German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good afternoon,

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this but, I was wondering if anyone here could give me some information/direction perhaps. I have had my dog for around 3.5 years and he is trained very well; however, despite the fact that he is a rescue, he has not been fixed (read: neutered. He is an intact male). I've gone back and forth about whether or not I should neuter him at this late stage (He's between 4 and 4.5 years old at this point), and I honestly cannot come to a conclusion. I have a vet appointment next week to have the procedure done but am still on the fence. I don't plan to breed him, but he is friendly with most other dogs (apart from other intact males) and has never posed a problem apart from marking by my front door on occasion.

He's an extremely energetic dog, and always has been. Great with people, great with children, he even likes cats. I've had several friends and my former vet say that if I neuter him he will calm down, but he seems to be doing that anyways as he gets older (not that his energy poses any significant problem for me).

Any pro's of having this done?

Any cons?

Thanks,

Undecided Dog Dad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
My question is why not neuter. There are soo many puppies that need homes. So many in pounds and shelters. Take no chances.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,581 Posts
This is very much a personal decision with no clear cut "right" answer. A lot of people feel that it's healthier to leave a male intact, unless there is a health concern that would be fixed by neutering. Others feel preventing potential prostate issues makes it worth neutering an adult male. As to the thought that neutering a male prevents unwanted litters... this really depends on each specific owner. If you are the type that does not keep eyes on your dog, and he has the chance to wander and sire a litter, then I would absolutely recommend getting him neutered. If you are a responsible owner, who doesn't let your dog roam the neighborhood, then that particular argument doesn't hold water for me. As for neutering making your dog more calm, I've heard it really won't make a difference. Most issues people think neutering will solve would really be solved by more intensive training. Really, it just comes down to what you personally feel more comfortable with. There are tons of threads about neutering on this board, if you search neuter, you can wade through about a million different opinions on the matter. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,902 Posts
The argument for preventing puppies is grasping at straws. I've come into contact with 0 females in heat.
Pros of intact: lower risk of certain cancers, thyroidism, keep producing proper amounts of hormones, etc
Cons of intact: prostate issues, testicular cancer, higher license fees in certain places, etc
If your dog has issues, neutering does not cure them.
Those are just some. Lots of information on here about neutering vs not.
Know your dog. Train your dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Neutered males are much more prone to weight gain, that's the biggest con to me. Mine calmed down more than I prefer, I would like to see him more enthusiastic than he is sometimes.

Not neutering your dog will not magically result in more puppies, assuming you keep your dog properly contained and communicate with other dog owners to make sure their dog he is coming in contact with is not in heat. I assume you've done well at this so far.

I prefer keeping dogs intact, I don't buy into the whole 'it reduced risk of cancer' when vets say it. Why not cut off tails, ears, noses, legs, remove all teeth etc so they don't get cancer in those body parts? Some medical websites also say it increases the risk of other cancers due to less testosterone in the body.

Pros: Won't chase after females as much, less competitive, male to male interaction will go smoother, can't get a female pregnant if that's a concern.

Cons: Risks obesity (can be solved if you keep an eye on weight), can become lazy, less enthused, and risk of incontinence is increased and for younger dogs it can poorly effect maturity.

There are plenty of insightful websites if you google "pros and cons of neutering".

Here is Dr. Karen Becker's opinion on it: Why I've Had a Change of Heart About Neutering Pets
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,657 Posts
GypsyGhost ... pretty much summed it up nicely. I'm not a breeder and I don't plan on having puppies but my next female Boxer ... I won't have fixed.

But having a male dog and a female both unfixed in the same household ... I don't know?? Having two unfixed dogs would be a challenge??? But ... that aside ... I have first hand experiance with a neutered male my first GSD ... making "Zero" difference as regards attitudinal issues. :)

I only bowed to pressure and had my girl fixed at 4 years ... Boxer thing and I was terrified of Acepromazine ... Boxer thing. But I told the vet "No Ace" on my Boxer and he said ... "Hey no problem." So I had it done, and she was fine. But I only did it becasue I thought that is what responsible dog owners do?? When in fact I had already been doing for years what responsible owners do ... they keep there intact dogs from having puppies.

So I had succumbed to peer pressure as it were ... that ticked me off but Struddell was fine. :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,686 Posts
Our vet and agrees with us that there might be benefits to keeping a male intact. Our boy is not de-sexed and the only issue I have is to make sure his testicles are not injured. He is long haired and I check for ticks and dings and such. He has a cool and calm attitude and we also had an intatct female in the house. When she was in season he was so "in love" there was no training (we were training for IPO at the time).

