Long term health effects of spay/neuter

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Postby mnp13 » February 25th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Enlarged prostate in dogs who are intact is just as common as with intact humans. ;) It's part of getting older.

We use liquid nettle, about a dropper full on his food every night.

Did you find any benefit with his aggression issues?
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Postby amalie79 » February 25th, 2011, 10:20 pm

mnp13 wrote:Enlarged prostate in dogs who are intact is just as common as with intact humans. ;) It's part of getting older.

We use liquid nettle, about a dropper full on his food every night.

Did you find any benefit with his aggression issues?


Poor intact humans :nono:

In a word, no. No change in aggression. He was fear aggressive toward people and was in the early stages of CCD, I think. He's passive, even submissive with other dogs. I listened to Ian Dunbar the other day talk about how what we see and perceive as a reduction in aggression in dogs is actually a reduction in the signals they send out to OTHER dogs. Less testosterone means a less threatening flag to the other males. I don't know how much truth there is to that, but I think it's interesting. :|
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Postby SisMorphine » February 26th, 2011, 12:58 am

Just today I had a client ask me why Blue was behind the desk and not playing in the room. I told her that he was intact and she asked me if I planned on neutering him.

Frankly no, I have no intentions of doing so.

He is now 7.5. He does not mark in the house (unlike Wally, who was neutered at 4 and marked wherever he damn well pleased). He isn't overly aggressive, though he doesn't like most male dogs his size or larger, he isn't out to kill everything he sees. He ignores most dogs like a good boy. Though he IS a humper with females (intact or not) if it's a female he knows and spends a good deal of time with he gets over it very quickly. He isn't aggressive or pushy towards humans. Frankly his balls are rarely an issue (except when Teeny is in heat, of course) and I have no plans to neuter him.

But of course if medical problems arise I'll have them yanked. I'm far more attached to him than I am to his big blue nuts ;)
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Postby BullyLady » March 5th, 2011, 1:45 pm

Just throwing in my two cents here. I have done some research into the long term effects of early spay and neuter, though not nearly as much as some others here as I have no vested interest in the topic.

In general I feel safe saying I am for early spay/neuter because Joe Schmo is incapable of handling an intact dog. The general public cannot be trusted to make 100% sure that their dog doesn't accidentally reproduce, and many people think they are responsible enough but they underestimate their dog's sex drive. It is for this reason that I have and will continue to advocate early spay and neuter, early being five to six months of age for females and as soon as the testicles descend for males.

I do, however, take issue with the spaying of a four week old dog. The shelter had no way to be sure I would have spayed Shelby like I said I would, I know that. And they don't have the resources to hold her until she's five months old and can be spayed, I know that too. But I still don't like it.
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Postby plebayo » March 5th, 2011, 3:18 pm

BullyLady wrote:The general public cannot be trusted to make 100% sure that their dog doesn't accidentally reproduce, and many people think they are responsible enough but they underestimate their dog's sex drive. It is for this reason that I have and will continue to advocate early spay and neuter, early being five to six months of age for females and as soon as the testicles descend for males.


I really agree with this, especially what I bolded. I mean, it really depends on the dogs sex drive, but I have heard of dogs going to all sorts of lengths to get to a female in heat. In fact today I saw a FAT JRT running around the neighborhood sniffing around with two huge nuts between his legs, we live like 3 blocks from a busy street and he was pretty nonchalant when he ran in front of my car, so he's probably just going to end up being another squished dog.

There are some studies saying there is a higher incidence of Bone Cancer in Giant breed dogs, like St. Bernards, Newfies, etc. if they are altered before they are full grown. However, again, with these studies you don't know how they are conducted. Who is to say the bone cancer issue is not a genetic one? Many large breeds are IMO prone to bone cancer. Greyhounds are a great example, they are intact for their racing career and usually don't find a home until they are at least 3, so IMO the dog has been able to fully grow, however, I probably can't count on one hand how many retired racers we've seen get Bone Cancer.

I really agree with what Cathleen [I assume that's your name in your siggy :dance: ] said, I think joe-blow should be neutering and spaying his dogs at 4-6mos, just get her done. I also agree that I am not cool with the "2lb" rule that says that because the dog weighs 2lbs it can under go surgery, I think that is entirely too small.
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Postby airwalk » March 5th, 2011, 7:20 pm

Question ... for those that disagree with the 2 lb rule, is that personal opinion or based on any scientfic evidence? What about the dogs that full grown are barely 3 lbs.
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Postby call2arms » March 5th, 2011, 7:28 pm

Ridiculously small chihuahuas (sometimes around 2 pounds) undergo spay/neuter at 6-7 months of age and are fine - obviously there are more precautions to be taken- , I think the issue with the 2 pound rule is the age linked to it, not so much weight only, since most 2 pounders are very, very young. Not fond of the pediatric s/n either here, there's simply no reason to s/n before they are close to reproducing age.

I wonder if being unaltered REALLY preserves some drive/stamina. I have very little experience with unneutered dogs in sports/work, but I know in horses geldings (neutered males) can do exactly as well as stallions in many sports, even though stallions are usually favored, likely for post-career breeding.

