To neuter or not to neuter?

NiamhB

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Getting a new puppy at the end of this week.

Its been a long time since I've had a puppy as my two jack Russell's both passed away in their sleep at the age of 15 over the summer.
It was always instilled in me that the responsible choice was to always neuter your dog once there fully matured unless it was going to be used for breeding. My two JRTs lived long and healthy lives with no health issues and they were nuetered
But since doing some research in preparation for new puppy I've seen alot of people disagree with neutering unless medically required.


Some of the reasons given for this view I'm very skeptical about . But the ones which do concern me is the possible health risks such as Hormone imbalances and endocrine issues. I'm unsure how much actual research is behind these claims .
Im still very much in the camp of neuter right now, but feel i owe it to new puppy to do proper research before making this choice. She herself is a result of accidental breeding when the neighbors dog jumped a very high fence to get to her mother.


Has anyone any information anecdotal or otherwise about this issue ? Also of anyone knows of any reputable sources which discuss this issue i would love a link to it. Btw the new puppy is female.
 

millikins

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I've always had my dogs neutered, they've nearly all been rescues and not for breeding. I think overall they lead happier lives as pet dogs if spayed. Only one I'd question was the Battersea rescue, I had no choice on that, she was a Rottie X and they insisted all large breeds or more challenging breeds were neutered. It took the gloss off her wonderful coat and she became very incontinent in old age, I suspect she should have been left to mature further before it was done.
 

Merry Equimas

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Vets do it young as it is technically a lesser operation when the organs are "unused" so to speak. Im not sure how true that is as i am not a vet. For a pet i would always neuter when they are physically and mentally mature. I have never had a bitch have any issues after being spayed, but i have only ever done it after the age of 2.
 

Annette4

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I always get mine done, I wish I'd waited longer with Dobby and should we have the choice (we are hoping to adopt again next time and I refuse to neuter a dog at 6 months so will be an older dog again) I won't be neutering until they at 2yo at least.
 

reddie

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We have had 4 rescues, 2 bitches and 2 dogs, all neutered around 1to 2 years old. No problems whatsoever. Our 2 year old rescue pug was neutered recently and it’s had a positive effect in his behaviour with our other dog, no longer trying to dominate her. We didn’t neuter our first bitch and she developed pyrometra and soon after cancer of mammary glands which I feel could have been avoidable had we had her spayed
 

windand rain

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I will never neuter a dog again unless for life threatening illness like pyometra every one has been a disaster from bad coats to serious mental health problems becoming very anxious and all have become different temperamental. I do think issues might be more likely in big dogs but increased risk of terminal cancers and having dogs on drugs for life was not something I would contemplate. I know lots will disagree but in 60 years of owning bitches sometimes multiple bitches only the spayed ones have died younger and usually in bad ways. Only benefit would be the lost risk of pyometra but I would take a lot of convincing that was a good reason to inflict pain wilfully on your dog
 

Chiffy

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Just to say there are two sides to every story and you have to weigh it up yourself. As the complete opposite to Windandrain, I have had bitches for over 50 years and every one has been spayed, always after at least two or more seasons and over two years old. Not one has ever had a problem either with the operation or in any other way. I have even managed to keep my flatcoats with shiny , not too thick coats. The couple of dogs I have bred from have been spayed later.
The Mother of one of my dogs, not owned by me, died of pyometra inspite of her owner realising very quickly that there was a problem and getting her to the vet. It is devastating.
 

Bellasophia

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I’m pro spay for the girls,provided they are allowed to finish their physical development...so age to spay depends to breed size imo...
my mini schnauzer was allowed to have her first season( surprised me at six months) and we spayed three months later.ideally we would have let her have a second season,then spay BUT we have an entire male at home.We had to separate them for three weeks and he found that very hard( howling,lost appetite etc)
she is now six this dec,and has been a healthy dog ..no issues at all.i do have to watch her weight as she is a greedy dog.

So in your breed I would say spay,but after one or even two seasons,since they will be living an outdoor ,active lifestyle .You won’t have to worry about pyometra,getting caught by a male ,and they should keep their figures by the active lifestyle you offer.
my male is 8 this November..entire.i have taken him for an ecograph on his prostate,to check no enlargement and will repeat this yearly. I would not neuter a male,unless they had health or behavior issues related to hormones.
 

scats

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We always spay ours.
From a groomer point of view, I find it’s spaniels who’s coats tend to change. I do one cocker bitch who has a coat like fluff since being spayed a it matts horrendously.
 
