I’d always been told to spay or neuter my animals before they were six months old. It was supposed to prevent mammary cancers and keep male dogs calm. So, I took Rosie to the vet this week and asked to get her on the schedule to be done within the next two months, as she is currently four months old.
Interestingly, the vet told me they are now not so sure about the link between mammary cancers and early spay/neuter. The thinking now is that early castration delays closure of the growth plates in the dogs’ joints, causing dogs to have longer limbs, narrower bodies, and lighter-weight bones. The delay in growth plate closure can lead to the development of hip dysplasia and knee problems.
The problem of course, is that the dog goes through several heat cycles before the growth plates close normally at 18 – 24 months, depending on breed. Thus, you are at increased risk of creating more puppies who may end up on the streets or in shelters. Quite a conundrum.
It’s a balancing act, and you should definitely discuss the issue with your vet before making a decision that’s right for your dog and your family.
So, to get to our poll, how old was your dog when you spayed/neutered?
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!