At 18 months I spay our she-pup. She seemed to become more emotional in season and we missed a couple of public events because they came up while she was in heat. Midway between her 2nd and what would have been her 3rd heat, we had her de-sexed. Our big boy is still intact. He has not attempted to roam and there are no Oops litters.
We had the hips and elbows checked, normal. no issues. We had the DNA tests with Embark. All tests came back clean and healthy. We don't plan on breeding but with his health and his temperament, I think his pups would be fine (depending on the female)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,726 Posts
Osteosarcoma, Hemangiosarcoma, Age related cognitive decline, obesity, CCL/ACL tears, bone fractures, increased fear aggression, increased anxiety, poor immune health, increased likely hood of reactions to vaccines, and more allergies are some of the known health effects of neutering dogs.

Prostate health does need to be monitored with intact dogs, it should be checked yearly, but keeping them intact is the way to go IMHO.

Millions of years of evolution have created perfect biological machines. Sex hormones are important to many bodily systems. Tinkering with hormones isn't healthy. Endocrine deficiencies are devastating.

And quite frankly the poor puppies in shelters thing are a moot point. First of all, I will not put another dog's, especially hypothetical ones, health above the health of MY dog. He comes first to me. Second it is stupid easy to prevent unwanted litters with normal responsible dog ownership. And third accidental litters of owned pets are NOT the cause of dog over population, nor are purpose bred litters. The overwhelming vast majority of PUPPIES find homes. The problem is a societal issue of seeing dogs as disposable, people not training their dogs and dumping them when they get too much to handle. Preventing litters does not solve the core issue of dogs in shelters and is sooooooooooo not worth the health ramifications to MY dog.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,162 Posts
ShepherdMix, I've moved your thread from General Info to Basic Care in Health & Wellness. You'll find lots of other threads on the same topic in this area. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,902 Posts
Osteosarcoma, Hemangiosarcoma, Age related cognitive decline, obesity, CCL/ACL tears, bone fractures, increased fear aggression, increased anxiety, poor immune health, increased likely hood of reactions to vaccines, and more allergies are some of the known health effects of neutering dogs.

Prostate health does need to be monitored with intact dogs, it should be checked yearly, but keeping them intact is the way to go IMHO.

Millions of years of evolution have created perfect biological machines. Sex hormones are important to many bodily systems. Tinkering with hormones isn't healthy. Endocrine deficiencies are devastating.

And quite frankly the poor puppies in shelters thing are a moot point. First of all, I will not put another dog's, especially hypothetical ones, health above the health of MY dog. He comes first to me. Second it is stupid easy to prevent unwanted litters with normal responsible dog ownership. And third accidental litters of owned pets are NOT the cause of dog over population, nor are purpose bred litters. The overwhelming vast majority of PUPPIES find homes. The problem is a societal issue of seeing dogs as disposable, people not training their dogs and dumping them when they get too much to handle. Preventing litters does not solve the core issue of dogs in shelters and is sooooooooooo not worth the health ramifications to MY dog.
You need to write a book.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,625 Posts
I just got a $2,000 vet bill in rescue that was apparently related to the 7 y.o. dog being intact all through his adulthood: he got a perineal hernia because he was intact.

These weird rear-end hernias are apparently entirely hormonal in cause, according to the boarded specialist who treated our dog. What happens is that while straining to poop, the dog blows out the internal muscle wall that lines one (or even both) sides of the rectum -- the internal wall of the "poop shute" collapses, and then parts of the rectum get pushed through the hole when the dog poops. In this dog's case, his prostate had gone through the hole too and was stuck somewhere it shouldn't have been (and was enlarged from not being neutered). We don't know how long he'd been living with it, but it must have been a while.

Repair requires a board-certified surgeon -- regular vets cannot do this complex surgery because there are so many nerves in that area, and a small error can result in fecal incontinence. The cost of this surgery starts around $2,000 and goes up dramatically from there (depending whether it's both sides or just one).

The surgeon who did our rescue dog's surgery said this is a problem specific to dogs that have not been neutered -- he does a fair number of these surgeries. While this won't happen to "most" intact males, it's one of those luck-of-the-draw potential effects that rarely gets considered, and it was quite a doozie.

Another random pro: the animal control officers I know all say that they almost never pick up neutered males as strays. Being fixed seems to dramatically cut down the odds of going stray, at least for males. There seems to be a higher risk of "Wanderlust" in the intact males. You might be the kind of owner who can contain your male -- or you might not.

