Melanie Loveland, Colorado 8/2/2013 10:09:50 AM We are having our one year old yellow lab, Gem, spayed today. We waited until she was a year old because our previous yellow lab, Meg, had two ACL surgeries. While reading about ACL injuries I came across several readings/research articles that mentioned, especially with females, when you spay a female at a young age, under a year, it alters the hormone productivity and prevents the bone plates to develop correctly and it also alters the growth of ligaments and tenders to grow properly thus causing problems with ACL and injuries. This was very expensive to have two ACL surgeries, $5200.00. I am an Animal Science grad and was taught that you should wait until a dog, male or female, was at least 6 months of age before you spay or neuter. You want their reproductive system to be mature before you spay or neuter. That is why I am opposed to fixing a dog before the age of six months. I worked as an Animal Control Officer and of course the humane society wants everything to be fixed before it is adopted no matter what age. I remember a 10 week old kitten being spayed . It died do to complications. I felt it was unethical for a veterinarian to spay at that young of age. Again, you want the animals reproductive tract to be fully developed, typically the 6mos age .Bottomline ... it should be a must to spay and neuter your animal. This is my first time to have waited until a female has been a year old to spay but it made since with what I had read about the ACL and development of. I had to be a very responsible dog owner and make sure no males came in contact with Gem when she was in heat. And personally I really did not like dealing with a female in heat. People please don't be a sad sack and have your pet spayed or neuter.. They will be okay and it is a better health choice for your animal, less cancer potential.