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Thoughts on proper age for canine castration/spaying...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by phoenixmama, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. phoenixmama

    phoenixmama Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    Gilbert, Arizona
    It's been a long time since I've had a dog spayed or castrated. Our two oldest dogs are 11 and 8. Some of you know we recently acquired a puppy, and in the past months as I was browsing petfinder.com for puppies I was quite surprised to see puppies as young as 8 weeks old already spayed or castrated. This seems extreme to me. I certainly am a big proponent of spay/neuter programs...and I think it is incredibly irresponsible to not spay/castrate a mixed breed dog or any "pet quality" purebred dog. The only people I want to see letting their dogs have puppies are responsible breeders of show quality purebreds or working dogs. 8 weeks?! That's just crazy to me. [​IMG]

    I want to know your opinions on this topic...does the political correctness issue regarding getting your dog neutered outweigh what is best biologically for that individual animal? Sure, it's a bad idea (I think) to bring an unaltered dog to say, a dog park. What about a "responsible" owner of an unaltered dog? Shouldn't we consider individual lifestyles and an individual dog's situation? I find myself, when I notice an unaltered dog judging that owner...castrate that dog for crying out loud! I feel like there is so much misinformation out there about the effects on dogs and the age at which they were castrated or spayed. So, I'm interested to hear your opinion.

    Edited to add: It just occurred to me that this can be a very heated topic. Let's keep it civil, as I'm very interested in opinions not arguments. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009

  2. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Songster

    Jul 8, 2009
    North Carolina, USA
    For my breed, and many other larger breeds, early sexual neutering can have serious deadly health consequences. In the past I was a huge advocate of early S/N. I have changed my mind in the last 10 years.

    I would not sexually neuter any dog before the age of 2 years old, and I do not allow ANY puppy I sell to have this surgery before age 2.

    Yes, you have to be careful with b.itches in season, and some intact male dogs can require a little more training and guidance than others, but for me, with the Rottweiler, the consequences that go with the lack of the sexual hormones are worse than the chance of the occasional accidental breeding.

    Kudos to you for educating yourself!
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I've always done my females at about 5 months and males at 8-9 months. I've always had good luck doing it at those ages and haven't seen any adverse affects on my dogs. My daughter recently adopted another dog and she was spayed at 8 weeks which to me seems too young, but it didn't slow her down one bit and she recovered very, very quickly from it.

    ETA: All mine except for one have been large breeds.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  4. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    My lab mix was spayed at 13 weeks old. I adopted her and it had to be done before I could take her home. I don't believe it was in her best interests. She's a wonderful dog but she has suffered from mild spay incontinence since she was about 2.

    I had my Bloodhound spayed at 6 months old because I was eager to get her gastropexy done (we'd lost our old hound a few months prior to this to bloat), otherwise I probably would have left it longer.
  5. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Songster

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    Spaying/neutering before adoption is the ONLY way the shelter can be absolutely certain that the dog really does wind up spayed or neutered. Once the puppy leaves their hands there are no guarantees the new owners really will have it done so they take no chances and do it WAY too early just to be absolutely certain that the puppy really will not ever add to the mess of unwanted pets out there. It's sad, but people really cannot be counted on to do the right thing later, not even when the surgery is FREE!

  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Our GSD will not be neutered until he's at least two years old. Actually, Jax may not be neutered at all. He is my DH's dog and it is my DH's perogative. However, Jax is never not under our control and care.
    It will be up to me to decide whether my GSD pup that I will be getting in February is neutered or not. He also will be under our control and care at all times. I'm sure I will have him altered, but not before his second birthday. We don't have dog parks and such here. We live on an isolated farm. Jax is either in the house with us or in our fence yard with us or on a leash, again with us.
    I spent many years living in western NC and have had several dogs from shelters in that area. At the time I was living there it was the policy of most of the animal shelters there to spay or neuter before adopting out any dog or cat, 8 weeks old or older. They accomplish this by having a spay/neuter clinic co-operative, where all the vets in the area donate their time. They also tattoo the animal on the inside of the rear leg at the time of the surgery to prevent unnecessary future surgeries in (any) future homes.
    While I am against the early altering, I understand their reason for doing it. Trying to keep track of which adopters adhered to their spay/neuter policy and seizing animals from adopters that didn't get the surgery done in a timely manner was a huge burden on the shelters limited resources. In this case, I think the benefits outweighed the risks. Better to alter 100 animals and have two that suffer problems because of it, then to have 75 of those animals produce unwanted litters.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  7. phoenixmama

    phoenixmama Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    Gilbert, Arizona
    Quote:I can understand this with regards to rescue organizations/humane societies. It leaves the impression however, that spaying/castrating an animal at such extreme ages is perfectly okay for them health-wise.

  8. phoenixmama

    phoenixmama Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    Gilbert, Arizona
    I want to come back to this and mention something...

    I understand that humane societies and rescues can't trust Joe Schmo to get the puppy neutered that he adopted, and early spay/neuter is a good way for them to ensure he's not adding to the problem. I just notice now how veterinarians are now (pardon the pun) adopting this idea of early spay/neuter for their clients, as if it's perfectly fine biologically for them. There seems to be a lot of information out there saying otherwise.
  9. Le Canard de Barbarie

    Le Canard de Barbarie Songster

    Jul 19, 2009
    My pyrenees LGD puppy was spayed at four months. His cost was based on the size of the dog, and he wouldn't spay a dog until it had all its shots. I did this becuse she is the only dog I have, and can't afford for her to be off line when she is in heat. Furthermore, she would attract predators at that time also.

    Good or bad, I can't afford any unwanted puppies.
  10. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Quote:I agree. It's the only way they can guarantee the animal won't contribute to the overpopulation problem. I usually wait until an animal is at least 6 months old. My dog, however, was an exception. He was a bit younger, but it was only because he was at the vet for another reason. The vet examined him and said that since his balls were completely dropped and he was a good size, there was no need to wait. I think he was 4 or 5 months old. I would be leary of any surgery on one much younger than that.

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