Questions regarding neutering
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  • My little man Kipawa really enjoys the vet visits. Our vet clinic does a wonderful job making sure the animals get a good feeling when they arrive. Of course, for Kipawa, that place is just filled with interesting smells. His hackles go up a little as he takes in all the information. Kipawa got his rabies shot yesterday. He had no clue it was happening. I was busy giving him a small treat and he did not even flinch a bit. He was a little more tired last night, to be expected, but he is a little hellion right now who needs a huge walk.

    I also got an information sheet from the vet regarding neutering, which they suggest at 6 months. I feel that is a little early, but I will watch Kipawa carefully for negative maturation actions/traits. What are your suggestions for the time to neuter?

    I'm happy to see a number of things on the information sheet that have been suggested on this forum as what to look for regarding pre, during and post care.

    • They strongly suggest a general blood screen panel no more than 2 days before. I'll get it done.
    • He will get pre-surgery meds for relaxation
    • before surgery, he will get an IV injection to make him sleepy
    • oxygen and isoflurane gas will keep him asleep throughout surgery
    • a Doppler monitor will keep track of his blood pressure and heart during surgery
    • he will receive a post op injection of pain relief

    Regarding the pre-surgery relaxation meds, the pre-surgery IV injections and the post op pain relief injection, should I be requesting specific ones?

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  • You'll get a variety of opinions on when/if to neuter.

    I like the idea of doing it at 1 year of age, after they've had time to mature. Some will say as early as 6 months. I guess it really comes down to personal preference.

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  • What does your breeder suggest?

    My personal feeling is that if you're not having behavioral problems, I'd wait until after the growth plates on the long bones close. For a basenji-sized dog, this would be around 1.5 years. I understand the reasoning of neutering early, but I have doubts as to if it is really best for the individual dog, especially with boy dogs. Chris Zink, a well known sports DVM wrote an article about some concerns with early spay/neuters:
    http://www.caninesports.com/SpayNeuter.html
    Also, CleanRun just had an article recently (Jan 2011??) about this same topic.

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  • I would see what Kevin and Therese suggest, they are the best judge for their pups and know them best. My personal preference for pet homes is between 7 months and a year. However since Basenji boys have a "rutting" season when Basenji bitches usually come in season, most people neuter early so that they don't have as much as a reaction to breeding season.

    My first boy, OJ cried for the entire month of October when he was only 4 months old…ggg and there were NO bitches in season in my house...

    And I always have full blood work done before any procedure... in fact I have a full blood panel done around 1yr old so that I have a base line.

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  • I understand and support spay/neuter for rescues.
    I understand spay/neuter when several dogs and owners simply need to for management issues.

    But otherwise, I have come to be more and more and more anti-spay/neuter as more research piles up.

    I suggest you read up, research, talk to the breeders, but unless your contract specifies when.. you decide. If your dog comes down with bone cancer (known link with other dogs, no idea yet if with others but research is ongoing)… you, not me, not your vet, not the breeders, suffer the heartbreak (and costs).

    I think it is a decision that only the owner gets to make, but to be honest, left to me, I'd do a doggy "vasectomy" on a dog and at least CONSIDER doing a tube tie a female if I had a choice. It isn't uncommon in Europe. Because of increased mammary cancers we are very brow beaten to say it is a MUST for bitches... when the truth is, it's 7 percent if done before first heat, at least 26 percent if before 2nd, and no reduction in risks after that. If you wait, be diligent in examining so you catch it early. It still is your choice. With your pup, you have a whole lot more options... one of the boy perks. :)

    The Unspoken Truth About Spaying/Neutering Our Pets.

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  • @tanza:

    I would see what Kevin and Therese suggest, they are the best judge for their pups and know them best.

    Kevin and Therese like the idea of a full year, and as they truly are the best judges of their dogs, that is probably what I am going to go for, even if it is not the choice of my vet, who I trust. I will watch though for "rutting" behaviours, though with Kipawa being 5 months now, 7 months more takes us into September, a little before breeding season.

    Today at the dog park there was a beagle that was humping all the dogs. The owner often turned a blind eye. I asked her if her beagle was a show dog - she said "no". Then I asked if they were planning on neutering the beagle. She said she wasn't sure. Okay, fine, but then I would suggest you don't take your dog to an offleash dog park.

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  • Humping is far more about dominance than anything. Spayed/neutered dogs still hump. She needs to train her dog before a fight ensues.

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  • I personally prefer for males to be neutered around 9-10 months. They are almost full grown at that point and it is usually before breeding season. I prefer females be spayed just before their first season, usually between 8-10 months.

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  • I agree, humping is way more about dominance…. and yes, Spayed/neutered still hump... In-tact bitches hump....

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  • @agilebasenji:

    Chris Zink, a well known sports DVM wrote an article about some concerns with early spay/neuters:
    http://www.caninesports.com/SpayNeuter.html
    Also, CleanRun just had an article recently (Jan 2011??) about this same topic.

    Thanks for the link to the article, which is really interesting. I was aware of the effect of early neutering affecting bone plates, but Chris's article points out a number of other considerations. Since I want to try Kipawa in agility (luring for sure) I can see it's best to wait out the neutering.

