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,
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.”
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.
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.
We have a year and a half old boy, and I know how difficult it was for us when it came to the decision of neutering him. We ended up doing it at 10 months, as we did not want to breed or show. Our vet advised that there was no hurry, that we would know when it was time. I think everyone has different circumstances that go into the decision. With our Keegan he was such a social dog from the get go and absolutely loves to play and run with all kinds of breeds. Out of the blue he started growling and acting out with some dogs, which was not normal for him. He is a pretty tough little guy, but we started worrying he may get hurt because of his behavior and felt neutering him would help this and it did. We also live on land and he is off leash (I am hearing gasps as this is read). Yes we have a Basenji that loves to run free, and we did some careful and consistent eCollar training so he knows his boundaries. During this time of deciding whether to neuter he started running off and we had to chain him, so this also went into the decision and has helped this behavior. Anyway, just a little background on what went into our decision, and I know everyone's circumstances are different. Our vet offered us a Dog Onesie and it was so much better than the cone. It worked very well, but I did have to cut a tail hole and make a couple hand stitches in the back leg holes to make them a little smaller. When it was time to go out and potty, just unsnap, roll up and there was a little snap there to hold it out of the way. Praying the surgery goes well for your sweet pup.
Thank you, Dee. I appreciate your positive comments. I like the onesie idea. I have a phone call into my vet and will bring this up. Due to covid, communication has been difficult. As you know, there are many reasons to make this decision, and I am not freely discussing all with everyone. It is my decision, and I do appreciate everyone's input. My puppy is very dear to me, and I want to make sure I am making the right choice. I feel I need to do it before he is sexually mature, and that is that! Prince cannot be off leash because of where we live, and the parks have very strict leash laws, so roaming, hopefully,will not be an issue, unless he gets free by mistake. He does love to run in our back yard and I do get a lot of joy calling out to him "run, Puppy, run" as he makes giant figure "8s" in the back yard as fast as he can go, almost hitting the ground with his belly. I wish you many moments of joy with your Little Guy,.