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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

I am new here and have enjoyed (as well as learned a LOT) cruising through all your posts. We have a brand new (here for a week) 12-week old GSD male puppy - "Luther"...





We lost our beloved GSD male six months ago to Hemangiosarcoma (in his spleen and liver - not yet to his heart). I've been reading on the net about recent research pointing to increased risk of Hemangiosarcoma and other cancers in GSD's with "early" neutering. Our guy was neutered at 7 months as recommended by our Vet. We would like to minimize any risk of another such tragedy and wonder if anyone has any comments or wisdom to share?

Thank you all for anything you might offer!

Martie
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Sorry - new to pictures - will try again...



 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you! We love him already. When we lost our GSD six months ago, we contacted his breeder, who was unfortunately no longer breeding, but put us in touch with the breeder from whom he got our dog's parents. Luther shares many of the same ancestors - and we count ourselves very lucky to have him join our family! While I don't know that much about the different lines, I believe him to be of West German show lines and his pedigree has many German Sch 3's in it. We, however, just needed another friend!

So far, he is outstanding - no "accidents" in his crate or in the house (although we watch him like hawks) - has already "learned" to sit and down and is an absolute delight.

Martie
 

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Gosh, my stupid laptop is retarded.

For some reason, I can't see the whole first photograph. It has been like that for a few days now ... part of the picture is cut off if it's too big.

Could someone help me???

[edit: Oh yeah, the puppy based on the second photo ... is SO cute!]
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You should have a bar at the bottom of the post. Just slide it over a bit and you can see the rest of the picture. Sorry for sending such big ones! I'll get better at this! Is this better?



Martie
 

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Ya I have heard that also, but of course, after I neutered Meb and Shay at 6 months of age. I have heard that you should wait until the dog is at least year to year and a half.
 

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I have the link to the study on my home computer (I'm in PA on business). I can post it after I get back.

I will be waiting until my dogs are physically mature. For a male I would wait until 16 - 24 months of age.
 

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Luther is a beautiful pup!!!

So sorry to read about your boy that you lost to hemangiosarcoma of the spleen. I know how much this can hurt. I lost my soul mate, Echo, to hemangiosarcoma of the heart. It killed my mutt, Bo, spleen and other organs. And I just had to put my old male, Ringer, down less than a month ago for numerous health reasons including hemangiosarcoma of the heart. I also lost Niki, to osteosarcoma. Too survived an encapsulated cancerous tumor, I thought it was hemangiosarcoma but believe now it was another type of cancer (and am not sure how to get the diagnosis at this late date).

I also recommend neutering a male no earlier than 18 to 24 months old and a bitch after her first heat cycle.
 

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Welcome, Luther looks like a great boy. They say not to neuter until they reach sexual maturity. You do not have to neuter him at all.

My opinion is that the hormones involved here have more of a function than just to make puppies. When you remove these hormones it can advance the physical aging process. I think that the hormones balance the system and the little cancer cells that exist in all beings are pretty much kept in check. Removing the hormones, shifts the balance and sometimes those cells get out of line. That is an opinion and not backed by anything.

Is there some reason you want to neuter your dog?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Gayle, I am so sorry to hear about your dogs. I guess all we can do is to move on and know we gave them the best we had while they were here.

In researching our dogs' cancers, I have learned so much I didn't have any idea about in the last several months - such as food quality - this neutering issue - etc. We are resolved to do better and to stay informed - rather than the passive, "average" pet owners we have been. Whether they beat the odds or not, we hope our new dogs will be healthier and happier while they are here with us.

Martie
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all so much for your advice and the references. In answer to the question of why we want to neuter, it is because that's what one does! Seriously - it's that we have always done this - most everyone says it's the responsible thing to do - etc. However, we are in the process of becoming more informed and re-thinking all of our dog care habits.

We will definitely wait a lot longer to neuter our GSD, will continue research - and may at some point decide against it. He will not be a breeding or show dog, so his health/welfare are the only questions here.

Thank you all, again!

Martie
 

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Hi Martie,

No, no bar. It's like ... the column with the 'Recent Topics', 'Who's Online', etc are cutting into the left column.
I don't know how to change it ... it's not like I can just stretch my screen either.

But .. thanks for the repost! I appreciate it.


It's probably something to do with my settings - I think -that I have trouble viewing larger photos. He is ADORABLE ... I think his ears are gonna be huge!
 

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Keeping a dog on a chain in the back yard with a dog house use to be "what is done."

Getting every shot the vet wanted to put into your dog every year used to be "what is done."

Feeding purina dog chow used to be "what is done."

A lot of these things have changed, but somehow the neutering thing has stuck. It has been married to the word "responsible" and that should be a crime, as most of the arguments for neutering allow you to be less responsible. And there has been a lot of propaganda and misinformation about the benefits or need for neutering, while the possible disadvantages are glossed over or not mentioned at all.

Neutering your dog will not make him easier to manage.

Neutering your dog to keep him from roaming is barbaric, won't work and you will have to dish out the money for a fence anyway.

