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Thread: Totally out of left field

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  1. #1
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    Default Totally out of left field

    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
    "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion".
    Author: Taken from a LO done by Too Scrappy

  2. #2
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    A logical question but my understanding from researchers is this has no bearing on incidence. 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.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #3
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    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/Cav...-P3050011a.jpg
    Rod Russell

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    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.
    "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion".
    Author: Taken from a LO done by Too Scrappy

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim N View Post
    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.
    Rod Russell

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    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

  7. #7
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    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

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