6 month neuter

My pup will be neutered in June at 6 months per advice of my vet. I am in total agreement as I will not be breeding him. The vet has advised he will be putting Prince in a "collar" for post op healing. I know my pup and he will have my studio apt torn up and the collar trashed fighting with it. Any suggestions as an alternative to the plastic traditional collar that I may discuss with my vet?

There are many other options for e-collars that are not considered the "cone of shame"... and if you are home and with your pup, it is really not necessary to confine in a cone of shame.... If you are home you can keep an eye on him about bothering with the site... I have never in 30+ years had to use a cone on mine with spay/neuter. And to carry this a bit further, you might want to consider letting him mature a bit more before neuter... The only time I have had to use a e-collar for a surgery site was when I had a bitch that had a blockage... and I made my own... it stopped her from bothering with the surgery site but did not bother her from eating, drinking or sleeping. And by the way, since a cone is the standard from Vets, no need to really discuss with the Vet... you need to find what works for you as the Vets the standard is the cone. I made one out of what would be used for stairs... hard rubber thin, cut to fit around the neck from the thoat to the bottom of the neck.. so for the length of the neck... I would then wrap that with a hand towel, wrap around the neck and cut to fit. Duck tape the towel around the hard rubber and then wrap that around the neck and duck tape that.... they can't reach the neuter site to lick... There is a picture on here someplace but it was many years ago. But again, if you are home you can keep them from licking the site... and I would also use Tea Tree Oil around the surgery site, not on... to defer them from trying to lick the site.. only take a few days and they get the idea

last edited by tanza

@tanza said in 6 month neuter:

cut to fit around the neck from the thoat to the bottom of the neck

This sounds so logical. And it makes me wonder if we haven't been using the 'cone of shame' wrong for-ever. Thinking... what if we put the huge part of the cone down towards the dogs body and the small part up at the top of the neck. Put it on upside down. The effect would be much like your homemade version. Tanza, you might be a Genius!

last edited by elbrant

Ah the “CONE OF SHAME” - several years ago my B had surgery to remove a pea size growth on her leg. She was given the “Cone of Shame” - she was not having it - there was no way she was wearing that contraption. I just watched her carefully to make sure she didn’t lick her leg and fool with the stitches. She was fine - she recovered w/ no issues.

Thanks, Pat. This sounds like a great idea. I am home, but he will be crated at night and when I do run errands during the day. Sounds almost like a "donut" style.

@elbrant - I can tell you that will not work, upside down... at least not in my opinion and experience. The one I made fit flush from the throat to the bottom of the neck

last edited by tanza

I used an inflatable collar on ours and it worked great. She didn't like it of course...but she couldn't reach her stitches
and didn't have an anxiety attack with it around her neck so win/win.
Just a suggestion.. Amazon has a ton to pick from.

I have a great suggestion that will be 100% effective: DON'T NEUTER HIM!

I'm going to unload here by saying that I would seriously question a vet suggesting neutering any dog at six months. At a minimum not keeping up with the literature. For example, it was once thought that neutering reduced the chances of the dog getting cancers like prostrate cancer, but now we know it increases their risk of getting prostrate cancer -- up to four fold -- and other cancers such as bone and spleen cancers. Additionally, a UC Davis study found neutering dramatically increased the risk for hip and joint problems.

Moreover, there is very little -- actually not any -- evidence that neutering promotes health in any way. Most of the ideas -- reduced aggression, reduced roaming (whatever that is) -- are myths without support.

The only support for neutering is one study which found neutered dogs lived slightly longer on average. However, there were so many variables in that study that it's impossible to separate them all out, rendering the study fairly useless as a guide.

Given that the current theory as to why neutering is so bad is related to stopping normal development attributable to natural hormones, I personally consider it to be malpractice for a vet to recommend neutering at such a young age. Now if you have a specific reason to neuter that's one thing, but it doesn't sound as if that is the case. And if your vet needs to cover a car payment maybe he can arrange for that in some other way.

