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Nero is now 19 months and I have just booked his check up ahead of his castration.
I do feel a little guilty to out him through it.
He has never had a problem with going to the Vets but has never been sedated before.

What is everyone's tips for aftercare and making the process as easy and stress free as possible.
 

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Only advice I can give is treat it as much of a non-event as possible. Any apprehension you have can be felt by your boy. Everything else is up to the vet and their techs.
 

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Everything else is up to the vet and their techs.
I beg to differ and think it is up to you unless there is a medical reason. Neutering does not change behavior; training does. If there is no medical reason for it and your dog is not roaming the neighborhood, I'd cancel the appointment for his health.
Some of the reasons they will give to neuter is that it prevents prostate cancer. That would be like amputating his leg so he won't be able to break it.
 

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I beg to differ and think it is up to you unless there is a medical reason. Neutering does not change behavior; training does. If there is no medical reason for it and your dog is not roaming the neighborhood, I'd cancel the appointment for his health.
Some of the reasons they will give to neuter is that it prevents prostate cancer. That would be like amputating his leg so he won't be able to break it.
Definitely agree with this. If you have control over your dog and there's no risk of a mistake or unwanted breeding, I don't recommend neutering. Particularly before 2 years. If you do want to neuter, for whatever reason, at least wait until the dog is 2 years old. Right now, at 19 months, the dog is still growing and he needs those hormones.
 

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I beg to differ and think it is up to you unless there is a medical reason. Neutering does not change behavior; training does. If there is no medical reason for it and your dog is not roaming the neighborhood, I'd cancel the appointment for his health.
Some of the reasons they will give to neuter is that it prevents prostate cancer. That would be like amputating his leg so he won't be able to break it.
I think Car2ner was referring to the actual procedure... not the merits of neutering vs staying intact
 

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Definitely agree with this. If you have control over your dog and there's no risk of a mistake or unwanted breeding, I don't recommend neutering. Particularly before 2 years. If you do want to neuter, for whatever reason, at least wait until the dog is 2 years old. Right now, at 19 months, the dog is still growing and he needs those hormones.
Depends on if the growth plates are closed or not. There is nothing magical about a dog's 2nd birthday.

I've known someone who had x rays done and confirmed closed growth plates in large breeds as early as 16 months. Plenty more who did the same at around 18-19 months.
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Depends on if the growth plates are closed or not. There is nothing magical about a dog's 2nd birthday.

I've known someone who had x rays done and confirmed closed growth plates in large breeds as early as 16 months. Plenty more who did the same at around 18-19 months.
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For sure, but x-rays are expensive and if you're only doing them to confirm growth plates for neutering, I'd just as soon say forego the x-rays and just wait until the dog is 2.
 

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@VickyNero

You may want to introduce the cone to your dog now, that way he adjusts and gets used to it BEFORE you need it. That would be less stressful on him if you happen to need it then to introduce it to him while he recovers

Find out what type of stitches the vet will be using, allergic reaction to the disolvable kind are not uncommon. Not so common that I would insist on using the standard kind, but common enough I would make sure I had benedryl on hand and discuss dosing if needed with the vet.

Don't worry too much if he is off food after the surgery - that's common - but do encourage hydration. I usually offer non salted broths as baited water. Hydration is very important for tissue healing.

And make sure to buy that guy a special toy or some treats :)
 

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I would imagine that if the magic age is 24 months, it's because on average, growth plates in a certain high percentage of dogs have closed at 24 months. That's an average, and individual dogs can differ.

That being said, I don't really understand why we're anti-alteration, or anti-alteration before ___ age. Yes, it's a surgery, and no surgery is without risks. It's also a routine surgery that many dogs go through at varying ages and come out just fine. The choice of if or when to alter should lie with the family who lives with the dog, the breeder if there is a contract involved, and the family's vet. That's it. Period. It depends on a multitude of factors beyond just what the research says. Maybe it's a hardship to keep an intact dog responsibly contained, or maybe there are ordinances (as was the case for me) that put your bitch under house arrest during her season. Different things are going to work for different dogs and their owners, and the reasons are going to vary.

There's also the angle of respecting others' right to make their own choices. I don't want to alter my next bitch before she's 2, and I know a crap ton of people who will flagellate me for it. But it's my choice, and I expect them to shut up and respect it. If I want that respect afforded me, I need to be supportive of those who choose to do it earlier.
 

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I'm not anti-altering, and definitely agree that if there is a contract involved or if it's in the best interest for the family or the dog, then it should be done. That said, I do think that in today's society there is a certain expectation that you alter your dog because that's was responsible owners do, and if you don't then you're suddenly irresponsible or shunned by society. I always try to recommend waiting or taking a second look at the decision because I think it's important to stop, take a breath and not just alter your dog because that's what "you're supposed to do."

If the research has been done and it's still what the owner wants to do, then do it, I won't say it's a bad decision. Every situation is different. My 9 year old was spayed at 6 years for health reasons. I'd like to keep all my dogs intact, but things happen and reasons occur. However, I definitely still recommend waiting until 2 years unless there's a reason why it has to happen now. I've seen too much research showing the ramifications of alerting too early to not speak up about it.
 

