Author Topic: To Spay or Not  (Read 175 times)

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Offline AndyB

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To Spay or Not
« on: November 08, 2020, 09:30:56 PM »
I have had Maisie for almost 4 months now.  It has been quite a hard road and not without incident.  However, at last I feel we are making progress.  She will now sleep through the night without barking, |she suffered from dreadful separation anxiety when I first got her),  although she does wake early - between 5.30 and 6.00 a.m.   As long as I have not been disturbed this is not too much of a problem.  She is now going to the door and asking to go out.  There have been quite a few accidents in the house and at times I have despaired of her ever being house trained.  She is definitely a one woman dog and a complete cuddle monster with me.  However, she will still not let anyone who visits stroke or touch her. 

When I got Maisie I was told she may be infertile as she had never had a season, she is just 2 years old now.  Last night I realised she had come into season, which was quite a surprise.  My question is does anyone have a cocker bitch who they have chosen not to have spayed, although they have absolutely no intention of breeding from the dog.  Maisie has been through so much in her short life and in a way I was hoping she would prove to be infertile so I would not have to put her through being spayed.  Also, she has a beautiful silky coat and I know neutering would spoil her coat.  I have owned two female cockers and two males and all of them have been neutered at some stage.  I would welcome your opinions.

Also, does anyone know if it is possible to establish breed lines from a blood test.  I have no pedigree for Maisie.  She is a beautiful example of the breed and I would love to know her breed lines.  Maisie is blue roan. 

Offline ejp

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Re: To Spay or Not
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2020, 09:58:43 PM »
Daisy hasn't been spayed.  She had a really rough start in life and was not really able to be handled.  We were asked to take her as we had no dogs, no kids and few visitors.  initially we thought Daisy had been spayed, as I believe the people who had her indicated to the rescue that it had been done.  Maybe they thought they wouldn't take her if they said she hadn't.  We have no issues whatsoever in dealing with her, but a muzzle is needed at the vets and she doesn't share the waiting room, we stay in the car until the place is empty.  Our groomer has a lot of patience, has rescue dogs herself,  and she loves going now for a trim.  We had her quite a while when she came into season.  Very surprised.  We spoke at length about having her spayed, had a chat with the vet, and decided not to put her through the stress.  Hope that helps.

Offline Mari

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Re: To Spay or Not
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2020, 11:05:14 PM »
Where I'm from it's more common to not spay than it is to spay. It's technically illegal to spay/neuter a dog without a medical reason in my country. Most bitches remain intact unless they have a medical issue or repeated pseudopregnancies. I'm not against spaying at all, my own bitch is spayed. But I believe the health benefits gained from spaying is decreased after two years of age, don't remember the exact numbers but my girl was spayed at around two years old and the decreased risk of mammary tumours was not as decreased as it would have been with an early spay. Still nice to not have to worry about pyometra though. I would look at the benefits and maybe chat with your vet. If there is not much health benefit to gain from it, then there is no reason to put her through the stress. You just have to keep an eye on her cycles and make sure there are no unwanted puppies in her future. I would definitely never trust claims of infertility. Especially not when she cycles. Some bitches have "silent heats" where they bleed little or not at all. So unless previous owners paid close attention to her behaviour, they could have missed her heat. I think spay/neuter decisions should be made on a case to case basis. What are the benefits? Do they outweigh the risk and stress a surgery will put on this particular dog? If you feel confident that you can avoid unwanted litters, like most responsible owners can most of the time, then it's all about choosing the route that you and your vet feel gives the best welfare for your dog  :luv:

Offline Pearly

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Re: To Spay or Not
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2020, 03:03:55 PM »
Given your beautiful girl is deaf I would suggest not spaying until she’s been with you for at least a couple of years.  You’ll know her better then and how anxious (or not) she is.   Spaying an anxious dog can exacerbate their state.  It’s not uncommon for working cocker spaniels to have late first seasons c15 months and I am aware of a show type that had not come into season at 18 months, was spayed and had no evidence of either having had a season or coming into season!  She’s a lovely dog but quite timid.

I wonder if your girl is not quite as old as perhaps you’ve been led to believe?

The dna tests are usually to identify genetic markers, specific medical conditions and traits (Embark).  Wisdom offer a dna test that will tell you if your girl is 100% cocker spaniel or a mix of breeds but not the lines - not sure any would be able to release that information from a data protection point of view?

Looking forward to seeing you at some point post COVID and meeting your new addition x

Offline AndyB

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Re: To Spay or Not
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2020, 07:32:10 AM »
Thank you all for the advice.  My gut feeling at the moment is to wait.  Maisie is settling with me very well but is still anxious of other people and visitors.  Maisie being in season has not been too much of a problem.  Plenty of washing admittedly, but otherwise it's been fine.  Where I walk her is very quiet and if we do meet another dog it is always on a lead and Maisie does not engage in "sniffing" anyway.  I will definitely wait and see how long it is before she comes into season next, it could be longer than the normal 6 months.  At the moment I just feel being spayed could set her back and I really don't want that to happen.  I too was chosen to be Maisie's new owner because I now live on my own, since the death of my husband.  I do not have children and live in a very quiet cul de sac with a large garden.  This has proved to be perfect for Maisie.  She doesn't appear to like men very much and I definitely think she has been hit in her previous life.  Admittedly my vet's practice is all female but I'm definitely not going to rush into making this decision. 

Lovely to hear from you Jayne.  Hope you and your "gang" are all well and staying safe in these difficult times.

Offline Pearly

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Re: To Spay or Not
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2020, 10:49:04 AM »
Such a relief when they do come into season, at last!  The waiting can be the hardest part and her second season should be easier for both of you.  Wise to let her mature physically and mentally before making a decision. 

All good here thanks.  Pearl is not so well at the moment, awaiting test results which should be back later next week.  Thats the main reason for reappearing on here, bit of research on the various things it may be!

Take care and stay well,
Jayne xx

Offline ips

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Re: To Spay or Not
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2020, 10:52:44 PM »
I chose not to Spey even though I had no intention of breeding from her only because I am not comfortable with surgery for no reason. She is now six years old and seasons are no issue other than being problematic if during game season
Muddling along in the hope that one day it all makes sense.