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Discussion Starter #1
My pup is only 4 months old so no neuter for months. My vet said to wait until over one year or longer for GSD. He stated for health issues testicular cancer and other cancer that is why. He also stated if there are no mounting or marking issues I may not want neuter him at all.

I have always neuter my dogs but never had a GSD. Any advise on what way to go when the time comes. Or any negative or positive advise on not to neuter him at all.

Thanks !!!!!!!
 

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Arguments for both sides. I won't neuter. Increases the risks of cancers that are harder to treat than testicular cancer or prostate cancer.
People can be responsible enough to prevent procreation. And marking can be corrected.
Just my opinion.
 

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My pup is only 4 months old so no neuter for months. My vet said to wait until over one year or longer for GSD. He stated for health issues testicular cancer and other cancer that is why. He also stated if there are no mounting or marking issues I may not want neuter him at all.

I have always neuter my dogs but never had a GSD. Any advise on what way to go when the time comes. Or any negative or positive advise on not to neuter him at all.

Thanks !!!!!!!
I think waiting is good. But ultimately I think it comes down to lifestyle. Will you need to board him at some point? Will you want another GSD that is female down the road? Will you have people babysitting him while you're traveling and potentially not be as watchful as you? Do friends/relatives have intact females? etc etc If he gets a female pregnant how would you handle it (personally and financially)?
 

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An intact male is no big deal. They are not the breeding, escape and attack monsters people often make them out to be. It is actually the neutered males who often start trouble and if an intact male responds, he will always be the one to get blamed; first because he has balls and second, or first, because he is a GSD. I won't neuter males. The excuse of testicular cancer is overrated and IMO used to get people to neuter their dogs. Why remove a crucial body part because it may get sick?
 

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At least your vet understands the need of hormones for proper development of a LBP, even though all GSD breeders will recommend to wait to neuter the dog until it's closer to fully developed at 2. I personally wouldn't neuter a male. Train him not to mark everywhere and don't let him mount a female. There's always a vasectomy if your dog isn't always supervised.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's pretty much what my vet said. He also said that there is some belief that it will make him more aggressive but no data to prove it. Breeder said 2 years but not to neuter him.

Thanks great info !!!!!!!
 

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You've gotten great advice. Not unless there is a problem with the reproduction system is my answer. So far, I haven't had a problem with the boys.

As for cancers, testicular cancer is the only one that you can prevent by neutering. If there are no testicles, your dog will not get testicular cancer. Pretty simple. And yet, the other types of cancer: osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, prostate cancer, well they all are more likely if you neuter and the younger it is done the worse it is.
 

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We have seen very expensive medical problems in intact dogs in rescue -- problems that wouldn't have happened had the dogs been speutered even in the middle of adulthood. In females, we've seen pyometra and mammary tumors. One of the females ultimately died from recurring, aggressive mammary cancer, despite surgery. In males, the worst has been a perineal hernia with a massively enlarged prostate, requiring a $2,000 specialist surgery due to a blowout of one side of his rectum, in an older (but not geriatric) dog. The specialist told me that this problem is only seen in older, intact males because it's hormone-triggered, and neutering even a few years before it happened would have avoided it. This sweet male didn't survive due to secondary infection -- he was maybe 8 years old.

There are conditions later in life that can kill dogs that can be avoided by speutering. They get downplayed a lot on the forum only because the posters haven't personally experienced them. I've lost a few pretty wonderful older dogs in rescue to some of these conditions because former owners didn't speuter, so it's quite real to me. I think I tend to see this stuff because people dump older dogs in my area when they're done breeding them, and we just deal with a lot of dogs period, so we see tend to see a lot of stuff that people don't see when they only have one or two dogs per decade.

Also, if you're a novice, please know that nearly all the stray male dogs AC finds out wandering are intact. They tell me that they almost never pick up neutered dogs. There is a wandering urge that has to be contained. If you're not up to doing that, not sure about it, or just don't want to have to worry, neutering at some point will help take one worry off your plate.

You can absorb both arguments and neuter later. Anyone who suggests there's no risk to not neutering later, though, just hasn't experienced enough older dogs, playing the odds. You may play the odds and win, with many dogs in your lifetime -- or if you're unlucky, your dog will be the one who leaves the world too young, after thousands of dollars in vet care, from a condition that would have been avoided by neutering, even in the middle of adulthood.
 

