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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10061
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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We just got a standard poodle that is turning 1 year old

Customer Question

We just got a standard poodle that is turning 1 year old tomorrow and has not been fixed. There seems to be a great debate regarding when you should get a female dog spayed, either before or after her first heat. She has not gone into heat yet but understand it could essentially be any day now. We have an appointment on Tuesday to get her spayed but my wife is now having reservations about having her spayed before she goes into heat with the primary concern being her growth. What should we do?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 3 months ago.

Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I am not set up to do phone calls but would be happy to answer any questions you do have online. If you get a request for a phone call, it is from the website and not myself. You can probably find different opinions on this, and each have their good arguments. I prefer to spay before the first heat cycle. The reason being is that even if you spay right after the first heat cycle, it increases their chance for mammary cancer later in life 14 fold. If spayed before the first heat cycle, you usually eliminate the chance of mammary cancer. The only reason I would be concerned about growth is if she has a very immature and recessed vulva. In these cases, if the vulva doesn't develop more, it can lead to chronic urinary tract infections. If the conformation is normal, that shouldn't be a concern. I don't worry about it stunting their growth. There have been no scientific studies that have shown this to be true. I just worry more about them developing more weight problems. With a controlled diet and exercise, that shouldn't be a concern, though. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.

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