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I have a wonderful Irish Setter, Rosie, she is just over a year old. I am wondering whether to get her spaying to avoid health problems but really don't won't to loose her perfect coat.


If anyone has any advice that would be great.

Also Before and After pictures of spayed Irish Setters would be great!


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My vet has never suggested spaying or neutering to me, but then I'm lucky, he has setters!!

Haha, the people i work with at the vets have pedigree dogs so they understand the both sides i guess but no one has setters. As i am new to this profession i am taught to provide all the info when helping clients to decide but as vets are there for health we are slightly biased.

I suppose there is no right or wrong answer :)

Oh right, i would say Rosie has a flat coat compared to most, my parents saw a 12 yr old IS who was spayed and her coat was very wavy and heavy before and now her coat awful and fluffy but i said her age would of affected her coat as well.

I'm not sure didn't really understand the websites :/ havent learnt alot about thyroidism yet. I'll get back to you on that :)

Good luck Charlotte with whatever you decide to do. As you work with vets you would possibly see more sides of the coin then we do. Fingers crossed that her coat is not too shaggy. 

Thank you :) and my clinical couch at the vets also works in an emergency clinic and has seen some horrifing cases, so she has quite a strong opinon on the matter of pyo's and toxaemia sounds awful.

Fingers will be crossed on the day :) But as i wont be showing or breeding her it wont be the worst thing in the world if it does go really bad, will be a huge shame though. I'll be working hard on her coat if it does :) she doesnt mind what i do with her. She gets messed about with so much for my training including restraining, claw clipping and constant health checks :)

Just would like to add that I have been told the best time to spay a bitch to keep the coat is mid way between seasons.  Perhaps someone else might enlarge on that.  It could be of use to you.

Yeah, we usually spay 2 months after the season has ended as the uterus is to tender when in season so its to risky. But i havent heard it helps with the coat :) but thank you, has anyone else heard that?

I never heard anything about it, and I doubt it helps... =(

No matter when you do it, you'll still be causing hormonal changes, and it's this adjustment that sometimes causes the coat changes. Saddly, setters seem to be one of the most affected breeds!

As far as my experience goes, my girl was spayed precisely between heats (not planned, it just happened that way) and her coat still suffered some changes. It's really anoying to see a great coat become not so great, but you'll surely find a way to manage it and still have a girl with an amazing coat!

Teresa, I was told it might work......shame really because it could have been a good solution.  Ah well!!

When I lived at home many years ago we had an Irish Setter bitch spayed at 11 years old with Pyo and she came through it fine and lived another 2 years.  I had to have a bitch spayed in 2000 at 6 1/2 years old as her seasons got closer and closer together until they were only 3 1/2 months apart.  I cried all the way to the vets and all the way home.  I managed to keep her coat by giving her one incurin tablet daily for 5 years and also a little bit more grooming than before she was spayed.  I believe the Incurin also helped to stop her being incontinent at that time but for the last year of her life she leaked urine and so the normal dose of 1 and then 2 tablets a day was given, I am lucky that I go to bed late and would put her out at midnight and my husband who starts work early would put her out at 5am so she didn't have to go more than 5 hours without a wee.  If she went longer it was wet dog and wet bedding, urine smelling, yuck, that was the bit I hated the most and the main reason I wouldn't have a bitch spayed just for the sake of it.  They hate being wet and smelly and it upsets them plus when they are older they don't like the grooming and bathing and winter time it's harder to constantly have a wet dog and bedding to dry.  The only bitch I owned who had mammary tumours was the one who was injected with Delvesterone all of her life and that is a set back with giving that drug.  One got quite big and was removed when she was 12, no problems with Pyo though.  I wouldn't ever contemplate interfering with a dog or bitch unless absolutely necessary

Oh thats interesting to hear, how old was the incontinent girl when she got spayed? because thats a very small risk when spaying a dog after the age of about 1 as the main reason for incontinence problems after spaying is with young girls that havent had a chance to grow fully and mature resulting in the urinary system not being fully developed.

I guess there is still a small chance when mature but it might juts be her age causing that.

Thank you for warning me though :) it would be awful if that happened to Rosie, she is a bit funny going out at night to loo anyway so that really wouldnt help :/ 




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