Vet has just recommended leaving dog entire

(48 Posts)
ijustwant8hours Wed 19-Dec-12 10:53:11

Is this normal? I always expected that he would be neutered...

She said that if there were no behavioural issues her advice was to leave them whole.


issey6cats Wed 19-Dec-12 11:00:55

what an old fashioned attitude having balls or not has nothing to do with thier behaviour pre op rescues up and down the country are at breaking point because of attitudes like this and this from a vet, im speechless, all my dogs all my life have been neutered and they havent seemed to miss thier balls lol

flowerytaleofNewYork Wed 19-Dec-12 11:05:38

Did she say why? The breeder we got our spaniel from said she personally preferred to leave them entire because their coat stays more glossy.. hmm

We decided that wasn't good enough reason and had him done last week, much to his disgust. grin

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 19-Dec-12 11:13:06

Males there is emerging evidence that there significant long term risks associated with neutering. I tend to give owners all the benefits and disadvantages and let them make the decision.

flowerytaleofNewYork Wed 19-Dec-12 11:15:17

What are the health risks Lonecat?

Bit late now mind...!

I didn't want the doggy CSA on my back... grin

What risks, Lonecat? I had Jas neutered at 6 months to make sure he didn't add to the dog population. Apart from the fact there are already too many dogs and not enough homes, he's genetically waft.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 19-Dec-12 13:26:34

There is some evidence of increased risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in neutered males of certain large breeds.
There is some evidence that whilst neutering reduces the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia there is an increased risk of prostatic adenocarcinoma.
As I say some evidence in both cases we don't have a clear cut answer I am afraid.
What I can say is I choose to neuter my male dog, but partly as he often runs with my Dad's dogs and he breeds in a tiny way so has un-neutered females.

ijustwant8hours Wed 19-Dec-12 14:10:01

She didn't elaborate and I didn't get my head together in time to askblush

I have to speak to them again anyway so I will enquire further, I don't want any risk of unwanted puppies, although I will be careful of course. I would prefer him to be "done". He isn't a large breed.

fanoftheinvisiblebigredman Wed 19-Dec-12 15:54:47

My vet did advise getting it done as a matter of course but my decision will have be when.

My vet advises from 6 months but the behaviourist at puppy classes recommends 12 to 18 months to avoid ending up with immature behaviours for good. I was all geared up for getting him done aroynd feb but now unsure again.

AdoraJingleBells Wed 19-Dec-12 16:00:08

So, presumably, if he runs off in persuit of a bitch the vet is going to home and look after the puppies hmm. I'd ignore the "advice" and neuter him if that's what works for you. Mine are neutered because I don't have the space, or inclination to deal with litters of puppies.

ijustwant8hours Wed 19-Dec-12 16:11:16

I will definitely get it done, but I was a bit shocked at the vets advice and just wondered whether it was standard!

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 19-Dec-12 16:23:58

Best practice is to advise that it is not clear cut and that these are the potential risks. Unfortunately both the diseases that it can increase the risk of are virtually unresponsive to any current treatments.
I attended a large clinical review meeting in the summer which discussed all of these issues surronding neutering.
It was felt that with the emerging evidence it would be wrong not to give owners the facts about the potential risks.

WhenSantaGotStuckUpACunnyFunt Wed 19-Dec-12 17:02:06

The breeder who my friend got her bitch from asked a bloke who took one of her male puppies to leave him entire so if she needed to, she could borrow him to breed from shock the bloke wasn't going to do that but as it turned out he had to have them lopped off for a medical reason anyway.

Lonecat, my understanding (and please correct me if I'm wrong) for males is that it can increase the risk of osteosarcoma in large breeds such as greyhounds, GDs etc and that this risk is increased if neutering is carried out early before physical maturity is complete. So as with many issues, it depends on the breed of dog and their propensity to particular diseases. As you know we have greys, and bone cancer is a big worry but fortunately most ex racers are not neutered until they come off the track when their physical growth has completed.

