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To neuter or not to neuter...

(37 Posts)
quazi Thu 10-Jan-13 10:34:30

Hi all, we have a lab dog who is nearly eight months old. He is a great dog, very placid despite his breed and excellent with other dogs. My dh is keen to have him done, I'm not so sure. Any advice / experiences much appreciated!

TataClaire Mon 14-Jan-13 01:06:58

I left my boy because I showed him and he had to be entire for this, but if I had the choice again I would definitely neuter. I have gone for plan B as I left it so late, he now has an implant called Suprelorin which he has put in roughly every year, it chemically castrates him, so after a couple of weeks of initially slightly more randy behaviour than usual, he calms right down, stops humping and marking every single gate post he comes across and acts like a neutered dog, with the benefit of his coat staying the same as though he were unneutered (he's a big coated breed and neutering can often make their coats harder to manage). Just another option to consider. Less permanent and no surgery.

Scuttlebutter Sun 13-Jan-13 23:17:17

This article illustrates the continuing rise in dog thefts. A neutered dog is of much less value to thieves.

Nigglenaggle Sun 13-Jan-13 20:19:02

Multipoodles your poor vet probably wishes that you trusted them more as they try to give you a good service for the best price they can manage. Vets don't go around sprinkling fairy dust to make your animals sick. Spaying a bitch, which is major surgery, charged out 'properly' would be around £300-400 (depending on area (which affects rent and overheads)). However vets want you to neuter because its healthier for your animal. It is far more profitable sorting out womb infections and mammary cancer. But vets actually want your animal to be healthy, that is why they became vets. (For males neutering its a more controversial issue as this thread shows).

Bowlersarm Fri 11-Jan-13 20:45:34

Our lab boy isn't neutered. We have had few problems with him. Sometimes he looks for a bit of trouble with unknown males we come across but he's so eager to please us he's by our side as soon as we need him to be

MrsTucky Fri 11-Jan-13 20:39:12

I'd say neuter every time. Mine always have been.

LtEveDallas Fri 11-Jan-13 19:52:56

Your choice griffon, but 3.8% - is that really a big risk?

I wonder what the percentage is of entire Labradors being stolen, or what percentage are run over? What percentage escape going after in-season females? Oh and what percentage father unwanted litters that end up in rescue?

THIS study (from the same source as yours above) shows that Labs are predisposed to ACL injuries, male or female, neutere or not. Labs have always been at risk (darn dogs) smile

thegriffon Fri 11-Jan-13 18:53:20

LtEveDallas - the vet told me risks of cruciate ligament rupture and bone cancer (for labs) are greatest if neutered early but there's still a risk after neutering at any age this seems to support his theory although doesn't state when the dogs were neutered.
I know it's not clear cut, that's why I'd prefer to wait until it is.

LtEveDallas Fri 11-Jan-13 18:10:38

That article is about early neutering thegriffon, not neutering. A dog that has gone through puberty (12 months to 2 years, breed dependant) is at no more risk than an entire dog.

shoutymcshoutsmum Fri 11-Jan-13 17:51:46

I got my pup neutered at 11 months. Whilst it may just coincide with him growing older, his marking of trees etc has reduced by 99% and he is much calmer. I also prefer how he looks without his giant dangly bits!

thegriffon Fri 11-Jan-13 14:36:53

OwlLady - my 2 year old lab hasn't been castrated yet, nothing to do with cost. He's well trained and never run off or humped other dogs (although neutered dogs often try to hump him he's not bothered by this and has perfected a sideways role so they fall off smile). I haven't ruled out castration but so far there seem to be more risks than benefits

OwlLady Fri 11-Jan-13 13:52:26

£70 for spaying, wow! My vet costs £250

I still don't understand why people wouldn't get their dog spayed or neutered though whether it's costly or not

LtEveDallas Fri 11-Jan-13 13:35:09

it's all the other lifetime diseases that vets will treat that are the big money

That some dogs will get with or without neutering.... so what on earth is your point?

multipoodles Fri 11-Jan-13 12:32:58

Of course nuetering isn't expensive, it's all the other lifetime diseases that vets will treat that are the big money! Vets, like doctors don't make money on healthy patients!

LtEveDallas Fri 11-Jan-13 10:48:30

Seeing, what most vets charge for neutering, I really can't believe that it is a particularly profitable operation (unlike breeding litters of pups for sale as untaxed income)

Yes Scuttlebutter, my Vets (unfortunately the most expensive in my area - but I do think the best) charge £50 for a male castration and £70 for female spaying. Hardly going to make millions from that now are they? Whereas the 'back of an envelope stuck in the post office window has [sic] 'Jackapoos' for sale for "ONLY £250 EACH - 6 AVAILABLE" sad

LtEveDallas Fri 11-Jan-13 10:44:39

Multipoodles - that article is 5 years old. Do you have any current, scientifically proven, peer reviewed studies to back up your post?

