So, today I called the vet to get an estimate on how much it would cost me to get Oakley x-rayed to make sure his growth plate have closed before his neuter on the 1st. The receptionist asked me which growth plates I was referring to… To which I replied " all of them", especially the long bones. My concern is that Oakley has been a slow grower and I am still contemplating getting him into performance activities, or at the very least running with him everyday. I have been searching the forum and reading up on everything and to be honest, I am starting ( and have been) feeling very uneasy about this decision. He will be 1 on nov. 30th and I just feel it's too soon. Part of me made the appointment to appease my friend who thinks I'm silly for getting the x-rays and thinks I'm just prolonging it and even my vet, or at least the receptionist, are making it sound like I'm being fussy about this but it really is a concern to me. Like everyone else I believed the hype of spaying and neutering and now to read about increased chances of crutiate ligament injuries ( hello... We run everyday), increase in bone cancer and bone density issues I'm starting to think Im making a mistake. I am thinking of making an appointment with my vet to sit down and discuss this in person. Suggestions anyone????
Pat, same practice, better vet, he is actually the owner of the practice… I feel like I should be waiting until he is older, I can't describe why I feel he's not ready but that's the gut feeling I have. It could totally be that I am being dramatic and I'm aware of that but I keep questioning if not waiting until around 14 months is what's best for him long term
I want him healthy, happy, structurally and orthopedically sound and from what I'm reading, the age at which you neuter plays a huge role in the growth and formation of the skeletal structure...
I would say, go with your gut, if you are uncomfortable neutering him now, then wait.
Honestly, I don't really think you would get the answers you are looking for from your regular Vet. Maybe an Orthopedic specialist…. I think your regular Vet will just "pat" you on the head and tell you that you are being over dramatic.
Just my personal opinion.... knowing how Vets can be... and especially when they don't hear what you are asking.... (or in some cases care)
I think you have to go with your gut. There has been some debate about if early spay/neuters cause the dog to grow taller and lankier. As someone who does agility, I would wait especially with a boy (as long as you are not having behaviorial issues) since, at least in AKC, a dog over 18" is required to jump 20". Both of my boys are a little over 17" with one being 17.25 and the other at 17.38 (official AKC measurement). I just bring this up b/c you did mention you were thinking of doing performance sports with O. Would a 12 month old basenji being neutered cause that much of a difference in height? I would guess not, but I'd err on the side of caution. (And I really believe the lankier dogs are a result of pediatric spay/neuter, but there's a lot different opinions.) Especially when you're looking at 1/4 and inch may make a difference in jump heights. (Of course there are also things you can do to make your dog measure differently if you're close, but that's a different topic)
I believe what you're really concerned about are the long bones as far as growth plates go.
There is some very interesting information out there on this subject. I found this article informative:
Apart from the physical considerations, there was this very counter intuitive observation:
"A recent report of the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation reported significantly more behavioral problems in spayed and neutered bitches and dogs. The most commonly observed behavioral problem in spayed females was fearful behavior and the most common problem in males was aggression."
Honestly I'd just go with your gut and if you are apprehensive about neutering him right now, why not wait. In order to get those xrays he will most likely need anesthesia. Personally I never opt for anesthesia without a real medical need for it - jmo.
One other thing, does your contract with your breeder require him be neutered within a set period of time? Even if it does I'm sure if you talked with your breeder I doubt they would mind if there is a solid reason for holding off. Also you might want to ask your breeder how other pups from his litter have matured - they might have some insight. Just a thought.
Agilebasenji- I am really considering agility or coursing with Oakley and at the very least I will be running with him everyday working up to at least 5 miles so crutiate problems are a real concern… I have just started to look into AKC events to get him started in ( he has the drive and I think it will be great me gal exercise). You brought up a great point about the height jumps that I didn't even think of.
Eeefarm- I read that article as well and while Oakley isn't having behavioral problems that I attribute to his not being neutered, or humping, I am dealing with him resource guarding me. I don't think neutering him will change this as it's not hormonal. I canceled his first neuter in august and only made the September appointment due to an issue I posted about on another thread in which I was asked not to bring Oakley until after he's neutered. In a way I feel pressured to do it and in all reality, I am comfortable waiting until 14 months..My best friend however doesn't understand it and I know I'll hear about it. Not to say anything bad but I'm viewed as being over the top bc Oakleys AKC and I'm trying to be pRt of the basenji community and really be knowledgeable and make informed decisions and she sees it as, a dogs a dog_who would want to be so involved with a breed group kinda thing.... It's a tough spot
Renault- the original plan was for the x-rays done before the neuter so it was all in one shot… When I talked to the specialist about sitting down to discuss Oakley we hadn't yet talked about him having to go under and I agree, that especially with a sighthound that it isn't a situation to take lightly. The contract doesnt specify a time period ( I'll have to double check) but he is on a neuter contract... In regards to his growing I talked with my breeder and she told me that her dogs ( with a higher percentage of African genes) tend to be slower growing and this is the case with Oakley. If I can recall correctly ( and no one hold me to it) but I believe his father was a slow grower and I am proud to say is a grand champion. From pictures I have seen of his littermates they all seem the same, some bigger overall.
Eeefarm- I read that article as well and while Oakley isn't having behavioral problems that I attribute to his not being neutered, or humping, I am dealing with him resource guarding me. I don't think neutering him will change this as it's not hormonal.
Yes, I am aware of the other thread. What struck me in the article I quoted was the assertion that neutering could cause aggression!
In my experience, Basenjis are seldom into humping humans. Personally I wouldn't be doing unnecessary x-rays. Since you would prefer to wait a bit, just do that. Unless you are under contract to neuter him sooner, I wouldn't be pushed into getting it done now. Your friend is right, a dog's a dog, but Oakley is your dog and she needs to respect that. You have to make your decisions based on what is best for him.
In a way I feel pressured to do it and in all reality, I am comfortable waiting until 14 months.
I certainly wouldn't have your dog neutered because someone else thinks you should…I agree with eeeefarm on this. Do what you feel comfortable with, and it appears that you feel more comfortable waiting.