Another post about neuters (long! Sorry)

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.

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Ava & Nix

Suburban Farm- Dogs
Barked: Sun Oct 7, '12 2:26pm PST 
Where to begin...? Well, when I first got Nix I planned to keep him intact for somewhere between 16 months and 2 years, and then neuter him, but the more I read the more it sounded like it's just all-around better health-wise to leave males intact forever, unless it becomes medically necessary to neuter, like signs of testicular cancer or something... So I dropped the idea of ever neutering him unless it became necessary. I didn't worry about it.

Fast-forward to a month ago when I found out Nix's breeder had to have one of her retired spayed females put to sleep because of mammary cancer (which appeared AFTER she was spayed, for the record...) I know this female was related to Nix, though I don't know exactly how. An aunt, if I'm not mistaken...

So it got me thinking... even though Nix is a male, the fact that any type of cancer at all has shown itself in these lines would be good enough reason to have him neutered. He is by now old enough for it not to affect his growth anyways.

Plus in his most hormonal stage there are certain behaviors that I'm finding pretty irritating... mostly it's his need to taste every single dog's urine spots. Female or male. It doesn't matter. He likes to taste every dog's urine. I don't necessarily mind that he has to mark over it, but when he starts foaming at the mouth and smacking his lips it drives me nuts. ...Is that a silly thing to get annoyed by? I just find it incredibly gross. laugh out loud

Plus I am noticing he's becoming more of a blockhead than he was before. It's gotta be the teenage naughties, I know, but the spike in testosterone probably isn't helping with that.

What concerns me the most is that... well, Nix is VERY good at "talking" with other dogs. By that I mean he's very respectful of the signals that they give off. If another dog wants him to leave them alone, he will. OTOH, he's also starting to be less tolerant of other dogs' rude behavior. If another dog acts up, he will give them a warning--he'll growl while standing his ground. If he was speaking English he would probably be saying "You're acting rude. Stop it now." because I watch the other dogs as well, and literally he only gets like that when the other dog is being an idiot. But he's never taken it any further than a warning... until today.

We met up with a friend and her 3 pugs, and they started harassing Nix.. and he started warning them, and that's when my friend's puggle (who has some issues with strange dogs) started barking. Nix started growling louder, and then it escalated and Nix LUNGED at him! I caught him by the collar before they made any contact, thank god! Nix didn't make any other effort to get at the barker, but he did keep a wary eye on him and he kept growling the same "You are extremely rude and you need to be taught a lesson!" way of growling. My friend and I parted ways after apologizing to each other, but it got me thinking even more about his neuter.

There are things that are gnawing at my mind like.. what if I do it, and he ends up becoming extremely aggressive? The most aggressive dogs we've met are always neutered/spayed ones. Intact males don't hold a candle, which is ironic because you always hear it's the opposite! His low tolerance for rude behavior concerns me enough, but what if he became intolerant of ALL dogs after a neuter?
Also, what if it totally changes him in other areas? What if he becomes lazy and ignores me?

What kind of health effects could it cause going from super high teenage testosterone levels, to super low? These are all things I want to know, but don't feel like I can talk to a vet about, because all vets would say is "oh, it will only change him for the better! There are absolutely no health risks at all in neutering. Blah, blah, blah."
So again I'm turning to dogster for help in the decision. Ultimately the choice whether to leave him intact or go ahead with the neuter will be my own, but I feel like I really need some moral support right now. silenced

Edited by author Sun Oct 7, '12 2:35pm PST


Canadian- Champion, CGN
Barked: Sun Oct 7, '12 5:55pm PST 
I'm not sure I have much help to offer, but I was wondering about what you said about males being better off left intact unless something comes up. The reason I'm asking is because I'm thinking about getting my 7 year old male fixed and I always thought it would be better for him since he won't develop certain cancers and such. Though, I haven't done much research about it myself, I just always figured it was better, and the only reason I haven't gotten him fixed yet is because I wasn't sure if we were going to breed him. Now you also have me wondering if I should get him fixed!

I was mostly just wondering what information you found on it, and what makes it better to keep them intact instead of getting fixed.
Ava & Nix

Suburban Farm- Dogs
Barked: Sun Oct 7, '12 6:04pm PST 
Here's the link to the best and more importantly unbiased source of information I've ever read on it:
http://www2.dcn.org/orgs/ddtc/sfiles/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpa yNeuterInDogs.pdf


too old to eat- any more KD
Barked: Sun Oct 7, '12 6:44pm PST 
"There are things that are gnawing at my mind like.. what if I do it, and he ends up becoming extremely aggressive? The most aggressive dogs we've met are always neutered/spayed ones. Intact males don't hold a candle, which is ironic because you always hear it's the opposite!"
Squ'mey was intact until he turned 2. His pushy-rude stage began around 15 months when he started overreacting to other dogs. I tried everything with him; he was the toughest teen gsd I ever had! Plus he shared a yard with an intact female, so the teeth-clattering, drooly behavior was over the top. By the time he was neutered he was quite the honey badger laugh out loud
Now he is just over 3 and we've made huge strides in his eruptive behavior. But it has a lot more to do with him than it does the neuter. As for getting lazy..not happening here. Even Wiley has a ton of spunky left, and he just turned 8.smile
Ava & Nix

