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Old 26th February 2021, 03:49 PM   #1
Tsukasa Buddha
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Health Impacts of Neutering Dogs

The most immediate reasons for neutering dogs have generally been population control and behavior modification. In the US, policies for adoption also lead to the mass use of prepubescent neutering. As an additional benefit, for female dogs early spaying greatly lessened the risk of mammary tumors, and in general spaying removed the risk of pyometra (infection of the uterus).

However, may negative health effects have also been noticed over the years. Joint disorders like hip dysplasia and CCL tears (like ACL tears in humans), cancers like mast cell tumors and hemangiosarcoma, and urinary incontinence in females have been associated with neutering. Joint disorders have been particularly associated with the age at which larger dogs were neutered.

This interesting study looked at the medical benefits and risks with different ages of neutering for different dog breeds and sexes, and it even has a nice chart of guidelines here.
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Old 26th February 2021, 04:51 PM   #2
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Thanks for this.

It’s unusual to get such clear recommendations based on evidence in the world of dogs.

That is very useful, I am this week getting a new dog and had been thinking about when to get him neutered, normally I’d have my dogs neutered around 1, given the breed he is (a mutt) I’ll now hold off a bit longer.
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Old 26th February 2021, 05:33 PM   #3
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Interesting article. We have a mixed breed male who is just shy of 6 months old. Our vet has suggested 6 to 7 months as a suitable age for neutering. Looking at the breeds in the study we know are in his background - poodle, Aussie cattle dog - I do not see a concern with this time frame.

A sort of odd thing I am wondering - he does not yet lift his leg to pee. Would keeping him intact until he starts have any benefit or will he start this as he matures regardless? I will have to ask the vet.

ETA: Darat - puppy pics are mandatory!
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Old 26th February 2021, 07:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Interesting article. We have a mixed breed male who is just shy of 6 months old. Our vet has suggested 6 to 7 months as a suitable age for neutering. Looking at the breeds in the study we know are in his background - poodle, Aussie cattle dog ....

ETA: Darat - puppy pics are mandatory!
Blue Heeler/ Standard poodle. Smartest dog ever. And the only time she ever got tired out was running with a pair of Hungarian Deer Hounds. A bit aggressive from the Heeler, always went for the heels/butt. Poodle side killed her at 5yo from Addison's. That is adrenal, maybe related to her Puppy Strangles.
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Old 26th February 2021, 07:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Blue Heeler/ Standard poodle. Smartest dog ever. And the only time she ever got tired out was running with a pair of Hungarian Deer Hounds. A bit aggressive from the Heeler, always went for the heels/butt. Poodle side killed her at 5yo from Addison's. That is adrenal, maybe related to her Puppy Strangles.
Poodles are very bright dogs. Any mix with poodle in it will be a keeper.
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Old 27th February 2021, 02:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Interesting article. We have a mixed breed male who is just shy of 6 months old. Our vet has suggested 6 to 7 months as a suitable age for neutering. Looking at the breeds in the study we know are in his background - poodle, Aussie cattle dog - I do not see a concern with this time frame.

A sort of odd thing I am wondering - he does not yet lift his leg to pee. Would keeping him intact until he starts have any benefit or will he start this as he matures regardless? I will have to ask the vet.

ETA: Darat - puppy pics are mandatory!
Some dogs will rarely cock a leg and youíll find some bitches half crouch and cock their leg!

My new puppy will be a labradoodle with the father being a standard poodle so Iím now going to wait until about 18 months to get him neutered based on that chart.

My last dog was also a neutered labradoodle and she died at the age of ten when her undiagnosed hemangiosarcoma ruptured. Thatís one of the cancers showing an increased risk. Usually I would have had her neutered around the year mark however she came into season for the first time at 11 months so that put it back a couple of months, but then she unexpectedly came into season again early, so she ended up only being neutered at 18 months. According to that chart her neutering didnít increase her risk - goes to show that tragedy occurs no matter what the statistics say.