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I will never neuter a dog again unless for life threatening illness like pyometra every one has been a disaster from bad coats to serious mental health problems becoming very anxious and all have become different temperamental. I do think issues might be more likely in big dogs but increased risk of terminal cancers and having dogs on drugs for life was not something I would contemplate. I know lots will disagree but in 60 years of owning bitches sometimes multiple bitches only the spayed ones have died younger and usually in bad ways. Only benefit would be the lost risk of pyometra but I would take a lot of convincing that was a good reason to inflict pain wilfully on your dog



I agree with w&r but that is my decision for my dogs (bitches). I have had dogs, mainly Labs literally all my life. Parents kept entire dogs and bitches together with no difficulty. I have known small bitches who have had hormone problems after spaying, probably too young. You need go do your own research and make your own decision
 
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Karran

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I like to wait for the first season. Mrs Spaniel was 15 months when she was spayed, her coat was unaffected until I made the foolish winter decision to clip her instead of handstrip.
Miss Collie is waiting her first season. She is dragging her heels about it. She is two in January. I will get her done as soon as she plays along 🙄
 

TinselPuff

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Of all our dogs (all neutered) we’ve only had one slight issue. One dog did become much more anxious and dog reactive after being castrated. However, none of the others ever had any issues at all, I think with a bitch I’d always spay.
 

Levrier

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All my dogs are rescues so all are neutered - been the same for the last 25 years - never once had a problem as a consequence with any of them, I’d always have a bitch spayed due to the pyrometra risk.

I’ll probably only have Colin castrated if he starts to be a nuisance in some way now I know he has 2 and not one!
 

Umbongo

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Always neuter a bitch. The risks of pyometra and mammary cancer are too great, not to mention the risk of being mated by a dog. Some bitches are too sick from a pyo to make it through an anaesthetic. I think a lot of people now wait until they have had 1 or 2 seasons until they spay. Dogs, I would see how they go as they get older. My last collie kept his testicles! Not to say they are safe either, have seen plenty of entire males develop testicular, prostate and anal tumours, with subsequent spread.
 
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NiamhB

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Thanks everyone for your input, I've done a lot of research in the last couple of days and certainly there are risks involved that I wasn't previously aware of, but i think the benefits of a neutered female dog far outweighs the negative for me.
Ill certainly be waiting till dog reaches full maturity.
Thanks All! :):)
 

GSD Woman

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There is a recent study from University of California Davis that shows the best ages to neuter by breed. It is more an earliest age to alter. I've seen too many pyos and mammary cancers myself (I used to work in a low cost surgical and dental practice) to risk leaving a bitch intact after she's grown unless she's a brood bitch. I now leave my boys intact unless I have a reason to castrate. YMMV.
 

Moobli

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It’s such a personal choice dependent on your own experiences and lifestyle that the best advice I can offer is to research. Read the studies, speak to your vet and the breeder of your dog. If you do decide to spay then try to wait until your bitch is mature, physically and mentally, before doing so.
 

cbmcts

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For many years I was always one to spay/neuter at the earliest opportunity but have changed my mind over the last 10 years or so. I'll always spay a bitch but would now wait until maturity. I do think that seasons are hard on many bitches - 3 weeks with limited exercise, phantom pregnancies, the risk of pyo and mammary cancer not to mention accidental pregnancy! Unless you're planning to breed I don't know why you'd do that twice a year...in saying that, I haven't had any issues with spayed bitches and only know of one or two belonging to friends who started to leak as they got older.

Dogs, especially large breeds I would now think long and hard about castrating. If the behaviour was good enough, they can keep them. Current dog was castrated by the rescue when he was 2yo (just) and if they hadn't I think I would have booked him in fairly quickly as he has enough distractions in his life without adding hormones to the mix. Other dogs, I'd have been happy to leave entire.

TDLR :) It depends on the dog
 

DressageCob

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I've just had my male dog castrated. He is 10 months, which is the recommended age for his breed. Castration if not breeding is also recommended because they are particularly able scent hounds and very determined.

Admittedly, my boy has such a nice nature there was no need personality-wise. I also worried about changing that personality, ruining his coat etc. But I did a lot of research and spoke to the breed club and several breeders and was convinced it was the best thing for my dog.

it is also (selfishly) better for me too, because the day care he goes to (where he will also stay overnight if I ever go away) only takes neutered boys once they are over 12 months old.

There is conflicted evidence and argument both ways. I would therefore do whatever you think is best for your dog and for you.
 

jenniehodges2001

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I spayed a bitch once and she became a little incontinent, only the size of half a teaspoon every now and then. But for me it was the fact that we were preventing a possible unwanted pregnancy and also preventing pyometria when older.

Present dog is spayed, wouldn't consider not doing it to be honest. When you have seen photos on the internet of dead dogs in black bin liners outside kennels and one which hit face book recently of approx 60 dogs of all shapes and sizes laid out in the corridor of their kennels after being PTS its easy to consider neutering or spaying. Too many unwanted healthy dogs are pts in this country.