Even though this risk is present, I still think it's impossible to compare this to the massive risks of death caused by overbreeding - you only have to look at the heartbreaking PTS statistics for dog pounds in UK and other countries even 20 years ago - the death rates were monstrous. I'd hate to see the huge strides made in reducing this (which still haven't gone far enough) reversed. I saw a very interesting paper done by an American economist who had created a mathematical model looking at the effects of spay/neuter programmes on shelter/pound populations. It was amazing. Will have to see if I can dig out the reference.

Floralnomad Wed 19-Dec-12 17:05:07

We had ours done mainly because by about 8 months he was humping everything and anything and you couldn't dissuade him from it and it was a complete nightmare and quite embarrassing

lougle Wed 19-Dec-12 17:44:27

I was advised to leave my pup entire because he is very nervy (around, well, everything, really) so the behaviourist said that he needs as much testosterone as he can possibly get right now, so don't neuter.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 19-Dec-12 17:52:48

Scuttle the most recent study found that age of neutering made no difference to the osteosarc. We are sadly seeing them in older dogs now rather than the classic young to middle aged.
I think we feel that we have to arm owners with all these facts before a decision is made in this increasing litigious world we live in.

Ephiny Wed 19-Dec-12 19:14:26

I thought waiting until 18mo or so reduced the risk of osteosarcoma too, though I may be out of date. We have rotties so bone cancer is a big worry here too sad

I would still generally say neutering should be the default unless there's a good reason not to do it though. There've been a couple of occasions where a bitch in season has got away from her owner and run up to one of mine when we've been out, and fortunately they were 'done'! I know that's the other owner's responsibility and problem, not mine, just saying it can happen even if the dog's owner is careful, because other owners are often not.

tabulahrasa Wed 19-Dec-12 19:29:55

I've got a rottie too - I'm waiting until he's about 18 months or so, more because I've read about potential joint problems because the growth plates haven't closed.

My vet pushes for early neutering though.

ArtfulAardvark Wed 19-Dec-12 19:36:02

Seems like a funny idea to me - are you never going to walk your animal in public, surely this has the potential to cause a bit of a headache for you?

Also bear in mind that if you were to be using a dog walker or pet sitter I know for a fact that mine will not look after animals that have not been done.

I am sure if there were major reasons why dogs/bitches should not be done then the major rehoming charities wouldnt all be doing it as a matter of course.

thegriffon Wed 19-Dec-12 20:23:28

I think the rehoming charities are more concerned with reducing the number of unwanted puppies than the health risks of castration for individual dogs.

happygardening Thu 20-Dec-12 09:40:52

I've been told that neutering male dogs affects their coats is this true?

higgle Thu 20-Dec-12 12:19:24

My last two dogs, who were rescue were done. My first two dogs were not, they never had the opportunity to mate with a bitch and as they had nice tempraments and didn't play hump ( much) I just felt it was nicer to leave them as they were. If I bought another puppy now I'd have him done, but I wouldn't actually think that taking into account where we live and where he would be exercised it would be necessary, it is just the expected and correct gesture in these times of homeless dogs.

flowerytaleofNewYork Thu 20-Dec-12 12:38:54

happygardening that's what our breeder says. She owns a kennels and shows her dogs, as well as judging shows etc, so I guess she'd know. We just didn't think that was reason enough not to neuter ours.

happygardening Thu 20-Dec-12 12:46:03

I've always had male dogs and never neutered them all have been well socialised so have never fought with other dogs never humped anything and one I think is asexual as he looked completely baffled when he recently met a desperate in season female!
Im not against it just never seen it as necessary. Im not bothered about my dogs coat just wondered what difference it makes or whether its an old wives tale.

flowerytaleofNewYork Thu 20-Dec-12 12:47:02

grin at completely baffled dog!

happygardening Thu 20-Dec-12 12:52:47

He looked at me and his eyes said "er what's her problem? I mean she's OK and all that but cant a dog go for a walk in peace?"

violetwellies Thu 20-Dec-12 21:46:56

We once had an elkhound who went to considerable lengths to remove himself from the vicinity of an in season bitch. He wasn't baffled, he was horrified. Not all entire males are into 'all that stuff' grin

OP did your vet mention testicular cancer (and less serious infections)? My step-brother had an entire male dog who got about 8 serious (as in needed to be hospitalised) testicular infections in his 7 year life. He wouldn't have had to suffer that much had he been neutered.

