Neutering

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Dave
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Neutering

Post by Dave »

I was wondering about the theory of waiting to neuter these Brittany males after they get some age and more muscle development . Is this a wives tale ? Being in rescue with numerous other dogs coming into my house all the time having an intact male really isn't a smart thing . The tendency for them to fight as well as bothering the daylights out of the girls , especially if they aren't spayed which a lot aren't when we get them . This male I have is 9 months 36 lbs and AKC registered and is a very nice looking boy :D I don't aspire to being a breeder , but was wondering . 8) Thanks Dave

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Post by Lisa »

Chris Zink (who is a vet and a canine structure/sports expert) says that the optimal age to spay/neuter is 14 months. At that point the growth plates are closed. The earlier the procedure, the more disproportionate the dog can be because the chemical message doesn't get sent to "stop growing now" Early neutered dogs, can tend to have narrower chests and longer legs than those that were neutered after a year old.

I've also seen studies suggesting that an early neuter can lead to an increased risk of osteosarcoma, as well as various other health risks. The dogs being most looked at for early s/n health risks are larger breeds...specifically: greyhounds, dalmatians, rotties.

Personally, I think that if the individual is a very knowledgeable, responsible dog owner, willing to do everything in their power to prevent their male from mating, I think waiting until 10-14 months is probably a good thing. For rescue dogs, shelter dogs, and the average dog owner, the quicker neutered, the better.
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Re: Neutering

Post by Mark »

Dave-

(I'll say this quiet so our boys don't hear me) ;)

I was going through the same thing with Monty, and I agree 100% with Lisa's post. Our Vet also agrees. We waited until Monty was 16 months old to have him fixed, and I can tell you that he has more muscle definition, and a better build than most dogs I know of.

Think of this from a logical perspective- the testes are a major hormone producing gland (producing testosterone). The peak of their hormone production is during sexual development- thus why during puberty, you start getting hair in weird places, but more importantly to this conversation, a broadening of the shoulders and deepening of the voice. If those hormones weren't important for development, then why would they be produced? MHO (and I stayed at a holiday inn express last night) is that neutering too early gives an increased risk of improper development.

Again- for someone who isnt going to keep a responsible eye on their dog, early neutering probably does no harm to the dog (the dog just doesnt reach its physical potential). But in a case where you can keep control over your dog, and are responsible, then it probably is a good idea to wait.

The other things people were warning me about are "male behaviors" such as marking, humping, aggresivness, etc. Before neutering, Monty was called many names, including "Sir-humps-alot", "Hornball", and "GIT OFF MY LEG!" The things he humped, didnt even have to have a pulse (pillows, furniture, various stuffed animals- it was like he was going to try out for a doggie porn movie!) Since we had him neutered, he has not humped a single thing, person, or dog. He still will mark various spots on walks, but it isnt nearly as severe as beforehand.

Hope this helps a little! :)
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Post by Dave »

Yeah I know about the humping everything :roll: . Levi my new 9 month old male is humping stuff that doesn't even move :lol: My last male foster I got neutered Rusty was 3 , and he had really great muscle , chest development . I've got a breed standard male and he is 36 lbs. and about 19 inches at the shoulder . He's really leggy and has the puppy face . They are like kids and develop at different rates .Thanks 8) Dave

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Post by Lisa »

Ya know though...that humping thing....neutering doesn't always fix it! It helped with Wyatt. With Cooper, well, he humped because of stress, so that went away once he got settled and learned his place, which was actually before I got him neutered. Simon...OMG! He was neutered very young, he's a little over a year now, so he's been without those hormones for quite some time...didn't make a dent in his humping. That stinker has a thing for legs, pillows, couches...air....heck, I think he just likes hearing me tell him to stop! And then, of course, there's my girl...if any of the boys try to get on her, she snarls, grabs 'em with her front paws and...well...humps their head. And she does it every time a boy grabs her, until they learn the lesson that she's in charge and does not appreciate their rudeness!
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Barb Wright
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Re: Neutering

Post by Barb Wright »

Dave wrote:I was wondering about the theory of waiting to neuter these Brittany males after they get some age and more muscle development ........... The tendency for them to fight........
Lisa and Mark covered things pretty well....just wanted to add a couple thoughts also.....

