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Old 02-09-2013, 07:23 PM   #81 (permalink)
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I'm glad a select few of you are so ultra responsible, good and caring owners that for you, it makes sense to keep an intact animal but sadly, there's far too few of you and too many that aren't like you to make s/n before sexual maturity the best decision out there.


Exactly. The population of this forum is not representative of the general public when it comes to pet ownership.



And I have to say that my clientele is not necessarily representative of the general public either. Not everyone who owns a pet cares to (or needs to) take it to a professional groomer, so I'm actually seeing a slightly more responsible segment of the pet-owning public.



But when I worked as a vet assistant, I saw a complete cross-section. With the mobile vet in under-served, lower income areas, I saw very poor, uneducated folks with their pets. Working at the hospital in a higher-income area, I saw well-off pet owners driving nice cars. And literally everything in between.



One thing that runs through the cross section is that very few people who own pets are actually animal experts. In America, everybody has pets, unlike other countries like China where a pet is considered a luxury, or places like India where dogs are considered unclean. In those countries, I imagine the only people who own dogs are those who are really, I mean REALLY, crazy about dogs. In America, it seems everyone owns a dog whether they like it or not. It's considered normal to have a family dog, and almost un-American not to!



So, the point of this ramble is to illustrate that the level of dog-savvy in American owners is generally rather low. And so, the recommendation to spay/neuter before puberty is a good one for the general public--the dogs are more tractable and easier to handle for people who are not terribly dog-savvy. Statistically, neutered dogs are less likely to fight, roam, mark, and bite than their intact brethren. Why do you think Schutzhund and police dog trainers generally keep their dogs intact? Because they WANT that extra intensity, hardness, and fight drive.



When on this forum, you might get the impression that the average pet owner is pretty smart and pretty responsible, but most everybody here is actually the exception to the general rule in that regard.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:49 PM   #82 (permalink)
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"When on this forum, you might get the impression that the average pet owner is pretty smart and pretty responsible, but most everybody here is actually the exception to the general rule in that regard."

Great post Freestep.

The part I put in bold above, I have been trying to point out on various threads.
This forum has some good information but what is often depicted on here is nowhere close to reality in the Joe/Jane average pet owner.

The forum doesn't even mimic society as a whole.

For many on here dogs are their life to a great degree. To Joe six pack who has a wife and three kids, keeping food on the table and the kids in soccer is more important than following his intact dogs around to make sure they don't create puppies.

On top of that in the average family with kids and dogs, everybody is coming and going. Kids friends come in and leave regularly. No matter how well behaved kids are there will inevitably be doors and gates left open.
Dogs get out or strange dogs get in.

Normal life in Suburbia. It is not responsible for those people to have intact pets IMO.

On the health issue you can find research to support whichever position you favor. Sort of like so called expert witnesses in a trial. Two experts with opposite opinions.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:05 PM   #83 (permalink)
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The forum doesn't even mimic society as a whole.
Thank God...!!!!
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:20 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Thank God...!!!!
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:20 PM   #85 (permalink)
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I think this forum may be sometimes worse than society as we are all so opinionated.

Selzer, as always you speak so well.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:35 PM   #86 (permalink)
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So are you guys saying that those who believe that dogs benefit from not being S/N until they are mature(or not at all) should withhold their opinions when people come here and ask about it because the person asking might be an average owner who might not provide proper containment for their animal, or are you guys advocating mandatory spay/neuter legislation?

I wish people who came here saying their dog got pregnant would be more open to an emergency spay. I don't think I've ever seen any poster actually use that option when it's suggested, they always make excuses for why they can't do it because too often those who 'accidentally' let their dog get pregnant actually wanted their dog to have puppies.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:46 PM   #87 (permalink)
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So are you guys saying that those who believe that dogs benefit from not being S/N until they are mature(or not at all) should withhold their opinions when people come here and ask about it because the person asking might be an average owner who might not provide proper containment for their animal, or are you guys advocating mandatory spay/neuter legislation?
I think at the very least, their living situation ought to be sounded out before saying "wait until the dog is 18-24mos". Because it really does depend on the owner's ability to keep the dog from reproducing. Being/getting pregnant is kind of just one of the concerns of course. If the person's method of keeping the bitch in the yard is a rope and a tree, there's going to be problems and the girl can easily get injured as well as pregnant.

