Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Neuter or Not

Reasons to Neuter:
-eliminates the small risk of dying from testicular cancer

-reduces the risk of noncancerous prostate disorders

-eliminates risk of impregnating a female dog

-helps eliminate aggressive tendencies

Reasons Not to Neuter or at least wait until the dog is fully developed:

- if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a common cancer in medium/large and larger breeds with a poor prognosis.

- increases the risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 1.6

- triples the risk of hypothyroidism

- increases the risk of progressive geriatric cognitive impairment

- quadruples the small risk prostate cancer

- increases the risk of orthopedic disorders

- increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations

I started this post over a month ago. I wanted to research the effects of neutering and not neutering on Oak. My last golden, Phoenix, was never neutered. He died at the age of 14 years from hemangiosarcoma. He also suffered from hypothyroidism for many years and developed geriatric vestibular disease not once, but twice(very unusual)! So it would seem not all the facts and figures I have are necessarily accurate.

Unfortunately for me(and Oak) at this point in time, I feel his newly developed dominating ( dog aggressive) tendencies out way the possible risk of disease and orthopedic disorders later in life. I have spoken to my dog trainer, the vet and numerous other people who know dogs and we all agree it would be best to neuter Oak now, instead of waiting until he is 18 months old(as my contract states). So... he's all set to go in tomorrow. I hope I made the right decision. I'm a bit nervous(ok alot), but I'm sure it all work out in the end. Everybody cross your fingers for my baby.


TorontoVet said...

I, and all vets out there would love to have some data from a few long-term studies so we, too, can get to the bottom of this.
Good post.

retriever farm said...

Most vets are uneducated about risks of neutering vs. not neutering. And there is nt much evidence either way. most vets I know love to neuter them early. I own only intact bys, and never had problem, but their personalitie are differen when the girls are around. We'll keep Oak in our prayers tomorrow for a safe recovery.

Nibbles Treats said...

Sounds like you have a tough decision to make.

Tinkerbell, Oscar and Tucker

Amber-Mae said...

It's good to neuter a male if its not going to be a stud dog. There's no guarantee that the dog will be less aggressive after neutering. Some dogs still the same. There are some cases where dogs became more aggressive after neutering. You cannot tell. It depends on each dog. It's same like spaying a female dog. Some put on weight while others are slim no matter what they eat! By the way, neutering or spaying a dog will not stop them from marking. They will still do it because they have already learned it. So neutering won't really help much but the male dog should be more docile. We hope everything goes well!

Solid Gold Dancer

TorontoVet said...

Hence, we NEED those long-term studies.

Be-A-Normal-PetOwner said...

Retriever Farm,

I don't prayers are needed if your pet is being spayed or neutered. ;-)