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  • Houston

    In-tact bitches hump….

    ….and my spayed schnauzer/yorkie mix still humps...

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  • http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=357

    Jan 2011 is the issue with the early spay neuter (the one with the pretty sammy on the cover). It also has an article by Sassie Joiris on focus which is EXCELLENT if you're thinking of doing agility or rally or obedience etc. She's on the Sighthound agility list and any time she posts, I sit up and take notice. Even if you haven't started agility training and think it might be over your head, between the two of those articles, it would be worth getting IMHO.

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  • S

    This is all good info Fran. Do keep us posted.
    I also always get pain meds for any b having surgery, be it being fixed or teeth cleaning.

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  • @agilebasenji:

    What does your breeder suggest?

    My personal feeling is that if you're not having behavioral problems, I'd wait until after the growth plates on the long bones close. For a basenji-sized dog, this would be around 1.5 years. I understand the reasoning of neutering early, but I have doubts as to if it is really best for the individual dog, especially with boy dogs. Chris Zink, a well known sports DVM wrote an article about some concerns with early spay/neuters:
    http://www.caninesports.com/SpayNeuter.html
    Also, CleanRun just had an article recently (Jan 2011??) about this same topic.

    I just went to a Pat Hastings seminar last weekend (very interesting, I'm going to post a thread about it this weekend) and she recommended the same thing about waiting for growth plates to close if you have a performance dog. The vet that was assisting her at the seminar said he recently just changed the recommendation at his clinic to that as well. She showed us how to feel the ribs and the legs to determine if plates had closed. On bigger breeds, it can take several years (there was an 18 mo American bulldog used in the seminar whose plates still hadn't closed yet).

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  • @DebraDownSouth:

    Humping is far more about dominance than anything. Spayed/neutered dogs still hump. She needs to train her dog before a fight ensues.

    This is not what research has shown. Humping can be for many reasons and often can be a form of stress relief.

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  • I neutered Trog on his first birthday and Xander on his second. We have been fortunate that neither of them have any sex drive and could not have cared less about mating season or when our intact whippets are in season. I would not neuter before a yr as you should let them reach their full growth. Trog is bitch size and I suspect if we had waited till later he would have grown more.

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  • You are right, it can be about many things, but my point was it isn't mainly sex. And please show me research saying domination isn't the more common reason, because that is what I have always read and seen. While for some dogs it can almost always be stress reduction.

    In fact I was just laughing about a bichon whose owner said he humps his stuffie (stuffed toy) every time he gets frustrated. It varies.

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  • Simon and his best friend, an 18 month old neutered pit bull belonging to our friends, always meet and greet with a little bit of obligatory humping. Then they move onto goofing off, throwing each other off sofas, etc. They never posture in any other way. They just always gotta start out with that :D

    These two dorks can share a rawhide. I mean SHARE a rawhide, both chewing at the same time. So we call the first minute of humping their handshake. "Hey, buddy!" "HEY, glad to see you!"

    Dogs are fun :)

    Anyway, Simon was neutered after nine months. If I have another boy that needs neutering, I'll probably wait til he's two. Our experience is that vets around here are mystified by people waiting past six months. I'm not sure they have a clue what to do with intact dogs of either gender. When Curie was getting sick, they automatically assumed it was because she hadn't been spayed.

    Dogs are weird, but people are weirder.

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  • After doing a lot of reading last night, and reviewing all of the posts on this thread, I've decided to 'evaluate' Kipawa at 10 months. Depending on disposition and proper bone growth (plates) I feel I can then better make a proper decision rather than listening to my vet, who like most vets, probably has just seen too many stray, unwanted dogs and because of that, jumps on the 'spay/neuter' bandwagon at 6 months.

    Thanks to all for your comments. They were exactly what I was looking for. Such a great resource you all are. :)

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  • Many vets just say to all their clients spay/nueter by 6 months because of what they see but even more so because now it is what they are taught. When my vet office added a new, young vet, straight out of vet school, she did not even try to hide her disapproval of my ownership of intact animals and even worse breeding. Now, 4 years later, she is very different having worked with enough animals and clients to see that there is a difference between responsible owners and breeders and irresponsible ones. Even so, she is terribly under-educated about reproductive issues.

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  • Houston

    Otis was right over a year when he got neutered..now he did end up having aggression issues (resource guarding), those started around his 10 month mark, at the same time as we moved Moses in..I don't personally think he would have been different around us if he had gotten neutered sooner, he just did not mesh well with other strong dogs or young children for that matter..but it wasn't hormonal I don't think..he is thriving in his new childless only pet home now though..

    My new vet for Pippin aand my other dogs, saw Pippin for the first time a week ago and once she saw his umbilical hernia..wanted to pretty much schedule a neutering session as soon as he hit 6 months…I was shocked..told her no way..he will be shown and umbilical hernias are quite common in the breed..she didn't know and took for granted that all dogs with hernias should be fixed as it is hereditary....hhhmmpf..just goes to show that even though we have vets..we should keep our head in the game and research on our own as well, don't automatically trust what the vet says, they don't know it all, especially not with more unusual breeds like ours..now a labrador I bet she would know inside and out..we are in "hunting TX" after all.

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