Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Paediatric castration(20 Posts)
Our male cockapoo is due to be neutered next week at 12 weeks old. Our vet offered paediatric castration as an option during the puppy health check. I thought it would be better for our boy because it is simple operation at an earlier age, and he wouldn’t need stitches. However, since then I have been reading articles online that are against early neutering as it can affect bone growth.
I called the practice this morning to talk to them about my concerns. The lady on reception told me both her GSDs were neutered early and are okay, and the practice carried out 5 years of research before offering paediatric neutering. She told me to speak to the nurse on Monday when our puppy has his booster, and if I wasn’t sure, they would cancel the appointment.
I’m really not sure. I am now thinking perhaps I should wait until he is 6-9 months when he has finished growing.
Very confused at the moment. I would love to hear some of your opinions about early castration, positive or negative.
No no no way. Far too early.
Please let your dog mature and grow before you neuter him. You're setting yourself up for a whole load of growth, joint and behavioural problems.
I would not trust a vet who recommended neutering at 12 weeks old.
I always wait until maturity where possible, over a year for a decent sized dog and 9-12 months for smaller.
No way would a vet get near Battendog's balls at that age. He's just turned two and we're only just thinking about getting it done.
However, in the spirit of balance, some large veterinary institutions are not against early neutering and the science is far from absolutely clear on which is best in a range of circumstances.
All you can do is what you are doing: research and make the best decision you can. For me it came down to a choice between which mistake I would rather make:
- leaving him with all the bits nature intended him to have for too long
- taking bits away from him too soon
I prefer the first mistake to the second. Humans are too keen to cut off bits of animals they consider to be pesky (imo).
For me other factors that I considered were:
1. Likelihood of hip or elbow problems in the breed
2. How sure I was that I could keep my dog from accidentally mating
3. Where we lived (i.e. other dog population and space)
4. Likelihood of certain cancers in the breed
5. His lineage and any health concerns there
6. His personality - he veers towards the nervous/cautious side of the fence
Just to clarify I'm not against castration at all. Our beagle got done in August at 18 months of age and it's done absolute wonders for him. He's much calmer and much more obedient in general. I don't regret it for a second.
But I would never have even considered it at 12 weeks old.
Gosh no definitely not. I think they're ethically on very dodgy ground here.
Thank you for your responses. This thread has really helped to make my mind up. I’m going to cancel his appointment. I just don’t feel it is right for him at the moment.
I think you have made the right call, OP. I've read fairly widely on this, and there can be later issues from early neutering. There is very little reason to neuter a male other than the prevention of unwanted behaviours (eg roaming) and him getting to a bitch in season and siring an unplanned litter. With a bitch you have to consider pyometra and mammary cancers, but I'd still want to wait until that mind matures.
my dog got done at 6 months old (dogs trust policy) and i feel he was too young - hes now 12 and still acts like a puppy and doesnt seem to have matured like he would have if we had waited
Hmm did mine early and she grew weirdly and lankily - would wait next time
We castrated our cocker at 10.5 months of age. I would have preferred to wait until he was 1 but we needed to time it during holidays for his recovery. However, he had finished growing by that time which is what I was bothered about in terms of affecting his joints/growth plates etc.
Had my Spaniel done at 10 months as was recommended 12 years ago.
Lost him 4 weeks ago and I’ve just taken on a 10.5 year old who was castrated 2 months ago. He is built like a brick shit house. His teeth are enormous. Reminds me of those bulls you see at agricultural shows.
Makes me sad in a way that we castrate to make our lives easier ...
I don't castrate my dogs I find a vet that does vasectomies - you do have to hunt around for a vet that can do it though.
I spoke to a couple of vets and a few trainers and all said nowadays they recommend waiting til at least 12-18 months.
Our trainer said that a dog stays at the level of maturity they are when they’re castrated. So if you get it done really young they have a puppy mentality forever. Also affects growth I think.
I’d not only cancel it I’d look around for another vets. I did exactly that. I changed vets when the only one who would keep to the vaccination schedule the breeder recommended asked me to make an appointment in the next couple of weeks for neutering my 11 week old puppy. There was no way I could trust the judgement of a vet who pushed neutering—babies— puppies.
I may also have given him a lecture on bone growth and muscle development
I’m so glad I cancelled his op. Not sure why the practice give the option. I haven’t found any info online that supports early castration. Feel a bit stupid that I didn’t ask the vet more questions before booking him in. She told me it was such a simple straightforward procedure, so I thought it would be better for him. I plan to wait until he is at least 12 months before booking him in for his op.
I will blame you if I have some weird spaniel/bull hybrid dream later
@Breathlessness, our boy is due to have his booster with nurse on Monday, so I plan to voice my concerns then.
I have used the practice for many years with my cat. They have always been really good with him, so I always planned to use them when we got a dog. I don’t understand why they offer the op. It is cheaper than neutering an older dog, so it’s not to make more money. I don’t understand it.
The main drivers I see are to be sure to avoid accidental breeding - if testicles are removed before sexual maturity then this is certain - and a belief young dogs heal faster than mature ones. I wonder if that is more to do with immature body control and a restricted ability to express pain, making the dog seem ok when he isn't.
Not saying I agree with either of those. Just adding to the conversation...