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Updated: Nov 27, 2022



Paediatric is under 6 months, Early is under full maturity (around 18 months- 24 months+).

Paediatric neutering( PN)/spaying (PS)& Early Spay (ES)/ Early Neutering (EN) is a taboo subject with different opinions- there are still a handful of vets who follow outdated information and recommend to new owners. They only recommend it because of ‘overpopulation’ in dogs, the overcrowding in rescue centres, outdated information, the stigma against certain breeds, and old myths such as preventing or stopping behavioural issues (marking or aggression for example).

Medical necessity aside such as a puppy with one testicle, while there are a handful of benefits for this procedure such as preventing 2 types of cancers- extensive research by grad students, researchers, vets, vet hospitals and those other specialised research proves it’s actually not as beneficial as once believed for our beloved animals, that comes with harsh and even irreversible health issues and consequences.

In my opinion, as well as many professionals, unless a dog medically needs it they should stay intact. However, that’s just my personal views of my dogs which I understand isn’t realistic for a lot of owners. If you want to neuter or spay, my advice based on scientific evidence would be to wait until they are at least 2 years old. This of course isn’t a set rule, it’s a breed-by-breed case, so if you have a larger dog it’d be neutered at 3-4 years old compared to a smaller breed. Or look into other options such as Ovary Sparing Spay (OSS) and vasectomies which can be done at ANY age and prevents unwanted litter, without the increased health risks.

PN/PS ES/EN prevents several types of cancers (testicular for example) while increasing the risks of 20+ more; bladder cancer, osteosarcoma (bone cancer) , cardiac hemangiosarcoma (cancer in the blood vessels, common), splenic hemangiosarcoma (cancer in the spleen, most common spleen cancer) , and the even more common prostate cancer. It doesn’t stop there, it also increases joint diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia, stunts growth, incontinence, joint issues, Atopic dermatitis, autoimmune hemolytic anaemia, hypoadrenocorticism, immune-medicated polyarthritis, cruciate injuries, inflammatory bowel disease, IVDD and the list goes on. There are also current studies still ongoing.

Your dog/Female NEEDS their hormones and their growth palettes to close. Imagine this being equivalent to puberty for humans, we need to go through our different development stages and receive our hormones. Otherwise, your dog/female development is ‘stuck’ in a puppy-like manner and will never mature to their full potential; Some of the Growth palettes don’t close until 17-19 months+ (of course, breed by breed basis). PS/PN ES/EN affects their growth palettes, it can cause them to grow taller than average, leggy, lankier and ‘roach backed’. Most PN/PS EN/ES are either very small and undefined for their breed, or a giant in their breed compared to intact or waited at a more appropriate time.

When allowed to develop properly, they will fill out, be more defined, better bone density and coat quality- they mature in adults properly.

Now of course, there are several variables that can affect a dog’s structure and development such as their diet, environment, and training regimen; we do have ‘throwback genes’ too, just as we can look like our (great+) grandparents, so they can also have slimmer features down to genetics. Each pup to their litter won’t be identical, some are genetically slim while others are genetically slow growers. Or even if the breeding pair wasn’t compatible, producing pups that reflect that- (choosing a sire for a dam takes a lot of factors, however when all things are ticked off (i.e health testing etc), they should also be physically compatible and match) however there is a visual difference between genetics and stunted development from PN/PS EN/ES.

There’s also a common myth that states a girl should be bred from before you spay her- this just isn’t true either. Do not breed unless you’ve thoroughly researched what breeding means, including if your pet should be bred from- which a lot are not. Breeding shouldn’t be done on a whim as will be damaging. This isn’t a ‘get rich quick scheme’.

Another recommendation from some professionals too is to early neuter/spay or paediatric neuter/spay if your pet has behavioural issues.**** De-sexing WILL NOT put a stop to issues such as marking, aggression to you/other people, food aggression, biting, aggression with other dogs, or the most common - humping. Only a TRAINER or behavioural specialist will help fix these issues as this is a behavioural problem.

For example, humping isn’t necessarily a sexual desire for dogs, this can simply be pent-up energy, overstimulation, or over-excitement! This can commonly happen when guests arrive, meet new people/dogs, play

, or come home from a walk. There are also recent studies that have shown that PN/PS EN/ES actually increases fearfulness and even aggression in dogs, among other psychological and behavioural issues.

You need to train your dogs, and give them a purpose. Your working breeds absolutely thrive on a purpose but they need to be trained properly, this goes for every breed too.

Also to add, this isn’t to bash vets! So please, no harsh comments insulting them. They do a brilliant job, however just like humans, when they give a recommendation for a procedure or give a diagnosis- always ask for a second opinion, even a third or go to the relevant specialist. I commend vets for all they do.

Remember that this is always a personal decision, you know what’s best for your lifestyle and your family so this post isn’t to pressure you to keep intact pets, only to provide information that isn’t always easily accessible or wildly spoken about.

I understand it’s not reasonable for every pet owner to keep an intact dog, especially those who have many dogs of the opposite sex, our rescue centres are overrun! There are better options, putting our ANIMAL’s well-being first. I know many rescue centres have stopped paediatric neutering and spaying, but so many still do this outdated practice. Which can actually add to the problem, as not many owners can afford the medical bills this outdated practice can cause-resulting in surrendering the animal. OSS and vasectomies are a better options, and can be done even as a puppy.

So in conclusion, your decision is your decision, the recommended age to desex is 2 years

minimum (breed by breed basis so you may have to wait longer depending)to allow your dog to go through ‘puberty’ , to wait for their growth palettes to mature and close, and for them to fully mature. Or if you want to remain intact you can, there are other options too, such as vasectomy and Ovary Sparing Spay, this prevents unwanted litters while also allowing them to keep their hormones mature properly without the increased cancer risks, this procedure can be done at any age as it doesn’t affect the development.

For more in-depth advice, please consult your local vets to make a decision that fits your household😌.

I can provide more links if anyone is interested- these are all written by vets, animal hospitals or those qualified.

🚨 This one is the BEST link 🚨

OSS&Vasectomy information 🙂

Pictures- Example of the difference between paediatric neutering/spaying and remaining intact (litter mates), and those allowed to have their first season and develop properly (remain intact).

Written and researched by Bunny French.

Fantastic Page for Information on Spaying and Neutering

Found this article and wanted to share to all my Southernwindk9 families, Please DONT ALLOW YOUR VET TO CONVINCE YOU OTHERWISE!

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