Special additional post regarding neutering

Hi All,

This is to back up my comment in this morning post. Again, we ARE going to get Earl neutered, just not yet. We are waiting till he is 18 months old, which is the same age as Bezial was when he got neutered. This is the prime time for dogs of this breed and for male dogs in general. Please don’t send us all sorts of rubbish being touted by vets (who stand to profit from this process and so should be forced to reveal a conflict of interest in this case) because we don’t believe it. Poor little Qi was neutered way too early at 6 months. She has a problem with putting on weight and she also has a problem with spay incontinence which has a direct relationship with how early she was spayed. None of the vets that we talked to at the time that we were asking about how early to get Qi neutered said that it was too young. They also push giving your dog Kenel cough vaccinations. We did this (at considerable expense to ourselves) with both Bezial and Qi  and they both got Kenel cough from drinking from a communal water bowl. On asking a more honest temp vet, we were told that kenel cough is the dog form of the common cold and just like human colds, you CAN’T vaccinate against it. It mutates every year and as such, you are throwing good money after bad if you pay for vaccination for this virus. The only cure was trying to force Human Demazin cough mixture into the dogs and this resulted in Bezial not trusting ANY form of medication and making it almost impossible to get him to take his regular worming medication in any form. He is also incredibly suspicious of any treats unless they are cut into small (tablet free) pieces and even then, he tends to take them outside to inspect them for medication.

We are responsible pet owners. When we started to see that there is a wealth of information against neutering your dog too early, we started to do more research on the matter. I am not saying that you shouldn’t neuter your dog. I AM saying that you shouldn’t just blindly believe everything that you are told or that you read in common literature. If you are taking this step of surgically adjusting any animal in your care, make SURE that it is in their best interests and is for the right reasons, not because someone down the road told you to. Steve and I are both educated and intelligent and refuse to simply believe what other people tell us unless we get some sort of backup to give us knowledge about this. I don’t personally care if people get snitty at us because we are bucking the general view. We tend to do this regularly and as such are most proud of not being ‘normal’ and instead, being people who like to think outside the narrow public opinion.  We didn’t choose to not neuter Earl before 18 months lightly. We did choose to educate ourselves why we are doing this and feel justified in doing so. Below are only 2 of the many web sites that we consulted before we made our decision. In saying that we are not going to neuter Earl before 18 months, I must add here that we keep both Earl and Bezial inside a compound that we have built around our house. We keep them on leads whenever we are off our property. We collect our dogs manure, we cross over the road whenever there is an excited yapping little fluffy on the other side so as to save their owner from having to pick them up or undergo any form of fear due to our dogs. We take them to offleash areas to prevent owner fear of our American Staffordshire Terrier dogs.

What I am trying to say is that we have made it our business to learn everything that we can about owning a dog responsibly. We take them to the vets every year for vaccinations and check ups. We are totally responsible owners and we do the best possible for both society and our dogs. Here are those web sites and if you are offended by our decision, please at least read this scientific data that gives a real overview of the pro’s and con’s of neutering/spaying your dog.

http://leerburg.com/pdf/neutering.pdf

http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf

and here is an excerpt from the first website…

” An objective reading of the veterinary medical literature reveals a complex situation with respect to the longterm health risks and benefits associated with spay/neuter in dogs. The evidence shows that spay/neuter correlates with both positive AND adverse health effects in dogs. It also suggests how much we really do not yet understand about this subject.

On balance, it appears that no compelling case can be made for neutering most male dogs, especially immature male dogs, in order to prevent future health problems. The number of health problems associated with neutering may exceed the associated health benefits in most cases.

On the positive side, neutering male dogs  

•eliminates the small risk (probably <1%) of dying from testicular cancer

•reduces the risk of non-cancerous prostate disorders

•reduces the risk of perianal fistulas

•may possibly reduce the risk of diabetes (data inconclusive)

On the negative side, neutering male dogs  

•if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a common cancer in medium/large and larger breeds with a poor prognosis.

•increases the risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 1.6

•triples the risk of hypothyroidism

•increases the risk of progressive geriatric cognitive impairment

•triples the risk of obesity, a common health problem in dogs with many associated health problems

•quadruples the small risk (<0.6%) of prostate cancer

•doubles the small risk (<1%) of urinary tract cancers

•increases the risk of orthopedic disorders

•increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations

For female dogs, the situation is more complex. The number of health benefits associated with spaying may exceed the associated health problems in some (not all) cases. On balance, whether spaying improves the odds of overall good health or degrades them probably depends on the age of the female dog and the relative risk of various diseases in the different breeds.

On the positive side, spaying female dogs  

•if done before 2.5 years of age, greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors, the most common malignant tumors in female dogs

•nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra, which otherwise would affect about 23% of intact female dogs; pyometra kills about 1% of intact female dogs

•reduces the risk of perianal fistulas

•removes the very small risk (_0.5%) from uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors

On the negative side, spaying female dogs

•if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a common cancer in larger breeds with a poor prognosis

•increases the risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 2.2 and cardiac hemangiosarcoma by a factor of >5; this is a common cancer and major cause of death in some breeds

•triples the risk of hypothyroidism

•increases the risk of obesity by a factor of 1.6-2, a common health problem in dogs with many associated health problems

•causes urinary “spay incontinence” in 4-20% of female dogs

•increases the risk of persistent or recurring urinary tract infections by a factor of 3-4

•increases the risk of recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, and vaginitis, especially for female dogs spayed before puberty

•doubles the small risk (<1%) of urinary tract tumors

•increases the risk of orthopedic disorders

•increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations

One thing is clear – much of the spay/neuter information that is available to the public is unbalanced and contains claims that are exaggerated or unsupported by evidence. Rather than helping to educate pet owners, much of it has contributed to common misunderstandings about the health risks and benefits associated of spay/neuter in dogs.   The traditional spay/neuter age of six months as well as the modern practice of pediatric spay/neuter appear to predispose dogs to health risks that could otherwise be avoided by waiting until the dog is physically mature, or perhaps in the case of many male dogs, foregoing it altogether unless medically necessary.   The balance of long-term health risks and benefits of spay/neuter will vary from one dog to the next. Breed, age, and gender are variables that must be taken into consideration in conjunction with non-medical factors for each individual dog. Across-the-board recommendations for all pet dogs do not appear to be supportable from findings in the veterinary medical literature.”

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Pinky
    Nov 29, 2011 @ 22:36:34

    One big positive you chose not to mention Fronkii is that there is NO unwanted litters of feral dogs by neutering your animals. In saying this, I realise you arn’t the ones who would be having the puppies. A dog with the merest whiff of a female on heat can manage to escape the best yards. Do you remember Davids dog Boy? He managed to wriggle off his chain when we lived down at the inlet in Youngs Siding and walked/swam all the way around the inlet to the Howarths place because Hannah the German Shepherd was on heat and i’d been there earlier in the day visiting Val. He got the scent off our car and just followed his nose. Love/lust knows no distance. Really though, as owners you know how responsible you have to be in regards to your animals, they are your furry family and deserve to be loved and respected as any human would. Just dont let them believe they are on an equal footing wirth you as that is when the trouble really sets in. So says Cesare Milan (who sounds like he’s done your dough for you)

    Reply

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