View Full Version : Need Advice about Neutering my Cavy Pup

1st July 2009, 11:42 PM
After years of waiting, I have FINALLY taken home my first Cavalier puppy. I was lucky enough to get him though a reputable breeder (friend of a friend). He is perfect in every way! Okay, well he is a bundle of energy, but that's just puppies right? My issue is that I have heard that Cavaliers are prettier when you wait until they are one year old to spay or neuter them. Is this true? A friend of mine says that her cavalier got leggy (tall) because she neutered him at eight months. I really want what's best for my baby. Please help! :?

2nd July 2009, 06:45 PM
There's a whole section on spay/neuter here: http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?p=316327#post316327

People have different opinions on this topic. Personally, I wanted to wait until mine were older to neuter them, if I was going to do it. Miles is over 2 years old and is still not neutered. Truman is 19 months old and was just neutered last month. I wanted to wait until they were at least 18 months old to neuter them for various reasons. Many people prefer to do it when they're younger for many other reasons, marking/humping being one of them. Since Truman's neuter he is calmer and doesn't hump Miles. He's also squatting when he pees, which I actually like :) I hope his coat does not change, but only time will tell. Just make sure you always have him on lead and that he's never around any intact females if you decide to wait. This has never been an issue with my boys, but you really have to be careful so "accidents" won't happen. I wanted my boys to have the chance to develop as much as possible before neutering them, and I felt like it could affect their growth if it was done when they were too young.

I'm sure many more people will respond, as most people have strong opinions on this topic.

2nd July 2009, 11:01 PM
Thank you so much for your reply Cy1266! My boy's name is Miles too! :-D The breeder was right in line with what you are saying, although she made the decision all mine. Eeek! I just want to do it right! I don't want my baby to hump anything! LOL

2nd July 2009, 11:01 PM
I left Scooby intact until marking and humping meant that I had to have him castrated. He was 12 months old and I would have waited a little longer if I could have done because hormones have so many important jobs to do in a growing animal.
I always intended neutering but I think it was the right choice to wait until Scooby had stopped growing.

2nd July 2009, 11:11 PM
Ollie was done at 6 months, and Winston at 3 years. Neither of them mark in the house. I don't think I would do it @ 6 months again as none of mine are *ever* off-leash.

3rd July 2009, 04:41 AM

Why do you say you wouldn't do it at 6 months again? Are there noticeable differences between Ollie and Winston? I'm especially curious about their coats - did either of theirs change after neutering?

3rd July 2009, 08:06 AM
My lady was done young, 6 months, and isn't leggy at all (plenty of people believe that this is usually caused by over excersising them at a young ages). My boy, who is now 9ish months, was done at 6 months and is leggy. He's very teenager like and hasn't quite gotten the hang of where all him limbs are. He was leggy before we got him (he's a rescue) and I have a feeling that once he fills out he won't be so gangley.

As far as cost goes, neither of my Cavs coat changed when they were done - she has always had a thick, fluffy coat (even before she was done) and his is finer but has stayed the same as before also. I have heard of dogs coats texture changing after they are neutered but I have no experience with this. Years ago, we had a Cav and after she was neutered her ears lightened from a rich brown to a much lighter brown than the rest of her body.

I always recommend to get dogs neutered as young as the vet advises, which usually works out at about 6/7 months. In females, if they are done before their first heat, it reduces certain cancers to nearly nil (spacifically breast) and pyrometra is always a risk with bitches who are not spayed. With boys their bad habbits are easier to control, that is if they start at all, and (if left intact) they risk prostate probs when they get significantly older. Quite a lot of people wait until they are more grown up - it'sa very personal choice.

Good luck with you choice ;)

3rd July 2009, 11:29 AM
prettier, thats rubbish, harley was done at six months of age and he is gorgeous, i think the only thing i have read is neuteured dogs need less calories so feed accordingly. di

3rd July 2009, 12:47 PM
Mindy was neutered at just under a year. We got her at 8 months and she immediately went into heat (I already had the neuter appt made). She was all legs when we got her but I think that was just her age. She's grown into herself. Although the plan was to have her neutered before her first heat I didn't find her heat difficult to deal with (I had visions of having to beat dogs off with a stick when we went out but I never had any issues). We didn't have a fenced yard at the time so she was never off leash when outside and never out without me.

Max was neutered at just over 6 months.

Both of them have fairly fine coats and I didn't notice any difference after neutering.

