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: Mon Oct 8, '12 4:19pm PST 
Thanks Samson. I was hoping that you would post here. smile That does make me feel better knowing the whole thing about cancer, and after talking to Nix's breeder again last night, she reminded me what she had already told me when I was first inquiring about a puppy: that she's never had health issues pop up in her males related to them being intact.
When she retires her females after a certain age or a certain number of litters, she has them spayed of course, but she always opts to leave her males intact unless it ever becomes necessary to neuter. One time she had one of her males neutered because he was a super escape artist--it stopped his escaping behavior, but he also went from being a really affectionate lover-of-all-snuggles, to not affectionate at all. She said there was a dramatic change in his personality--it was like he wasn't even the same dog anymore.

It sounds like it's really a hit-or-miss kind of thing. Either it will change them, but not always for the better, or it won't change them at all. But the fact there's absolutely no way to tell what will happen when you remove the hormones is what's got me worried over the whole thing. It's not like I have a limit to when I need to make any decision by. It's just something I've been giving a lot of thought to recently. I appreciate the information, guys. smile

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 4:36pm PST 
IMHO from what I've noticed about dog and cat behavior pre and post spaying and neutering...It calms both genders. A sexually frustrated critter is not a happy camper...let's be real here, if they have no partner what are they supposed to do? You can only lick yourself for so long.
Boys both dogs and cats before they are neutered feel compelled to mark territory with pee that almost can't be washed out. They also are more prone to fighting.
With girls they get equally frustrated and are MISERABLE when they are in heat. Dogs get periods too, whatta mess. Really...spaying and neutering at 4-6 months old is in the best interest of all concerned.

too old to eat- any more KD
Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 5:28pm PST 
Squ'mey never marked once inside the house, nor have any of my prior males. It did not magically calm him down, and no, I don't believe his behaviour was due to sexual frustration. Saying intact males are sexually frustrated is an anthropomorphism. I dislike speaking in generalities because there are far many more exceptions to the rule, than the rule itself. This leaves people scratching their heads saying "why isn't he calmer? I neutered him!"


Work? What's- that?
Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 5:39pm PST 
Wow, I don't even know where to start.

A sexually frustrated critter is not a happy camper...let's be real here, if they have no partner what are they supposed to do? You can only lick yourself for so long.

That's called anthropomorphizing, and it's just as ridiculous here as when men don't want to neuter their dog because of misplaced empathy. There's zero evidence whatsoever to suggest intact dogs live in a constant state of "sexual frustration." In fact, considering that dogs are not believed to be self-aware, it's not likely they are even capable of being "sexually frustrated" without a direct trigger (such as being in heat, or an intact male being around an in-heat female).

And on top of that, your "logic" would dictate that single men ought to be "neutered" to put them out of their misery.

I'm neither miserable nor sexually frustrated, thank you very much. Please think before you type. There are a lot of single people on this planet who are quite happy the way they are, and I'm among them.

Boys both dogs and cats before they are neutered feel compelled to mark territory with pee that almost can't be washed out.

This is only a problem indoors, and while I've never kept intact cats, my intact dog hasn't had any compulsions to mark indoors. He marked once when he was about 10 months old on a very unusual scent, never has happened again, not even with any other unusual scents. Wasn't any issue to wash out, either.

I do know some cat owners who do have intact males and claim they've never had any issues with spraying. That's not a risk I'm willing to take with mine, but to be honest, I'm a dog person and lot more invested in my dog anyway.

They also are more prone to fighting.

This needs qualified. I'd agree that two intact males are going to be a lot more likely to fight over an in-heat female, but neither do I think it's very intelligent to stick two neutered males in the same room with an in-heat female nearby.

As far as same-sex aggression, it's occasionally curbed or cured by spaying/neutering - but then you also have to take into account the owners whose dogs become dog-aggressive after being altered.

With girls they get equally frustrated and are MISERABLE when they are in heat.

I personally know several Dogsters here who claim their intact females are not distressed during their heats. I know one who even has trouble discerning when her female comes into heat because the behavioral changes are almost impossible to discern, and she is very, very clean about it.

Dogs get periods too, whatta mess.

No, they don't. The human menstrual cycle isn't even remotely analogous to a dog's estrous cycle. They are not the same biological mechanism. You really ought to know something like that if you're going to be advising people on a major health-related decision like this.

And the "mess" is a dog-to-dog thing. Some females keep themselves very clean on their own. Others need help containing the "mess."

And regardless, I'd rather clean up blood than poop/urine, which I did plenty of while house-training my dog. And I still have to clean up puke from time to time. And then there's the mud/dirt tracked in the house, too.

Dogs are often messy creatures. I'm mystified as to why this facet of a normal female dog's biology is somehow elevated to a far more terrible level than the rest. If you can't handle a bit of blood because it's too "messy" I'd question how you're able to handle all the other messes that come with dog ownership.

If you just don't want to that's another thing entirely, but you're acting like this is some sort of horrifying thing that's so terrible that nobody can deal with it. Give me blood over puke or feces any day. My cat still gets diarrhea from time to time, and it's really a struggle to not wind up needing to clean up my own puke after cleaning that up.

Really...spaying and neutering at 4-6 months old is in the best interest of all concerned.

Except any large breed dog (and I'm sorry, but that's not refutable - this has been evidenced in veterinary literature for at least the past decade). I would even go so far as to say that it's likely not terribly healthy for a medium-sized breed either (at least when you're looking at a group, an individual may be fine). Smaller breeds mature fast enough that 6 months isn't likely to have much of a negative impact.

And I'll ask you to speak only for yourself and not attempt to tell me what is in my own best interest. I think I'm more than capable of figuring that out on my own.

