An edited transcript of the video is provided below:
I get a lot of questions about when is the best time to spay a dog. People come in, they’re really stressed out about it, they want to make the right decision and they’ve gotten all this information from the internet or their breeder or wherever, and the good news is you can relax because…there isn’t a right answer.
There was a study that came out in 2013, which really kind of threw this whole debate into the limelight. They were trying to prove that spaying a dog early causes cancer. The problem is the paper didn’t actually prove that. It showed that some cancers, potentially, are associated with early spaying, and some cancers were associated with late spaying, and some cancers were associated with not spaying at all. And so, when you read deeper into the paper, you realize that you can’t make any conclusion about when the best time to spay a dog truly is. We know one thing for sure. It is clear that if you spay a dog early, and when we mean early, it’s actually 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, there is a much higher association with cruciate ligament disease, or dogs tearing their knee ligament, and that would require a surgery later in life, and that’s a big deal. So, we know one thing is clear. Don’t early spay, and by definition of early, it is 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks young. We want to wait until they are mostly grown.
So, the question is when really should we do it? Our typical recommendation is to spay your dog right before their first heat cycle. And we know that that’s okay because when dogs are growing, their growth curve is exponential, right before their first heat cycle, that’s when they start to, that growth curve starts to slow down. So, if you spay them right before their first heat cycle, then the amount of growth that’s going to happen after that is pretty minimal. If your dog, if their anatomy doesn’t look like it’s fully mature, I might recommend to you to let them go through one heat cycle so that can fully mature and potentially prevent problems like chronic urinary tract infections later in life, but that’s something that we talk about in the exam room based on each individual pet and what’s going to be right for them.
For most dogs, we recommend some time between six and eight months of age if they’re a medium-sized dog. For a larger breed dog, some time between eight months and a year. And for a giant breed dog, I recommend doing it some time between a year and two years depending on the breed. Again, we personalize it based on each individual dog.
So, if you have questions about any of this or want to know when we would recommend it for your dog, feel free to give us a call and schedule an appointment for us to discuss this and tailor our recommendation to your pet.
Encinitas – 760-633-2254
Carlsbad – 760-230-2249