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Thread: Neutering at a young age???

  1. #1
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    Default Neutering at a young age???

    I know this subject has been covered in the past, mostly it has been about spaying the female. I am sure it is the same but it never hurts to ask... right??? My vet recomended that I neuter my male puppy in the next few weeks. My female ( the puppies mother ) is due to come into season any day now. At all costs, we have to keep my male dog away from the female, as it is the females son. I have heard that it is not good to neuter them early. Contrary to that my vet recomends it because he said they recover better while they are young and he claims it will not affect his growth.
    My puppy will be 17 weeks old (4-months) at the time of the neutering. I have no problem keeping the dogs apart while she is in heat. My sister can babysit to make sure that they are not even at the same house. I don't want to put my male at any risk with this surgery if it is going to harm him by him being to young. Any suggestions or comments are welcome. I just want to do the right thing.
    Thanks-
    Jeni
    Thanks from JoJo (M-blen- 2 yrs) , Jack (M-Tri 1 yr at the Bridge) , and Miley's Destiny our newest addition born April 22nd (F-Blen 14 weeks old)

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    Our vets recommend males are done at 6 months, making sure that both testicles are down, and that the females have their first season ....

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    What is the thinking behind letting the female have her first season, do you know?
    Our vet recommended getting Zola done before her first heat, as it meant her mammarian glands would not develop and so radically reduce her risk of cancer.

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    Found this in the Purina website....

    Neutering your canine companion helps contribute to better health and longer life for the pet, and peace of mind for you.

    We look at three dog reasons to spay your dog and people's excuses for not having this simple operation done.

    Here are three good reasons to neuter your dog:

    1. Neutering your bitch or dog is better for your dog's health.

    For bitches: spaying your dog reduces her chances of developing breast cancer and helps to eliminate the threat of uterine and ovarian cancer and uterine infection, which are common occurrences in unaltered females. An unplanned pregnancy can also place your bitch at risk from trying to give birth to pups from a mate that is just too big for her to have safely. It also reduces the risks associated with abortions. Some vets prefer to neuter bitches before they have their first season, but others don't, so the timing will be your vet's decision.

    For male dogs: neutering your male dog will prevent testicular tumours and may prevent prostate problems. Neutering also decreases the possibility of perianal tumours and hernias, which are commonly observed in older, unaltered dogs. Neutering also reduces the aggressive impulses of your dog and thus decreases the likelihood of injury due to fighting.

    2. You are helping to alleviate the dog overpopulation problem.

    Each year, millions of unwanted dogs are euthanised (put to sleep) at shelters across the country. Many of these are the result of accidental breeding by free-roaming unaltered dogs. The more dogs spayed or neutered, the fewer will have to be destroyed.

    3. A neutered dog is a better pet for your family.

    No family wants to cope with an unwanted litter. Spaying prevents your dog from giving birth to unwanted puppies. Males neutered early in life are less aggressive toward other males and are not distracted by females in heat. Neutered males are also less likely to mark territory with their urine or try to 'mate' with objects and people. Spaying your female dog eliminates the problem of stray males camping in your garden and decreases her desire to roam and breed.

    Excuses, excuses, excuses

    Here are the four most common excuses for not having your dog spayed.

    1. My dog will get fat and lazy.

    Neutering may diminish your dog's natural tendency to wander, but will not affect the overall activity level. When dogs do gain weight after being spayed, it is usually attributed to a combination of overfeeding and inactivity. Just remember to adjust the amount of feeding to your dog's activity level.

    2. My dog's personality will change.

    After being spayed, your dog may be less aggressive toward other animals, will be less likely to wander, and may have a better personality. Spraying (urine marking), often done by dogs to mark their territory, diminishes or ceases after they are spayed.

    3. We can sell puppies and make money.

    Even well-known breeders are fortunate if they break even on raising purebred litters. That's if firstly your bitch is a purebred and secondly you actually get your bitch to a stud dog before she becomes pregnant to an unknown wanderer. Bitches can get pregnant as early as six months and until the day they die so don't assume your bitch is not a potential mother just because she is very young or old. The cost of raising such a litter - which includes stud fees, vaccinations and other health care costs - consumes most of the 'profit'. Finding good homes for these puppies can be difficult, and shelters are already crowded with unwanted dogs. Leave the breeding to professional dog breeders.

    4. I am concerned about my dog undergoing anaesthesia.

    Placing a dog under anaesthesia is a common concern of owners. Although there is always a slight risk involved, the procedures currently used by vets use equipment that monitors heart and respiratory rates during surgery to ensure that their patients are doing well under anaesthesia. The medical benefits of having your dog spayed or neutered far outweigh the slight risk involved with undergoing anaesthesia. Consult your veterinarian if you are concerned about this aspect of the procedure. Remember this operation is routine.

