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View Full Version : Best time for neutering?



dyrojo
25th June 2009, 06:44 PM
Whats the best age to have a puppy neutered? When I first took Charlie to the vets for his vaccination the vet suggested that 7 months was the best age and he's now very nearly 7 months. To me this seems quite early/young but I'm not sure. I've only ever had bitches before and always waited until after their first cycle and I'm not quite sure what time to have a dog done :confused:

lorebringer
25th June 2009, 06:54 PM
Both males and females can be done around 6 months. If you get a bitch done before her first heat it reduces her change of various cancers to nearly nil. Boys can get into bad habbts (eg. marking) if they are not done early, not to mention prostate probs when they get older (if left intact). I have gotten all of mine done at the earliest age possible (both dogs and bitches). 7 months sounds like a perfect time to have him done. With boys, the surgery is reasonabley minor and they heal up quickly (after a day or two they are right as rain again!). Keeping them away from the stitches can be a pain in the bum though! :rolleyes:

chloe92us
26th June 2009, 07:00 PM
Ollie was done @ 6 months.

MishathePooh
27th June 2009, 12:00 AM
I'm torn on this. Bone growth plate close later than 7 months and hormones may have an important role in this. If (AND ONLY IF!!!) you can keep your dog onlead and under control at all times when he is out, and thus away from unfixed females, 11-14 months may be a better age. If you cannot keep him onlead at all times, and even slip up once, it's a huge mistake and he should be neutered at 7 months. They also do start developing the testosterony male behaviors about this time as well. A final alternative would be a vasectomy now and neuter at 15 months - but still the dog would have to go under twice which is undesirable.

Because of the increased risk of cancer, I would do a female before the first heat.

Mom of Jato
27th June 2009, 03:02 AM
My male and female were both done at 6 months. I would suggest doing it now rather than wait- you don't want him to start marking. :grnyuk:

WoodHaven
27th June 2009, 04:04 AM
My male and female were both done at 6 months. I would suggest doing it now rather than wait- you don't want him to start marking. :grnyuk:

Really, I like the fact that my boys can lift their legs outside and not hit their feet or legs. I put things right outside that I know are safe for them to mark.

Mindysmom
27th June 2009, 09:20 PM
My breeder told me to do it as soon as the vet would - The vet would have done it at 5 months but Max was just over six when he had it done. I didn't want to have to deal with marking either.

WoodHaven
27th June 2009, 09:52 PM
My breeder told me to do it as soon as the vet would - The vet would have done it at 5 months but Max was just over six when he had it done. I didn't want to have to deal with marking either.

I don't allow anyone to neuter before 6 months, males I prefer 12. I've seen too many siblings of dogs that were done early and had skeletal issues. Osteosarcomas are higher in early neutered dogs. It is a VERY personal decision because there is a health price to BOTH (early and later neutering).

Mindysmom
28th June 2009, 12:15 AM
I thought 5 months was too early AND I thought his testicles hadn't descended (I was wrong - they were descended at his first puppy check apparently - I was just looking for something a bit bigger lol). To be fair my vet also has a a size minimum at 5 months but Max was well over it - I'm not sure if size at neuter has anything to do with the possible skeletal issues. I do suspect that the push for early neutering by vets does have a lot to do with "oops" litters.

WoodHaven
28th June 2009, 12:34 AM
I thought 5 months was too early AND I thought his testicles hadn't descended (I was wrong - they were descended at his first puppy check apparently - I was just looking for something a bit bigger lol). To be fair my vet also has a a size minimum at 5 months but Max was well over it - I'm not sure if size at neuter has anything to do with the possible skeletal issues. I do suspect that the push for early neutering by vets does have a lot to do with "oops" litters.

If you have 100% control of you dog(s)-- there is no chance for a Ooops litter. I have intact males and females living together. They are never allowed to roam free (they'd be coyote bait), so I don't worry about my boy getting a neighbors intact females.
I suspect that some vets push for early spay and neuter because it is a big money maker. The same reason vets are still pushing yearly shots when many vet schools are teaching differently.

Mindysmom
28th June 2009, 01:44 AM
I was never worried about an oops litter since Mindy is spayed (not to mention 11 years old) and Max does not run free. My vet doesn't charge more for an early spay than a later one so I don't think it's a money thing for him. They still do the annual vaccines but I've never talked about doing it less frequently since I have to present proof of vaccination to go to the groomer - do classes etc.

WoodHaven
28th June 2009, 02:01 AM
We have gone to obedience classes and are currently in conformation classes-- we just found a place that understood that yearly shots dhpp aren't needed.
My vet still does yearly shots-- I get reminders all the time. I overheard another vet there saying without yearly shots, people tend not to go for annual check ups. I'd rather they did yearly blood tests (titers) than yearly shots.

WoodHaven
28th June 2009, 02:07 AM
Both males and females can be done around 6 months. If you get a bitch done before her first heat it reduces her change of various cancers to nearly nil. Boys can get into bad habbts (eg. marking) if they are not done early, not to mention prostate probs when they get older (if left intact). I have gotten all of mine done at the earliest age possible (both dogs and bitches). 7 months sounds like a perfect time to have him done. With boys, the surgery is reasonabley minor and they heal up quickly (after a day or two they are right as rain again!). Keeping them away from the stitches can be a pain in the bum though! :rolleyes:

Her chance of breast cancer goes down due to lack of hormone. None of the other cancers necessarily go down-- especially osteosarcomas nor bladder cancer go down-- they actually go up.

