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Discussion Starter #1
Our pup Titan is 12 weeks. He had his first vet visit tonight, and while we were there, our vet asked about when we would like to neuter him. I had waited with my previous lab (stayed at my parents) to 6 months, and we spayed our female at 7 months, shortly after we brought her home. She told me that they do the early spay and neuter at the animal hospital, and that the procedure is much less invasive when they are that young, less tramatic for the dog, its much less recovery (not as many stitches or big of an opening) and that it actually costs about $150 less than the later neuter. I asked if there were any growth issues because of the early neuter and she said no. Any opinions? I'm going to check it up online but I'd like to hear your opinions and experiecne here, too please!
Thanks!
 

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I would read all the previous threads about this very topic. A lot of folks are all for early neuter. And a lot of others are 100% AGAINST it.

I belong to the second group. Hormones are for more than reproduction.

With a lot of other animals, "altering" before they reach maturity DOES affect their growth. I don't see why dogs would be any different. (I believe they DO grow taller if altered before they are finished growing. )

Personally I wouldn't spay or neuter before 2yo. (Unless you are not able to keep them from reproducing.
)

It probably costs less because they generally go be weight. SO obviously a baby puppy will weigh less than an adult. I don't see how they can say it is less "invasive", they are doing the exact same thing no matter the age.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've read a little bit about so far, and it seems alot of people say there is no effect on growth, then others who say different. The reason she said it was less invasive was because of a different technique they use, where they (please excuse my non-technical terms) cut right on the scrotum and remove the testicles, where as the other way they cut a little farther away towards the penis to tie some of the blood vessels? I'm on the line, I really just want whats best for the dog, both health wise and for his behavior also.
 

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It is never more invasive. Every vet does the same procedure. It can be a more traumatic surgery(more bruising/swelling) if the dog is over 2. As long as he is an appropriate weight, surgery should be fine whenever you choose. It costs less because your dog weighs less right now, and will use less anesthesia.
It seems to be the truth that dogs will grow taller if neutered early, but it also seems that they don't build appropriate muscle mass, and tend to be on the lean side.
I have decided that Frodo will not be neutered before his first birthday.(Perhaps longer.) I feel that it is in his best intrest to allow his muscles to build to their potential to help his fused hock.
On that note, I have always spayed or neutered everyone else at 6 months.
 

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Believe me when I say that we always tie off blood vessels, no matter what the age!!! There are some big vessels in those parts, even at 6 weeks!!!
 

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this is my 4th GSD. i've never had any of them neutered. i've never had a problem with any of them being in tack. neuter, if there's a health problem or your Vet thinks it's going to be a problem then yes. to neuter to avoid a problem that there's no sign of, no history of problems in their lineage, on conjecture, no, no, no. if i were going to nueter or spay they would be older than 6 or 7 months.

Titan is 12 weeks old. why is this his first Vet visit?????
 

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My family has never neutered any of our sheps. They also have never had any health problems that would require neuter. They never got to a female either. That being said, Apollo and Zeus are most likely not going to be neutered. Even if they were, it would not be before 2-3 years of age. I whole heartedly believe early neuter/spay messes up the dog's maturity physically.
 

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For the average pet owner, early neuter is the way to go and I totally recommend it. It is much less traumatic for your dog and he will heal much faster. As far as I know, there is no evidence one way or the other for growth differences, and really, for the average pet owner, who cares. With the early neuter, there is no chance of your dog having an unplanned mating so no possibility to contributing to the unbelieveable numbers of unwanted litters and dogs.

Way too many people ,once the dog gets to breeding age, suddenly start thinking about: how nice it would be to have a litter from their beloved dog, their dog has a right and a need to have sex at least once, it would be great for the kids to experience a litter of puppies, gee it would be great to make money by breeding this dog, and then the big one of men having sympathy pain and being unable to neuter the dog.

I am 100% supportive of early neuter for every dog except for the serious and responsible dog owner.
 

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I am in the same group as Tracy.

My female is 12 months, and still intact. I do not plan to spay her till after her second cycle. While the cost will be higher due to weight, I prefer to allow her hormones aid in her development. Even her breeder advised in our puppy packet not to spay a female under 9 months, and even longer for a male.

And since my little boo-peep is under during surgery, I will ask for a hip/elbow x-ray as well. Can't wait for that day. :eek:/
 

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If people are responsible owners, don't leave their intact dogs loose, then there is no reason to spay or neuter early. I left my male intact until age 4, no problems with surgery or healing up; my females were spayed over 2 years of age, no problems with surgery or healing. Some will say that spaying bitches before their first season is the only way to go so they don't get mammary gland cancer. I have a friend who is an older retired breeder and she has had eary spay females get mammary gland cancer and bitches that were intact until 7 or 8 never got mammary gland cancer.

There have been studies done that early spay/neuter increase the odds of bone cancer. I will take my chances with the bitches on mammary gland cancer verses bone cancer.

http://www.caninesports.com/SpayNeuter.html

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

Val
 

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Thanks Val for bringing that up. It was at the back of my mind, and I was simply too tired to post it.

I agree. Unfortunately, cancer - in reality - is most likely a crap shoot. Sure, lifestyles and habits can increase chances, but it is not a certainty.

My first GSD was spayed late, and she never developed any cancers. She passed on from old age.
 

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Believe me when I say that I see plenty of people every day, whom I would press for early neutering or spaying of their pets. I also have to think that if you're researching opinions, and trying to find help, then you're not the vet. practice's greatest fear. If you have a good relation with your vet, talk to them. I am concerned that they are pushing you upon your first visit with such a young pup. I may know professionally where they are coming from, but don't necessarily agree with it.
 