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I neutered Russ when he turned 3. He was driving me out of my mind. I had/have intact females, and he was making life miserable for all of us. So off he went to get snipped. Haven’t regretted it. That was 2 years ago. He healed quickly, especially with the Vetericyn spray. Didn’t need a cone either.
 

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However, I definitely still recommend waiting until 2 years unless there's a reason why it has to happen now. I've seen too much research showing the ramifications of alerting too early to not speak up about it.
Could you please share links to the research you've seen that demonstrates a significant difference in health of neutering at 19 months vs 24 months?

The OP isn't considering a juvenile neuter here. The OP's dog is 19 months not 6. Incredibly high likelihood the skeletal development is finished at this point. The OP is doing a pre-castration health check with their vet. Clearly the OP and their vet are educated on the effects of castrating large breeds at younger ages otherwise they wouldn't have waited this long and put up with testosterone driven teenage nonsense.

If the OP chooses to neuter I don't see much benefit in giving the dog another 5 months of hormones at this stage in his development. At this point of growth he will be putting on muscle mass and filling out. Anything he puts on will be lost as he won't have the testosterone to maintain anyways.

If timing is right for their family and the vet gives the OK at the check out. There is no reason to wait a few more months.
 

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Could you please share links to the research you've seen that demonstrates a significant difference in health of neutering at 19 months vs 24 months?

The OP isn't considering a juvenile neuter here. The OP's dog is 19 months not 6. Incredibly high likelihood the skeletal development is finished at this point. The OP is doing a pre-castration health check with their vet. Clearly the OP and their vet are educated on the effects of castrating large breeds at younger ages otherwise they wouldn't have waited this long and put up with testosterone driven teenage nonsense.

If the OP chooses to neuter I don't see much benefit in giving the dog another 5 months of hormones at this stage in his development. At this point of growth he will be putting on muscle mass and filling out. Anything he puts on will be lost as he won't have the testosterone to maintain anyways.

If timing is right for their family and the vet gives the OK at the check out. There is no reason to wait a few more months.

Slow your roll. Did you not see my below comment responding to your comment on this subject?

If there is proof that the growth plates are closed, then go for it! I and many other people in the field recommend 2 years if you are not going to get x-rays and check the growth plates. Average age for closed growth plates is 2 years, some close before and some close after. If you're getting x-rays and can see that the plates are closed before 2 years, then you're good to go. If you're not getting x-rays and can't see if they're closed, wait until 2 years.

At 19 months, you need x-rays to see if they have closed all the way, so a pre-check that doesn't include x-rays isn't going to help much.

Looks like we both agree on the topic of waiting until the growth plates are closed. I'm just saying to be sure about it, and if you're not sure, then wait until the average age of closing.
 

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I've read several studies which say neutering young increases the risk of hemangiosarcoma. Is that worth it to you? Why change nature... let the dog stay in tact if you can manage him well. I'm curious for those who have neuter contracts how do the breeders enforce it happens?
 

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Slow your roll. Did you not see my below comment responding to your comment on this subject?

If there is proof that the growth plates are closed, then go for it! I and many other people in the field recommend 2 years if you are not going to get x-rays and check the growth plates. Average age for closed growth plates is 2 years, some close before and some close after. If you're getting x-rays and can see that the plates are closed before 2 years, then you're good to go. If you're not getting x-rays and can't see if they're closed, wait until 2 years.

At 19 months, you need x-rays to see if they have closed all the way, so a pre-check that doesn't include x-rays isn't going to help much.

Looks like we both agree on the topic of waiting until the growth plates are closed. I'm just saying to be sure about it, and if you're not sure, then wait until the average age of closing.

Check your facts.



VetFolio

I could see waiting until 2 for a giant breed - dane, saints, etc

But 19 months is a fine age for most GSDs.
 

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I've read several studies which say neutering young increases the risk of hemangiosarcoma. Is that worth it to you? Why change nature... let the dog stay in tact if you can manage him well. I'm curious for those who have neuter contracts how do the breeders enforce it happens?
My contract with the breeder required me NOT to spay her until she was minimum 14 months of age or I'd void my health guarantee.

But either way, timing of spay/neuter should involve the family, the breeder if applicable, and the vet. Not everyone is capable of managing an intact dog. Think of a typical busy young family with multiple kids under let's say age 10 or 12, and possibly multiple dogs. The probability for an accident shoots way up relative to, say, a pair of DINKs (like myself and my husband with one dog).
 

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Check your facts.

Oh my goodness. Okay, I hold a degree in animal biology and have spent years studying large canine anatomy and surgical reconstruction (I'm a trained wolf biologist and worked at the IWC and also worked alongside zoo veterinarians.)

2 years is an average. I'm not trying to be wholly and utterly precise. Research and data is different depending on your source and a few months is within the margin of error, which is why x-rays would be recommended at 19 months by any vet who knew and followed the research. 2 years is an average and good estimate and is often cited by people in the field in order to be safe.

Again, if you've had the x-rays and all is well, then go for it. I don't really understand what we're debating here.
 
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