To neuter or not to neuter - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2016, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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To neuter or not to neuter

SO. As is very obvious by now, I have two 1 year old male Havanese. I've spoken with their vet about it, who has informed me that as long as they're not let off leash around females in heat and I'm responsible, it all boils down to a personal choice.

Health Issues Linked to Spaying and Neutering Dogs

This is slightly worrying. I don't want to do anything detrimental to their health. There are a lot of females in heat at the park, and they don't REALLY go crazy. Maybe sniff and bark a bit, but when I tell them to quite down/distract them they're fine. Beans has even played a game of chase with a female in heat, on long leash of course, without any...~ahem~ shenanigans.

Also, Beans has been under anesthesia for an cherry eye op, and he nearly died. They first tried when he was 4 months old, because his topical med wasn't working and it was bleeding and drying out. They didn't want to completely removie it. Halfway through the anesthesia his lungs filled with water, he peed himself and nearly went into shock. I would hate to put him under anesthesia again because of this. The vet does not reccomend this either.

Can anyone provide with with a detailed article/study on why there are more health benefits to neutering than not?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2016, 06:04 PM
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There are lots and LOTS of article about the benefits/dangers of neutering. There is no one, definitive answer for every dog in every home... And the answer may change for that specific dog over time.

Many, if not most male dogs in Europe are not neutered, and they learn to be good canine citizens, but their ownerd work hard at it. Most American pet owners don't want to deal with having to train their intact males not to mark and hump inappropriately. Interestingly, far fewer sport dog people neuter or spay their dogs, BUT they spend a LOT of time training and supervising their dogs so that they behave appropriately and stay out of trouble.

It sounds like one of your dogs has some sort of health issue that makes neutering inadvisable, but that doesn't mean you need to have the same answer for both dogs. There are also different types of anesthesia, or even sedation plus a local anesthetic that could be used in a case where a dog HAS to be neutered (and there are health reasons where this has to be done... Torsions and tumors are the most common reasons) so that's an option too.

In the end, as you vet has already told you, as long as you are responsible about the way you handle your dogs, it is entirely up to you whether you neuter them or not.

However, I would absolutely NOT let your unneutered male dog chase a female in heat... Even on a long line. This is SO unfair to both animals, besides the danger of pregnancy if he actually caught up with her. If you are going to keep an unneutered male, that means that YOU need to act responsibly at all times.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry, should have clarified some more. That was when he was just 5 months. His brother was already a bit, you know...of course they don't get to interact with a female in heat like that now, unless they're walking past each other for a hello. Vet said 5 months was when a male dog hits puberty and I thought that this was worth mentioning but a quick google search says 6 months or later...silly me. Wouldn't have mattered much to mention.

True. I've only come across 2 spayed/neutered dogs, and those were from a rescue. The shelter nearby here doesn't have a mandatory spay/neuter but that's probably because they have so few dogs and so many volunteers.

Another problem is that there are a lot of irresponsible owners who let their dogs in heat OFF LEASH, which means that when I see them, we have to leave the park. They don't seem to care about their dogs getting pregnant which is rather disturbing. Thank you so much for your reply!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 07:45 AM
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Sorry, should have clarified some more. That was when he was just 5 months. His brother was already a bit, you know...of course they don't get to interact with a female in heat like that now, unless they're walking past each other for a hello. Vet said 5 months was when a male dog hits puberty and I thought that this was worth mentioning but a quick google search says 6 months or later...silly me. Wouldn't have mattered much to mention.

True. I've only come across 2 spayed/neutered dogs, and those were from a rescue. The shelter nearby here doesn't have a mandatory spay/neuter but that's probably because they have so few dogs and so many volunteers.