Scuttlebutter Fri 11-Jan-13 10:03:50

A look at the Dogslost website is sobering reading, and should be part of your research. You will see masses of responsible owners desperate for the return of much loved pets.

And yet again, it seems to be open season on vets hmm Seeing, what most vets charge for neutering, I really can't believe that it is a particularly profitable operation (unlike breeding litters of pups for sale as untaxed income).

GobblersSparklyExplodingKnob Fri 11-Jan-13 09:49:09

My behaviourist and trainer (highly qualified, well known, well repected/published) is very against automatic neutering purely for the bahavioural problems it can cause. I know many, many, many people with entire males including myself, none to my knowledge have ever accidently fathered a litter.

My last dog was neutered at 14 months and it ruined him, he went from a relatively confident (with hindsight, very slightly nervous) happy go lucky boy, into a dog agressive, nervy, unpredictable nightmare. I would never neuter a male dog without very good reason.

higgle Fri 11-Jan-13 09:40:05

This week Many Tears have had a litter of the most beautiful setter/golden retriever cross puppies and their lovely mother on the site - rescued from the pound where they were all due to be PTS. There was a also a greyhound family - Mother, Father and pups saved by West of England GR before Christmas in the same situation. I didn't count the puppies but that must be around 10 new homes needed just for those two litters. I know there are always difficult issues to resolve when it is your dog but while the homing situation is as it is really important all dogs are neutered.

multipoodles Fri 11-Jan-13 09:35:20

Nigglenaggle excellent sensible post. LIKE very much. All this nueter nueter business gives vets income then behaviourists mope up the aftermath. Sex hormones are responsible for much more than sex, growth and maturity and especially confidence are affected by neutering.

OP before making any hasty decisions read this

From the article..

On the positive side, neutering male dogs

• eliminates the small risk (probably <1%) of dying from testicular cancer
• reduces the risk of non-cancerous prostate disorders
• reduces the risk of perianal fistulas
• may possibly reduce the risk of diabetes (data inconclusive)

On the negative side, neutering male dogs

• if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a common cancer in medium/large and larger breeds with a poor prognosis.
• increases the risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 1.6
• triples the risk of hypothyroidism
• increases the risk of progressive geriatric cognitive impairment
• triples the risk of obesity, a common health problem in dogs with many associated health problems
• quadruples the small risk (<0.6%) of prostate cancer
• doubles the small risk (<1%) of urinary tract cancers
• increases the risk of orthopedic disorders
• increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations

If you plan on allowing your dog to roam the streets and shag all these bitches in season that everyone seeing roaming about then nueter. If you are a sensible dog owner then hold tight do your research, particularly on your breed then make an informed and educated decision. Good luck smile

TwoFacedCows Fri 11-Jan-13 08:41:50

My dogs are not neutered. They are 5 & 6. I am responsible and put my dogs on a lead if we see another dog, until i am sure it is a girl or a neutered male. Or even another unneutered male who they get on with.

Both of my dogs have excellent recall and there have been many times that dogs will then come up to my (on leads) dogs and start a fight, because the owner has not got his/ her unneutered dog under control.

My dogs are very well behaved, but they will occasionally meet a neutered male, and they confuse him with a 'hot' female and try to get up to all manner of fun! blush

quazi Fri 11-Jan-13 07:32:10

Thanks all, lots of food for thought here.

Nigglenaggle Thu 10-Jan-13 21:55:21

Should read 'but of the conditions associated with male dogs, only two can't be fixed by neutering him if he gets them'

Nigglenaggle Thu 10-Jan-13 21:53:31

I am going to differ from the crowd and say if you are a responsible owner in control of your dog, you don't need to have him neutered. There are health benefits of course, but only two conditions that can't be fixed by neutering him if he gets them, both are rare: prostatic abscesses and prostate cancer. Prostatic abscesses are more common in entire dogs, prostate cancer in neutered dogs. There are some dogs which need to be neutered because they are dominant, or chase the ladies and jump through windows or similar. Or hump innappropriately...

Actually many cases of aggression are nervous aggression and many behaviourists feel they are made worse by neutering.

The situation is completely different for bitches, who are likely to become seriously ill in mid to old age if left entire.

wriggletto Thu 10-Jan-13 19:02:33

I have a large breed dog, and had him neutered at 18 months, when he'd finished growing, for all the reasons above - to prevent any unwanted pups, to stop him running off after bitches in heat, and to make him less attractive to pedigree dog thieves. I cried all the way back from the vets, but he still loves everyone just as much as he did before. He just never humps them

Booboostoo Thu 10-Jan-13 18:26:46

Please neuter him. Aside from all the other very good reasons to do so, if he does develop any behavioural issues such as dog aggression, territory guarding, etc. associated with entire dogs, it will by then be too late and you will have to deal with a problem rather than avoiding one. His character as an adult dog will not be the same as his character now, especially if he is kept entire.

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