You can also cut the cone down to size. I have done so and it allows a better field of vision. I am all for neutering but would suggest giving him a year to get his size and muscles a chance to develop. Did the vet give you a reason he was suggesting having it done so early in his development. What were your thoughts when you decided to do so. And then something i have had personal experience with....anesthesia ....
I wish my memory was intact. A common anesthetic is used by vets without realizing basenjis and i guess most sight hounds just cant tolerate. I was careless and didnt do due diligence. Both my b girls were having dental cleaning. When i went tp pick them up, he said he would never never do it again. He spent a long while trying to wake them back up and kept saying he would never ever, at least ten times. Someone in this forum knows the anesthetic i am talking about and will probably offer it up. Scary for an adult dog, really scary for a 6 mo. Old baby. Just saying. Good luck what ever you do.

DonC, I appreciate your input. I did a lot of online research looking at vets worldwide, and the concensus was to neuter at 5-7 months. They even mentioned a lot of breeders neuter before releasing puppies -- I had never heard of that before. I questioned the young age and muscular and bone development, and was told it was not a problem and I would not need supplements in pup's diet. My vet had a Basenji and that is one of the reasons why I chose him. I have heard of cases in our area where males and females have been associated with cancers because they were not neutered or neutered late in life.

Kafka45 I saw these inflatables and wondered how they really work. Thanks for your input.

Joan, thank you. Maybe this is a bunch of "baloney" but my wellness plan through my veterinarian, included a complete DNA panel, where they checked for possible issues with anesthesia and medications, as well as breed analhysis and congenital issues that might need to be addressed. Pup was OK for the anesthesia they would be using for all surgeries and for the antibiotics and inoculations he would need. I know there is always a risk any time any animal or human is put under and I appreciate your concern. I will be sure to check with the vet about the anesthesia and share with him your experience and the issues with the breed. Hopefully, since he was a Basenji person, he will be more informed that the average vet.

@daureen - In all honestly Daureen, responsible Basenji breeders do not recommend neutering before 8 to 12 months so that they can reach maturity. And no responsible breeder would neuter or spay under the age of 6 months

Count me as another who does not believe in early neutering. it is not as big an issue with small dogs (it is a very serious consideration with large ones), but better later IMO. As to wearing a cone of shame or similar, not usually necessary if you are paying attention, and at night, well, I have always had my dog sleeping with me, and I am a light sleeper, so it was never a problem. Unsupervised can create problems, of course, but it is less of an issue for a male....

@daureen said in 6 month neuter:

My pup will be neutered in June at 6 months per advice of my vet.

This was standard practice in the U.S., in the 80s. Clearly, the Veterinary world has reached different conclusions since then. It might be worthwhile to do some online research and see if you can find out what they are teaching new Vets today, some 40 years later.

i dont believe in early neuter.....and if a vet promotes it...find a new vet.....The soonest i would ever recommend neuter is more 1yr to 18 months. But ive had many unneutered dogs and bitches.....

Doreen...i would just like to know why it is important to you to neuter your little guy at six months. I know it is not my business but i am so curious. There are a whole lot of basenji folks here on the forum, hundreds of dogs involved with many breeders and owners.So much experience and years involved with just one breed. basenji...so many times vet cant see the difference between breeds.I've gone to a few in my life and have the big eye roll when i tell them. They are different. They are primitive dogs even their vocal cords are different amongst other things. What tests could he possibly done that would tell him that our dogs are sensitive to this particular anesthetic. My last words..what difference would neutering him at 12 mo. In your research and his reasons.. i have had 6 girls. I have my first boy and his sister, which means one of them will be fixed eventually and we are having difficulty which one.. anyhow. Please let us know what you decide after reading all this stuff,

@donc said in 6 month neuter:

I have a great suggestion that will be 100% effective: DON'T NEUTER HIM!

Amen to THAT ! WHY neuter him ? Even if you are not going to breed him, there is no need to, effectively, mutilate him before age decrees it necessary for his quality of life. Certainly you should not even consider castrating him before hormonal and structural maturity. You will never know what harm you are doing - you might be shortening his life.

Get a vet who knows the breed. And browse this forum for Liz McCargo (Bellator Basenjis) excellent article on why NOT to neuter.
In fact, in case you don't look for it, I will append it here. Again.

The final paragraph are the words of the person who spoke to Liz.