If anyone is in any doubt suggest you watch 'Life in the Doghouse' on Netflix and I challenge you not to shred and tear when you see the kill shelters at work.

And if you can bear it you can always watch this and see if you feel different now (NOT FOR SENSITIVE VIEWERS)

 

windand rain

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The facebook thing was in America thats not to say it doesn't happen here. If you cannot look after a dog well enough to prevent unwanted pregnancy you shouldnt own a dog or certainly not a female one. Just dont get why anyone would want to cause a dog pain or to deliberately mutilate one unless absolutelty essential to its health. I wont do colic surgery on a horse either as I believe just because you can doesn't mean you should. I have heard no reason yet that would encourage me to spay or neuter unless absolutetly necessary for their welfare.
 

Clodagh

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I have been on the fence about my latest as I felt she may be worth breeding from in the future. She’s in her third season now and is so miserable, really shut down. She will now be done as soon as it is safe.
I also looked at all the inflated price lockdown pups and thought so many people are going to breed to try to recoup some money I don’t want to be in that bun fight.
 
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I spayed a bitch once and she became a little incontinent, only the size of half a teaspoon every now and then. But for me it was the fact that we were preventing a possible unwanted pregnancy and also preventing pyometria when older.

Present dog is spayed, wouldn't consider not doing it to be honest. When you have seen photos on the internet of dead dogs in black bin liners outside kennels and one which hit face book recently of approx 60 dogs of all shapes and sizes laid out in the corridor of their kennels after being PTS its easy to consider neutering or spaying. Too many unwanted healthy dogs are pts in this country.

If anyone is in any doubt suggest you watch 'Life in the Doghouse' on Netflix and I challenge you not to shred and tear when you see the kill shelters at work.

And if you can bear it you can always watch this and see if you feel different now (NOT FOR SENSITIVE VIEWERS)

It is perfectly possible for responsible owners to avoid unwanted pregnancies without spaying every pet bitch.
 

GSD Woman

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I've had to deal with too many hinky dogs today but I wish the idiots who breed would have to deal with their messes. Either the dogs PTS in the shelters and/or the behavioral messes that aren't safe around anyone.
I know I'm venting and I think things are worse here in US but for responsible owners with behaviorally sound dogs the decision to spay/neuter really should be left up to the owners.
 

LotsOfGiftBags

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We really struggled when Juno was in season as she loves to run and finding places to walk her without other dogs around was a challenge. I was walking her on a very quiet bridleway one day, where I hardly see other people or dogs, when the hunt kennels brought the hounds out for exercise which was a heart stopping moment. I told the whip that she was in season and they kept them away, the hounds were very interested! We had her spayed after her second season, she was about 18 months old, as we really didn't want to take the risk of an accidental pregnancy.
 

PapaverFollis

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We had an entire bitch as a family dog growing up. We would just keep her in the house and garden during seasons, busy suburbia right next to a popular dog walking park, couldn't risk taking her out even on a lead. She was kept entertained with games and training but it would have been better for her to be spayed. Then she got pyometra which nearly killed her and then she got some problems with her urethra that did and it was close enough together to make me think it was linked. Short story: I'd always spay a bitch.

I currently have 2 entire males though and am happy with the decision to not neuter them. Amazingly neither have been allowed to sire any accidents 🙄 because, you know, training and supervision. One of them is an accident though. So I reckon I'm one up in the dead dog in a bin bag front, since I clearly saved him from the fate of all unplanned puppies. No?
 

luke_H

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Current boys aged seven and nearly ten are both intact. Both well mannered, don’t hump nor constantly stop and sniff n pee on everything as they were taught not too. I did use the implant on the elder boy about 18 months ago as he very suddenly seemed to have a surge of ‘boyishness’ and the vet felt it may help. It did; but we haven’t had it done again and he’s back to normal now.

Have had two castrated in past. It’s a no from me as impacted them negatively in different ways.

Bitches were always speyed. corgi Sherman tank is 15 months so still intact. Can’t really decide what to do, she’s good enough to have a litter from and a really well bred little goblin, but equally I’m not totally sure. Will probably mull for the next 18 months and decide around the time she’d be ‘old enough’ to be mates as a lot can change in that time.

It is a personal choice i feel, which is why I loathe vets ramming it (particularly early neutering) down people’s throats.

I come from a very doggy family. I’ve never known anyone have anything but intact dogs, and never known anyone have any accidents bar one. That was my half sister walking an inherited elderly Pekingese many many moons ago...who mated an in season golden retriever who was charging around the park. I’ve never asked what the progeny, if there were any....which I believe from memory they were, looked like. Nowadays they’d probably fund a house deposit.
 
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