Neutering your dog so he will not have to suffer whenever there is a bitch in heat is nonsens.

Neutering your dog so he will not get testicular cancer is true. He cannot get cancer in testacles that are not there. However, testicular cancer is not a common concern in the breed, and if it should crop up, it is easy to treat by neutering your dog at that time.

Some male behaviors can be curbed by neutering early, but if you do not own an intact female or an intact male to show the pup the ropes, they may never take root. Also these behaviors, humping and marking, can be managed by training. Also neutered dogs and bitches may hump and mark as well.

Which leaves adding the the pet overpopulation problem. This to me is the absolute worse reason to neuter your dog. Perhaps there is a valid argument here for spaying your bitch, but like a herd of deer, you can take out 99% of the bucks and the does will produce the same number of fawns. If you irresponsibly leave your dog loose to nail the neighbors bitch who was irresponsibly left unattended and in heat, then your dog will likely produce progeny. If you keep him under wraps, he will not, and the next stray scraggly mutt will peform the job.

Neutering can give you peace of mind that you are not adding to the problem.

Neutering could be cheaper when getting a license.

One last thing, and that concerns dog bites. Certain propagation will provide statistics that show that un-neutered dogs are more likely to bite than their neutered counter-parts. However, the neutered dogs are owned by people who "do the responsible thing." There dogs are also much more likely to be trained and socialized. People who keep their dogs intact for performance, showing, and breeding are also likely to train and socialize their dogs and are less likely for these dogs to bite. The pond scum that have no business owning dogs, the drug dealers, and criminal wanna-be's who have dogs for their reputation, keep them chained out back and encourage them to bark and portray viscious tendencies do not neuter their dogs. They do not train or socialize their dogs either. I guess my point is the particular statistic is skewed.
 

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Gayle-wow, that is just too much experience you have with that disease. I hate to ask-were all those guys neutered young?
I really need to read up on it because I think I get it confused with other types of diseases.

Just an FYI-the NAIA - their board of directors and mission would be what I say is in the anti-speuter realm and therefore have a POSSIBLE research bias, as would say, the Humane Society being pro-speuter and having a POSSIBLE research bias in that way.

There are so many things that play a part in life expectancy for dogs, I think it is not a good idea to pin your hopes for longevity on any one thing. Balance food, environment, genetics, training, aspects of dog wellness, sun exposure, etc., and I think you can neuter or not neuter and not have a drastic increase or decrease in length of life.

My preference is to neuter-I am comfortable with my choice based on my research, my values, and my dogs' quality of life. I have a pack of dogs living in harmony and never have to worry who needs to be kept from whom.
 

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Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAANGayle-wow, that is just too much experience you have with that disease. I hate to ask-were all those guys neutered young?
I really need to read up on it because I think I get it confused with other types of diseases.
To be honest, I've never read that hemangiosarcoma could be related to early spay/neuter, but maybe it is???? But in the Hooligan's cases, it doesn't appear to be related to early neutering.

I've always liked males to be neutered later in life to give them time to develop physically and mentally though I have neutered a couple early. I like to wait until a bitch goes thru her first heat for the same reason. But after reading about the possible links between early spaying/neutering and certain types of cancer gives me even more reasons not to neuter early.

Anyway, here's the answer to your question:
1. Echo, died a month before his 10th birthday, hemangiosarcoma of the heart - neutered at 9 months old.
2. Niki, died at 7 years/7 months, osteosarcoma - neutered 18 months.
3. Too, died at 12-1/2 years old, unknown encapsulated cancerous tumor surgically removed when she was about 10 - spayed at 4 months (I got her when she was 6 months old).
4. Bo, died when he was between 10 to 13 years old, hemangiosarcoma of the spleen and other organs - neutered at an unknown age (I adopted him as a senior).
5. Ringer, died a month before his 13th birthday, hemangiosarcoma of the heart - neutered about 24 months of age.
 

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Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAANWow-Gayle-that is a rough list. And knowing how your dogs are cared for makes it even harder to deal with. I am really not well acquainted with that disease and need to read up on it. I am sorry.
I hope and pray you never have it happen to any of your pups.

I wonder how common it is.

I've never had an early diagnosis with the hemangiosarcoma, it's come as a complete surprise to me and the dogs were dead within hours of the diagnosis. I wonder how many of our dogs who drop over dead might have it and people attribute the deaths to "old age", a bad heart, bloat, etc. Unless they have a necropsy there's really no way to tell why a dog drops over dead. Ringer and Honey's brother in Maryland dropped over dead on Christmas morning 2006 - his owner said it was a bad heart but she really didn't know.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Gayle, I'm not sure it's possible to have an early diagnosis of Hemangiosarcoma. From what I understand, it is painless/symptomless until the internal bleeding starts. The only sure diagnosis we were offered was surgery to actually go in and look at it - and this is a very risky surgery. We elected instead for Ultrasound - which showed typical lesions covering the spleen and many suspicious (but the Dr couldn't identify for sure) on his liver.

I must say - I hope and pray this never happens to YOU again! Much, much more than your share for sure. You have my sincere condolences.

Martie
 
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