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My Pets

Why I’m Waiting to Spay My Female German Shepherd

Our 10-month old German Shepherd (GS) started her first heat cycle today.  I was getting Li, our six-year old Pekingese mix, and Lola, our GS puppy, out for a walk when I noticed dark drops on the floor.  The first thought I had was “When did I spill coffee?” After staring at the drops for a little while longer, it finally dawned on me that “Lola is in heat!”

Her vet wanted me to get her spayed at six months.  The breeder said to wait until Lola had passed two heat cycles.  I decided to follow what the breeder recommended after reading about the study that was done on German Shepherds.  The study looked at the records of 1,170 dogs for over 14 years.  German Shepherds are known to have joint disorders so the study was to do analysis on how to reduce this from occurring.  It was found that the chance a German Shepherd would have joint issues if they were spayed between six months to 12 months. This is from the study from the writeup on American Veterinarian web site:

“In their findings, the researchers noted that 6.6% of intact male German Shepherds experienced at least one joint disorder, as compared to 20.8% of males neutered at under six months of age. That fell to 16.4% for males neutered at six to 11 months. Hip dysplasia was the most commonly experienced joint disorder.

For intact females, joint disorders occurred in 5.1% of those studied, as compared to 12.5% in those neutered at under six months of age. The rate rose to 17% in females neutered at six to 11 months.”

After doing a lot of reading and watching videos, I am waiting until she is over a year old.  This will reduce her chances of getting joint disorders, and the chance of her getting cancer is still low. For now, I have her wearing diapers so she doesn’t drop blood on the carpet.  My office is in my bedroom and it’s carpeted.  I do not want to leave her in the crate all day, so she has to wear a diaper.  I am proud that she hasn’t even attempted to rip it off.

I contacted the breeder, and she said Lola will be exhausted and not feeling her best.  It’s the same as when we get our menstrual cycles, so I know how she feels. I also let the dog walker and kids know that Lola is not allowed to be off leash until she is out of heat. I am thinking it might be best to make sure to walk her far away from other dogs just in case.

It’s not as bad as I thought it would be because the diaper helps, but I have to be extra vigilant.

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