3rd July 2009, 01:21 PM
After researching the benefits of neutering males, the main benefit is behavioral (reduced marking, humping, aggression, etc) and of course keeping him away from females in heat. Next time, I would wait until around a year I think so he could mature more before being altered. My biggest fear in having a male dog was the marking. However, Winston, who I adopted as a rescue but wasn't altered until just before I adopted him at 3 YO, doesn't mark at all. So, I guess my point is marking does not have to be acceptable in a male dog that is altered later. For most people, I would say it's better to alter early so there are no accidents- but with Cavaliers it's pretty difficult to have them outside without a leash so that chance is minimized since they are always under close watch. ;) FWIW- I am NOT saying not to alter your dog- I highly believe in spay/neuter!

PS/ All of my dogs have different type coats, so I would never contribute that to being altered. Nor weight gain. All of mine are trim. The one thing I will say is that Ollie, who was altered @ 6 mos, is very leggy, weedy, & gangly. I don't know if this has anything to do with the neuter. I think it has more to do with bad breeding!

3rd July 2009, 03:27 PM
Hi! My Oliver was neutered at 5 months (vet's advice and I didn't know any better). He is TALL and when he goes back to the breeder's (a reputable breeder) he absolutely towers over all of her dogs. It could be genetics (maybe a throwback??) but I have read a lot that says that early neutering can contribute to "legginess". I wouldn't neuter that young again.

Mom of Jato
3rd July 2009, 09:00 PM
My male and female were both fixed at 6 months of age. Neither one of them had any noticable changes. Both of them have beautiful coats, and no long legs. My boy doesn't hump or mark, and he always squats to pee- so no mess. ;) My vet and both breeders recommended having them done at 6 months, so I listened to them with no regrets.

4th July 2009, 07:23 AM
My breeder recommended the same - six months of age. She said it's easier on their bodies to do it at six months, rather than letting them get the surge of hormones and then taking it all away right away. We had Harlow spayed at six months and she kiiind of has long legs - but she's still shorter than most dogs we meet (even Cavs) so its hard to really tell. Really a nonissue for her. I was still curious about the males, though, so thanks for clearing it up a bit.

Another thing I'm curious about (this might be silly), but I've been wondering if neutering age has any implications for SM. I've read in older threads on this forum that the shape of a male's head can turn out differently depending on the age at which he is neutered. Could this have any positive/negative effects with regards to SM? Sorry if this is a stupid question ....

14th July 2009, 10:35 PM
Well I had wondered about this too. Our breeder (very reputable and well known line in N. Ireland) has encouraged me not to neuter as she said there is generally no need and that it *will* affect the appearance of their coats but I'm still not sure...

14th July 2009, 11:57 PM
Ben whom I rehomed in January is not neutered and does not mark inside or hump and is the sweetest natured boy that I have come across. In fact I see no difference in behaviour when compared to my old dog Toby who was neutered.

15th July 2009, 12:07 AM
Some males are really easy to manage and some are definitely, not! Intact males are my biggest pain in rescue; they almost to a dog will pee inside -- or furniture -- and this can make them more difficult to rehome and some people want rid of the dog for this alone. This issue rarely comes up with neutered males.

I think the possible minor health implications of spay/neuter (the statistical risk is tiny) are outweighed by the health benefits (especially for girls -- plus this breed has a significantly higher risk of the risky womb infection pyometra than other breeds according to Swedish research). But especially outweighed by the social benefits. Most dogs are surrendered to pounds and rehomed due to behaviour issues, a lot of of them connected to dogs being intact (marking, humping, straying, fighting, escaping, not settling). I also think the health risks of spay/neuter are a bit of a red herring distraction -- vastly outweighed by larger health issues in the breed that fall into the breeder's domain for action (or non-action) and are largely the result of casual or uninformed breeding by BYBs, or conscious decisions not to follow health protocols like the MVD protocol or to scan to know the status for syringomyelia.

I will take longer legs and a cottony coat any day over an early heart murmur, which will affect half of all cavaliers by age 5, for example :( , or a syringomyelia diagnosis, which I have had twice. By contrast, an inordinate amount of concern seems targeted at neutering, based on miniscule risks, and anecdotes about coat changes that clearly have many potential sources.

I'd advise to spay/neuter when it best suits the individual circumstances of the owner and their personal philosophy, after a consideration of the various points of view. :)

I strongly disagree with breeders who say not to neuter for two other reasons: one is that intact dogs are at far higher risk of being stolen and ending up in the hell of puppy farming. One well known NI breeder found one of her own dogs in just such a scenario and I suspect it may be the one referred to... thankfully the dog was rescued. The second reason is that intact dogs in this breed WILL be used for breeding in pet homes and the breeder loses all control of this once the dog is homed. In Ireland most show breeders don't even place puppies on limited registration to prevent club registration making them a lucrative exploited business. :( Given the severe health pressures -- and actual threat to continued survival -- of this breed, no breeder should enable indiscriminate breeding in this way. The one reason to wait may be to MRI/cardiac test pet dogs at an older age to see whether their genes may be valuable.