View Full Version : Neutering

11th October 2005, 12:36 PM
It is my experience that Vets do everything in thier power to make you neuter your pet.

When i had Cloe and i told him i was going to breed he did everything in his power to talk me out of it, but now i ahve to say he is fully supportive and helpfull, but for someone not as strong as me im sure would ahve given in to teh pressure.

I understand you ahve to do your homework when breeding these dogs, as i did, but its worth it, i think vets put too much pressure on neutering, even if i wasnt going to breed i do not think i would neuter.

My Max cannot be a father, but i will not neuter him, i think he is too sick and although anything that is wrong with him is not genetic i wont take teh risk, adn every season Cloes has, wee Max goes off on a holiday for 2 weeks. he loves it he goes and spends time with Cloe's best fiend and daughter also!

When my friend got his bitch Cavallier neutered she got fat lazy and stopped playing, adn now she has a heart problem and is a dull dog compared to mine, he feels angry as he puts this down to the neutering

11th October 2005, 02:25 PM
I got my female neutered at 6 months and never looked back. She did not change at all since she was done and her energy levels are just as much as I can take ;)

Yes, she has a bit of weight to loose but I dont think this is necessarily because she was neutered. She eats like a horse so i thinks she would have put on the weight anyway.

I just dont think its very fair on her to have to confined while in heat when I don't ever intend to breed her. She has never had a heat and is very a happy little girl.

I think vets try to discourage breeding because of the number of animals being put down because of overpopulation. My vet did the very same thing.

11th October 2005, 02:34 PM
Hi, i dont confine my dog while she is in heat. i take precausions, i spray her before i go to take her for a walk with bitch spray and to date had no problems with other dogs.

I thought they had to have one heat before neutering, so that they can mature. it was my understanding that when they had a heat for the first time it was like a girl coming into puberty adn becoming a young lady, and i thought if this was stopped it was bad for the dog, does anyone know?

11th October 2005, 04:45 PM
No - females do not need to come into a heat before spayed. In fact, it is much healthier for the dog if you spay them before their first heat.

Did you know that half of all the tumors in female dogs are preventable breast tumors? Dogs develop breast cancer because they were not spayed before their first or second heat period. Intact female dogs are highly prone to developing breast tumors. In fact, they are seven times more likely to get breast cancer than a spayed dog. One out of four intact female dogs over 4 years of age will probably develop one or more breast tumors along the mammary gland chains. Half of all tumors are malignant and unfortunately, half to 75% of them will kill the dog by recurrence or spreading (metastasizing) to the lungs within one to two years.

more here: http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_the_canine_spay.html

An unspayed bitch is also at increased risk for pyometra - a very dangerous infection of the uterus which causes the uterus to fill up with pus and can quickly become systemic and kill the dog.

"Pyometra" is the life-threatening infection of the uterus which generally occurs in middle-aged to older female dogs in the six weeks following heat. The hormone "progesterone," which primes the uterus for potential pregnancy, does so by causing proliferation of the blood-filled uterine lining and suppression of uterine immune function. It is thus easy during heat for bacteria in the vagina to ascend to the uterus to cause infection. The uterus with pyometra swells dramatically and is filled with pus, bacteria, dying tissue, and toxins. Without treatment, the pet is expected to die. Despite her serious medical state, she must be spayed quickly if her life is to be saved.



The older unspayed female dog has an irregular heat cycle. There is no end of cycling comparable to human menopause. If you still decide against spaying, be very familiar with the signs of pyometra. (These include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, excessive thirst, marked vaginal discharge

My mother's unspayed show Newfoundland got pyometra at 4 years old. Very scary and had to be rushed into emergency surgery.

The health benefits of neutering a male young are not as drastic, but neutering definitely eliminates the risk of testicular cancer (no testicles left!) and can decrease the risk of prostatic problems (enlargement interfering w/ urination, etc.)

The only behavior changes that are observed after neutering relate to behaviors influenced by male hormones. Playfulness, friendliness, and socialization with humans are not changed. The behaviors that change are far less desirable. The interest in roaming is eliminated in 90% of neutered dogs. Aggressive behavior against other male dogs is eliminated in 60% of neutered dogs. Urine marking is eliminated in 50% of neutered male dogs. Inappropriate mounting is eliminated in 70% of neutered dogs.
( http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_canine_neuter.html )

Unneutered dogs are more likely to roam and since Cavs have no road sense at all - get hit by cars, lost, or stolen!! And I know that although my unneutered dog isn't aggressive toward other dogs, other male dogs tend to harass him more which aggravates him and can push him to act aggressively to get the other dog away.

