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No spay until after first heat??!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok, I was talking to my SIL and they have a female kitten that is about 4 months old, anyway she said her vet told them that the kitten should not be spayed until after she has her first heat cycle

I have not heard this before and I had to ask her again if indeed it was the vet that said this and she said it was.

Has anyone heard this? I am highly doubtful this is true so I told her I would find out about it because she'd rather get the kitten fixed before that happens.
post #2 of 18
Hm, I'd say they need a new vet!

I think this a very outdated idea. If the vet isn't up to date on something as basic as the possibility to do pediatric spays or at least spays at 4 months, then I'd raise my eyebrow...what else might he/she not be caught up on?
post #3 of 18
The cat should definitely be kept indoors and away from intact males. She could come into heat before you know it.
post #4 of 18
I would be very suspect of a vet that gave this advice. I think the idea that a cat has to have their first heat before being spayed falls in the category of an old wive's tale.
post #5 of 18
that is a very old way of thinking and surprises me that a vet said that.
post #6 of 18
I was told this previously, as well, Diane. This is why Sierra went through her first heat, poor baby, since I didn't know any better back then. I agree that it's best and will provide more overall health protection to have her kitty spayed prior to her first heat cycle.
post #7 of 18
i would ask why the vet feels this way about it. he may just be a free thinker that has good reasons (in his own mind) why it should be done that way. it would depend on his reasons and if he would let the owner of the cat make the final decision on it whether or not i would think it makes him a totally bad vet.
post #8 of 18
I remember hearing the vet nurse at my old vet tell someone that it is easier to spay after a first heat as the uterus is easier to find, but I had to bite my tongue from saying something to that. They wont spay younger than 6 months either, I do wish early s/n would be more common in the UK.
post #9 of 18
Wow, we were told this nearly twenty years ago with my parents' cat. It's completely untrue, but I suppose if the vet has been practicing for a very long time it's possible that they still believe this (although I would expect a responsible vet to keep up-to-date on current practices and theories). I was under the impression that it was better for the cat to be spayed before her first heat -- health-wise, I mean? Less chances of cancer and such?
post #10 of 18
Yes, I thought that spaying before the first heat reduced the risk of mammary cancer?

And with all the pediatric spays (requirement is 8 weeks and 2 lbs) that shelters do you'd think we'd have heard if there was a problem with spaying young. I've heard that they actually recover faster when they're that young. Actually, I think there's a big study that was done that proved that pediatric spay/neuter does not cause health problems. Hmm, it's around here somewhere...
post #11 of 18
That vet is extremely outdated! Geez. Anyways, like everyone else said, it is much better for her health to have it done before her first heat cycle. It drastically reduces the risk of mammary cancer to have it done prior to her first heat.

It would make me wonder how behind he is in other areas of advances in vet medicine

As far as them waiting so that it is easier to find the uterus, that seems like a selfish excuse to me. We actually work with a rescue organization that requests kittens to be spayed/neutered at 1.5 pounds, and the doctors really don't have a hard time finding everything.
post #12 of 18
Does anyone have any links to studies showing advantages and/or disadvantages to early neutering?
post #13 of 18
How's this one:

http://www.ivis.org/advances/Concann...iderations.%22

it's pretty technical, but good.
post #14 of 18
I would find a new vet. My vet wouldn't spay Maggie until she was 6 months, but does agree spaying before the first heat is best. I remember reading some where that spaying before the first heat reduces the risk of Mammory Cancer to almost zero.
post #15 of 18
When I researched mammary cancer last year, I found a study that showed cats were 200 times less likely to get mammary cancer if spayed before their first heat.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant View Post
Hm, I'd say they need a new vet!

I think this a very outdated idea. If the vet isn't up to date on something as basic as the possibility to do pediatric spays or at least spays at 4 months, then I'd raise my eyebrow...what else might he/she not be caught up on?

I'd also suggest sourcing a new vet!
post #17 of 18
i still say i would want to know his reasoning and flexibility about it before doing anything as drastic as going to a new vet. we dont really know all the details.
post #18 of 18
Here is another site which has done research in early spays. http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/heal...ay-neuter.html
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