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I have a now 15 month old GSD. I have decided not to neuter as he is not showing any bad behavior that might warrant it. However, because I am not neutering him, it limits the places that will board him if I should ever need to board him. Most doggy day cares would not take him (not sure you would care about this, just mentioning). And it means I do have to be more careful since if there was a bitch that came into heat he would make a beeline for her.

In the past, I had a female GSD that I did not spay, not to breed her (I didn't) but because I didn't want to remove body parts unless necessary. This meant I had to keep track of heat cycles and make sure she was secured during those times to avoid male dogs fighting over her or her getting pregnant.

So, if you have an unaltered adult dog, you will have to do more work and deal with some limitations. But... if you are a responsible dog owner and can manage that...
 

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1. It's not just about cancer. It's also about the risk of a perineal hernia, a condition that mostly impacts middle aged and senior intact males. The condition is very painful (the pelvic floor collapses, with displacement of the organs (prostate, and sometimes bladder) into the anal area). It requires a board-certified surgeon (not a general practice vet) to fix -- it's a very long, complex surgery, but if you've got the money, it's fixable, unless there's a raging infection that progresses too quickly:

2. The last rescue dog I had with a perineal hernia had a $3,000 bill after the rescue discount. If that sounds steep, then you probably ought to find a suitable pet insurance policy if you're going this route. That's part of the "responsible dog ownership" thing -- I've had dogs needing this surgery dumped on rescue by people who refused to neuter for cultural reasons and couldn't afford the resulting health problem....so it's not like people are always financially prepared for this choice to go badly.

3. People love to think this sort of thing never happens because it's never happened to them, yet. Maybe you'll be as lucky as the ones here who've never seen it. Or maybe you won't. You can't predict that, and nobody knows why some dogs get it and others don't.
 

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1. It's not just about cancer. It's also about the risk of a perineal hernia, a condition that mostly impacts middle aged and senior intact males. The condition is very painful (the pelvic floor collapses, with displacement of the organs (prostate, and sometimes bladder) into the anal area). It requires a board-certified surgeon (not a general practice vet) to fix -- it's a very long, complex surgery, but if you've got the money, it's fixable, unless there's a raging infection that progresses too quickly:

2. The last rescue dog I had with a perineal hernia had a $3,000 bill after the rescue discount. If that sounds steep, then you probably ought to find a suitable pet insurance policy if you're going this route. That's part of the "responsible dog ownership" thing -- I've had dogs needing this surgery dumped on rescue by people who refused to neuter for cultural reasons and couldn't afford the resulting health problem....so it's not like people are always financially prepared for this choice to go badly.

3. People love to think this sort of thing never happens because it's never happened to them, yet. Maybe you'll be as lucky as the ones here who've never seen it. Or maybe you won't. You can't predict that, and nobody knows why some dogs get it and others don't.
This is the only thing our current vet had mentioned about intact males. It is something we had not heard before. He said it wasn't common but did happen. thanks for posting more information about it.

disclosure, My big-boy is 7 and intact. My gal-dog was spay at 18 months for everyone's sanity.
 

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I rescued an intact male GSD. Now, I had no intention of letting him breed, as he wasn't registered, and wasn't quite breed quality. My yard was fully fenced, and he was not interested in climbing or digging his way out. He was mostly an indoor dog, but stuff happens. For instance, there was a gate on the far side of the backyard which I never used. One day, the lawn care company came to spray the lawn, and left the gate open. I let him out, never thinking to check the gate. Lucky for me, my dog didn't wander, and I found him on the front porch when I came home!

I'd TOLD the lawn company that I had dogs, and that they MUST tell me when they were coming to spray, so I could take precautions about letting the dog out on grass that was freshly treated. After that incident, I fired them.

Anyway, Ranger developed a really nasty prostate infection. The vet said his prostate was about the size of an orange, and strongly recommended neutering, once the infection was under control, so I had it done. The ONLY change I noticed in his behaviour was he no longer scent marked the counter at the vet's office, once the testosterone was out of his system!