No vet I know has ever mentioned increased risk of issues with cancers nor joint issues by early neutering but have mentioned incontinence as a possible result - the perceived wisdom in the UK has always tended to be to wait for their first season for bitches.

This is one paper I am going to be sharing with a lot people and Iíll be bringing it up with my vets.

(Puppy pictures will be posted.)
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Old 27th February 2021, 03:26 AM   #7
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Thanks for sharing this Tsukasa Buddha, I'm planning on getting a dog soon (probably a Lab), and this is good info.
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Old 27th February 2021, 03:59 AM   #8
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Mine's a Greyhound/American Staffy Lurcher, incredibly placid (to the point it's highlighted on his vet's notes so anyone examining him knows to look for subtle signs of discomfort as he'll stand and allow a human to do practically anything to him even when in pain). He's a rescue and was done at the pound, and neither of his breeds are on the list anyway.. When the time comes for another dog it will almost certainly be another rescue so the timing of this op will again be out of my hands, but my work brings me into contact with lots of dog owners & I'll be sharing this around. Thank you!

(If anyone's worried, this photo is from shortly after we got Bert, his Greyhound side makes him a naturally very slim dog but at that time he was underweight, that's long since resolved!)
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Old 27th February 2021, 05:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
The most immediate reasons for neutering dogs have generally been population control and behavior modification. In the US, policies for adoption also lead to the mass use of prepubescent neutering. As an additional benefit, for female dogs early spaying greatly lessened the risk of mammary tumors, and in general spaying removed the risk of pyometra (infection of the uterus).

However, may negative health effects have also been noticed over the years. Joint disorders like hip dysplasia and CCL tears (like ACL tears in humans), cancers like mast cell tumors and hemangiosarcoma, and urinary incontinence in females have been associated with neutering. Joint disorders have been particularly associated with the age at which larger dogs were neutered.

This interesting study looked at the medical benefits and risks with different ages of neutering for different dog breeds and sexes, and it even has a nice chart of guidelines here.

Thank you so much for that, TB. It's a topic I haven't really kept up with becaise it wasn't relevant to my professional speciality, and I think I last neutered a cat in about 1987, probably some time before that for dogs.

I've always been uncomfortable about pre-puberty neutering. We know it has quite serious consequences in man, from the experiences of eunuchs over the millennia, and I was never convinced it was that different in cats or dogs. My attitude was, I'm not going to criticise my colleagues, but my own cats are going to stay entire a lot longer than that. (Rolfe was already an entire adult tom - possibly three - when I got him, so I did him very quickly, but Caramel was two and a half before the cattery owner one Easter said "his litter tray don't half smell" and I thought it was about time. Jori was such a nut I was going to get him done at a year, then he vanished for two months, so in the end he was 14 months. My senior partner always said leave tomcats till they're three so their heads develop properly.)

But this is about dogs. There's no doubt there are health benefits for bitches, avoiding pyometra entirely and vastly reducing the risk of mammary tumours. But that doesn't mean there aren't downsides as well and the entire picture really should be seen and the pros and cons weighed up. There's always the problem of managing oestrus if you choose to wait until a bitch is a year or more old before spaying, and this will weigh with many owners.

I've never been a fan of castrating male dogs routinely. My own spaniel that I had from a puppy, remained entire his entire life and nothing ever happened that would have prompted a change. I appreciate there are individual dogs with specific problems that castration may be indicated to address, but I don't really understand the mindset that a male dog should be routinely castrated the way a male cat would be. What's the thinkng?
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Old 27th February 2021, 05:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...a220312fac.jpg

Mine's a Greyhound/American Staffy Lurcher, incredibly placid (to the point it's highlighted on his vet's notes so anyone examining him knows to look for subtle signs of discomfort as he'll stand and allow a human to do practically anything to him even when in pain). He's a rescue and was done at the pound, and neither of his breeds are on the list anyway.. When the time comes for another dog it will almost certainly be another rescue so the timing of this op will again be out of my hands, but my work brings me into contact with lots of dog owners & I'll be sharing this around. Thank you!