On waiting to neuter/spay......the proponents of early (before maturity) neuter/spay maintain that it is minor surgery with a very short recovery period, has little ill effects, and does no harm. WRONG :x This surgery is a major and irreversible assault on a vital life force, the reproductive system. It changes everything in the growth and development of the body, including bone, muscles, organs, and the whole symbiotic relationship of the living being. True, these changes are not life threatening, but are they for the betterment of the body, absolutely not....not even for the so-called future disease "preventative' measures they are supposed to achieve. Anytime you remove glands and organs, however minor/miniscule their activity may be deemed, you change the whole dynamic of the functions within the body. Any removal of any gland or organ affects the whole body in a multitude of ways, there is an incredible cascade effect, and the consequences are often not what we expected and/or less than desireable in the hindsight.

When you allow your dogs to remain intact is where RESPONSIBLE management of your dog(s), both male and female, enter in. Controlling unaltered dogs, both male and female, means doing just that....staying on top of the situation as long as necessary. Males are not allowed to wander, females are kept under lock and key, literally, during the heat cycle. Responsible management :!:

As for the "tendency to fight".....If there is a female IN HEAT this is when males are inclined to get pretty testy with one another...did you ever wonder where that expression came from...now you know...testosterone :wink: Every guy within five miles is out to claim the fair maiden and ace out the competition :roll: Good sense, manners, obedience, all the rules go out the window :!: In all other circumstances (other than a female in heat) I found my males to generally get along better with one another than a lot of the females :shock: The males seem to find their "status" level fairly easily and are not all that often trying to usurp to a higher status. On the other hand, sometimes females get a real "hate" thing going with another female and there is no end to it :roll: I might mention here that I am talking about when I had sled dogs, all dogs were intact for life unless neutered or spayed for a medical problem.

Just tossing the above on the table for consumption....or not :wink:
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that humping thing

Post by Kathy »

Duke is now 10 & 1/2 years. We had him neutered a while ago (maybe at 2 years old?) but after convincing my husband that neutering might help reduce the humping (of me!). Well, since I don't have a scientific control, I can't say whether the neutering helped, as Duke would still attempt to hump me. There were times where he attempted to hump me when I had guests over :oops: , so I think that sometimes Duke wanted to show folks that I was his "chick" :)

Anyway, what stopped the humping was our adoption of Herman (a senior in his twilight years). Duke attemped to hump me & it was the usual tussle that goes on between Duke & me. Herman got off the couch, walked over to Duke, got in Duke's face and gave him the LOOK! Ever since that episode, I've not had a problem with Duke. (Shoulda adopted Herm a long time ago :lol: .)

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Post by Gunner »

Personally, I am darn glad I neutered Gunner at 6 months. I never had to deal with any of the humping (and associated "accidents") and territorial urination.

As for the more muscle and growth...Gunner is a moose! Biggest Brittany I've ever seen in my life. Yes he's a few pounds overweight but for him individually an ideal weight is 50-53 pounds and he stands 23 inches at the withers. He's just a big Britt.

From personal experience and having been a vet tech and seeing both sides of the coins...I honestly have never seen a difference as far as more muscle/bigger whether neutered early or later. Only difference I've seen is the lack of the "nuisance" traits that come with early neutering (territorial urination, etc). And around here, the older the dog...the more the vet charges for the procedure.

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Post by Dave »

Gunner , Check out the posts about big Brittanys . I've had three that were over 50 lbs. . My last two fosters were 51 and 53 lbs. and not fat . My male Pax was 64 lbs and not skinny . I lost him to kidney failure last year :cry: I love the big boys :lol: I'll try not to start the debate about big Britts again :lol: :lol: 8) Dave

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Post by Cariboo »

If I'd only known all this information 1 and 1/2 years ago...Now I regret having Lucky neutered at such an early age (I think it was 4 months old :shock: ) Our vet said that it was perfectly safe to do it then, so we got it over with...Maybe I should have waited? :oops:
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Post by Karen_P »

I'm with you Cariboo. I wish my vet had urged me to wait. I neutered Courage at 4 months too, and although he's a beautiful dog, he didn't mature the way he should have.
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Post by Barb Wright »

Gunner wrote:........As for the more muscle and growth...Gunner is a moose! Biggest Brittany I've ever seen in my life....I honestly have never seen a difference as far as more muscle/bigger whether neutered early or later......
Leslie: Been meaning to get back to this discussion....little late and I know we have moved on, but still want to add a couple thoughts :)

When you are talking about Gunner being a big dog you are talking about GENETICS. What the dog is born with in the way of genetics cannot be changed....it's a blue print in indelible ink. And the only possible thing that could really change the potential there is serious ill-health and/or bad nutrition during the growth period.