Another problem is that there are a lot of irresponsible owners who let their dogs in heat OFF LEASH, which means that when I see them, we have to leave the park. They don't seem to care about their dogs getting pregnant which is rather disturbing. Thank you so much for your reply!
Where do you live that there are so many unneutered/unspayed dogs. That's certainly not the rule in the U.S. Neither is a shelter that doesn't spay and neuter EVERYTHING before rehoming. (which I agree with completely)


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
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In southern Europe. Maybe it's just my area, which is a mix of suburb/city? I used to let my dogs off leash at the park as pups, to play with other dogs. There's a little play group with usually 5 regulars in the evenings which I don't frequent often now, because my dogs are no longer let off leash there.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 11:59 AM
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In southern Europe. Maybe it's just my area, which is a mix of suburb/city? I used to let my dogs off leash at the park as pups, to play with other dogs. There's a little play group with usually 5 regulars in the evenings which I don't frequent often now, because my dogs are no longer let off leash there.
Oh, OK. As I mentioned, it's very common for male dogs not to be neutered in Europe.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 08:38 PM
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We have received a bit of conflicting advice on when to neuter. Our breeder suggests 8-12 months; our vet says right away at 6 months. I'd be interested in hearing Hav owners' thoughts about this and their experiences.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 09:43 PM
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We have received a bit of conflicting advice on when to neuter. Our breeder suggests 8-12 months; our vet says right away at 6 months. I'd be interested in hearing Hav owners' thoughts about this and their experiences.
6 months seems so young to me for our little guys to go under anaesthesia. I don't know any science behind it as Mario was only neutered once we knew he wouldn't show (almost 1.5 years) and Nino is probably going to remain intact. Both our vet and our breeder's vet recommend later spay/neuters. In our breeder's pet contract, she requires the fixing to happen no earlier than 1 year and no later than 1.5 years. The vet she takes her dogs to specializes in reproduction, and we had no problems neutering Mario late (he never marked, humped, roamed, etc), I would say wait until 8-12 months.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 05:35 AM
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We waited until Leo was 18 months and will do the same with Rexy. As long as the owner is very responsible in managing the pup, I think it's a good idea to let the dog grow up. However,for us, that does mean keeping them on leash when out of the house or our fenced backyard and teaching that marking isn't permitted indoors. Leo never tried marking indoors. Rexy did a few weeks ago right when he learned how to lift his leg outside. I handled it firmly as described in another post somewhere on the forum and we've not had any repeat attempts.
I do understand vets and rescue folks recommending earlier neutering in the US as we still have so many dogs killed because many people won't manage their dogs properly.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 07:38 AM
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We have received a bit of conflicting advice on when to neuter. Our breeder suggests 8-12 months; our vet says right away at 6 months. I'd be interested in hearing Hav owners' thoughts about this and their experiences.
Kodi was done at 7 months, because he had a skin infection that caused us to cancel his appointment at 6 months. (the vet said it wasn't safe to cut through an infection) At that time (7 years ago) 6 months was pretty standard practice, and it was actually written into my contract that way.

Now our understanding of puppy development has changed. While most of the studies have been on larger breeds, there is a strong correlation between early spay/neuter and certain very nasty (almost always fatal) cancers. There is also a lot of evidence that ACL and CCL ruptures are more common in dogs spayed or neutered before maturity. For this reason, most sport people are putting off spays until after at least one heat, and neuters until after one year of age. (a lot of people I know prefer to wait until two years of age for either procedure) Many breeders (including both of mine) have changed the wording in their contracts to allow more leeway in terms of when spay/neuter is performed, even in pet puppies.

That said, there are a lot of reasons that you might want to have it done earlier. An intact, sexually mature dog can be a handful, and if you don't want to deal with it, and train the dog not to mark and hump inappropriately, it is reasonable to alter earlier. Likewise, if you must use doggie daycare, most will not accept an intact dog over 6 months. Even those that will usually won't allow the dog to interact with other dogs. Also, if the dog needs to have another procedure done, like a hernia repair, cherry eye or having baby teeth pulled, it can be safer to only have to put the pup under anesthesia once, and get everything out of the way at the same time.

The bottom line is that there is no one "right" answer for all dogs in all families. Be informed, and make the decision that is best for you and YOUR pup!
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