Also worth checking insurance - I'm sure some will (rightly or wrongly) charge more for entire dogs.

FellatioNelson Fri 21-Dec-12 15:29:18

How old is the dog and what breed is he? Most people are under the impression that all dogs should be neutered anything after 6 -8 months, and ets generally support that because of the risk of unwanted puppies, but some vets (and certain breeders in particular) will recommend that you wait until the dog if over 2. Some breeds are slow to mature and contrary to popular opinion neutering them early doesn't 'calm them down', it does the opposite and messes with their hormones and their social maturity. (so my breeder told me anyway.)

multipoodles Fri 21-Dec-12 15:36:43

You may wish to read this, full of references if you wish to follow up on the research.

happygardening Sat 22-Dec-12 13:23:30

multipoodles (we both know poodles are the best!) has it had a very detrimental effect on your poodles coat? if it does how does effect it?

EdgarAllanPond Sat 22-Dec-12 13:28:38

very bad - better neutered and no unwanted litters.

some Vets are real idiots.

EdgarAllanPond Sat 22-Dec-12 13:30:54

neutering at an appropriate age has no effect on coat that i am aware of.

unwanted prregnancy on the other hand just ruins doggys hair though.

EdgarAllanPond Sat 22-Dec-12 13:34:10

mulitpoodles that link did not factor in 'unwanted litter' anywhere!

FrustratedSycamoreSnowflake Sat 22-Dec-12 13:36:55

I was going to leave mine, (good working lines for breeding), but decided not to in the end, I was advised for him to be reliably cocking his leg (sign of maturity) first, we rode out his humping every cuddly toy or blanket he could find for a month or so, but just before he was done he was cockin his leg on every blade of grass we passed and tracking bitches, (not helped by ndn bitch coming into season) for the sake of a small op (for a male anyway) it was worth it to illeviate the unwanted unsociable behaviours that my dog exhibited.

On a side note, I also know a number of entire males who don't exhibit these behaviours.

EdgarAllanPond Sat 22-Dec-12 13:49:01

i would say the main benefits of spay/ neuter have nothing dirrectly to do with health -

1) if someone steals your dog with a view to breeding it (common) they may return if neutered
2)if you rehome your dog, it is of no use to a puppy farmer/ byb
3)no unwanted litterur
4) no seasons to deal with
5)in male dogs, less sex-driven behaviour

i have dealt with large entire dogs, they are especially buggerous.

portraitoftheartist Sun 23-Dec-12 18:53:08

As almost all bitches are spayed, your boy dog is never going to father unwanted puppies.
Our vets don't routinely castrate dogs, there's no need to. Puppies grow out of humping.
Neutering either sex can ruin the coats of spaniels and some other breeds.

thegriffon Mon 24-Dec-12 09:42:56

I don't think humping has anything to do with neutering or hormones.
My 2 yr old entire lab has never humped anything, apart from his bed. We've only met one female in season, on a lead, and he was more interested in sniffing where she'd been walking than the dog herself.
He has a lengthy session with his bed every few weeks in the privacy of the utility room and comes out looking very relaxed smile
Neutered dogs, mostly smaller ones, often try to hump him and he just keeps moving away till they give up. Perhaps they feel threatened because he's a big dog and they're trying to assert themselves?

Kaida Wed 26-Dec-12 12:59:32

Multipoodles I was just going to link to that.

I don't understand why a responsible owner with no entire bitches themselves would feel the need to neuter for population control - control your dog and you won't have an accidental litter. There are health risks either way, but the health risks associated with neutering are harder to treat and less easy to spot until too late. I have a nearly 6 year old entire male, and he has never sired a litter at all, and never will, because I know where he is at all times. And that's with an entire female in the house - we've never even had a close call because I'm sensible. He's entire as when he had his undecended testicle removed our vet recommended leaving the other as he was going through a nervous patch and she said he needed all the testosterone he could get, and we could revisit removing the other later if necessary. Well it's never been necessary, he has no bad habits from being entire (he humps his toys now and again, but never other animals or people, never marks indoors). The fact he has developed a tendency to stop breathing under anaesthetic just confirmed my decision.

