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View Full Version : Totally out of left field



Kim N
18th January 2012, 01:21 AM
Ok so I am new, unexperienced and don't even have my Cavalier yet. I have been doing every bit of reading of everything I can on everything Cavalier related I can. Last night I was reading about the best time to nueter and after reading several articles on it I had a thought. Most likely a thought with no foundation at all but it came into my head anywway. ;)

So apparently spaying and nuetering before the growth plates close can change the structure of the animal. Amung the changes noted was a more narrow skull. So I began to wonder if anyone had noticed any higher incodence of SM in either early spayed and nuetered or ones that are not. Not knowing more than I have read I had a couple of different thoughts while reading. One being that because they grow larger when done early it may be beneficial in reducing the chances of SM and then my other thought when reading that it narrowed the head was that maybe it made it worse.

Completely left field thoughts but thoughts just the same and thought I would see if anyone noticed a difference in the two.

I am a glass half full kind of gal so immediately thought oh, makes them grow larger so maybe something there. LOL

Karlin
18th January 2012, 01:29 AM
A logical question but my understanding from researchers is this has no bearing on incidence. :thmbsup: However I think there's no general belief or evidence skulls end up narrower in neutered dogs -- that is certainly the first time I have heard this.

Genetic research has narrowed down the likely candidate genes already and there's strong evidence that the condition is associated to the flatter face in the breed and other aspects of head shape breeders have selected for over many decades, as well as minitiarisation. The condition is primarily known in flat and short faced, small dogs. There's also a significant genetic component.

RodRussell
18th January 2012, 01:55 AM
I had not heard about the narrower skull issue. We had a cavalier that was castrated very early in life (not our choice), and he did not have a narrower skull than any of the other cavaliers we got from the same breeder.

Here is a picture of him: http://cavalierhealth.org/images/CavalierHealth-d-06-jr-P3050011a.jpg

Kim N
18th January 2012, 02:03 AM
I read so many articles on early neutering last night I'm not sure I can find the one again that referred to the skull size but I will post it if I come across is again.

Can I ask at what ages do most of you get yours neutered or spayed? I am hoping to have our little boy sometime in the next few weeks if all goes well and am trying to decide when the time would be right. I am leaning toward waiting until the growth plates close but wonder how much of a fine line it is between waiting for that and catching marking habits.

From the articles that I read last night I am seeing anywhere between 12-14 months for the growth plates.

RodRussell
18th January 2012, 04:31 AM
I read so many articles on early neutering last night I'm not sure I can find the one again that referred to the skull size but I will post it if I come across is again.

Can I ask at what ages do most of you get yours neutered or spayed? I am hoping to have our little boy sometime in the next few weeks if all goes well and am trying to decide when the time would be right. I am leaning toward waiting until the growth plates close but wonder how much of a fine line it is between waiting for that and catching marking habits.

From the articles that I read last night I am seeing anywhere between 12-14 months for the growth plates.

The best age for spaying is subject to dispute, as you have discovered. In our household, we choose to wait until the dog has fully matured, which for the cavalier could be as late as 16 to 18 months.

We want our cavaliers to mature first because the sex organs provide certain hormones which are unique and essential to their continued health, particularly the immune system. When those organs are removed, their hormones no longer are produced, and other glands and organs need to try to compensate for that loss. So, we wait until they are at least 18 months of age.

BeBe
18th January 2012, 06:20 AM
Is there any issue with waiting that long to spay/neuter, especially with marking for males? I had heard you could wait a little longer for the girls but needed to get the males in earlier due to aggression/marking issues. I am getting the information via my Breeder and Vet - would be interested in the pros and cons to earlier vs. later.

Noelle

Kate H
18th January 2012, 12:06 PM
I have a 10.5 year-old Cavalier who has never been neutered - I showed him when he was young, and then saw no need to neuter him. He doesn't mark in the house (every lamppost outdoors is another matter!), is never aggressive, doesn't escape looking for interesting girls (if people are stupid enough to exercise their in-season bitches in busy public parks, that's their responsibility - Oliver has never really done much more than sniff well and then lose interest), and has a really A1 temperament, so I never wanted to possibly mess this up by neutering - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Marking in the house is a habit as much as anything - if you let it develop, neutering actually may not change it, because it's become an automatic behaviour. So it's important not to let it start. Correct gently for doing it in the house (and if possible anticipate it and rapidly put the puppy ouside), praise for doing it up a tree! It's not difficult to teach your dog to use a particular tree at the start of a walk, by saying 'Tree' when he's heading for it anyway and then praising him for cocking his leg there.

I think Cavaliers may not be altogether typical of dogs in general. Many people say they prefer males because they are gentler and more biddable than females, who can be upset by hormones, so just because they are male doesn't mean they will automatically be aggressive. I've had 3 male Cavaliers, two unneutered, one neutered at the age of 4 to try and stop his marking habit amongst other things (it had no effect at all!), and none of them had an aggressive bone in their bodies.

So I would agree that waiting for the growth plates to close is the best option.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Alana
18th January 2012, 12:18 PM
I love the way you think Kim! I found a site that mentions it.

http://www.ehow.com/about_6670916_dog-neutering-growth.html

On the following site the reference is in the third box in italics:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:768eASclLz0J:www.oes.org/page2/24711~OES_Health_Survey.html+can+desexing+young+na rrow+dog+skull&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

sins
18th January 2012, 01:28 PM
We had Daisy spayed at age 3.
She had already been diagnosed with SM at that stage.Primarily,you neuter to avoid unwanted puppies and if your dog is kept under control until you feel it's right to neuter,there isn't an issue.
Sadly,it's all too common to see owners just opening their front door and letting their dogs loose through estates to wander back when they please.Bitches in season and dogs roaming...
It's then down to responsible owners to protect their own dogs by neutering.
I would suggest having a chat with your breeder about it.
Sins

Kim N
18th January 2012, 02:51 PM
Maybe I should have put this somewhere besides the SM forum since it's more about desexing. I had the SM part of it in my mind when I posted due to the bone structure part of it. LOL

Thanks for those two articles Alana, I hadn't read at least one of them.

Sins, if there is one thing I absolutely can't stand to see it's animals just out and about on thier own! We have never allowed our dogs out of the house unsupervised even in our own yard so really unwanted puppies is really the least of my worries. I have in one way or another over the years seen to (or taken it on myself) having at least 4 dogs taken from thier homes where they are just outside running the neighborhoods on a regular basis and have picked up countless strays. Having lived in the south in the US where it is just rampant and seeing dead dogs on the side of the road is the norm I find it absolutely maddening! The little girl I have now came from a neighbor who previously had a Yorkie and a Maltese run over in front of her house at completely different times.

I have plenty of time to think about it so will continue to research all I can but for now I think I will lean the way of waiting. Obviously it isn't the answer to SM, if only it was that easy! But I did think it would be an interesting question.