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Discussion Starter #1
Gunner isn't currently neutered, and although a lot of my friends and family think I'm crazy for it I'm not sure what I'm going to do.

To be honest the cost of getting the surgery done at my vet is fairly expensive ($650) and I also have a slight fear that his temperment may change for the worse. He's such a great dog right now and people talk about how they change after surgery I'm nevous about potential downsides.

I did find out that the humane society performs this surgery for basically $100, but I still haven't rushed to get it done. The one major health pro - reducing the risk of prostate/testicular cancer - is a biggie, but since I got him around 12 months old he's past the point when this surgery is typically performed for health benefits.

Anyone have experience with having an unaltered dog and getting him or her altered? Or experience with this in general?
 

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The only thing I can comment on is the price.

Go to this website:

http://www.friendsofanimals.org/cgi-bin/snrequest.cgi

You get a voucher and it is only 64 bucks from any participating vet. This may only work in a city, but check it out.

From everything I have read and heard Vizsla's are easier to control once they get neutered. If you decide not to neuter him, you also have the much tougher responsibility of making sure he never mounts a female.


~~~

From : http://www.almosthomerescue.org/spayneuter/spayneuter.htm

What’s In It for You?

Even though an action may be good for the community, people have a natural tendency to ask what benefits they will receive. Here are some benefits you and your dog can expect when you have your dog spayed or neutered.

Better health. A dog that is spayed or neutered has no chance of developing uterine or testicular cancer; in females, the risk of breast cancer and urinary infections is drastically reduced. Reproductive cancers are common among older dogs that have been bred.

Better behavior. Male dogs that are neutered when young are much less likely to roam, mark their territory (and your belongings) with urine, and show aggression toward other male dogs. Intact (unneutered) male dogs will go to great lengths to get to a female dog in heat—they will dig their way out of yards, break fences and leashes, and cross streets in heavy traffic if a female in heat is in the area.

Easier care. An unspayed female bleeds for about 10 straight days twice a year. She bleeds on your carpet, your furniture, the interior of your car, and on the ground outside. As soon as she has marked your yard, you can anticipate a constant parade of male dogs who will pace your lawn, howl, and bark. You have a fenced yard? They will dig their way in.

No accidental pregnancies. If your dog accidentally becomes pregnant, you will have to provide additional medical care—for her and the puppies—and be responsible for finding good homes for half a dozen or more offspring.




Myths About Spaying/Neutering


Some people don’t want to spay or neuter their dog because they have heard about some bad “side effects” of the surgery, or because they have picked up some mistaken ideas along the way. There are a number of myths about spaying and neutering. Here are a few of the most common, and the truth about each.

Altering makes a dog fat. Spaying or neutering at the youngest possible age—before the dog has reached sexual maturity—generally has no effect whatsoever on weight. Dogs who undergo the surgery after reaching sexual maturity may show an increased appetite because altering affects hormone balance. However, dogs who are fat are usually fat because they are fed too much and/or do not get enough exercise.

Altering makes a dog lazy. Neutering reduces a male dog’s desire to roam (often over long distances) to find female dogs in heat, and altering can somewhat reduce a dog’s energy level. Altering does not make dogs lazy. Altered dogs are as playful and energetic as intact dogs.

Altering changes a dog’s personality. The only personality changes that result from spaying or neutering are the positive changes described above—no roaming, less tendency to mark territory, and less aggression. Aside from these changes, your dog will be no less like himself than humans are after undergoing vasectomy or oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries).

My dog has a right to experience sex. Sex, for a dog, is nothing more than the result of a powerful instinctive drive to reproduce. People who worry about this issue are usually over-identifying with their dog. This is an excuse often presented by men, who cringe at the very idea of castration—even though it is a painless surgical procedure being performed on their dog, not on them.

It’s a good thing for our children to see the miracle of birth. Bringing more puppies into a world already overburdened with thousands of homeless dogs is not the best way to show your children the birth process. You can show them videos or even let them witness live human births on the internet. You might also want to consider that if you allow your dog to have puppies so that your children can observe the miracle of birth, you should also take your children to an animal shelter, so they can observe the sad results—the thousands of dogs who are killed every day because no one will give them a home.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I've heard of "Friends of Animals" and I called and asked for info, but they sent me a useless leaflet so I have to call back. I think the "catch" is that not a lot of vets participate in this program, but I'll check it out and report back.