The removal of non-vital glands or organs will not change the genetic potential. The removal of the testes/ovaries, VERY IMPORTANT glands in the endocrine system, will affect the quality of the attributes. For example, and assuming good health and nutrition...bone structure will probably reach it's potential (size) but will have less quality to the structure and mass, because some of the hormones necessary to achieve the ultimate are not available. Muscle growth will be achieved but with less mass and a difference in disbursement. Again, hormonal influence is deficient. Gelded horses are a perfect example of this...geldings never develop the neck muscle mass that a stallion does. The immune system is greatly handicapped by the loss of these glands...they are essential to reproduction, but also very important to the integrity of the immune system, again, important hormones are insufficient. Brain function is attempting to reach it's full potential without all the tools it needs to achieve this. The other glands in the endocrine system have had to take on the burden of trying to make up for the loss of contributing glands. In other words, the body is trying to operate without a full complement of "tools". And so on.....

You don't "see a difference" because you have no opportunity to see "what might have been" :!: And some things cannot be seen in any event, such as bone integrity. Good health and good nutrition (which go hand in hand of course) will see the dog reach it's genetic blue print, but with reduced quality of structure. Enough to make a big difference? Well, there is no way to really tell because you cannot go back, ever.

We do change their behavior and personality characteristics by this surgery, and this change takes place in the brain. And with males especially, that is our goal...we don't want some of the very predominant male behavior traits like wandering, marking, inattention because a female is in heat, more dominance presentations, etc. We have removed the hormones that produce these traits. And male animals have been altered (castrated) for centuries for these very reasons....to make them more manageable, and for animals the size of horses and cattle this falls in the essential catagory.

So, I still maintain that the animal is irrevocably changed. Significantly in appearance, probably not. Over all health wise, yes, the immune system has lost some of its' "tools" and this can no way be looked upon as unimportant. Mentally, whose to say absolutely....we still have some pretty fabulous dogs in spite of the assault.

If you want to think "outside the box" for just a minute consider this....take a young boy or girl around 5 or 6 and imagine removing the reproductive organs, the testes and ovaries. Okay, now imagine what changes this would produce as they grow and mature. Just dwell upon this for a few minutes.....maybe it will put spaying and neutering in a little different light and give you a different perspective on its' consequences.

All this is not to say that I think it shouldn't be done under certain circumstances and for valid and specific reasons. I just don't think we should lie to ourselves about it's effect upon the body, ESPECIALLY a less than mature body.

FWIW had to get that off my chest (again) :roll:
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Post by Cariboo »

Brain function is attempting to reach it's full potential without all the tools it needs to achieve this. The other glands in the endocrine system have had to take on the burden of trying to make up for the loss of contributing glands. In other words, the body is trying to operate without a full complement of "tools". And so on.....
Barb, does this mean that the dog is less intelligent than it could have been?
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Post by Barb Wright »

Cariboo: There is no way to definitively answer that question because once the glands are removed there is no way to tell "what would have been". I would venture to say that the body does some miraculous repairs when it has been assaulted, whether it be accidental trauma or intended trauma. In the case of neutering/spaying, other glands try to take up the slack, to make up the loss, though this can never be achieved as totally as having the original glands and hormones at work.

We all are born with an intelligence potential, but there are many, many factors that can affect achieving this, not the least of which are ill health, chemical invasion, loss of contributing organs and glands, physical and psychological trauma, more. So, with these contributing circumstances in mind, that is (1) on one hand harm affecting the body and (2) then the body attempting to achieve total repair, I don't think a person can say with any real unshakeable assurance that spaying/neutering makes a dog less intelligent. There are many, many dogs out there that are altered and are considered highly intelligent. The only thing one can say with 100% confidence is that they are different than they would have been if left intact.

Hmmmm....hope that answers your question well enough :)

One other thought though....I believe I would worry more about the effect of chemicals on brain development and arriving at intellegence potential than I would worry about spaying/neutering effects :(
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Post by Karen_P »

Cariboo, I personally don't feel that early-neutered dogs are less intelligent, but I certainly do think they mature more slowly both physically and emotionally than an intact dog, which offers it's own set of challenges.
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