“For the most part, I recommend delayed spaying and neutering in nearly all cases. For my puppy buyers I recommend waiting until 12-18 months old at the very least, ideally around 24 months old. For a majority of cases, this is best and best for the dogs. Although it means a little more management for the owners, it’s better in the long run for the lifetime of the dog.
“The best resource regarding spaying/neutering is the spay neuter booklet from puppy culture. It goes into all the nuances of why, from a scientific standpoint, and explains things a ton better than I ever could. What it boils down to is it’s better physically, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically for dogs to be allowed to fully mature before removing their sexual organs.
“The sexual organs help regulate the endocrine system which controls growth of joints, bones, organs, and the regulation of the thyroid. This is why many pets become fat after being fixed, the thyroid is negatively impacted by altering pets, and weight control becomes a bit more difficult. So with earlier spay/neuter, a dog can essentially grow disproportionately to what it was genetically designed since early removal of the sexual organs alters the dog genetically.
“So physically you may see no difference but their organs may be smaller or larger than originally designed which may lead to complications in the long run. So your dog may live to 10-12 years old, but had the potential to live to 15. We never really know the full impact as we cannot see into the future. Delayed altering can also reduce risks of many different types of cancers. The issues cited that support altering your pet are still there once you alter at a later age, so you’re not missing out on any of the benefits by waiting, but adding to the ultimate life long benefits by waiting.
“As long as a family can reasonably and responsibly contain their female when in season and contain their male apart from females in season, there’s no need for early altering. Many vets push it because it came from an era of pets breeding at their own will and resulted in many unwanted litters. In today’s day and of age of more fences and less farms, I don’t know any responsible owners who have unwanted litters.
“Most of Europe doesn’t alter their pets ever, but are able to responsibly contain them and prevent unwanted breedings. Anyway, that’s my two cents on it, the puppy culture book is a wealth of knowledge and the more educated you are, the better a standing up to pushy veterinarians.”

https://shoppuppyculture.com/products/puppy-culture-spay-neuter-booklet

So a) I will be buying the puppy culture booklet and b) will do everything in my power to keep my girl from being spayed until she is at least a year old and preferably two. Where I live is rampant with unneutered mutts but I have a secure house for her and am with her 100% of the time, so...we should do fine.

As regards to Elizabethan collars - there is almost no wound on a Basenji that can't be protected by imaginative use of a pair of panty hose. The legs, the body, all can be cut and contrived to fit over that part of the dog which needs protection !

@daureen said in 6 month neuter:

DonC, I appreciate your input. I did a lot of online research looking at vets worldwide, and the concensus was to neuter at 5-7 months.

I have no idea what the consensus of vets worldwide is. I do know that the science says you should not neuter. Really if you spend a little time searching it should become quite clear that no responsible vet who was up to date on the literature would suggest neutering a dog at such a young age. Ask your vet for citations to the research papers that back up his position. He's not going to be able to give you those citations because other than the University of Georgia study I referenced there is no such scientific paper. And as mentioned, the UG study doesn't support the proposition. The best you will get is some mumbo jumbo about how testosterone works in humans, which might be persuasive if testosterone worked the same way in humans as it does in canines. But since it doesn't it isn't.

Now I will say that shelters routinely spay and neuter at super young ages. It's appalling actually and certainly not well thought out. Seems to be based on some crazy idea that people are going to get a rescue and breed it to death. Right. Science and logic aside, the spay and neuter movement seems to have a mind of its own. It's not supported by science but it's there. In fact it's so ingrained that the surgeon who did a C section on one of our dogs demanded to spay during the surgery, which was simply malpractice. (The surgery was done without a spay and we made such a stink and the speciality hospital changed its protocols -- unclear why it had gotten this so wrong in the first place).

I am particularly unimpressed with the nonsense about having complete confidence in the surgery. Every surgery is a risk, and there is no possible way that anesthesia can be said not to pose a risk. Of course it poses a risk. There is a reason why anesthesiologists have the highest suicide rate of all the medical specialties -- it's very stressful occupation because it's so risky.

I'm assuming you want the best for your dog. In that case the decision is clear.

Again, I agree totally with DonC. As one who, through the database, has many hundreds of contacts, possibly thousands over the years, with Basenji owners, breeders and vets throughout the world, I dispute you'd find a 'world-wide concensus' in favour of early neutering of our breed.

I don't know any responsible Basenjis breeders who would advocate routinely neutering a six month old.

And I go along with Joan's question - just why are you even contemplating such a procedure ? Unless it is for your own convenience, which might be marginally more excusable iin the case of a bitch, what possible reason can you have for potentially harming this wee boy ?

There is a heavy weight of reasoned opinion against it.

last edited by Zande

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