MishathePooh
28th June 2009, 04:08 PM
I don't think vets necessarily push for money issues but for stupid people issues. I have worked at a couple vet clinics and the number of "oops" litters is astonishing. One guy thought his dog was just getting fat less than 5 days before delivery. It happens all the time. Additionally, people will bring in healthy pets to euthanize for stupid reasons. Risks of some cancers go up and others go down, but I'd advocate for 6-7 month spay and neuter if I was a vet. If the risk of cancer is slightly increased and a dog who belongs to someone irresponsible, I would prefer that to countless euthanasias from unwanted animals.

I've never had a vet question my feeding methods or choice to not vaccinate - I live in central Ohio and have seen 2 specialists and 3 regular vets. They just send me yearly reminders for appointments, not vaccines.

ETA: Vets can't screen their clients like breeders can!

MadPip
28th June 2009, 04:58 PM
I got Maddie spayed after her first season (11 months), and I got Pippin neutered at 18 months old. When he first started to lift his leg to pee we had 2 episodes in the house, I just treated like any house training issue, told him "no" if I saw him doing it, quietly cleared it up if I'd missed him doing it, and he got lots of praise when going outside. We had no problems with him marking in the house after those two initial episodes.
My personal opinion is to let them physically mature (unless there are behavioural issues that neutering could address) and go through puberty before neutering both bitches and dogs. I have read the limited research on growth plate closure and early neutering, and think if you can wait, then do. I can't help but "humanise" the whole issue in my mind, and liken it to "neutering" a child if the dogs haven't matured. Strange I know.:o
To be fair, Pippin never showed any interest in the ladies even before we got him neutered, so I had no reason to have him done early.

WoodHaven
28th June 2009, 05:04 PM
I don't think vets necessarily push for money issues but for stupid people issues. I have worked at a couple vet clinics and the number of "oops" litters is astonishing. One guy thought his dog was just getting fat less than 5 days before delivery. It happens all the time. Additionally, people will bring in healthy pets to euthanize for stupid reasons. Risks of some cancers go up and others go down, but I'd advocate for 6-7 month spay and neuter if I was a vet. If the risk of cancer is slightly increased and a dog who belongs to someone irresponsible, I would prefer that to countless euthanasias from unwanted animals.

I've never had a vet question my feeding methods or choice to not vaccinate - I live in central Ohio and have seen 2 specialists and 3 regular vets. They just send me yearly reminders for appointments, not vaccines.

ETA: Vets can't screen their clients like breeders can!

1st of all, I respect your opinion. It sounds like you've put a lot of thought into it. I used to think the exact same way. Then I heard of vets pushing 8 -12 week spays with the exact same reasoning -- and I lost it. At some point, the best interest of the individual dog MUST be looked into.
My daughter worked at our vet for 7 years and got a lot of inside information. Many people who have oops litters have them often. Many have tied their females outside 24/7 and they seem stupefied that they keep getting in whelp. OR their cat has had her 5th litter of unwanted kittens- they blame the cat.

The area I live in actually imports smaller dogs and puppies from other areas. We live in a growing rural area that is surrounded by larger cities and there is a network of rescues getting excess dogs to where they can be homed. We have way too many cats/kittens.

I have two vets, my repro vet, my cardio vet, my CERF vet, my backup vet, my neuro vet-- If you put them all in a room and discussed: the canine diet, shot recommendations or neuter recommendations-- they would NEVER agree. IF they can't -- I am sure we lay people won't either.

ETA-- my first cavalier (katrina)turned 9, her dam(Kissy) turned 14 and a great grandmother(Sasha) turn 17 this year. I am glad none of these girls was neutered early-- (said with a smile). For those who think I've goofed up, neuter is a term that can be used for male and female.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutering

Rumor
28th June 2009, 06:10 PM
I had Loki & Remus neutered at 6 months. Leo, my rescue, was neutered at 4 years. The only difference is I think they heal faster at 6 months. Leo was down for 6 weeks after his surgery.

cy1266
30th June 2009, 09:53 PM
My vet still does yearly shots-- I get reminders all the time. I overheard another vet there saying without yearly shots, people tend not to go for annual check ups. I'd rather they did yearly blood tests (titers) than yearly shots.

I agree. I just sent my boys' blood serum into Hemopet and had titer tests for parvo and distemper, and also the heartworm antigen (I think that's what it's called). They are both very protected. Hemopet said I can titer every 3 years, but since it's so much cheaper than doing it through my vet, I'm sure I'll do it more often.


I don't allow anyone to neuter before 6 months, males I prefer 12. I've seen too many siblings of dogs that were done early and had skeletal issues. Osteosarcomas are higher in early neutered dogs. It is a VERY personal decision because there is a health price to BOTH (early and later neutering).

Truman was just neutered a few weeks ago, and he is currently 19 months old. I wanted to wait until he was older. He also had an umbilical hernia and cryptorchid (sp?), and all of those things were addressed during his neuter surgery. He has healed fine, I'm just getting used to his shaved underside since he's such a furry monster!