(If anyone's worried, this photo is from shortly after we got Bert, his Greyhound side makes him a naturally very slim dog but at that time he was underweight, that's long since resolved!)
Lurches and all the greyhound type of dogs are the best dogs for people that donít want to have to do a lot of walking! Let them have a sprint and then itís back to sleep for the other 23 hours!
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Old 27th February 2021, 05:53 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Lurches and all the greyhound type of dogs are the best dogs for people that donít want to have to do a lot of walking! Let them have a sprint and then itís back to sleep for the other 23 hours!
Or take them to the off leash park. If I don't feel like walking I can just sit on the bench and watch them get all the exercise they need. I usually enjoy walking the trails with them though.
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Old 27th February 2021, 06:51 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
ÖsnipÖ

I've never been a fan of castrating male dogs routinely. My own spaniel that I had from a puppy, remained entire his entire life and nothing ever happened that would have prompted a change. I appreciate there are individual dogs with specific problems that castration may be indicated to address, but I don't really understand the mindset that a male dog should be routinely castrated the way a male cat would be. What's the thinkng?
Thinking about it - I donít know why it became the norm for dogs, bitches yes because of oestrus alone. I had one bitch (funny enough a rescue lurcher) that it wasnít even the interest of dogs that was the problem, it was her bleeding. The first time she came into season I came home and it looked as if someone had been brutally murdered - blood all over the walls, the carpet, the sofa - I rushed her to the vets Ö. never been as embarrassed as the vet started to explain to me about dogs coming into heat (I did know) Ö mind you he was then also shocked at how much bleeding there was. She was neutered as soon as possible after that.

It never used to be a regular thing to castrate dogs, usually it was done for a reason. With my new puppy I had simply marked it up on my mental ďto-doĒ list, as if it is the norm. Going to have to think about this
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Old 27th February 2021, 06:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Or take them to the off leash park. If I don't feel like walking I can just sit on the bench and watch them get all the exercise they need. I usually enjoy walking the trails with them though.
I had a rescue lurcher and I used to take her around a local flash (think big pond), after going there for some time she worked out that I circled around and back to the same spot. She took to having a snooze as I did the walk, reluctantly getting up when I returned and forcing her to walk for miles and miles to get homeÖ. Which was about 500 yards.
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Old 27th February 2021, 07:21 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I had a rescue lurcher and I used to take her around a local flash (think big pond), after going there for some time she worked out that I circled around and back to the same spot. She took to having a snooze as I did the walk, reluctantly getting up when I returned and forcing her to walk for miles and miles to get homeÖ. Which was about 500 yards.
Clever girl! Probably thought she was taking you for your exercise.
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Old 27th February 2021, 07:56 AM   #15
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Hmm, I remember exactly that behaviour in a dog being the thing that led to a diagnosis of (I think) an insulinoma. Just saying.
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Old 27th February 2021, 01:05 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Lurches and all the greyhound type of dogs are the best dogs for people that donít want to have to do a lot of walking! Let them have a sprint and then itís back to sleep for the other 23 hours!
Yes, and something I never hesitate to point out to people because they're a breed that's hard to home because they look like they need a lot of exercise. But they can put in the hours if they need to, Bert might be with me for three or four walks a day if I'm busy, but you couldn't wish for a calmer dog around the house whether he's been out all day just had an hour round the park.
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Old 27th February 2021, 06:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I had a rescue lurcher and I used to take her around a local flash (think big pond), after going there for some time she worked out that I circled around and back to the same spot. She took to having a snooze as I did the walk, reluctantly getting up when I returned and forcing her to walk for miles and miles to get homeÖ. Which was about 500 yards.
This reminds me of our family dog when I was young. He was a Cairn Terrier, never super active but generally liked going for walks. At the point that he was around 9 years old or so he started to become very inactive. I'd take him for a walk and after about 100 meters he'd lay down in the street and refuse to move. I'd end up having to carry him home. He didn't seem to be in any pain, and he was always excited to start the walk, but seemed to change his mind pretty quickly. We probably should have taken him to the vet.

