View Full Version : Should I change my mind?Your advice would be great please.

21st June 2007, 12:29 PM
I seem to have quite quickly stopped Dylan marking in the house. I may be speaking too soon but he hasn't done it in a couple of days and is asking to go out more. I'm wondering if I should wait until Dylan is older before I get him neutered.

I have heard many times it's good to wait until dogs are one year old and I don't know why. I have heard the scull continues to grow and a dog look more like a boy later. I wonder if this would be beneficial with regards to SM.

I really don't want to make mistakes and regret them so I would really appreciate you taking to time to share your knowledge with me.

Thank you xx

21st June 2007, 12:51 PM
Personally I don't intend having my boys neutered. I don't see much benefit to it & don't like the fluffy coat they get after.

Regarding growth . Hormones regulate growth , Dogs neutered very young will never really stop growing So the bones in their limbs will grow longer & not in proportion to each other which can lead to joint problems. & as you say the skull will be narrower in dogs neutered very young ( wether this has any affect on sm? I dont know )

A relatives cav girl was neutered at 5 months & now has bad hip displacia. maybe a coincidence but enough to make me think twice about early neutering of any girls I have in future

21st June 2007, 12:53 PM
Some like to wait til a year old so that bone growth has ceased. On the flip side, millions of dogs are regularly neutered/spayed at 6 months or so. My boys look like boys and were neutered at 8 and 9 months. You might get a more jowly head by waiting but the skull shape isn't going to change, Personally I don't like the really jowly head all that much anyway.

I woud neuter when it is convenient to you; if you want to manage Dylan for several more months before neutering then that;s no big issue but a lot of male owners tend to find this a hassle. I didn't want to wait til one year -- marking inside was never an issue with either Jaspar or Leo, but males get very stinky pee (that had already started and their feathering would get wet when they peed and they smelled) and do a lot of humping, and I was more worried about them trying to escape if they smelled a female in heat -- they can easily scale a wall if they are determined. Unneutered males account for about 70% of dogs in Irish pounds when I was doing general rescue and I am sure the proportion is similar in the UK. Often stray males are picked up by wardens following around a female they clearly scented and pursued. Males will bolt if off lead and they smell a female. People consistently underestimate the call of nature in this regard and a lot of male dogs end up in traffic accidents or lost because they bolted after a female. My general rescue experience mde me very disinclined to wait a year before neutering, but that is me.

21st June 2007, 12:57 PM
I don't intend to neuter either of mine, I'm tempted to take up showing them so they need their bits!

21st June 2007, 01:05 PM
I didn't want to wait til one year -- marking inside was never an issue with either Jaspar or Leo, but males get very stinky pee (that had already started and their feathering would get wet when they peed and they smelled) and do a lot of humping,.

Yes i've discovered this joy with my current boy , lol

my last dog ( my avatar) never lifted his leg ( I think he had a back or hip problem ) & he had to be neutered when I got him because of a tumor.

so my current boys manly odour was a a suprise ,lol I've discovered clipping his tummy & rubbing baby oil onto the coat that gets stained ( after being washed ) stops him getting too stinky.

He peed on my foot when he was about a year old but apart from that I havent had a problem with marking inapropriately

My sisters dog was neutered to stop him fighting & humping.( after listening to all the advice on the benefits of neutering )
Now dissapointingly he's exactly the same behaviour but half bald with blonde fluffy bits.

He went through a house marking phase at about 10 months ( before neutering )but was trained not to

21st June 2007, 01:14 PM
These are some important and interesting issues... It isn't true that bones never stop growing in neutered dogs. They stop growing at the end of adolescence, regardless of whether an animal is neutered or not. Neutered animals may gain a very slight extra bit of height but it is pretty negligible -- an inch or shorter. Leo is very compact and cobby and it certainly cannot be said to have made him lanky! Both boys have totally normal, silky coats. I feel coat growth is more genetic or weight related than a neutering issue.