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I wish people who came here saying their dog got pregnant would be more open to an emergency spay. I don't think I've ever seen any poster actually use that option when it's suggested, they always make excuses for why they can't do it because too often those who 'accidentally' let their dog get pregnant actually wanted their dog to have puppies.
Oh wow, I agree.
Yet I'm made to feel like I'm some sort of monster for mentioning it
Thing is, if it's so unsafe for a bitch to be spayed during pregnancy, how does one justify doing a c-section, ever!? Same surgery only you're now cramming the uterus back in after stitching it up, instead of taking it completely out!
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:41 PM   #88 (permalink)
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So are you guys saying that those who believe that dogs benefit from not being S/N until they are mature(or not at all) should withhold their opinions when people come here and ask about it because the person asking might be an average owner who might not provide proper containment for their animal, or are you guys advocating mandatory spay/neuter legislation?
I am not sure how mandatory legislation got into it, I haven't heard anyone saying anything near that, and I'm not advocating it. We're talking about what is good advice to give to people who ask "When, if ever, should I spay/neuter?"

I think it's a good idea to ask a few questions of the poster before giving any advice, just to see where they are on the dog-savvy spectrum. Otherwise, we might be giving out ill-suited advice. Now, as you might have guessed, I'm an advocate of spay/neuter for most people, but I'm not going to give that cookie-cutter answer to every person who asks.

For example, I want to know if someone is going to be doing SchH, or Agility, or running/working the dog hard. I'm not going to tell that person to neuter their dog at 6 months of age. In that scenario, it wouldn't be good advice.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:49 PM   #89 (permalink)
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I ended up advising, via PM, a woman to leave her pup intact until over a year, not too long ago.
I'd never advise someone who could (and so desired) keep safely an intact animal, but I'd rather advise s/n if I didn't know anything at all about them, than advise to keep intact and it turns out they are incapable of doing so safely.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:49 AM   #90 (permalink)
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I think it's irresponsible of people in the medical field to brush potentially SERIOUS and life-threatening complications under the rug to fill an agenda. And this comes from someone who has worked in the shelter system in low-income areas, someone that has dedicated their life to veterinary medicine, someone that works EXTREMELY hard for the well being of the animals.

You are right, most owners SHOULD spay/neuter, and young, as they are not responsible enough to handle those animals. But to not warn people that may, for example, own a rottweiler pup that a university study showed 1 in 4 rottweilers altered BEFORE 1 year of age developed osteosarcoma, an EXTREMELY painful cancer often diagnosed too late and with a very poor prognosis? Or to not warn people with a female dog that it may very well lead to incontinence? An issue alone that compels many people to euthanize? To not warn owners of male dogs that neutering INCREASES the chance of prostate cancer, which has no good prognosis? Or to not warn the owners of a golden, a breed EXTREMELY prone to cancer, that spaying before sexual maturity increases the chances of splenic masses that even after surgical removal usually give an estimated lifespan of <6 months?

MANY MANY MANY pet owners are idiots. But they're going to be idiots one way or another. There are even more, and I see these owners every single day when I work general practice, that want to do what's best for their dogs because they LOVE their dogs. And the only way to IMPROVE pet ownership is to educate. How many people feel alienated because vets push procedures such as early spay/neuter with no clear warnings or discussions? Just do it do it DO IT?

Shelters should spay/neuter every animal that goes through their doors, regardless of age, I'm not arguing that. But I will NEVER hide the true facts from an owner I feel is responsible and simply trying to educate themselves and do whats right by their pet. And in my opinion, a responsible owner waiting until sexual maturity is the BEST thing they can do for their pet.
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