I just thought he was getting old.

A little while later we got a new dog, a female Black Lab, and he was pretty clear that she was beneath him. When we started to take them for walks together he worked very hard never to let her walk in front of him. At first he was clearly struggling, but after a while he could walk all day, and we'd take them for long hikes in the mountains together.

He lived a long life after that. Even as he started to go blind and deaf the Lab would take care of her grumpy friend and make sure he kept up on hikes and didn't get lost.

(This post has nothing to do with anything, just a fond memory of some great dogs that I felt like sharing)
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Old 1st March 2021, 05:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
This reminds me of our family dog when I was young. He was a Cairn Terrier, never super active but generally liked going for walks. At the point that he was around 9 years old or so he started to become very inactive. I'd take him for a walk and after about 100 meters he'd lay down in the street and refuse to move. I'd end up having to carry him home. He didn't seem to be in any pain, and he was always excited to start the walk, but seemed to change his mind pretty quickly. We probably should have taken him to the vet.

I just thought he was getting old.

A little while later we got a new dog, a female Black Lab, and he was pretty clear that she was beneath him. When we started to take them for walks together he worked very hard never to let her walk in front of him. At first he was clearly struggling, but after a while he could walk all day, and we'd take them for long hikes in the mountains together.

He lived a long life after that. Even as he started to go blind and deaf the Lab would take care of her grumpy friend and make sure he kept up on hikes and didn't get lost.

(This post has nothing to do with anything, just a fond memory of some great dogs that I felt like sharing)
I thought that was why we were here? I've never owned a dog or cat though my family had a cat when I was four.

I did once have a tortoise as a pet and the stories I could tell -- who would have thought a creature with such a small brain could have a personality? But this is the wrong thread.
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Old 4th March 2021, 09:23 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Some dogs will rarely cock a leg and youíll find some bitches half crouch and cock their leg!
I dog I know from the my local off leash park finally start lifting his leg at the age of 2. Much to the relief of his owner. He's about 100lbs and every time he would squat to pee the stream would go directly onto his right front leg leaving him absolutely soaked with urine every single time.
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Old 4th March 2021, 11:02 AM   #20
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Our first dog since our kids were born was a girl. The two puppies we got got over time were both boys and both squatted to pee. We always joked that she taught them how to pee and they wouldn't dare cross her. It prevented them from peeing on vertical surfaces and both were so short that their pee never got on themselves. Overall we thought it a good thing.
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Old 4th March 2021, 11:38 AM   #21
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This is going a bit off topic but I remember a colleague asking me why bitches' urine burned the lawns but dogs' urine didn't. I pointed out there was no difference in the actual urine, it was just that bitches will squat to pee in the middle of a lawn while dogs will lift their leg against something and don't usually produce a pool of urine in the middle of an expanse of grass. Hence the dog-owners' mistaken impression that bitch urine is somehow particularly caustic.
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Old 4th March 2021, 12:17 PM   #22
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There is this alternative for the dog who won't squat or lift his leg.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
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Old 4th March 2021, 12:24 PM   #23
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Now if they could just teach him to write...
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Old 4th March 2021, 02:32 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Lurches and all the greyhound type of dogs are the best dogs for people that donít want to have to do a lot of walking! Let them have a sprint and then itís back to sleep for the other 23 hours!
They are amazingly popular around Dublin. I meet several when out walking or shopping.
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Old 7th March 2021, 11:37 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Lurches and all the greyhound type of dogs are the best dogs for people that donít want to have to do a lot of walking! Let them have a sprint and then itís back to sleep for the other 23 hours!
For a very energetic young Lab mix I had long ago, tossing a frisbee for her to retrieve worked wonders for keeping her in shape and working off all that excess energy.
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