Consider that if there were serious bone growth problems from neutering, then male castrated race horses should have terrible problems racing; higher incidence of hip and joint issues for example; but there's no evidence that geldings have greater problems than stallions and more race horses are geldings than stallions. I also have never read anywhere that the skulls themsleves end up narrower from neutering -- I could stand corrected on this but surely any additional skull growth due only to sex differences would be very minimal; most growth is cosmetic development (eg fleshy jowls). There is no evidence whatsoever that skull shape has anything to do with SM so neutering would have no significance at all -- and SM shows equally in neutered and intact dogs. Come to think of it, breeders who have put forward dogs to be screened -- intact dogs -- are seeing the same high ratios of the skull mlformation and syrinxes as in neutered pets. I'd say most scanned cavaliers are actually *intact* animals as many in the research programmes have been breeder dogs.

There ARE health consequences to not neutering. Vets will tell you there's a significant incidence of prostate probems in unneutered males as they get older. For females, there's a very definite rise in the likelihood of mammary cancer simply by allowing a dog to go through one or two heats -- 0% chance if spayed before first heat, 7% risk if they go thru one heat, 25% risk if they go through two (in general rescue we regularly see older unspayed females with mammary tumours).

While there are some health considerations to neutering as well (everyting is always a balance), there are very large health benefits to neutering, the key one as far as I'm concerned being (setting aside that most reputable breeders *require* pet quality dogs to be neutered in their homing contract) that unwanted puppies will not be born. Males are just as responsible for these as unspayed females yet I find a lot of owners of intact males do nothing to keep their dogs under careful control -- which is just as irresponsible as allowing a female dog in heat to run loose. Cavalier cross puppies are no easier to home than any other mix, and indeed, it can be difficult enough to home pure cavaliers. According to the UK CKCS Club puppy gazette, they have had an overabundance of puppies over the past year and some breeders are having difficulty in finding homes. What happens with those pups, I don't know.

For some who own dogs that aren't on neuter contracts, spay/neuter is of course personal choice and responsible owners can definitely manage itntact dogs. But there are risks associated with not neutering that should not be underestimated and attendant responsibilities for managing intact dogs that many pet owners find onerous (or alternatively, simply ignore). The sad results of not neutering, from occasional directly related health problems to unwanted breeding, are something most rescue people see day in and out and is the primary reason why no one in rescue will home a dog or cat without a spay/neuter responsibility attached to the animal.

21st June 2007, 01:57 PM
I guess you've just got to weigh up the pros & cons for your own situation. We intend keeping our 2 Cavaliers intact but because we live on acres we don't have the problems associated with neighbouring females. Our Scarlett is unlikely to ever have another season, but when she was younger our poor old Sam used to fret & cry, do crazy things and rip off the weight, so we ended up getting him neutered and he seemed to be a much more comfortable boy for it. I was worried about him putting weight on, but by watching his diet carefully he has remained lean, muscular & terrific.

I guess one of the good things is that you have time on your side. Just because you might decide now that you do not wish to neuter, this does not mean to say that you can't do it later on if he becomes problematic.

Like others have already said, it is important to understand the drive of both male & female if there is a bitch in heat around, so you'll need to consider whether your fences are secure and also be a bit mindful about off-leash walks.

21st June 2007, 02:49 PM
There is an article on this site about bone growth in neutered dogs & a search on google will bring up various research on early castration in dogs & other animals such as cattle ( & humans !)


Its up to the individual to weigh up the pro's & cons & all the evidence & decide whats best for their own dogs & curcumstance.

I have done a lot of rescue work I know the consequences of not neutering animals & if I was rehoming a rescue dog I would consider the risk of them ending up in a puppyfarm at some point to outweigh the affects of early neutering.

I have had bitches with pyometra & tumors & a dog with a testicular tumor so I am not naive about the health issues for intact dogs

Personally I was at one time for early speying of my girls as they recover from the op more quickly. Having learn't a bit more i've changed my opinion.

But i've coped with unspeyed girls before ( In the days when I didnt agree with speying at all! ) So if I had a bitch puppy of my own I wouldn't have a problem with waiting a few extra months for her to mature before speying.

My boy doesn't roam , doesn't pee in the house , His interest in girls doesn't bother me & I can just about cope with the piddly manly smell so I see no need to neuter him

Other peoples circumstances may mean the benefits of early speying / castration outweigh the negatives

21st June 2007, 02:57 PM
I'm feeling like a bad mum because some of my issues are cosmetic. I must add that the health of Dylan is the most important thing to me.

