Early Spay Neuter

Breaking News about Desexing

We are very fortunate to have two excellent board certified theriogenologists right here in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dr Burns is my repro vet and an excellent vet. He does all the ultrasounds and xrays and inseminations. Dr Wheeler is a repro vet at Colorado State College of Veterinary Medicine. They put on a seminar each year for breeders. This year the news was that spay/neuter is best done at 12 to 18 months! This allows for full bone growth plate closure and muscular development. This presents a problem because it increases the possibility of accidental puppies. We will discuss this when you pick up your puppy and decide the best plan for each situation, and design the spay-neuter contract accordingly.


PGD pups are no longer undergo spay/neuter at 8 weeks. In the rapidly advancing world of veterinary medicine the latest veterinary journal research shows there is a slight increase in the occurence is hip dysplasia in dogs that have had juvenile spay/neuter. The reason for this is that the bone growth plates close more slowly lacking the hormones that kick in at puberty. This can cause a less than ideal hip joint conformation. The incidence so far is 0.5 %, so the odds are good for the pups out there who had the procedure. I am leaving in my previous reasoning for the procedure. The link below is scary, but doodles are only part golden! Middle ground is called for, because dog overpopulation is to be avoided!



Early Spay Neuter (ESN), the surgical sterilization of puppies as early as eight weeks of age, is an integral part of the PGD breeding program. This message posted to a breeder forum by a veterinarian expresses my philosophy:

I wanted to send a huge thank you to all those breeders who are doing the ES&N program with their hybrid puppies. There is a % of loss during surgery no matter at what age. You can count on this % hitting breeders at some point, the numbers of spays and neuters alone will guarantee that you will hit that %. But, remember that what you are doing is such a benefit to the over population of unwanted dogs and puppies that are being put to death each and every day. THe research, i believe, is one every 4.7 seconds. I have done over 2,000 ES&N's and only have lost one puppy. I feel for Elizabeth and this loss, but I applaud her in her responsible breeding practices and want to let her know that although she has lost a puppy.......she has saved many more from being put to death due to unwanted pregnancies of those dogs that are not spayed in a timely manner by their owners. Research shows that is about 9% of the population for prepaid spays and neuters and higher for others. Hurray for you Elizabeth and all those that are so willing to do what is necessary to stop the over population of unwanted dogs. Thank you breeders and a special thanks to Elizabeth. Dr. Katie Chrissman DVM, PHD Thu Jun 14, 2007 14:03

My vet shares these views and has done many hundreds of ESN's. Every time I go to her with harmful effects I have seen on the internet, she asks about the source and usually it is someone's opinion, not based on controlled research. Spay and neuter at any age changes the dog in some ways. In my mind the facts support the procedure. The surgery itself takes very little time and causes very little trauma and has a very short recovery time. My vet uses human pediatric anaesthetic and absorbable sutures. The boys bounce back the same day and the girls by the next day. They don't bother the incision as a rule, and only one pup has had to use an e-collar. I sit and bite my nails as I wait for that post op call, then breathe a sigh of relief when they are safe in recovery.

Recommended Resources

Here is a good site that gives other references: earlyspayneuter.blogspot.com Here is an interesting PDF document about the history of ESN: www.spayusa.org/media/pdfs/earlyage_sn.pdf