For females, one of the great benefits of being spayed during adulthood is avoiding pyometra. Doing an elective spay on a healthy dog, at a vet of your choice, is going to be far easier on the dog (and cheaper!!!) than doing an emergency spay on a very sick senior dog with a full-blown infection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,902 Posts
I just got a $2,000 vet bill in rescue that was apparently related to the 7 y.o. dog being intact all through his adulthood: he got a perineal hernia because he was intact.

These weird rear-end hernias are apparently entirely hormonal in cause, according to the boarded specialist who treated our dog. What happens is that while straining to poop, the dog blows out the internal muscle wall that lines one (or even both) sides of the rectum -- the internal wall of the "poop shute" collapses, and then parts of the rectum get pushed through the hole when the dog poops. In this dog's case, his prostate had gone through the hole too and was stuck somewhere it shouldn't have been (and was enlarged from not being neutered). We don't know how long he'd been living with it, but it must have been a while.

Repair requires a board-certified surgeon -- regular vets cannot do this complex surgery because there are so many nerves in that area, and a small error can result in fecal incontinence. The cost of this surgery starts around $2,000 and goes up dramatically from there (depending whether it's both sides or just one).

The surgeon who did our rescue dog's surgery said this is a problem specific to dogs that have not been neutered -- he does a fair number of these surgeries. While this won't happen to "most" intact males, it's one of those luck-of-the-draw potential effects that rarely gets considered, and it was quite a doozie.

Another random pro: the animal control officers I know all say that they almost never pick up neutered males as strays. Being fixed seems to dramatically cut down the odds of going stray, at least for males. There seems to be a higher risk of "Wanderlust" in the intact males. You might be the kind of owner who can contain your male -- or you might not.

For females, one of the great benefits of being spayed during adulthood is avoiding pyometra. Doing an elective spay on a healthy dog, at a vet of your choice, is going to be far easier on the dog (and cheaper!!!) than doing an emergency spay on a very sick senior dog with a full-blown infection.
I'm trying to find documentation of the perennial hernia being caused by being unaltered. Have you seen a study? Or just what the vet said. Curious.
Also, not neutering is more reason to be responsible.
Speutering is not an absolute. There are so many variables. Cancer, infections, etc. There are pros and cons to both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,204 Posts
I'm trying to find documentation of the perennial hernia being caused by being unaltered. Have you seen a study? Or just what the vet said. Curious.
Also, not neutering is more reason to be responsible.
Speutering is not an absolute. There are so many variables. Cancer, infections, etc. There are pros and cons to both.
Getting stuck only happens to dogs with testicles that get stuck in a hernia and need to be removed. So I don't see how an altered male can get one. If there are no testicles to get stuck, then that won't happen. I don't think it's that common. Certainly not a reason to neuter in itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,625 Posts
AFAIK, the prostate, bladder, or parts of the rectum are what gets stuck in the perineal hernia (as distinguished from other hernias). The anatomy back there gets deformed by it. And yes, it took all of 5 min for me to find 5 sources (one vet manual, the rest were papers or journals behind a paywall) on the condition affecting intact, older males...so...this board-certified specialist was relaying a mainstream view.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,204 Posts
I was involved with a big dog rescue group, not GSDs. The more I got to know the breed, the more common it seemed that the dogs died too young of cancer in huge percentages. I decided to focus only on GSDs and lost touch with them but recently talked to one of their organizers, who told me that privately, a lot of their foster and volunteers had started buying puppies from breeders so they could keep their dogs intact. That shocked me, but if a rescue group is doing this, that tells me there is something there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,625 Posts
Keep in mind that OP's dog here is 4-4.5 years old -- not a puppy. He's already done growing and heading toward middle age.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,902 Posts
AFAIK, the prostate, bladder, or parts of the rectum are what gets stuck in the perineal hernia (as distinguished from other hernias). The anatomy back there gets deformed by it. And yes, it took all of 5 min for me to find 5 sources (one vet manual, the rest were papers or journals behind a paywall) on the condition affecting intact, older males...so...this board-certified specialist was relaying a mainstream view.
My google must be broken. Either way, there are pros and cons. In my mind I'd rather pay for surgery than lose a dog to a list of other health issues, predominantly cancer.
Thanks for the information. No sarcasm. It's definitely something to keep in mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
I too will agree there are issues with leaving dogs intact. My male had a prostate inflammation/enlargement and the only way I could be sure it wouldn't happen again was to get him neutered.

Here is a scholarly article on the topic: Prostatic Disease - Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery - Kutzler - Wiley Online Library
(@voodoolamb you might be interested in reading that)

I've also had issues on the other side, struggling with my dogs gaining weight, incontinence and lethargy.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top