On the cosmetic side, I don't like long jowls, I didn't know this was affected by neutering until Karlin said. I don't actually know what cotton coat is like but Dylan has the most beautiful coat now, long and soft and it would be a shame to spoil that. I am reassured to hear that cotton coat may develop more due to weight. That actually makes more sense to me.

Dylan is very slim, too slim actually, which is why his breeder encouraged me to get him done. She usually discourages neutering as she has seen too many fat Cavaliers and this is not good for their hearts. Last time Dylan was ill he lost a lot of weight and it would have been better if he'd had a normal amount of fat to start with.

Barbara Nixon
21st June 2007, 03:23 PM
Pauline, take your time. Unlike with a bitch, there is no benefit from earlier action and you can't put back what you take away.

21st June 2007, 04:50 PM
My first cav lived for thirteen years and he was not neutered. He had no problems. Ulysse is four years old and he will not be neutered except if I must do it because of a health problem. I think we needn't neuter them if it is not necessary to keep them in good health and so does my breeder. But it depends on your dog's problem !

21st June 2007, 05:19 PM
Just thought I'd throw this research article into this mix. It goes through all the pros and cons of spaying and neutering. Its written by a reputable University and all re search is sourced correctly. I think its a good read for all owners. http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf

Zoey's breeder forwarded it on to me when I was adamant about getting Zoey spayed at 6 months. We have since decided to wait due to showing her, but I may have considered waiting after reading this article as well.

21st June 2007, 05:56 PM

To be perfectly honest there are many reasons for neutering, from simply not wanting an entire dog around bitches who may get into whelp, through marking, humping and aggression to the problem of an undescended testicle which could lead to cancer in later life.

I currently have 3 adult boys and 1 5 month old puppy boy, Logan who is 6 is my stud dog, Mr.Laid back to the total extreme, Crufts Qualified for life, I adore this lad, then we have his 4 yr old son, a clown face blenheim called Mr.Chips, Josie's dog whom we are currently getting started into agility with, then we have a 2yr old Tri boy, Nico, Logan's grandson and older half brother to baby boy Darcy, sadly Nico is of a, ahem "other persuasion" when it comes to the girls, (he prefers boys!!) he is younger daughter Caitlins dog, they are all entire and rub along together just fine! (Even when the girls are in heat)

At the end of the day, only you can make this decision, you have been given a lot of advice, personnally speaking, neutering will not halt his physical developement, it may give him a lot of wild coat, are you prepared to deal with that much coat?? This, for me is a "swings and roundabouts" question, I have only neutered boys with an undescended testicle for health reasons, I think you really need to ask yourself "What do I REALLY want?" and take it from there really!!

21st June 2007, 06:13 PM
Breeders seem to argue all the time on whether neutering affects coat -- comes up on the boards and email lists regularly and sure splits people! I can say that three years after their neuter it has done nothing to change the coat one iota on my two boys. Like many people I think wooly coats come more from genes and overweight dogs than neutering but overall I think coat is a minor consideration in the larger long term animal welfare and health picture. Like a lot of people doing rescue, what I see is the MALES are always a bigger welfare problem then the females because owners let them stray and don;t think it is an issue for them -- they feel it is the female dog's owners to spay instead, but it takes two to tango, and the pounds are overwhelmingly filled with intact males -- that is a fact. Females are perhaps likely to get more cottony going by what people say. But if anything Leo and Jaspar have far LESS coat than many of the intact PUPPIES on this board. :lol: They simply come from lines that do not get a heavy coat, and they both have shiny, silky post neuter coats. I cannot even strip any spare hair from them with the furminator for example -- while lots comes out on Lily. Lily is more frizzly -- but then she was grossly overweight and her coat has improved massively in the year that I have had her. She really only has a narrow strip down her back of fluffier coat -- met a breeder recently who just thinks she's blowing her coat. She's silky and shiny everywhere but that odd strip on her back -- it's funny. Kids love how soft her cottony coat is though! Many people actually see this as a big plus in her favour.

I do know people who have deliberately neutered dogs with SM because the more excitable a dog, the faster its CSF flows, and the more likely it will be to develop syrinxes, according to researchers (that's why SM dogs often start scratching when they get excited). It's why many neurologists prescribe something like Lasix/frusemide to lower CSF pressure day to day. I'd have neutered Leo on that basis alone if I hadn't already neutered him before his MRI.