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v Magwart.

I don't know your background but I do know my vet's and Dr. L. Becker's, both of whom I trust and advise the health benefits of keeping sex hormones outweigh the risks.
Do you find what you present with regards to maintaining sex hormones and cancer risks to be the norm or a minority? It sounds like you work in rescues? Perhaps those animals don't have good care and diets?
I personally know quite a few elderly intact GSD's in good health.
 

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Well, I know I freaked out last spring when it occurred to me that I could lose Carly to pyometra. She was 6 then. She had a half sister that had to have an emergency spay at 7 years old due to pyo. I got Carly's championship, wasn't showing her any more, and wasn't going to breed her, so it made sense for me to spay her.

Somewhere before Carly's spay, I had had enough of Russell's increasingly awful behavior when I had an intact bitch in the house. So off to the vet he went at age 3 and got neutered.

No regrets. Everyone is doing good. The current puppy will remain intact for the foreseeable future, since I'm hoping to show her.

I'm in the "whatever works for you" camp.
 

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Deja is intact and almost 4 years old. I am too starting to worry about pyometra as she is getting older and am considering spaying her. The only thing I am worried about is urinary incontinence. Is there lesser chance for this when you spay them at a later age?
 

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An intact male is no big deal. They are not the breeding, escape and attack monsters people often make them out to be. It is actually the neutered males who often start trouble and if an intact male responds, he will always be the one to get blamed; first because he has balls and second, or first, because he is a GSD. I won't neuter males. The excuse of testicular cancer is overrated and IMO used to get people to neuter their dogs. Why remove a crucial body part because it may get sick?
That's a very broad statement. Do you have intact males alongside your bitch in heat? There are more than a few intact males that I know of that will hurt themselves to get to a bitch in standing heat. Broken teeth, destroyed containment areas causing lacerations, etc, on top of the stress and frustration that can trigger hot spots, additional prostate issues, or lead them to go off their food, which can potentially create weight loss or digestive upset. Some males may never bat an eye, but it definitely should not be made out to be a walk in the park to own intact animals of either sex.

Additionally, I know of more than one dog who was recently euthanized due to prostate and testicular cancer that had metastasized and spread to other organs within the body. Curing cancer is not as easy as just cutting off the affected areas, and it's not just "getting sick". The same goes for bitches with mammary cancer or a severe pyometra. It's not just a simple fix, and there is huge potential for death. While I don't advocate for pediatric spay or neuter entirely, if there is no responsible breeding potential for that animal I see absolutely nothing wrong with sterilizing them at maturity.
 

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If males go that crazy when there is a female in heat somewhere, yes, than I would consider neutering but only as a last resort to protect them from hurting themselves if everything else fails, like training and management. I never had a male that crazy, even with a female in heat nearby. I was raised in Europe where they don't routinely spay and neuter or crop and dock fro that matter, yet intact dogs seem to lead a normal life there.
 

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Russ started out okay when the girls were in heat, but by the time he hit 3 years old he was intolerable. Keeping everyone up all night (he was at the opposite end of the house from the bitch in heat), growling and snapping, stopped eating, lost weight. I'll admit I wanted to murder him.

As for spay incontinence, I've only ever dealt with it once, in a Dobe that was spayed young. It's quite a problem in Dobes. I've never heard any of my friends with spayed GSDs ever mention dealing with spay incontinence. Carly is 7 and a half and shows no signs of being leaky.
 

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Enlarged prostate is more common in intact dogs.

Prostate cancer is more common in neutered dogs.

For me, and my house, I am far more comfortable with leaving things the way nature intended them to be, until and unless there is an issue with those parts, than to do something to prevent possible issues down the line, and maybe open the dog up to worse problems.

Once upon a time, I had a vet tell me that ALL bitches will get pyometra if they are not spayed. Well, not to prove her wrong, but Babs and Jenna will be 12, Heidi 11, Milla and Ninja will be 9 all in August. Joy will be eight in July. So far no pyometra.