Basically, if you aren't going to breed your dog, then it is healthier and safer to spay and neuter. (if the health of the animal permits the surgery)

Plus it decreases the risk of overpopulation from accidental breedings. There are lots of good reasons why vets enncourage neutering for the general population.

11th October 2005, 06:29 PM
Thank you, that was really interesting, never knew any of that. would bitches who have pups be of such high risk of getting breast cancer too? do you know?

they found a lump in my dogs throat and operated thismorning, im worried and ahve to wait 10 days for the results, im beside myself......

11th October 2005, 06:59 PM
I think they are indeed at equal risk, a lot of the puppy farm bitches of all breeds that end up in rescue -- usually because they get to about 6, and don;t produce enough litters for the puppy farmers and are dumped or left at the pound and end up in rescue -- very often the females have ovarian tumours etc by this point. Maybe that contributes to them not having litters and therefore is why they get dumped in the first place.

If you are very careful and protective of your own dogs, then there's an argument not to neuter. But for most pet owners, they won't be careful, and in Ireland, some 16,000+ dogs a year are put down at the pounds, and probably an additional 20,000 in between the greyhound industry (which will pts thousands each year), vets being asked to pts strays or unwanted but healthy pets, and people drowning litters and so on. There are so many unwanted puppies that the rescues run nonstop tryin to rehome. Spend a week working at the ISPCA or for a rescue like ASH up in Wicklow or PAWS and you are convinced very quickly that neutering is really the bet option for most pets. Especially males -- at Ashton pound about 75-80% of the dogs that come in are unneutered males, who obviously were roaming and picked up by wardens. They are the largest proportion pts as well as only about 10-30% of dogs in pounds are reclaimed or rehomed in Ireland.

Unfortunately cavalier crosses are no easier to rehome than any other mixed breed -- as both TKC on this board and I know as we have worked together and separately to rehome a few!! :?

Also I think a LOT of dogs get surrendered into the pound or brought to the vet to be pts because people haven;t neutered and therefore the dogs have undesireable behaviours like spraying or humping or fighting. People don;t realise neutering usually improves all these behaviours and also makes the animal generally more amenable, friendly and trainable.

During World Animal Week last week on the Pat kenny show a couple of the vets on during the week said the big drops in dogs put down in pounds in Ireland over the past decade has *largely* come from people finally beginning to neuter their pets. That means far fewer unwanted litters and roaming strays. Here are the figures from the Dept of Environment (this is ONLY for pounds):

2004 - 16,598
2003 - 17,695
2002 - 21,357
2001 - 22,062
2000 - 24,980
1999 - 28,854
1998 - 27,570

Cavaliers have an almost 100% incidence of heart murmurs (MVD -- you can read more in the health FAQs) and this is not related to neutering -- almost all cavaliers will ultimately die from MVD and some get this very early if nreeders don;t breed for long-lived lines. Neutered dogs can get fat but only because their metabolism often drops about 20% so you ened to cut back a bit on food and keep up the exercise for dogs that are prone to utting on weight. My two boys were neutered at about 10 months and a year plus later, they are active, sleek and their coats are in excellent form. :D And they don't mark any more! :lol:

12th October 2005, 12:32 AM
Yes - unspayed bitches are at risk of developing mammary cancer whether they have litters or not. And unfortunately, if you don't spay until after their 3rd heat, there is no decrease in the risk. But you do decrease the risk of pyometra which is really scary and life threatening.

Last year I found this pair of 2 unneutered male Great Pyranees running around my neighborhood. I managed to catch one and took it back to it's home (pretty far away!) and the owner was so rude and grumbling about how I should have just let them go and get picked up by animal control because that's where he was going to take them anyway if they got out again. And I said, "Are they neutered?" And he said, "no, not yet" and I told him that he should probably do that before giving up on them adn turning them into animal control because neutering greatly reduces their desire to roam. That the boys were probably just out looking for a lady! He grumble grumbled and shut the door on me. Ugh! I was so annoyed!! He didn't even thank me for catching his dog and driving over to his house in my pajamas to return him!!! :x

12th October 2005, 01:50 AM
I have 4 spayed females who are all full of energy, play and shiny healthy coats. Spayed pets only become overweight if they are allowed to overeat and are kept inactive.
Breeding is the only reason I can see to keep an intact pet and that would be after lots of testing, and research into the pups background. Only the best of the breed should be bred. Cavaliers have so many problems at present. It is good that some breeders are working to eliminate or decrease those problems.