21st June 2007, 06:26 PM
My charlie & papillon girls coats have actually been better after spaying. Cavaliers girls seem more likely to go fluffy after spaying though not all do.
But a possible wooly coat would not influence my decision to spay.

All the neutered boys I've known have had awful fuzzy coats.

21st June 2007, 06:51 PM
I was only speaking from personnal experience, 2 boys I have bred have been neutered due to undescended testicles, one of these boys being my parents Tri lad Jake, he went from having a fine silky coat, and not much of it, to having a huge, dry, flyaway coat! :lol:
The other one, a Blenheim lad named Charlie who lives in the same street as my in-laws was also neutered for the same reason and he too ended up with a heavy, dry coat, both dogs were 14 months old when neutered.

Barbara Nixon
21st June 2007, 06:54 PM
I've seen Izzy's brother, Josh and his grandfather, William, after castration. Both became very hefty and had bottlebrush coats. Josh live swith another male, but William was certainly not turned off the girls.

21st June 2007, 07:07 PM
I've decided to cancel Monday until I do more research. I told the nurse why and she said there's no affect on bones if you neuter but I feel she would say this as she also said the practise believes its fine to neuter from 6 months. I also didn't want to cancel last minute so I called just as they closed, also not giving me any time to discuss it with them. Please keep your advice coming, I'm taking it all in...Thank you ;)

21st June 2007, 07:18 PM

Its entirely up to you. From what has been said so far there are very well pointed out pros and cons about neutering.

I wouldn't hesitate to have my boys done if there was a health implication. I don't have issues will girls in heat because they prefer to hump each other! Its a bit embarassing have two gay dogs but hey! I'm over it:rolleyes:

I am keeping mine intact because I want to see how they will do in the show ring - to show they have to be intact.

At one time we didn't think that one of Oakleys whoopsies was going to drop and I would have had no problems with neutering if it hadn't finally descended.

Take your time over your decision, as said before you can neuter anytime.

cavi lover
21st June 2007, 08:21 PM
I have two boys both altered and their coats are lovely. One was done at 8mths and the other 11 mths.
I also have two girls both rescue puppy farm breeding bitches . They have been altered one has a super coat the other it has gone fluffy but still beautiful. She just gets a trip to the groomers every 3mths.
I say nueter and stop the surge of badly bred cavaliers. [Well I am going to say that with having to ex puppy farm dogs aren't I?]
Do not want to cause offence just my opinion! J x

21st June 2007, 10:34 PM
I say neuter and stop the surge of badly bred cavaliers. [Well I am going to say that with having to ex puppy farm dogs aren't I?]
Do not want to cause offence just my opinion! J x

No offence taken, don't worry. My Dylan is well bred though but I signed a contract not to breed anyway. I fully appreciate there is far more to breeding then I would ever have the time to research.

I would really like to see what cotton coat looks like, before and after pictures would be good.

21st June 2007, 11:18 PM
I think I may know what breeder Dylan came from-- we should all be so lucky.
Just because someone doesn't jump on neutering their pets before they are full grown doesn't mean they plan to breed them. That is an unfair assumption. jmo

21st June 2007, 11:27 PM
I think I may know what breeder Dylan came from-- we should all be so lucky.

Thank you :D I am lucky because Jenny and I are in touch every day and we are good friends. I also get to look after all her dogs next month for a week. Most importantly, she has long living dogs. :D

22nd June 2007, 10:49 AM
With my old dog he wasn't neutured until he was 7 and that was only due to his prostate being enlarged. He never marked in the house, wasn't aggressive and was such a lovely boy. With some breeds i do think its important to castrate them due to some bad behavioural traits, cavaliers arn't like most dogs so i dont think you HAVE to get them castrated. In terms of behaviour the only think Jake did that was annoying or bad was mounting ppls legs and even then it only seemed to be certain ppl (usually ppl who wern't animal ppl!!!) that he ever mounted.
With Marley I havn't made up my mind if i'll have him castrated if I do i'ld wait till he's over a year but that because i like the big jowley boof head ;)

22nd June 2007, 12:30 PM
I don't really like a jowly face but I'm thinking strong bones etc is more important. I'm having to think health before beauty. His mum and dad didn't have huge jowls anyway.

Dad, William.

Mum, Chanel.

Dylan has Mum's face and Dad's coat.