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Intact Vs Spay/neuter

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14 replies to this topic

#1
WirehairedVizslalove

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Hi,

 

I know that this is a HOT topic especiallyl amongst animal right activists...But I think they are a little too dramatic to begin with HA.  McGee is a little over two years old and I truly do only want the best for him...Yes, I'm not worried about any oopsy litters...My breeder says get him neutered bc of greater chance of cancer!!  My holistic vet says don't get him neutered it increases the chance of cancer!! What are your opinions?

As of now, my plan is to keep him intact for a long time, and this is why:

We are very active hikers and he chases my mountain bike - I believe that the hormones are important for stamina and joint/bone health.

I trust my veterinarian more so than my breeder because she (breeder) is a bit more old school in her thoughts - ie dogs get no people food, plenty of vaccines, etc...

I believe the more natural a dog can stay, the healthier it will be - ie raw feeding, titer tests, hiking, etc...

 

Thoughts??  Opinions??  Testimonials??



#2
naturalfeddogs

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I've had both over the years, spayed and neutered and never had a problem either way.  As of now, out of our six, only two are intact, a male and a female. No intentions of ever breeding, but both are very well behaved, and are easy to deal with as long as one of them at least is in our sight. If not, we can separate them and they do fine. I will probably leave them both as is.

 

We had intended on leaving our other male alone as well, but he just wasn't managable with his manhood. His aggression was terrible towards all of our other dogs, including the girls. Sudden attacks that resulted in bloodshed from both the dogs and us separating them. Then, he started showing some signs of aggression towards us. At that point, knowing we had a young female in the house, things were going to be REALLY bad with her in heat, so we decided to neuter him. But his aggression was so bad, that if it hadn't worked and changed his attitude we would have had to euthanize him. It helped after several months HUGE! He still has growl moments, if the others get too close to him and he doesn't want them to, but not like before, and not towards us anymore either.

 

So, as long as it's a managable situation, I don't see any reason to leave them if that's what you want to do. Like I said, throughout my life I have had both fixed and not fixed, and never had any ill effects either way. Just depends on your situation.  IMO.



#3
Spy Car

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There have been 3 major studies on spay/neuter. They are the Rottweiler study, the Golden Retriever study, and the Vizsla study.

 

While each has its own emphasis they all show beyond a doubt how injurious the practice of neutering males is to their health, especially when done early. It is very damaging practice. Cancer rates go up, hip dysplasia rates go up, obesity goes up, fear/anxiety and issues like noise anxiety go up, confidence and well-being go down and stamina is reduced.

 

CCL (ligament tears), which often happen in pairs and cost $3000 to $6000 per side to repair surgically are now at such epidemic levels in neutered dogs that at many dog parks "who is your CCL surgeon?" discussions are similar to the "who is your kid's orthodontist?" parents might have.

 

Routine castration as a means of birth control is something we will be ashamed of as a society one day. It is a very bad practice for the health of individual dogs and the so-called "animal right's" militants are wrong.

 

Read the studies. They are clear, and quite damning of the practice. Your holistic vet is spot-on (he or she is a rarity in the field these days). If you want to sterilize there are some (but far too few) vets trained to do vasectomies (which spare the hormones and preserve health).

 

Some males begin to develop enlarged prostates in later age. These can be detected by vets. If the prostate risks interrupting urine flow then neutering at that point is warranted. Dog prostate enlargement is testosterone dependent, and will almost immediately shrink  post-castration.  The only cancer eliminated by neutering is the very rare testicular cancer (as what's removed can't become cancerous) but it would be crazy to put a dog through the medical risks to eliminate a very rare cancer.

 

Read the studies. You won't want to do it when you have the evidence. You may become damn angry at the prevailing wisdom, and the damage done by PETA, the US Humane Society, and Bob Barker in promoting the most radical and health damaging options to the pet over-population problem.

 

Rant over.

 

Bill


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#4
jagger

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This is an issue near and dear to my heart now, and echo's spy car. I still have Bob Barker burned in the brain. I will never spay or neuter another animal for as long as I live - unless it's an absolute necessity for life.