12th October 2005, 10:31 AM
thanks to everyone who posted here it has been very well written and is so helpful to me as i was confused to say the least about this subject, i will get my baby jasmine at 8 weeks old, at how many weeks is the best to have her sprayed???

12th October 2005, 10:38 AM
After reading this i think there are alot of myths, that are mroe like urban legands then truth going around, and awareness needs to be spread, i have learnt so much from this site in such few days, its great.

If i wasnt breeding i would certainly neuter now as well after reading this thread. after all at teh end of teh day we want our pets with us for as long as possible. so we want to do whatt is best for them adn without sites like this t help how do we know who to believe as with everything there are conflicting sides.

My Max gets out of hospital today. sniff, im so upset he is suffering, but on pain relief im told. will see tonight.

12th October 2005, 10:43 AM
I had Lady spayed when she was 6 months as recommended by my vet. She was sore for a while but soon forgot all about it.

I think it was the best decision all round

12th October 2005, 11:18 AM
That's what the site is here for, sharing information (well, and puppy pictures... :lol: ).

Most vets feel about 6 months is a good time to spay a female, before they go into their first season, as Rory notes above.

13th October 2005, 01:46 PM
Very relevant to this topic, I have just taken in a Dachshund female. She has been bred from. She has a large lump on one of her nipple areas I am very concerned for her. She has appointment to see our vet soon.

I pray it is not a tumour. IF ONLY the previous owner had her spayed before her season but then he couldn't of made all that cash on her puppies :(

13th October 2005, 02:23 PM
I hope the girl is ok and that it isn't a tumour poor thing.

I can only echo what has already been said. Breeding has to be done from the best especially with this breed. As there are no safeguards against SM the less breeding done at this time the better. Apart from this there are far too many puppy farm rescues that need homes through greedy breeders seeing nothing more that ££££££
This is a breed with alot of problems.


18th October 2005, 11:57 AM
there was a man arrested in Blanchardstown for stealing cavaliers from back gardens, so now i escort my dogs to teh loo as well!

I Throughly enjoy breeding these beautifull dogs. its not all about money, but reading some comments in here would put me off doing it again, as i would hate to be labeled a puppy farm, i take great pride and joy and care of my dogs, as they are part of my family. i researched what i was doing before i embarked on this journey, and i had adn continue to ahve 1st hand care from Eveylin, her dogs are top show dogs and leaders in thier class with a good family tree, adn that is why i breed my Cloe from her studs even thoughi have my own dog.

maybe i am in the minority in breeding dogs i dont know, but i do not regret breeding and would never neuter before selling as who am i to decide teh fate of a dog i am not going to have with me for life.

When i sell the pups i tak great care to make sure they go to good and loving homes and make sure i meet teh owners prior to them taking or choosing a pup.

18th October 2005, 01:55 PM
One of the big issues for the breed, Fidelma, is that the heart and syringomyelia problems are turning out to be very great indeed. Unfortunately no breed club except Sweden's actually requires cardiac certs for breeding dogs and to my knowledge, almost no breeders in Ireland follow the heart protocol set out seven years ago, yet this is so central to the breed's health and log life -- and future. The UK breed club does recommend following it, but the Irish club unfortunately doesn't or sure doesn't encourage it, and I think many breeders here aren't even aware of the protocols. In general no dog should be bred unless it is aged 5 (yes, five!) and certified heart clear (free of a murmur) or not until 2 and a half, IF both parents are known to be heart clear themselves at age 5. Because such protocols aren;t followed, the age at which these dogs acquire heart murmurs is very young -- 50% have a murmur at age 5, yet murmurs are generally an old dog's problem -- this is the equivalent of 50% of 20 year old humans getting alzheimers! A small breed *should* have a lif expectancy of 15 or so, but cavaliers have a life expectacny of only 7-10 years :( -- this is the same as giant breeds like the Great Dane who have very shortened life spans!