Also, I find it ironic that they list "my dog's behavior will change" in the section of myths about getting a dog neutered. But they also have "better behavior" as a positive in the what's in it for you section. Those two seem to contradict each other.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted. (no pun intended)
 

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Did you read this line. It addresses your question.

"Altering changes a dog’s personality. The only personality changes that result from spaying or neutering are the positive changes described above"


I just pulled this from one of the first sites I saw, but I think it sums up the general thoughts of neutering pretty well.


I agree with you about Friends of Animals. Only certain vets take it, but that is just because these vets would rather make more money, then become part of this program (my thoughts at least) . It is a very easy procedure and 65 bucks is a fair and reasonable price.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Steltz. I was able to find a local vet, who I've heard of, that accepts the Friends of Animals certificate, $64. Hopefully all goes well, I'll give you an update in a few weeks, I'm hoping to have the surgery some time in May.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just wanted to give everyone a quick update. I just got my male vizsla, Gunner, neutered. He was around 1 yr old when I got him and since his previous owner was a breeder he hadn't been altered.

In the end we did use "Friends of Animals" for his surgery. Long story short, an operation which would have cost $650+ according to the local vet in the end only cost $64. (well that's not entirely true, because of bloodwork and getting him micro-chipped it was more like $200)

The only drawback is that not every vet belongs to their network, but we still used a certified vet and he was only about 20 minutes away. The surgery went great and in just 3 days Gunner is almost back to 100%.

If anyone is in a similar situation I highly recommend looking into the "Friends of Animals" website first.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I forgot to mention, the one thing that surprised me about this surgery is that apparently to perform the castration on males they don't actually remove their "pouch." So if you have a more developed male, mine was over a year old, they're left with an empty pouch... something I wasn't expecting.

I've been told if you've been around a lot of older rescued males this is pretty standard. Just thought it was worth mentioning.
 

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Thanks for this info fellas! We've been tossing the ol' neutering thing back and forth...I've always had dogs that have been fixed and the only reason for us not to neuter him would be so we could show him...but we're certainly not thinking we're going to breed him, so there would be no reason not to neuter the poor chap. At just around 9 moths, so far his behavior is great...but he seems to be getting a little more pushy and testing the boundaries a bit more (which I might also attribute to just general dog development). Haven't had any leg lifting yet (on furniture or otherwise) and he doesn't present any dominate behavior. I've also been told that waiting until they're a bit older ensures they don't grow too fast and allows the bones to grow slower decreasing the chance of problems when they're older...dunno if that's true.

Thanks "Tbone" for the honest mention of "the pouch." I never would have thought of that! Not meaning to get too graphic...does it just kind of hang there all flappy and make him look disfigured? I had to ask...because, ya know, it's all about the looks! ;D Not that it would dissuade us from neutering him; maybe we'd do it sooner!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It doesn't make him look disfigured, it's just not the most attractive feature. It's definitely NOT as noticeable as when they still have testicles, but I just assumed that everything went... apparently not.

I believe the best age to have them altered is 5-6 months. They reason they tell you not to wait much longer is because at around 6 months, for males, their prostate begins to grow. One of the major benefits of castration is reducing the risk of cancer. The smaller the prostate the less chance for cancer, so the longer you wait to have him altered the larger the prostate and, theoretically, the less you're reducing the risk.

As far as the aesthetics go, the younger you have him fixed the less of a pouch he has, which is why when you see a little guy who got neutered young you don't see anything between his legs.
 

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As for the pouch- it does shrink down a short time after the surgery in younger male dogs. A scrotal ablation can be performed (removal of the sac) if indicated in an older dog getting neutered.

I have a 6 month old Viszla, and am just waiting a little while longer to have him neutered. I am a NYS Licensed Veterinary Technician. I know the benefits of doing it early enough to prevent the unwanted side effects, but I also feel a certain amount of physical and mental maturity results from allowing some testosterone to circulate. This happens to be a huge area of conflict- especially between Veterinarians and Breeders. My boy, Jax, is not displaying any tendencies to wander (they are nicknamed "Velcro dogs" afterall!) but he also hasn't figured out how to lift a leg while urinating.

Hope I'm making the "right" decision!
 

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Jaxmom said:
As for the pouch- it does shrink down a short time after the surgery in younger male dogs. A scrotal ablation can be performed (removal of the sac) if indicated in an older dog getting neutered.

I have a 6 month old Viszla, and am just waiting a little while longer to have him neutered. I am a NYS Licensed Veterinary Technician. I know the benefits of doing it early enough to prevent the unwanted side effects, but I also feel a certain amount of physical and mental maturity results from allowing some testosterone to circulate. This happens to be a huge area of conflict- especially between Veterinarians and Breeders. My boy, Jax, is not displaying any tendencies to wander (they are nicknamed "Velcro dogs" afterall!) but he also hasn't figured out how to lift a leg while urinating.

Hope I'm making the "right" decision!
my dog is 3 months old and is already lifting his leg to pee on the couch and chairs. I think he has plenty of testosterone. When do you think is the best time to have them fixed?
 

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Wow! Three months and lifting his leg! Funny...I was just thinking today "I wonder if he'll ever lift his leg when he pees"...he's 9 months now. Maybe some dogs just never do? Anyone know if it's a learned behavior?

Steltz- I've read many conflicting things about when it's appropriate to fix dogs or why you should or shouldn't wait. I would definitely speak with your Vet. I've read 6-12 months is an ideal time..but I think many people do it sooner than that. I suspect we will get it done in the next couple months...even though I think he has impecabble behavior, I would hate for him to all of a sudden, for no reason, display some dominance or aggresion towards another dog or, even worse, a child.
 

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That is just amazing. My puppy is a total nutcase. I can't believe that he lift his leg too pee on the couch and chair already. He peeds in the house about 5 to 10 times a day, and I try to clean it up with pet cleaning supplies every time, but it still smells like urine in here.

I have followed all the rules for crate training and house training and have been deligent but to no avail. I love my pup but I am getting really frustrated. I recently installed a bell to ring every time we go to the bathroom, and I now have him tethered to me anytime he is in the house and not in the crate. I am thinking about paper training, but I believe that the bell offers him the same options. When he has to pee, he doesn't 'have' to go on the floor he rings the bell and he gets out. I am aware it will take him a few weeks to learn this.

I don't believe that the problem is that he actually has to pee, he is just a crazy and dominant dog and likes to pee all over everything.

I am getting a rug doctor this weekend and will be cleaning all of the upholstery and rugs. I will also be mopping all of the floors and trying to get this dang smell out of the house.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Hi Steltz...I am so sorry to hear about your frustrations. I think you said he was just three months; some dogs do take while to be housebroken and he's still young. You've said you've tried everything, so I certainly don't want overstep here, but I found a couple handouts about housesoiling/house training here:
http://www.ddfl.org/tips_dogs.htm#house

The "House Training Puppies" handout has a list at the end that mentions other reasons why dogs might soil in the house. I would assume he's just still young, but there could also be underlying medical or behavioral issues. There's also a "Successful Cleaning to Remove Pet Odors" handout as well as a "Territorial Marking Behavior" handout which explains difference between marking and housesoiling.

Not that this will help, since you've probably already know this, but here's what we did with our pup (and we did a lot of the techniques in the "My Smart Puppy" book)..keep in mine we got him at 3 months:
- Took him out constantly..at least every half hour. Yes, it is a lot of work. And at certain intervals after he'd eaten...I think it was 30 min to an hour after he ate.
- Took him to the same spot, with him on a leash, and stood for how ever long it took him to do his business (and we got him in January! Brrrr).
- per the book's suggestion, we started saying key words that he would hopefully associate with him peeing (hurry, hurry) or pooping (get busy, get busy) so now he's realizing if I ask him to "hurry, hurry", he will pee. A little treat persuasion doesn't hurt, either, after he's done his business.
- Praised lavishly whenever he peed or poo'd.
- NEVER scold if they've soiled in the house and you weren't there to see it (even if you see it happen; just make a loud distracting noise to get him to stop and pick him up to take outside). Scolding only means that they will go pee somewhere else in the house where you aren't; they don't associate the scolding with not peeing in the house. He will just become afraid of you.

We didn't paper train, so I'm not sure how that works. I have a friend who has a Chihuahua and she litter trained it!

Maybe a trip to the Vet is in order. At least to make sure he's OK medically (i.e. no bladder infections, etc.).
Just on a side note, I cannot recommend the "My Smart Puppy" book enough. I like the fact it breaks down the development stages and behaviors by month. I mention it because the book says at 5 months, a lot of owners go thru the "What have I done phase" because 5 months is when puppies start becoming more independent and pushy (notice there are a lot of 5-6 month old puppies at shelters). I did have that fleeting thought for a day or so. But now he's growing up and he has such a terrific personality!

