Neutering an old dog...

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 8:28am PST 
So I've been debating on whether or not to get my 9 year old best bud neutered.

The shelter that I adopted my pup from said that it should be done.

I'm just worried about it. They said a dog can be neutered at any age, and 9 years isn't too old.

He also may have a heart problem. At least that's what the vet said. She said it was nothing to worry about though.

He also has been down lately. It's taken him alot longer to get used to the new puppy. So, in my opinion, having is you-know-whats chopped off probably won't make him feel better either.

I have about a month to decide because I have to get my puppy neutered, and I'd like to make only one trip to the clinic.

I'm just wondering what everyone's opinions are on neutering older dogs.

Can I have that- food?
Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 8:38am PST 
It is true that a dog can be neutered at any age. It's a pretty simple surgery with a very short recovery period. Also, attaching feelings of "loss" after being neutered is human. While dogs certainly notice a difference, I don't think they feel any sense of sadness or feel like any less of a dog after being neutered. I would get your vet's opinion on whether or not his heart condition would/could cause any complications and go from there. smile

I'm a trilingual- dog!
Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 8:40am PST 

I think it should be safe even with his heart condition as long as you do the necessary pre-op work up.

Just keep in mind some smaller clinics don't handle older dogs.. at least that's true around here.

Mr.- BoJangles

Behaving doesn't- always work for- me
Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 9:29am PST 
If it were me I would do the pre op bloodwork with a senior dog blood panel to make sure everything there is ok. If the vet believes that the heart condition isn't a problem and everything else checks out ok I would do it.

I watched a dog die slowly and painfully from prostate cancer at the age of 13 because his owners never neuter their males. He was a vizsla that went from about 65 pounds to less than my male puggle who is 27. The owners didn't want to put him to sleep but always traveled, leaving him in the care of our kennel. He was there mostly 4 days out of the week and they were just hoping he would die with us.

It was the saddest thing I have ever watched. The vet convinced them to have him neutered at the very beginning of his issues, but of course it didn't do much at that point.

I know its a totally personal decision and you should do whatever is right for you and your dog. For me, after seeing that dog, I will always have my dogs fixed.

Hugs and good luck with whatever you decide!hug

Changing one- mind at a time - APBT style
Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 12:54pm PST 
I would get a second opinion from another vet about the heart problem, dogs with heart problems (especially murmurs) are often more susceptible to complications regarding anesthetic used to put them under for surgery. I would definitely have pre-operative blood work done to make sure he's healthy enough to be put under for that surgery and that he can handle the anesthetic with his heart problems.

Bo, not to be rude but it's currently uknown and highly debated whether neutering can help prevent or worsen prostate cancer; several studies concluded that neutering can decrease the risk of prostate cancer in dogs, while other studies concluded that neutering a male dog actually increases the risk of prostate cancer, while one other study states that while neutering doesn't cause prostate in cancer, it seems to progress faster in altered dogs. Personally, I think a larger concern would be BPH (non-cancerous, enlargement of the prostate) and the associated problems with that, which appears based on available research to be a somewhat common problem in unaltered male dogs over the age of 5 years.

Edited by author Tue Jun 23, '09 12:55pm PST

Mr.- BoJangles

Behaving doesn't- always work for- me
Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 1:17pm PST 
Not rude at all Daddy. I am just stating what their vet, which is my vet, told them. Of course you can't be 100% sure that is what caused it, but to me, and its just my opinion, its not worth the chance. Just me and my thoughts. I respect what anyone decides and they should look at all the options and make their decision.

I would also be leery of neutering a dog with a heart problem and would take all that into account, as I did when my dog Sam had surgery 0n his eye.

I respect your views on the subject and just wanted to offer my opinion as well. Again, I was only going by what the owner told me which was what the vet told her. way to go
Shooter Wilson

Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 1:27pm PST 
i think the only thing i would worry about
it the possible heart condition...
i would get another opinion on the surgery,
and talk to the vet doing the surgery to make
sure they would be comfortable with it
and are experienced with all the procedures
around operating on a dog with a heart condition.
neutering is a fairly easy procedure...
easier than spaying at an older age, anyways.
good luck to you!
Mr.- BoJangles

Behaving doesn't- always work for- me
Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 1:32pm PST 
I also wondered what the heart condition is? Is it a murmur, slow, fast, etc?

My vet told us when Sam had his eye surgery (at 17 years old) that since his heart rate was slow, she can always speed it up if needed. She said that she would have been more hesitant to do the surgery if his heart rate was constantly fast, because she would have more problems slowing it down.

Whatever you decide, good luck! I love older dogs, they are so great.

Miss Priss

little one
Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 4:42pm PST 
My personal opinion is to leave your boy alone and don't neuter him. Many older dogs will form a blood clot during surgery.
so, I would not do it...

( the pup - yes)
Old dog - no

Such a Happy- Girl

Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 4:54pm PST 
Will your dog need teeth cleaning done soon? Neuters are so fast, I bet your vet could easily do it at the same time as a dental. If you're worried about anesthesia, it's best to get as much done in one go, anyway.

I would also do a blood panel. Ask your vet what they will do to make sure that his heart is OK for the surgery.