit of waiting for a set number of heats. Generally spaying between 18-24 months is good for getting the benefit of hormones for growth and maturity. The chances of mammary cancer increase with each heat, so that's a concern. It's also a more difficult surgery the older they get and the more fat coverage there is. I would expect her to have another heat in six months (just a general guess) and then it's recommended that you wait for hormones to level back out before spaying, so as close to the middle of the cycle. Usually 2-3 months after the heat ends.

    Just some facts about mammary cancer for you, because it's important to know the actual numbers when making decisions.
    Jarena and April Nicole like this.
  4. Jarena

    Jarena Well-Known Member

    Thank you both for your responses! The information you both provided is exactly what I was looking for.
    Thanks for the article, it’s good to know some numbers. So if Lettie has another heat at about 19 months, we will probably get her spayed at 21-22 months old. If she doesn’t have another heat until 20 months old, maybe we should just go ahead and have her spayed then? So she will have the benefit of having her hormones to help her grow properly, but she won’t have the increased risk of cancer that comes with the second heat.
    April Nicole likes this.
  5. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    I think it would be okay to have her spayed before the second heat. It was very hard with Ella. She had her first heat at 9 months old and cycled every 4 1/2 - 5 months. Her hormones were always whacked. It was also a very difficult recovery for her. They really had to dig around her fat to get to everything. She was altered at just over 4 years. I would choose to do it sooner if I ever have another female.
    Jarena likes this.

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