Edited by author Mon Oct 8, '12 5:42pm PST

Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 5:53pm PST 
I'll just say that I find it extremely gross when Sanka is infatuated with licking urine spots and clicking his jaws! Good grief, he'd probably do it for hours on the same spot if I let him.

While Sanka is intact, Kato is neutered. And I have seen Kato do the lip smacking, urine tasting thing on a rare occasion. So, I guess I'm just saying who knows if that'll go away for a neuter.

As for being sexually "frustrated"...erm, no. Not unless you taunt them daily with intact and in heat females.

Whippy- The- Whipador
Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 6:28pm PST 
The behaviour you described towards other dogs sounds totally normal and appropriate to me. I'm not sure how or why that would escalate if he was neutered.

Ty does the licking urine thing too, but rarely does he chatter his teeth or foam at the mouth. I've actually found him to do it less now than when he was younger, although he is still obsessed with scents in general and likes to mark alot out on his walks. Can't say any of it bothers me really, it's just a boy dog thing in my eyes.
Mitchell- Rapp "Black- Ops"

Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 8:56pm PST 
Ahhh yeah, the sniffing, licking and clacking thing that our boys do, drives me crazy and Mitchell has just started "REALLY" getting into it and boy! he sure seems to enjoy it. I just let him do it when he is off leash on our hikes but when we are on a on leash jaunt I try to keep him focused on the walk, sometimes that is not so easy.
Mitchell will be 14 months old on the 15th and I think he has slammed into testosterone teenager big time.
I am not planning on neutering him until he is about 2 so we have a few months to go. Oh, and our 1 yr old male cat does not appreciate his nightly humpings by Mitchell, now the cat just lies down and tries to get as close to the ground as possible until Mitchell is bored and leaves him alone.
Madison, on the other hand is 6 1/2 months old and was spayed today.
I agree with the belief that the larger breed males should wait until at least 18 months to be neutered for many reasons.
Mitchell has never showed any aggression to any dog and is pretty much very submissive. I find that neutered dogs are the ones who approach him and try to let him know who is boss. Mitchell just ignores them, especially if he is on a sniff, nothing can take that boy away from a good sniff.laugh out loud
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 8:59pm PST 
I'd like to point out a few things Opheila - my dog is intact, and is certainly NOT frustrated by any means. In fact, he's a very mellow, relaxed dog. Dog fighting being more prone? My dog has gotten in a scuffle or two with individual dogs he didn't get along with - but on the whole, he's fantastic and has helped me rehabilitate under-socialized and even aggressive dogs and regularly goes to a dog park here that often contains anywhere from 40-100+ dogs at any given time and never had an issue at that park in the years he's been going. He also went to doggy daycare before a year old as I worked there and was great there too.

I've also had my moms Rottweiler out and about and had off-leash dogs approach him. One time, a husky came over, posturing, growling and being plain rude(neutered, by the way), and Grizz gave ALL the calming signals he could, while I tried to get him out of that situation. Grizz is like that to this day with other dogs.

As for the urine and cleaning... My dog doesn't and has never marked in my house. He does have epilepsy, however, and will often pee in his sleep or during seizures. He's peed on my bed, on the couch, on a recliner, on the carpet, blankets, etc. I have NEVER had any problems getting the 'stain'(if there is one?), or 'odor' out of anything. Vinegar water does wonders on smell and disinfecting. But he has never intentionally marked a thing either.

Also, no intact female I have ever owned, or lived with, or even known, has ever been miserable while in heat. I've seen one dog whose behavior changed during her heat and it was simply that she was slightly less tolerant and more pushy. Most have also kept themselves fairly clean so the owners didn't have to. The messiest female dog I saw in heat? My friends Irish Setter puppy on her first heat. She was in heat and cycled with her other intact female and they both ended up in heat - THAT was a mess, but the older dog was keeping herself clean, while the puppy rarely bothered.

I also have to agree that I'd like for people not to tell me what is 'best for all concerned'(or my dog in general - which a lot of people seem to have outspoken opinions about) when I know what is best for my own dog, thank you.
Ava & Nix

Suburban Farm- Dogs
Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 10:12pm PST 
Ophelia, while I would have agreed with that 2 years ago, with what I know now I would never make the decision to spay or neuter any medium or large breed dog before they were at least 16 months to 2 years. When I had Nix's hips x-rayed for prelim-screening at 7 months old his growth plates were still wide open.
Even a medium breed (35 lbs) isn't anywhere near fully grown at that age. I really do regret having Ava spayed at 6 months, knowing that I never gave her the proper time to finish growing up before removing the hormones that play a vital role in that.

He doesn't mark indoors either, and I don't really care about cleaning it up outside. laugh out loud

"The behaviour you described towards other dogs sounds totally normal and appropriate to me. I'm not sure how or why that would escalate if he was neutered."

The more I think about it the more I realize I shouldn't have let it rattle me so much. It WAS totally normal. It's the fact that this is the first time he's ever taken it further than a growl that got me really worried and kind of overstressing about the whole incident. I should add that neutered male dogs have never liked Nix. I always attributed it to the scent of his hormones, but 90% of neutered males we meet--not exaggerating in the least on that percentage, I kid you not--end up getting really nasty with him after sniffing and realizing he's got balls. (Interestingly, we've never had any issues with other intact males. They sniff each other and then go their separate ways with no issue. thinking) That's my reasoning for being worried that any aggression my own dog displays would escalate after a neuter, because we've met sooo many aggressive neutered males. Granted I know I'm making some assumptions in that area...
Ava & Nix

Suburban Farm- Dogs
Barked: Mon Oct 8, '12 11:25pm PST 
Oh yeah, and as for being sexually frustrated? He's easily more frustrated by the fact he can't chase his soccer ball 24/7 than the lack of sex laugh out loud
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