As far as health risks, a friend just had her 13 year old german shepherd neutered due to an enlarged prostate (was painful, had a hard time utinating). Her dad refused to have him neutered, and quite frankly they hesitated to put him under at that age, but it was worth it because the prostate calmed down and things got back to normal afterwards. In their case - he never got tu use his balls, is a total house dog, and doesn't tolerate other males at all. Why did they keep them in the first place, if they were useless and the dog ended up going through health issues because of them.

Not to mention the pyometras (quite common in older females) - holy crap I've seen more than 1 uterus that was about to explode coming out of an abdomen just in time - that just can't be comfortable, and with the unaware owner (I mean, blind), it can cause death.
Another friend adopted a small shih tzu, about 10 years old, that the local shelter had ent to be spayed/de-tumorized at our clinic. About 8 month laters, the dog passed away from cancer - the mammary tumors were back and she had aggressive metastasis in her lungs. Not all mammary tumors are benign.

So I generally agree with Joe Shmos routinely getting their animals s/n, but unless you plan on doing responsible breeding, or perform in a sport where you may plan on breeding your excellent dog afterwards to spread the fantastic at x-sport gene, I don't see why he/she needs to carry a set of balls or a uterus.

Hell, sometimes I wish I didn't have a uterus.
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Postby call2arms » March 5th, 2011, 7:31 pm

Airwalk - from what I know, a correct core temperature is harder to maintain in smaller animals, blood pressure can be as well, so just overall smaller patients are more fragile/delicate to perform surgery on than larger guys. Plus sometimes with say, a tiny uterus, surgery time can be a little longer due to working with reduced models of the real thing, lol.
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Postby airwalk » March 5th, 2011, 11:29 pm

call2arms wrote:Airwalk - from what I know, a correct core temperature is harder to maintain in smaller animals, blood pressure can be as well, so just overall smaller patients are more fragile/delicate to perform surgery on than larger guys. Plus sometimes with say, a tiny uterus, surgery time can be a little longer due to working with reduced models of the real thing, lol.


You are right and the same can be said of a number of other health situations; however, we very successfull s/n 2-3lbs and pediatrics all the time. It beats having them adopted out and 4 months later having a litter.
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Postby call2arms » March 6th, 2011, 1:04 am

I'm not saying it's not doable, or successful, only that it can be more challenging or risky.

The vet at school who gave us surgery class will do anything over 2 pounds, and pulls a uterus from a 1/2 inch incision within a minute almost with her eyes closed, so it's never an issue anyway. She runs a s/n clinic for low income/rescues from the school, and does it for people who really need it.

Then again you have the 6 month old kitten that dies of cardiac arrest during surgery cause it had an commonly undetectable congenital heart defect. Surgery is always a risk, no matter which size or condition the animal is in.
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Postby TheRedQueen » March 7th, 2011, 8:56 am

call2arms wrote:I wonder if being unaltered REALLY preserves some drive/stamina. I have very little experience with unneutered dogs in sports/work, but I know in horses geldings (neutered males) can do exactly as well as stallions in many sports, even though stallions are usually favored, likely for post-career breeding.



This has come up a couple of times...but I don't think I've actually heard anyone here say that the reason they're not altering their dog is to preserve drive/stamina. I've heard myself and others say that there were health and structure reasons not to s/n their sports dogs, but that's been it.

I'm certainly not keeping Fig's balls for drive reasons...I don't think the little things are making him who he is in terms of drive and stamina...but I think they're helping keep him sound. ;)
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Postby kera09 » March 7th, 2011, 10:51 pm

After reading this thread i now dont feel as terrible of a mother not having my male neutered. Its not even my choice as my bf doesnt want to do it to him as he has a slight heart murmur (excuses!) lol But he is 5 yrs old and pretty much healthy so far except for those darn allergies!
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Postby SisMorphine » March 7th, 2011, 11:27 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:
call2arms wrote:I wonder if being unaltered REALLY preserves some drive/stamina. I have very little experience with unneutered dogs in sports/work, but I know in horses geldings (neutered males) can do exactly as well as stallions in many sports, even though stallions are usually favored, likely for post-career breeding.



This has come up a couple of times...but I don't think I've actually heard anyone here say that the reason they're not altering their dog is to preserve drive/stamina. I've heard myself and others say that there were health and structure reasons not to s/n their sports dogs, but that's been it.

I'm certainly not keeping Fig's balls for drive reasons...I don't think the little things are making him who he is in terms of drive and stamina...but I think they're helping keep him sound. ;)

Yup. I think with or without Blue's big juicy nuts he wouldn't have a different drive to work, nor would I believe his temperament would be different. I know it's all heavily debated, but I PERSONALLY can't believe that a growing body doesn't get affected by the lack of hormones that comes with an early spay/neuter. I would prefer to keep dogs intact until maturity at least, whether or not they were going to be bred.

BUT I have nothing against early speuters for JQP, and I am shocked when I see a dog adopted out from a shelter or rescue on an S/N contract vs. having been speutered before they left. I think that's EXTREMELY irresponsible. Lucky for me in my area when clients come in with newly adopted dogs 99% of the time the dog was fixed before they were homed. But every now and then I run across one who wasn't and it's just mind boggling . . .
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