On top of that, internationally-recognsied neurologists now believe this breed is at serious risk because of syringomyelia -- which almost no breeders in Ireland are taking seriously right now. However studies in the UK, US amd Canada are showing that * about 70% of ALL cavaliers seem to have some degree of SM * -- meaning their skull is too small and their brain is being forced down into their spinal column. There is now a breeding protocol for that, too, but I am guessing the Irish breed club has not announced this development. It is very disappointing as right now there are very serious fears that this breed only may have a couple of decades left before it is so seriously affected by SM and MVD that it will effectively cease to exist. Already leading geneticists are saying in North America that ONLY SM-clear dogs should be bred to clear as the inheritence isn;t understood and the situation is probably getting worse every day -- but that would mean only about 10% of dogs could be bred, too small to keep a valid gene pool. Thus the breed has been accepted for a full genome scan in N. America (a very rare honour), because it is considered to be under threat of extinction if this isn;t better understood so breeders can breed away from it. Sadly while the breed clubs are the key to saving the breed they don't yet seem to want to talk about this or take leadership in guiding members on this, as time keeps ticking by. Ask Evelyn perhaps if the breed club is aware of how serious the problem is now and if it will be taking any action -- I certainly hope so. I have one dog with SM and one without -- so it is a very personal issue for me.

The point of this is to say, with cavaliers, just breeding a champion dog to another dog means little now. Really, it is a breed that needs serious conservation effort which means health status and history is more important than whether the dog produces a head and colouring that will win in the show ring. Having talked to internationally based researchers on this and in the course of keeping up with ongoing research in the area, I cannot stress enough how very very serious the plight of the breed is.

Breeders are increasingly going to be faced with puppy buyers who return to them for help or bring a dog back and want their money returned because of SM-affected puppies -- and this is a costly, extremely painful condition for many affected dogs. So breeders will be feeling this more directly and need to figure out how they will be dealing with this. That's also something the breed clubs should really be giving guidance on especially as you could imagine such things ending up in court when a puppy buyer finds they will need to spend €5000 on surgery for an affected puppy, after a €1000 diagnostic MRI (the going price in Ireland). So you can see why many feel breeding is a quite serious issue now for the breed.

I think not neutering in this country brings great risks -- that people will breed the dogs and produce more health-compromised puppies as they won;t be researching the health of the pedigrees, and also, because so many of these dogs get sold on again to puppy famrs and live out their lives in small cages, covered in urine and feces (see my puppy farm section for some Irish examples). Intact cavaliers are stolen for such farms -- I have no doubt that is where the ones stolen in Blanchardstown were going. They are real hellholes. And people present themselves as nice family people but puppy farmers and brokers for dogs are expert at doing this, often getting a family member to go pretend they are taking the dog. I often call people offering cavs for free in the B&S to warn them to be sure to neuter as some pretty scary people call those free ads looking for puppy farm breeding stock. Ireland has one of the biggest puppy farm industries in the world. :cry:

18th October 2005, 02:05 PM
that was really interesting, all the information i have read and been told states almost the opposite to what you ahve just said, in that you cant breed a female after she is 6 years old and shold be bred fro second heat.

i was told by the club that from next year cavaliers will all have to be microchipped from January, before you can sell them, that is the only change i have been made aware of.

18th October 2005, 05:43 PM
The Irish club just follows very old-fashioned IKC ethics standards but these, because of the serious health issues, really need to be rethought for cavaliers. If breeders did hearts regularly, they could breed at 2.5 and get a couple of litters (most good breeders won't breed for more than three or possibly four litters from a bitch anyway because of the risks and strain it puts on the bitch each time). The MVD protocols were widely discussed and approved in 1998 and there is much research showing that breeding for heart health hugely increases longevity (some of the breeders who research pedigrees to breed for heart health as well as general conformation produce very long-lived dogs, back to what should be the norm of 14-15 or so -- and all research points to the success of this type of programme). You can see all the health issues highlighted on the UK breed club website and the US breed club website, for example; here's the overview I give on the main health issues.


In the US reputable breeders show the heart certs, hip scores, eye scores and patella info for the parent dogs to puppy buyers. Often the clubs in the US and UK have low cost cardiac exam clinics at their events but I don;t know if this ever happens at Irish events -- I wish it did as it makes it affordable and easy for people to get heart certs.

I have a lot about SM here: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com including the current breeding protocol and all the latest research. The findings of the 1998 experts panel that recommended the international heart protocol is here:


The Swedish club is recognised as being the most health-focused in the world; their breeding protocol (in English) is here:


The executive members of breed clubs worldwide are definitely aware of these issues. It's unfortunate if they don't takea leadership role in promoting breed health to their membership as good health and improving the breed is supposed to be at the heart of breeding.