 

I firmly believe now that Jagger is suffering the results of early neuter - and as many on this board can attest, he's been down a long hard road with different vets, food trials, allergies etc. I feel for him. He was diagnosed hypothyroid, but I believe now that it's secondary - adrenal disease primary. I can only speak for neutering at the moment - but cutting a dog before puberty doesn't allow them to go through puberty properly. Jagger is a pure bred Pin, but side by side with an uncut Pin, he's taller - that's one of the side effects of early neuter. The testicles produce the hormones necessary to drive animals through puberty - when they don't exist, then the rest of the adrenal system has to produce what it can, and it's still not enough. The entire endocrine system can be thrown off balance for the rest of their lives - and combine that with crappy commercial dog foods, it's no wonder why we see so many dogs that are suffering and undiagnosed.

 

People need to start researching and make an educated choice over spay or neuter - not just follow the leader. I do understand the push for spay and neuter, some people can be irresponsible and pets are being put to sleep by the millions every year - breaks my heart to even think about it.



#5
TRDmom

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I won't echo what others have said, but it is good advice.

 

The "feed kibble, complete all series of vaccinations, and pediatric spay/neuter" are a relatively new idea. It's what the current and prior generation has been raised on, so that's what they know. Looking at my grandparents generations (those in their 70's and older), they didn't grow up with these ideas as mainstream. In most other countries (those "poor" third world places), you see dogs getting the bulk of their nutrition from raw meat and scraps, most haven't seen a vet, and they certainly are intact. Survival of the fittest also comes into play, but these dogs generally look healthy and are behaviorally stable. Its kind of amazing to see what this (affluent /US) sterile environment has created (crippled and neurotic dogs, with fearful/gullible owners). I might get a demerit for this, but its just my observations.

 

Neuter or not--your call. I'm certainly not in favor of removing hormones in growing animals (I've got a Pyr. They don't finish growing until about 2 years. Just imagine the implications of her getting spayed at 4-6 months!). After growth is completed, its less of an issue IMHO. If you're not having any issues, why fix what's not broken? (no pun intended) Your dog, your call. Do what YOU believe is right for your dog--not what somebody else is telling you (especially when money is on the line!).


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#6
Spy Car

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The sad thing is all the shelters in my area are now neutering puppies at 8-10 weeks. Or whatever age they are prior to adoption-release. 4-6 months is catastrophic enough.

 

I see the repercussions all the time. Yet I have to occasionally endure grief from a misguided "animal right's" militant when my dog is lean, healthy, and fit because he's still got his gonads. Hard to hide on a (smooth) Vizsla. Wirehairs might be more stealthy.

 

The reason early neutered dogs grow taller is because the sex hormones trigger bone plates to close at the optimal time. Without these hormones, the bones continue to grow, and in unnatural proportions to one another. The disproportionate growth contributes to the orthopedic problems.

 

Bill



#7
WirehairedVizslalove

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Now i feel better about not neutering him anytime soon. My husband is very much the traditional - you buy a dog from the sheltler bc its the right thing to do, fix them early, and feed them iams - type guy (very well meaning).  I think i have blown his mind with McGee - raw fed, intact, used as a stud occasionally...2 weeks ago I went to visit his litter of 10 puppies, 6 weeks of age!  She had a puppy party to help socialize them and boy are they stinkin cute!!!!  I wanted to take one home, but right now is not a good time for one...Next time! 

Our biggest issue is McGee's distaste for my husband.  McGee is very much "my dog" he really does not want anything to do with my husband.  When my husband approaches he growls and stiffens up.  Neutering may help calm that down a bit...



#8
naturalfeddogs

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Now i feel better about not neutering him anytime soon. My husband is very much the traditional - you buy a dog from the sheltler bc its the right thing to do, fix them early, and feed them iams - type guy (very well meaning).  I think i have blown his mind with McGee - raw fed, intact, used as a stud occasionally...2 weeks ago I went to visit his litter of 10 puppies, 6 weeks of age!  She had a puppy party to help socialize them and boy are they stinkin cute!!!!  I wanted to take one home, but right now is not a good time for one...Next time! 

Our biggest issue is McGee's distaste for my husband.  McGee is very much "my dog" he really does not want anything to do with my husband.  When my husband approaches he growls and stiffens up.  Neutering may help calm that down a bit...

