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Neutering and Orthopedic problems?

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OK, well the six month mark is nearing and I am preparing to have Taj neutered, and have been doing a bit of research to find out if there are any benefits to having the surgery done at any particular age. FWIW I don't believe in early spaying as routine (but completely understand the need for Rescues to do it).


He will be neutered eventually (not gonna add to the overpopulation problem), its just a matter of when.


I do plan on competing in agility as fun/competition depends on our skill, either way he is a typical very active, agile BC. He is also very big for his age, and I am a bit concerned about growth plate problems that might occur (as outlined in this article, http://www.caninesports.com/SpayNeuter.html, but I have come across a couple of others recently along similar lines). I have previously had entire males without any problems, Taj is well socialized and pretty well trained for a six month old puppy (most of the time;) He dosn't have access to any females that are not spayed, or the opportunity to roam, so keeping him entire until 14 months or so is not really a problem, unless he suddenly changes his personality.


He is overcoming a minor sumbissiveexcitement urination problem very well, but I was concerned that neutering him before he is completely over this could cause permanet problems.


Does anyone have any experience/knowledge other information about these issues?





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I cant find the article but I saw some recearch done in the last year saying that dogs neutered at 6 months had no significent height difference than their littermates

And also something about the bones actualy being slightly denser and stronger in a 6 month neuter than a later one


So like all things dog it seems that there is lots of conflicting advice out there


I had Ben done at 7 months and no problems at all, after 24 hours he was bouncing off the walls and 48 hours I had to let him off the lead because it was like walking a rabbit. But his growth had really slowed down by then anyways

But some dogs in the park got it done aat 2 years and it took them much longer to get over it - walking like John Wayne 2 weeks after!!


Personally I would always get em done about 6 months rather than let them develop marking and agression problems and then get them done later to try and fix it! (of course many dogs wont have problems but if your gonna get em done anyway why wait)


But I am sure there are lots more people out there with more experience out there than 1 dog :rolleyes:

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There's certainly no harm in waiting to neuter, at least not for responsible owners who can keep their intact dogs from breeding what they shouldn't (which would be everything!). I have a youngster who grew quickly and like you I was concerned about neutering early as I wanted to make sure his structural elements (i.e., skeleton) were fully mature before doing anything. My plan was to neuter at 18 months. Then I had two major vet expenses with two of my other dogs, and so he's been put off for another few months. He'll certainly be done by the time he's two. While I don't think early neuter is particularly harmful for the average pet dog, since it really does help to ensure fewer unwanted litters of puppies, if you feel better waiting, then that's fine too (and especially for dogs who are going to be used for work or sports, waiting may be the smart thing to do to allow joints, etc., to reach maturity with a full complement of hormones to help).



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My vet, who is normally a guy who will give you the whole "on the one hand this, but on the other hand that" on any topic, flatly states that neutering of dogs should be postponed until they're finished growing if it's at all possible. The larger the mature size of the dog, the more important it is, according to him.

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I second what Bill said -- to wait until the dog has stopped growing. 6 months of age has always been used as some sort of marker, but maturity varies at 6 months of age, not only for individuals, but breeds as well.


I have a friend who is a breeder of another breed, a large breed which normally has large litters. A litter she's had where the pups are now 2-3 years of age, she's been contacted by some of the owners that their dogs have blown cruciates - and I forgot what the other orthopedic problem was. Those dogs had been altered at under a year of age. The remaining dogs from the litter are still in tact and have had no orthopedic issues whatsoever.


It's an observation, and there could be a lot of other factors involved, but the fact that she'd seen this before has led her to add a clause to her contract that the dog shouldn't be neutered until full maturity, or she can't back up any orthopedic issues the dog might have. What she's done with older dogs who went on to pet homes was to have vasectomies done on them. I thought that was an interesting approach.


Wait until the dog has stopped growing.

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Thanks everyone for the comments, it certainly makes me more comfortable at the idea of waiting until he has stopped growing (although I know in part that is because just thinking of putting him under anaesthetic makes me as nervous as I would be for any one of my human kids). Despite his size, I think he will still grow a fair bit taller, his butt is still higher than his withers and he hasn't yet grown into his paws (if it wasn't for those two things he would look like an adult already, and is much bigger than many adults we have seen).


I think the six month marker has been used historically as it is before most dogs are sexually mature so that marking/agression/pregnancy/roaming issues are avoided (in theory at least). I hope that the socialization we do, plus obedience, agility and focus training will avoid aggression issues. He has very good manners (so far) with other dogs, and he politely lets others that he plays with know when they are being too rough.



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