    Before and after the operation

    Normally your veterinarian will instruct you to withhold food and water from your dog for 12 hours or overnight before the operation. Most dogs go home on the day of the operation, but sometimes your vet may prefer to keep them in slightly longer if your dog are still very sleepy. For male dogs the operation involves removal of both testicles; for bitches, spaying involves the removal of womb and ovaries.

    When your dog comes home, he/she must be confined to the house for a few days. You must keep your dog quiet and prevent him/her from jumping, or biting at the sutures. Your veterinarian will discuss post-operative care of the incision, including when the sutures will be removed.

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    My vet also said that both testies must be down and that his baby teeth need to fall out before neutering. Both testies are down and I am not sure about the baby teeth. I am just concerned that my boy might be too young. There is a lot of talk about spaying females but hardly any opinions or comments on male neutering... so it is quite confusing.
    Thanks from JoJo (M-blen- 2 yrs) , Jack (M-Tri 1 yr at the Bridge) , and Miley's Destiny our newest addition born April 22nd (F-Blen 14 weeks old)

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    I've been thinking and wondering about this a lot lately. Zack is 6 months old and i would prefer if he didn't develop the characteristics of lifting his leg to pee and marking territory and humping, which my former vet said would be minimized or eliminated by neutering before those characteristics develop. At the same time, i want Zack to have as long and healthy a life as possible and while I've heard (from my daughter's breeder and other sources) that spaying before the first menstruation reduces risk of ovarian or other cancer, i also am simply aware that it's a big strain on a person's health when they have their ovaries removed at a young age so that makes me cautious, i've known a couple of people who had ovaries removed in their 30s and it was pretty hard on them afterwards. So in a common sense kind of way, i am cautious and hesitant to have Zack's natural hormones interfered with. So, i've been on the fence. I am glad you asked, i am really interested in hearing discussions of this.

    here http://www.caninesports.com/SpayNeuter.html is an article that goes into some of the potential health risks related to neutering.

    Here's an excerpt from the article:

    "A retrospective study of cardiac tumors in dogs showed that there was a 5 times greater risk of hemangiosarcoma, one of the three most common cancers in dogs, in spayed bitches than intact bitches and a 2.4 times greater risk of hemangiosarcoma in neutered dogs as compared to intact males.(6) A study of 3218 dogs demonstrated that dogs that were neutered before a year of age had a significantly increased chance of developing bone cancer, a cancer that is much more life-threatening than mammary cancer, and that affects both genders.(7) A separate study showed that neutered dogs had a two-fold higher risk of developing bone cancer.( Despite the common belief that neutering dogs helps prevent prostate cancer, at least one study suggests that neutering provides no benefit.(9)"

    I hate to give an opinion on neutering a puppy at 4 months since i don't consider myself informed, but my gut reaction is that it seems too young. But then, i'm worried about doing it at all so that's just me. My former vet said that in shelters, puppies are routinely neutered at a very young age, less than 4 months. She said that as far as whether this is a risk to their health, this is unknown because it hasn't been being done for long enough to know how it affects dogs as they get older.

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    There remains a lot of controversy about the studies that demonstrate problems with neutering. This is not directly related to the issue of early spaying but keep in mind pregnancy and ensuing possible complications are ALWAYS a greater life risk to any female than any of the minor risks associated with spaying. Most pet owners cannot manage bitches going thru heat after heat throughout a lifetime. I also can tell you we regularly see older unspayed female dogs of all breeds/mixes coming into rescue with ovarian tumours. This is one of the more common cancers in unpsayed females and can be avoided by spaying.

    You can do early neuters and personally I support them in some rescue situations where I feel it is better to know there's no risk of further litters. In your situation Jeni IF you feel you can manage him I think I would opt to wait til at least 6 months, keep them totally separated and make this an absolute religion -- one must be crated whenever the other is around -- keep her in those bitch panties as an extra precaution/barrier when she is out and in the house. If this seems too difficult especially if there are children around who may be prone to accidentally opening a door etc, then I'd consider the early neuter.

    Most vets see very very low levels of the small risk factors associated with spaying and neutering. It is important to remember this as the benefits of avoiding unwanted dogs/pups when there are so many dying every day I feel hugely outweighs any minor risks.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Last weekend, for the first time, Zack escaped from his pen where he stays when i can't supervise him like when i'm at work. He never tried to get out before. He usually goes in his crate and sleeps or plays with his toys. But on the weekend, he learned to spring straight up into the air and land on the kitchen table which is partly sheltering the pen. It's about 30 inches tall i'd say.

    After he had done this a few times over a few days, I put him in the pen and encouraged him to get out on his own without me opening the gate or picking him up. At first he just gestured for me to help him get out, but finally, he went over in front of the table and just sprang straight up and gracefully landed on the table. I was impressed.