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Originally Posted By: BJDimockBelieve me when I say that I see plenty of people every day, whom I would press for early neutering or spaying of their pets.
Yeah. Unfortunately, that rings true.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Originally Posted By: doggiedad
Titan is 12 weeks old. why is this his first Vet visit?????
Because he had just had his puppy shots when we picked him up, and didn't need his second set of puppy shots until now and thats the appointment they gave me when I called 3 weeks ago.

Well one thing for sure is that we do take our dogs to the dog park alot, maybe 4-5 times a week, and I do know for sure there are dogs there that are not fixed. I would never want an unplanned litter (I don't know why people bring their intact females to the dog park, and then freak when they are being humped, even the fixed males) I do understand the hormones, and thinking about it, I'd probably want to wait until maybe even 10-12 months until he gets almost to his full size. But there are so many sides to think about. Its a tough decision! I'd also like to know, are their any chances of the dogs not getting along as well when he gets older and bigger? With dominance or anything? Just wondering. Thanks for all the opinions!
 

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Hi Nikki,

Our rescue group does the early spay/neuter on all our puppies before adoption and your vet is correct about it being less traumatic with a quicker healing time. I'm familiar with the procedure she's talking about (going in the back way) and that does seem to be a little less invasive - sort of like a cat neuter, although our vet does the conventional approach for both older and younger dogs, and that seems to work fine as well. Our altered puppies are almost fully recovered within about 24 hours, less for the males, versus older intact dogs that take much much longer to recuperate and are more likely to fool with their incisions.

We've found that, while there are individual differences, and training can play a big role, on average males neutered before about a year old are less likely to mark furniture, and less likely to get into scraps with other male dogs than their late neutered counterparts. I have not personally noticed any difference with dominance towards people between the two groups, and even in terms of scrapping with other dogs, there are exceptions on both sides. I think that one is going to come down a lot to your individual dog's temperament and the training you do.

In terms of cancer - there is some evidence (although it's kind of limited) that spaying and neutering can elevate the risk of osteosarcoma and there's ample evidence that spaying before the first heat cycle in females dramatically reduces the risk of mammary cancer, which is something we see a lot more than bone cancer, but I've had dogs with each and they are both awful.

Height - early neutered dogs are on average statistically something like half an inch taller than their later or unaltered counterparts.

I am a major proponant of S/N before adoption and in any policies that will reduce the number of unwanted puppies and kittens and therefore reduce the number of animals dying in shelters. So, on a population level, I'm all for it. However, on an individual level, I see that there are pros and cons each way, and IF (and only if) the owner is responsible and careful, I don't think I'd go with a super young S/N. I would be leaning more towards the 8-9 month range for a GSD. The health advantages for early altering are significantly less for a male than a female, since you're not worried about mammary cancer. Waiting past sexual maturity is going to depend a lot on how good a job you feel like you can do keeping your dog away from unaltered females (and you're right - they do turn up at dog parks and wandering the neighborhoods), as well as working with him a lot on his social skills so that he doesn't turn into a schoolyard problem child when he's going through puberty - although I'll freely admit, a lot of problem child behavior in male GSDs has more to do with that age range, than whether or not they're fixed.
 

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Originally Posted By: Nikkoli110
I'd also like to know, are their any chances of the dogs not getting along as well when he gets older and bigger? With dominance or anything? Just wondering. Thanks for all the opinions!
YES. BUT there is ALWAYS that risk when dealing with dogs. There are plenty of neutered dogs that don't get along and there are plenty of intact males that do.

If the dog park is the issue, I would just stop going to the dog park rather than neutering my pup just because other people are STUPID.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you for all the replies everyone. DH and I talked about it, and we decided to wait until at least 6 months, longer if we can. We don't let the dogs loose anyways, just at the dog park, and we'll make sure to be careful and keep a close eye on him (not that we don't anyways). Thank you very much!!
 

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Originally Posted By: ElaineFor the average pet owner, early neuter is the way to go and I totally recommend it. It is much less traumatic for your dog and he will heal much faster. As far as I know, there is no evidence one way or the other for growth differences, and really, for the average pet owner, who cares. With the early neuter, there is no chance of your dog having an unplanned mating so no possibility to contributing to the unbelieveable numbers of unwanted litters and dogs.

Way too many people ,once the dog gets to breeding age, suddenly start thinking about: how nice it would be to have a litter from their beloved dog, their dog has a right and a need to have sex at least once, it would be great for the kids to experience a litter of puppies, gee it would be great to make money by breeding this dog, and then the big one of men having sympathy pain and being unable to neuter the dog.

I am 100% supportive of early neuter for every dog except for the serious and responsible dog owner.
so, if a person is serious and responsible it's ok not to neuter?? i don't get it.
 

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Originally Posted By: doggiedad.....so, if a person is serious and responsible it's ok not to neuter?? i don't get it.
The main reason for early neuter (any neuter actually) is to prevent unwanted and unplanned liters. Sometimes it's done for the convenience of the owner, to make training possibly easier, but it's not primarily done for the health of the dog.

If a person is responsible, and their unneutered dog does not cause any unplanned litters, and is trained, etc. there is no reason to neuter. However, human nature being what it is, most rescue organizations (I'm guessing here) know that neutering them as soon as possible works best for the majority of owners.

edit: we got Max when he was about 1 1/2 years old. He was sold not to be bred, but the previous owner was keeping him intact with the intent to breed. He was a butthead, so we did have him neutered at about 2 years old. He was still a butthead after the surgery. I honestly don't think I saw much of a difference in his behaviour.
 
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