With future males I'd make the decision based on breed predisposition towards any of the health risks of neutering or of not neutering, individual dog's temperament, and household circumstance. If we did neuter it wouldn't be until maturity.

Entire /= going to breed.

lljkk Wed 26-Dec-12 15:58:43

Does that mean that any loose dog is always indicative of highly reckless owner?

Anyway, I wouldn't want the extra pressure. I'm not that perfect at anything. Intact dogs are more likely to try to run off to find a mate, too. So I see neutering as sensible risk reduction.

I was under impression that sex hormones change the brain permanently; by removing the gonads early those brain changes don't happen or only occur to lesser extent. Once those brain changes have happened, then they can't be undone. And most of them happen during first year of puberty. Seems like another reason to neuter before puberty.

Kaida Wed 26-Dec-12 16:37:59

But those brain changes are what's meant to happen, lljkk. I want a dog not a perpetual puppy. The sex hormones are designed as part of the whole body and brain system. I wouldn't remove them personally unless it was for the good of my dog, not to remove some inconvenience for me.

lljkk Wed 26-Dec-12 16:51:03

The reason dogs & cats like living with us humans is their permanently fixed juvenile mindset, no? They have that mindset bred into them even allowing for full gonads in many cases. I thought there was lots of research about that.

If our pets need to live successfully in feral colonies then I could see the advantages of intact gonads, but that's not the lifestyle most of us will be offering or wanting them to have.

ThePlatypusAlwaysTriumphs Wed 26-Dec-12 17:02:54

Other considerations are that something like 70% of road traffic accidents are unneutered males- many will stray miles to get to a female in heat (this was how my gran's dog died sad)

Someone said nearly all bitches are spayed- not round here they are not, as nearly everyone seems to want to "take a litter off her" hmm

I let my bitch have 1 season before neutering, and we had some poor dog sat in our garden in the rain for a week- he wouldn't go home (and he had a collar, so not a stray, but couldn't get hold of him to call his no-doubt worried owner) I'm never sure if it's actually less kind to leave them with all their instincts and urges and then never let them act on them.

I give my clients all the pros and cons and let them make their own decision, but my own dog was neutered, and any dog I have in future will be too.

thegriffon Wed 26-Dec-12 17:10:16

Some dogs might be fine if neutered before puberty, I think it depends on the breed and perhaps the individual dog.
I only know about labs, I meet so many lab owners who say they had their dog castrated to calm him down and it didn't work. They're puppies for a long time and puppies are meant to be excitable, wanting to explore everything. Then they go through the hormonal teenage rebellion phase and eventually at around 2 or 3 yrs they settle down into a calm confident dog. Castration can interfere with this process, you might end up with permanent puppy behaviour or the dog could become fearful.
Also testosterone helps to maintain muscle mass, dogs tend to lose muscle when castrated and their body shape changes. Perhaps not that important for smaller dogs but relevant for larger breeds, such as labs as they're prone to joint problems and muscle supports joints.
If labs are castrated before they finish growing - which is around 2yrs - they can end up with longer and possibly weaker legs. Testosterone is needed to ensure closure of the growth plates at the right time.

Wotnow Wed 26-Dec-12 17:27:05

That re new is not a published peer reviewed article
Not the best way to find out useful information in the Internet
You need to find a more rigorous article

There must be one doing a proper systematic review of the articles on neutering etc. is one that bears scrutiny
That one you linked to doesn't seem to be....
I take issue with neutering g seemingly in reading the chances of vaccine reaction tbh
But will look at the paper on the computer, it's too hard on my phone tbf

Wotnow Wed 26-Dec-12 17:28:40

Oh, and shelters look at animals as a group.. Neutering them is good for population control
A d this is their major issue
Just need to stop people breeding and over populating..

sweetkitty Thu 27-Dec-12 20:54:32

Very interesting, I've not had a dog since I was 20. Today SILs entire chihuahua was here for a visit. It kept humping DPs new comedy Homer Simpson slippers (DCs bought them). The last time we saw him he was humping my arm (boak) he's 3 years old and she refuses to get him neutered as it might change him :S apparently he has a teddy to hump at home.

When I was growing up my neighbours collie used to try and hump us kids, that put me off male dogs.

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