    Anyway, today I had put a cover over most of the pen and thought that it would keep him from getting out but when i came home, he had gotten out again. As for chewing damage while he was out unsupervised, it was very minimal. I'm glad of that. But, i discovered that Zack had made a huge pee right on the seat and arm of my favorite easy chair and feather comforter that was on the chair. He apparently did a whole pee right there. He's very housetrained, but today it was raining and he tends to pee inside when it rains, which isn't very often. But he always has peed on the floor, on the rug, and i was sort of expecting to find a pee on the floor. He's never done anything like pee on furniture before.

    I am wondering if this new leaping behavior, determination to get out of the pen, and peeing on up on the chair, is related to the dawning of secondary sex characteristics. If coming of age causes peeing on and destroying of furniture, this definitely pushes me off the fence i was sitting on about neutering and I am ready to have it done. I called all three of my vets to see what the prices were. They ranged from $120 to $180 to $200.

    Are there any common complications to this surgery? I'm sure it's the most common surgery vets do. Should i be worried about a vet messing it up? The vet I had the best result with when Zack was sick is the one who costs the most. I'm wondering if i need to pay more to make sure nothing goes wrong...

    I ordered two pressure walk through gates to put on the two openings to the kitchen. Not sure what to do between now and when they arrive next week.

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    There are very few possible complications for a male being neutered. There's always a slight risk with anaesthesia as there is for humans as well -- but it is very small. I'd go with the vet you are most comfortable with.

    An unneutered male will definitely be a bit more difficult to take anywhere on visits -- you can train males not to mark but this takes some efffort and generally they do tend to lift a leg in other people's houses, not your own, once they have established their own home as it were. I have not had a sngle unneutered male rescue come into my house who has not tried to mark. I always take up my rugs when one is staying here. BTW the pee of unneutered males is quite smelly as well compared to neutered males (I am reminded of this having just had an unnuetered male in the house!! Boy is that pee *smelly*).

    I would not be encouraging him to escape from his pen. But overall it sounds like he is a jumper and the pen is no longer going to be adequate for holding him. I'd just puppy-proof a room or keep him in a tiled or linoleum floored area like a kitchen (unless you get a pen that is already fitted with a proper cover). Or can you put an extra-high baby or pet gate across the doorway if there isn't a closable door? You can also work on crate training but I think this is not much of a life for a dog if someone works all day, for a dog to be crated the whole time. I know this is a hotly disputed topic but if a dog is crated all day, then crated at night, it spends nearly 2/3rds of its life in a space it can only just turn around in. Having a room that is dog-safe is so much nicer for a dog.

    Make sure he has lots of interesting and safe chew toys (eg strong nylabones, not rawhides if you aren't supervising) and I'd be using a kong (frozen) and something like a treat ball to keep him busy. One suggestion from Dee Ganley's seminar here was to take an empty box like a shoe box, put a handful of kibble in it and tape it shut with masking tape. Dogs love the challenge of tearing it open and the cardboard is fine and safe for them to be shredding. Jaspar had great fun with this. It will get you saving small boxes from shopping and work too!

    Dogs (and young cats) often like to pee on soft surfaces especially someplace full of interesting smells for them, like bedding or chairs/sofas. Make sure you use an enzymatic cleaner to remove all odor from HIS point of view or he may well try to wee there again.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  10. #10
    Rod Russell Guest

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    I have mixed feelings about neutering dogs early, or in some cases, ever. I agree with Dr. Christine Zink that athletes should not be neutered until after a year. One of our Cavaliers was neutered at about 8 weeks, before he was placed with us. It may be a coincidence, but he grew to over 14 inches at the withers, which means that in AKC agility trials, he must jump bars set at 16 inches rather than the 12 inch bars nearly every other Cavalier jumps.

    Also, I know of Cavalier males who, according to vets I respect, should not be neutered because their immune systems are not strong enough to compensate for the lack of hormones which their reproductive systems provide. This probably would be equally applicable to females. So, neutering at any age should not be a knee jerk decision, based mainly upon the convenience of the owner -- which usually is the underlying real reason.

    The argument that a dog will be healthier without its reproductive system is, I think, mainly a false one. Sure, maybe a small percentage of un-neutered canines will have a higher likelihood of developing a form of cancer, but my guess is that an even higher percentage of neutered dogs are at greater risk to develop diseases which their removed hormones would have enabled the dogs to avoid.

    We have a 7 year old female which was spayed about a year ago, and she promptly lost a lot of hair, including all of what had been on her chest and belly. The vet found that her endocrine system was out of wack because it was trying to do the job her ovaries used to do. The vet prescribed a homotoxicology mixture to bolster the adrenals and thyroid, and her hair came back. Otherwise, she might have been headed for Cushings disease.

    So, for now, I lean towards not neutering Cavaliers at all, unless there is a really good medical reason for doing so to a particular dog, and not just because I want to keep my dogs from doing things un-neutered dogs are said to do.

    Rod Russell
    Orlando, Florida USA

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