He lived a long and healthy life. I probably wouldn't have bothered neutering him if he hadn't gotten the infection.
I relied on my neighbours to look after him when I went away, or boarded him at the vet's. But dog boarding businesses are getting increasingly sticky about intact dogs, and many now insist on them being neutered, so there's that to consider, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Wow! Thank you all for your replies! Even though I see know that I still have a very tough decision to make, I at least understand a little better. To be more specific about who is pressuring me- it has been the vet, friends and family. I started noticing drops of blood and quickly realized that it was coming for his penis. Got him to the vet who said it could be anything from a bladder infection, to kidney stones, to cancer. Among other things. 😥... She has determined it's not a bladder infection and she physically felt around for a possible swollen prostate which she didnt think it felt swollen at all. And that's as far as the vet has figured out at this point yet she has already suggested I neuter him. And everyone I know who I talked to about it jumps right on board. Thanks to all of you I've decided I will not breed him... but going from 'I dont know' to cutting body parts off my baby is a huge leap I'm not willing to make. I just need to KNOW 100% that it is in his best interest first. Thanks again. You all have given me much to think about.
569403
 

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I would care less about a baseless opinion from either one. Your vet needs to read up on the latest research. And family members and friends most likely parrot the common practice without any knowledge about the science. My WD had an imbedded tick on his scrotum and the vet thought it would be a good idea to neuter him while he was under general anesthesia. NO!
 

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My WD had an imbedded tick on his scrotum and the vet thought it would be a good idea to neuter him while he was under general anesthesia. NO!
WOW!! :rolleyes:
Reminds me of my first trip to the vet with Star. This was a female I'd bought specifically with the intention of breeding her, if everything panned out the way it should (health testing, titles, etc.*) She had FOUR German siegers and one siegerin in the first 5 generations of her pedigree!!

They STILL handed me an estimate of what it would cost to spay her at the end of the appointment... :oops:

*Footnote: things did NOT pan out as expected. She x-rayed as mildly dysplastic in one hip at 2 years old, so I had to have her spayed. :'(
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
You don't have to neuter a male if you are not breeding him. His testicles are also important for other functions than producing sperm. Just don't let him near a female in heat, that's all.
What else are the testicles important for? Sincere question...
 

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I never neuter my male dogs. The current research I've read seems to come to the conclusion that it's almost never in a males best interest to neuter them unless there is an underlying health issue. I have intact females also but have found its not difficult to keep them isolated from each other when the females in season.

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There used to be a site called Angry Vet where vets talked about the downside of neutering, especially early.
This forum has a cut and paste of some of what was on there

 

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Another site.
Info to consider.
The decision is, of course, up to the dog owner.

 
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Looks like you made your decision but our breeder sent this article to us. We did neuter our male GSD at about 1 year old and he lived a happy healthy life of 12 years. We now have a 7 month female and are deciding on if…or when. Vet says 6 months to a year. Breeder says 2 years…Not an easy decision by any means.

 

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1. It's not just about cancer. It's also about the risk of a perineal hernia, a condition that mostly impacts middle aged and senior intact males. The condition is very painful (the pelvic floor collapses, with displacement of the organs (prostate, and sometimes bladder) into the anal area). It requires a board-certified surgeon (not a general practice vet) to fix -- it's a very long, complex surgery, but if you've got the money, it's fixable, unless there's a raging infection that progresses too quickly:

2. The last rescue dog I had with a perineal hernia had a $3,000 bill after the rescue discount. If that sounds steep, then you probably ought to find a suitable pet insurance policy if you're going this route. That's part of the "responsible dog ownership" thing -- I've had dogs needing this surgery dumped on rescue by people who refused to neuter for cultural reasons and couldn't afford the resulting health problem....so it's not like people are always financially prepared for this choice to go badly.

3. People love to think this sort of thing never happens because it's never happened to them, yet. Maybe you'll be as lucky as the ones here who've never seen it. Or maybe you won't. You can't predict that, and nobody knows why some dogs get it and others don't.
I had no idea that this could happen with intact males, so I really appreciate the information!!! My dog is intact and if I neuter, I'm waiting until about 2 years... I had not been planning to neuter. You are making me rethink that decision. I don't want my boy to suffer. How common is a perineal hernia in GSDs? Are there genetic markers or some other indicators that would help me make a decision about whether or not to neuter? I just want to do what is best for my dog.
 
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