Hang in there! He will soon be your best companion enjoying each moment and new experiences together! Like, how proud I was of our Loki when he started climbing the stairs all by himself! Good Luck.

Phew...sorry this got so long and a little off topic.
 

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Vlicked said:
Hi Steltz...I am so sorry to hear about your frustrations. I think you said he was just three months; some dogs do take while to be housebroken and he's still young. You've said you've tried everything, so I certainly don't want overstep here, but I found a couple handouts about housesoiling/house training here:
http://www.ddfl.org/tips_dogs.htm#house

The "House Training Puppies" handout has a list at the end that mentions other reasons why dogs might soil in the house. I would assume he's just still young, but there could also be underlying medical or behavioral issues. There's also a "Successful Cleaning to Remove Pet Odors" handout as well as a "Territorial Marking Behavior" handout which explains difference between marking and housesoiling.

Not that this will help, since you've probably already know this, but here's what we did with our pup (and we did a lot of the techniques in the "My Smart Puppy" book)..keep in mine we got him at 3 months:
- Took him out constantly..at least every half hour. Yes, it is a lot of work. And at certain intervals after he'd eaten...I think it was 30 min to an hour after he ate.
- Took him to the same spot, with him on a leash, and stood for how ever long it took him to do his business (and we got him in January! Brrrr).
- per the book's suggestion, we started saying key words that he would hopefully associate with him peeing (hurry, hurry) or pooping (get busy, get busy) so now he's realizing if I ask him to "hurry, hurry", he will pee. A little treat persuasion doesn't hurt, either, after he's done his business.
- Praised lavishly whenever he peed or poo'd.
- NEVER scold if they've soiled in the house and you weren't there to see it (even if you see it happen; just make a loud distracting noise to get him to stop and pick him up to take outside). Scolding only means that they will go pee somewhere else in the house where you aren't; they don't associate the scolding with not peeing in the house. He will just become afraid of you.

We didn't paper train, so I'm not sure how that works. I have a friend who has a Chihuahua and she litter trained it!

Maybe a trip to the Vet is in order. At least to make sure he's OK medically (i.e. no bladder infections, etc.).
Just on a side note, I cannot recommend the "My Smart Puppy" book enough. I like the fact it breaks down the development stages and behaviors by month. I mention it because the book says at 5 months, a lot of owners go thru the "What have I done phase" because 5 months is when puppies start becoming more independent and pushy (notice there are a lot of 5-6 month old puppies at shelters). I did have that fleeting thought for a day or so. But now he's growing up and he has such a terrific personality!

Hang in there! He will soon be your best companion enjoying each moment and new experiences together! Like, how proud I was of our Loki when he started climbing the stairs all by himself! Good Luck.

Phew...sorry this got so long and a little off topic.
Thanks for this great post!!!

I knew about most of the stuff you listed but it was a great refreshment and just a reminder to calm down and be patient and realize he is just a puppy.

It is funny how things change in a couple of weeks. The peeing in the house has decreased to almost nothing. He is listening, coming when called, has several tricks, and he is the best looking pup around.


THANKS AGAIN!
I love him.
 

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T-bone. I am about to make use of the friends of animals as well and my pup is only 3.5 months, but he's ready :) I will probably have it done at about 4 and half months.

Only problem is all of the vets I have called charge an additional $100 or so for blood work /anesthesia which I was not expecting. I thought you paid 64 bucks and got your dog neutuerd, but it doesn't seem to work that way :(..

I guess 164 bucks isn't too bad though. My vet only charges $210 and I can get a department of agriculture certificat to take of 50 bucks so it would only be 160, I am thinking about doing that as well.
 

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Found one that would do it for 64 + pain meds (17.50) if I want them.

I decided that if I got my jewels cut all the way off I would like some pain meds, so I will fork up the money. Looks like a great vets office though.
 

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Sorry for the delayed response. I can't remember what my final bill was, but I think it was under $100. You do have some additional fees for meds, but seeing as how the FOA was 1/3 the price I was quoted that seemed reasonable.

And yes, I agree, if you're going to put your little guy through that kind of surgery it's only fair to make sure he's comfortable after the fact. Don't be surprised if he vomits 2-3 times after the surgery. (keep that in mind for the car ride home) And he may also not seem like his normal self for 2-3 days, but he'll bounce back.
 

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Good to hear Tbone. He is getting the surgery done next Tuesday. I can't help to feel kind of bad about it but I know it is about that time, and it is for the best.

He lifted his leg and peed on a neighbor yesterday. I would say it is about that time.
 
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