There are good health reasons for keeping them intact, but sometimes it can help behavioral issues too, like in our situation. It did make a huge difference. Shadow still has a little bit of an anger issue, in the way of growling in the house if the others get too close, but for the most part it has made a huge difference. Enough to certainly save his life. So behavior should stay in the back of your mind, and do what you feel is best for McGee, and possibly your family. Lots of options to weigh out, but in the end you just do what you feel is best.



#9
TRDmom

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While neutering CAN have a positive effect, your husband might try having a more active role in caring for McGee before going that route. I had a neutered dog who was that way with mine. It seems like you're the one who does the feeding, training and other activities with McGee. The dog certainly will form a strong bond with you. Your husband needs to be a source of value (food/exercise/mental stimulation), rather than someone who he competes with for your attention. When my husband was actually nice to the dog (fed/played/hiked with him), then they were OK. If DH resented the dog taking my time/attention, then the dog picked up on that and could get obstinate and even growl at him--especially when made to do something, like go to his kennel. More of a mental and social game vs. hormonal. Your situation could be different, but it sounds similar to what we had.

 

I'd be curious how McGee acts after a couple weeks of being fed by ONLY your husband...


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#10
Spy Car

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Be careful about neutering for "behavioral issues" as it makes most issues worse, as fear-anxiety virtually always goes up and that is what's behind almost all dog bites.

 

Behavioral issues are best dealt with by counter-conditioning and not with a scalpel. TRDmom's post above gets a "genius award" from me. Exactly the right approach in my estimation.

 

Bill



#11
naturalfeddogs

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Be careful about neutering for "behavioral issues" as it makes most issues worse, as fear-anxiety virtually always goes up and that is what's behind almost all dog bites.

 

Behavioral issues are best dealt with by counter-conditioning and not with a scalpel. TRDmom's post above gets a "genius award" from me. Exactly the right approach in my estimation.

 

Bill

Not in all cases. Ours wasn't that way at all, and it has changed his attitude nearly 100%. Over the last several months, we have had more and more peace in  our house, but our issues were worse than most.  It was neuter or euthanise. We talked to two trainers for help, both suggested we look into neutering as well. When we did, before his vet stay was over a tech was in the hospital....Sometimes, situations may require it. But for health reasons, yes I think its probably better to leave them.



#12
TRDmom

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Here's a link with some discussion on intact vs. spay/neuter.

http://vitalanimal.com/neutering/
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#13
Spy Car

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Here's a link with some discussion on intact vs. spay/neuter.

http://vitalanimal.com/neutering/

 

 

Good article.

 

I'd draw attention to one point where the author point to studies that show neutering has generally negative impacts on behavior: 

 

 

"Among the findings, neutered dogs were more aggressive, fearful, excitable, and less trainable than intact dogs.”

 

Damn. And clients are asking me regularly if keeping their male dogs intact risks them being aggressive. These data suggest the complete opposite.

 
 
I would not dispute that there are a very narrow number of dangerous dogs with testosterone-linked aggression issues. In those rare circumstances, neutering may be a better option that euthanasia, but said dogs are still high-risk. The average male dog is far more likely to have negative behavior issues as a result of surgically removing his natural hormone producing organs. Intact dogs are generally more affectionate, less fearful, and more stable than ones that have been castrated. 
 
Bill


#14
jagger

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Our biggest issue is McGee's distaste for my husband.  McGee is very much "my dog" he really does not want anything to do with my husband.  When my husband approaches he growls and stiffens up.  Neutering may help calm that down a bit...

 

Is it when you're around or any time? If he only growls when you're around, that's more of a resource guard issue.



#15
A D

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If a human were to lose their testicles in an industrial accident I have no doubt doctors would prescribe hormone replacement. I have read zero studies on the subject however the Idea that surgically removing a dog's reproductive organs is "good for their health" flys in the face of reason. What I do find interesting is that some of the same people who decry docking of tails and pinning of ears seem to be perfectly ok with genital mutilation. As a side note,my intact 20 month old american bulldog tore his acl requiring surgery. So not just a problem for neutered dogs.




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