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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All-

Our 6mo old V Hunter is getting neutered next Tuesday. Aside from the general care instructions provided by the vet, do you any of you have any suggestions for things to watch for or things we can do to make this not so unpleasant for him?

Did any of you notice behavior changes after being neutered at this age? Despite his bouts of orneriness we have fallen in LOVE with him and I would hate to see his personality or disposition change.

Thanks!
 

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http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2011/01/rethinking-spay-neuter-in-2011.html

Mighty Hunter.

http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2011/07/on-going-discussion-on-spay-and-neuter.html

A male Vizslas growth plates do not stop growing until 18 months old. The chest cavity will expand to allow more air in after the ribs have spread. The testosterone is a key aspect of this transformation. If there are no emotional issues, look into waiting until 18 months and then make your choice. We spayed our female at 6 months and wish we would have waited until after her first cycle. We would have done it anyway, but just later.

http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2010/02/testicles-or-no-testicles.html

Rod
 

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By Dr Becker, DVM ( from Veterinary Practice News)

"It’s unfortunately true that a growing body of research is pointing to early sterilization as the common denominator for development of several debilitating and life-threatening canine diseases.

On one hand, we certainly want to know what’s causing our precious canine companions to develop disease. On the other hand, it’s troubling to learn a procedure we’ve historically viewed as life-saving and of value to the pet community as a whole, has likely played a role in harming the health of some of the very animals we set out to protect.

The same amount of evidence has not been compiled for Early Spay Neuter of cats, but it’s not clear how well the subject is being studied for kitties. Funding for research into feline health issues falls well below dollars allocated for their canine counterparts.

Cardiac Tumors

A Veterinary Medical Database search of the years 1982 to 1995 revealed that in dogs with tumors of the heart, the relative risk for spayed females was over four times that of intact females.
For the most common type of cardiac tumor, hemangiosarcoma (HAS), spayed females had a greater than five times risk vs. their intact counterparts. Neutered male dogs had a slightly higher risk than intact males.
The study concluded that, “… neutering appeared to increase the risk of cardiac tumor in both sexes. Intact females were least likely to develop a cardiac tumor, whereas spayed females were most likely to develop a tumor. Twelve breeds had greater than average risk of developing a cardiac tumor, whereas 17 had lower risk.”

Bone Cancer
In a study of Rottweilers published in 2002, it was established the risk for bone sarcoma was significantly influenced by the age at which the dogs were sterilized.
For both male and female Rotties spayed or neutered before one year of age, there was a one in four lifetime risk for bone cancer, and the sterilized animals were significantly more likely to develop the disease than intact dogs of the same breed.
In another study using the Veterinary Medical Database for the period 1980 through 1994, it was concluded the risk for bone cancer in large breed, purebred dogs increased twofold for those dogs that were also sterilized.

Prostate Cancer
It’s commonly believed that neutering a male dog will prevent prostatic carcinoma (PC) – cancer of the prostate gland.
But worthy of note is that according to one study conducted at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University, “…castration at any age showed no sparing effect on the risk of development of PC in the dog.”
This was a small study of just 43 animals, however. And researchers conceded the development of prostate cancer in dogs may not be exclusively related to the hormones produced by the testicles. Preliminary work indicates non-testicular androgens exert a significant influence on the canine prostate.

Abnormal Bone Growth and Development
Studies done in the 1990’s concluded dogs spayed or neutered under one year of age grew significantly taller than non-sterilized dogs or those not spayed/neutered until after puberty. And the earlier the spay/neuter procedure, the taller the dog.
Research published in 2000 in the Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism may explain why dogs sterilized before puberty are inclined to grow abnormally:
At puberty, estrogen promotes skeletal maturation and the gradual, progressive closure of the epiphyseal growth plate, possibly as a consequence of both estrogen-induced vascular and osteoblastic invasion and the termination of chondrogenesis.
In addition, during puberty and into the third decade, estrogen has an anabolic effect on the osteoblast and an apoptotic effect on the osteoclast, increasing bone mineral acquisition in axial and appendicular bone.
It appears the removal of estrogen-producing organs in immature dogs, female and male, can cause growth plates to remain open. These animals continue to grow and wind up with abnormal growth patterns and bone structure. This results in irregular body proportions."

According to Chris Zink, DVM:

“For example, if the femur has achieved its genetically determined normal length at 8 months when a dog gets spayed or neutered, but the tibia, which normally stops growing at 12 to 14 months of age continues to grow, then an abnormal angle may develop at the stifle. In addition, with the extra growth, the lower leg below the stifle likely becomes heavier (because it is longer), and may cause increased stresses on the cranial cruciate ligament.”

Higher Rate of ACL Ruptures

A study conducted at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center on canine anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries concluded that spayed and neutered dogs had a significantly higher incidence of ACL rupture than their intact counterparts. And while large breed dogs had more ACL injuries, sterilized dogs of all breeds and sizes had increased rupture rates.

Hip Dysplasia

In a retrospective cohort study conducted at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, results showed that both male and female dogs sterilized at an early age were more prone to hip dysplasia.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Rod for you very thorough response. Despite consultations with several veterinarians who assured us that it is perfectly safe and customary at that age and quite frankly compare it to tonsil removal where it is better to do it while they are young, we have some serious thinking to do. The overwhelming data you provided is not to be taken lightly. We seriously need to have a heart to heart with ourselves and Hunter.
 

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Mighty said:
Thank you Rod for you very thorough response. Despite consultations with several veterinarians who assured us that it is perfectly safe and customary at that age and quite frankly compare it to tonsil removal where it is better to do it while they are young, we have some serious thinking to do. The overwhelming data you provided is not to be taken lightly. We seriously need to have a heart to heart with ourselves and Hunter.
I think it's standard for vets to recommend neutering at six months ::) It is generally not the best course of action in large breeds though. I told my vet it wasn't happening for another year.

Kobi is 11 months old, intact, and is the craziest, most disobedient dog I know. Course, I'm not gonna say that isn't partially my fault. Just saying, they're not all like Copper :D
 

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Our sales contract has a clause that prohibits us neutering Niko before 18 months mainly because of the growth issues.
 
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