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I have a 18 month old IS, and I will never breed, but at some stage will have to spay her,
When is a good time to spay to minimise the wooly coat effect?
She has never had a season, though.

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Hi Mario, you don't say why you want to spay your girl and you might want to take a look at a recent discussion on here started by Kay Edwards re neutering....I am not as knowledgeable as many IS owners on here but it seems that the general consensus is NOT to spay uness for health reasons. Perhaps yo cpuld give us a little more info?

I use a dog day care for the 2/3 day week I'm working, and they can't have her when she is in season, as there are other [mainly] male dogs.

It took me a really long time to find someone decent, who gives her the proper walks and play that my dog needs.

I would prefer not to spay her, but i have to be practical, especially if she has 2 seasons a year, and could last 21 days each.

Gosh...drastic measures for daycare.

Why not find a pet sitter instead and then your girl would not have to go through unneccesary surgery.

I know we all have different views on the subject but.........and this is only my opinion, if anyone told me I would have to have one of my girls spayed before they could look after her then I would have to think again and find a alternative.  The only thing that would make me change my mind is if my girls health depended on it.

I had to have a couple of my previous girls spayed and both became incontinent and had to be on medication for the rest of their lives. One of them became so wooly and ginger that people used to ask me if she was a Setter cross.

Advice and opinios vary a lot when it comes to spaying bicthes, but here is what we are told in my school:

If you want to have ZERO chance of having mamary tumours, you should spay before her first season. However, since most bitches have their first season before being fully developed, you are likely to have an incontinent bitch in the future.

If you spay between first and second season, you reduce the risk of tumour to 90% (give or take) and the bitch is not so likely to have incontinence.

If you spay between second and third heat, you still greatly reduce the risck of tumours (I think it's 70% here, but not sure at all!!!) and have less chance of incontinence because most bitches are totally developed at this point.

After the third heat it doesn't matter when you spay, the risk of tumors is the same.

I personally did both my girls between 2nd and 3rd heat. Setters are a large breed when you speak of development, and having an incontinent bitch wouldn't bring me any joy. I'd never spay before the first heat, not only because of the incontinence issu (if the first heat was at 3 or 4 this would not be an issue, of course) but mostly because I always think "what if she never has a heat?". Then, I'd be spending unncessary money and causing her unnecessary pain!

A lot of folks here seem to have spayed bichtes with incontinence problems. I never saw this happen, but still, just to be sure, I'd definetely expelain the vet my deep, deep, concerns about this, to make sure he/she's on their best behaviour!

As for the coat, maybe it changes, maybe it stays the same.... I have no idea is timimng of the surgery has influence, but probably you have more cances of no change if you do it before the first heat (hormone changes never happen) But there is probably someone here more qualified to talk about it than me.

Proper diet and grooming seem to help keep the coat under control. I have a bitch who's coat actually improoved, one stayed the same, and the other got a bit wooly, but once I knew how to manage it, it was no longer an issue.

Luckily I've never experienced incontinence with any of my girls, have actually been shocked reading about all of the cases...I had no idea others did.( Granted they weren't setters)
I now have a Yorkie whom I didn't spay and she has mammary tumors so now I'm riddled with guilt for not spaying her.

I spoke with a local Vet that breeds and shows Cavalier King Charles (or is it KCC'S?) anyway she said a good groomer can keep an IS coat nice should I choose to spay/neuter.

I can understand your daycare not wanting the liability of a possible unsanctioned mating as well as keeping the peace with the other dogs! Lol
I know from reading previous discussions,that people feel very strongly about the issue. I'm not one of them, if I wasn't planning to breed, then I had my dogs spayed/neutered (until my Yorkie) and although they weren't "intact" I never considered them to be broken.
Good luck with your decision and I must admit, the possibility of incontinence is frightening!

Thanks guys for your comments,

I will await her first season and see how it goes and take it from there, whether i will spay between 1st and 2nd season or not at all.

I have already started looking for a daycare while she is in season.

I never had a bitch in heat before, all my previous dogs being neutered.

Just curious....giant breeds are offered a stitch if incontinent. Is this surgery an option for setters?

Season lasts about 20 days but  a bitch is in heat circa 5-7 days, so you have to have her under control  maximum for 10 days for safety. Besides it's not so easy and obvious that the dog immediately will cover the bitch if she will be on somebody's guard.

Here is a photo of Kasia in heat playing with borzois, the male knew at once and we all owners knew that Kasia is in heat but nothing has hapened, they run free for about half an hour.  More photos i've just added to ES

I had an entire male and two girls in an apartament, during the seasons  I left a male in one room, the girl in another one (doors without key, only handle). Of course I know srtories about males opening doors, jumping through fences, running after bitches. So you have to recognize your own situation. But I think there are many ways how to live safely and leave the bitch entire.




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