Suburban Farm- Dogs
Barked: Sun Oct 7, '12 7:00pm PST 
Out of curiosity since you mentioned it too, did you notice Squam's teeth clattering behavior stop after he was neutered? I think for Nix that would be the greatest benefit, next to the fact his pee wouldn't stink as bad. laugh out loud (although I would still wash it off his legs when he nailed himself because otherwise that's just unsanitary! lol!)

Edited by author Sun Oct 7, '12 7:01pm PST


too old to eat- any more KD
Barked: Sun Oct 7, '12 7:31pm PST 
Yes..a huge decrease. It is fairly rare now. I think only when there is a female in heat, rather than any dog. I mean, I obviously can't smell it, so it's just a guesssmile

Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 6:33am PST 
My guess is that the female that was spayed with mammary cancer was probably left intact until she was 5-6. Any dog that is not spayed before its first heat cycle increases the risk to develop mammary cancer. More times then not people who come in with a dog with a lump on chest or mammary chain is a over 5 yr old intact female. Not sure if mammary cancer could be linked to prostate cancer or any other cancer in an intact dog. It takes a special person to own an intact dog. You have to have control of your dog in more ways then one. He can't run off to mate with other dogs. An escalation in different types of aggression is definitely something to consider.
Now with that being said, both of my boys are neutered and have been since 6 months. Im not opposed to waiting until they are 2 but from reading what other owners go through with their intact dogs at certain ages, my dogs have done very similar. Tucker started becoming more reactive with dogs after 2 yrs old. Especially ones that arent fixed. My other dog could care less if they are fixed or not, he is more opposed to certain breeds of dogs. I personally will continue to fix all my dog male/ female. Males anywhere between 6 months and 2 yrs. And females around 6 months. I have worked in rescue and veterinary field for a while now, and all the males that were 9-10 or whatever age the seem exactly the same after the neuter

I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 1:50pm PST 
Ok, I'm confused. Why would neutering a dog make him aggressive? I've read this a few times when neutering is discussed and I'm not understanding the connection. (I could google this subject, but I'm on my lunch break and decided to start with asking here).
Wouldn't aggression be more of a genetic or situational issue rather than a neuter issue?

Moose has yet to enter his teenage stage yet and I'm waiting for the giant brat to rear it's ugly head when the time comes, but thus far, he's still just a dopey puppy (coming up on 1) who reads dogs gorgeously and understands boundries set by other dogs.
My GSD was intact his whole life and I don't remember any difficult teenage issues with him. Ever. He was as level as they came, so I never thought about it.

My main reason for neutering Moose, when/if the time comes, is if he starts becoming a jerk or if he starts being harrassed by altered dogs. Or if he becomes a humping machine.
Three people at the beach neutered their boys only because of excessive humping (being humped and them doing the humping)and being bullied by neutered dogs and since their neuter their dogs remained super sweet, playful, respectful of other dogs and listen well (especially since being neutered).

What would cause aggression after a neuter?

Work? What's- that?
Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 2:10pm PST 
You're drastically altering the hormonal profile of an animal, what's a miracle is that we don't all see major behavioral changes in our dogs afterwards.

Dogs are not predictable machines with reliable inputs and outputs. You can't make one change and expect the same result 100% of the time.

There seem to be scattered reports that neutered males tend to act more aggressive toward intact males. I don't know about any other kind of aggression that has a tendency to increase after a neuter though.


As for cancer, "cancer" is not one disease. Even "breast cancer" or "testicular cancer" aren't really one disease, there's different types of each of those. Having a family member at high risk for breast cancer literally means nothing about your risk of contracting a different type of cancer. A cancer is just an uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells. It has as many causes as it does symptoms as it does types.

dog-sitter in- charge.
Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 3:41pm PST 
that behavior with the licking urine spots & subsequent follow up is called 'tonguing' in dogs.. it's their response in a Flehman response. it helps push pheromones in the urine up towards their Jacobson's organ where it's 'processed'.. it's how males especially size up dogs in the area and how recent the animal moved through the area. and of course, it's used to detect the status of a female and whether or not she's in heat, and if so, how far along.

..lol and yes, my intact male does this ALL the time. On most of our recreational walks I just let him. Clearly, he's engrossed and enjoying himself.. smile

Edited by author Mon Oct 8, '12 3:42pm PST

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