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Preventive Care

Best Time to Spay

May 18, 2015, 5:35 PM
Q: I understand that the best time to spay my yorkie is between 5-6 months of age. It has been suggested to me that this is also the optimum time because any remaining baby teeth that have not come out on their own by this time can be removed while the pup is under anesthesia for the spaying. It has also been suggested to me that having my baby spayed earlier than the 5-6 months could potentially cause urinary incontinence. What are your thoughts on the above info. I certainly don't want to cause my puppy any harm. Our baby is going to the vet tomorrow for shots and she is now 4 and a half months old. Should we schedule her spaying at 5 months based on the above concerns or should we wait longer ?
A: I have always strongly been against "juvenile" spays, meaning less than 5 months. I recommend shooting for 5 1/2 months. The reasons are: full capability of the bladder sphincter (control valve) is not achieved until some exposure to estrogen which typically occurs around 5 months and I also believe dogs spayed at less than 5 months hold onto more "baby fat" and juvenile body proportions. There is no big rush to remove any remaining temporary teeth so 5 1/2 months is a good time. You can find plenty of info recommending juvenile spays, much of which is generated by groups seeking to curb the puppy population explosion and also some from legitimate medical sources but I believe 5-6 months is s good time. You do not want to let her come into heat for both preventive medical reasons related to breast tumors and also for convenience.