I spayed Odessa after a false pregnancy. She was full of fluid, and though she had several C-sections, she never spilled any fluid before hand. When I found she was empty (no pups), I went ahead and had her spayed. She did not have pyometra, but had I not spayed her, I couldn't be certain that the liquid would have absorbed and not become toxic. And, as I was not going to breed her again in any case, spaying seemed reasonable. That was two years ago. I have fought her weight since that day.

No mammary cancer or pyometra in any bitch I have owned. It can happen. I'll risk it.

No, I am not going to do an invasive surgery on a dog to prevent a problem that might crop up sometime down the line.

No, there shouldn't be any issue having an intact and a neutered dog, or two intact dogs, not if you know how to raise and train your dogs. Intact dogs running loose is a symptom of irresponsible dog ownership. Responsible dog owners can keep them safe. I have had a number of intact dogs alongside intact bitches, and in-heat bitches. I've experienced some lack of appetite, that's about it. None of my boys have taken it upon themselves to injure themselves trying to get to a bitch or to escape and run the neighborhood.

It isn't rocket science to keep intact animals.

Even my irresponsible dog owning brother, had a golden dog and two intact GSD bitches, and never made any goldshepievers. BTW Jazzy lived to 15, intact, no pyometra, no mammary cancer, she was a WL bitch and not related to my girls.

ETA: Kosar and Rudy were out of my second litter, that would have been 11 in August. Kosar was neutered early because his owner went through a breeding and nearly lost her bitch, so she got Kosar and neutered him at 4 months when my vet likes to do them. He died at 7 years old from prostate cancer. Rudy's owner called me yesterday. She just put him down, hemangiosarcoma. I don't know when he was neutered, and I did not ask, but I am almost certain that she had told me that he was, many years ago. I just think cancer is a higher risk and most cancers are more likely in altered animals and particularly in animals altered early.
 

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I agree with a hysterectomy for non breeding adult bitches as the risk for pyometra is high, but according to my vet removing the ovaries after a bitch has had one or more heats does not mitigate the risk of mammary gland cancer, so why not leave the hormones, hence we're finding more vets that perform an ovary spaying spay.
Sorry op, I know you have a boy. Hope you let him develop to maturity with his hormones.
 

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Once upon a time, I had a vet tell me that ALL bitches will get pyometra if they are not spayed. Well, not to prove her wrong, but Babs and Jenna will be 12, Heidi 11, Milla and Ninja will be 9 all in August. Joy will be eight in July. So far no pyometra.

I spayed Odessa after a false pregnancy. She was full of fluid, and though she had several C-sections, she never spilled any fluid before hand. When I found she was empty (no pups), I went ahead and had her spayed. She did not have pyometra, but had I not spayed her, I couldn't be certain that the liquid would have absorbed and not become toxic. And, as I was not going to breed her again in any case, spaying seemed reasonable. That was two years ago. I have fought her weight since that day.

No mammary cancer or pyometra in any bitch I have owned. It can happen. I'll risk it.

No, I am not going to do an invasive surgery on a dog to prevent a problem that might crop up sometime down the line.

No, there shouldn't be any issue having an intact and a neutered dog, or two intact dogs, not if you know how to raise and train your dogs. Intact dogs running loose is a symptom of irresponsible dog ownership. Responsible dog owners can keep them safe. I have had a number of intact dogs alongside intact bitches, and in-heat bitches. I've experienced some lack of appetite, that's about it. None of my boys have taken it upon themselves to injure themselves trying to get to a bitch or to escape and run the neighborhood.

It isn't rocket science to keep intact animals.

Even my irresponsible dog owning brother, had a golden dog and two intact GSD bitches, and never made any goldshepievers. BTW Jazzy lived to 15, intact, no pyometra, no mammary cancer, she was a WL bitch and not related to my girls.

ETA: Kosar and Rudy were out of my second litter, that would have been 11 in August. Kosar was neutered early because his owner went through a breeding and nearly lost her bitch, so she got Kosar and neutered him at 4 months when my vet likes to do them. He died at 7 years old from prostate cancer. Rudy's owner called me yesterday. She just put him down, hemangiosarcoma. I don't know when he was neutered, and I did not ask, but I am almost certain that she had told me that he was, many years ago. I just think cancer is a higher risk and most cancers are more likely in altered animals and particularly in animals altered early.
Deja's breeder never had a problem with pyometra either and my father in law (retired vet) said that it wasn't that common either.
 
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