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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 10:09 AM
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I have discussed it with my vet. I'm sure you know, things have changed over the years. My 10 1/2 year old (who started with a different vet) was neutered at 7 months. Something that makes me sad now. My next girl, who is 4 years 8 months had a laparoscopic ovariectomy after going absolutely nutso with a false pregnancy. We (and the other dogs) just couldn't deal with that. My youngest, 4 yo, is unspayed, and we have no pending plans of changing that. We will deal with it when/if there is a solid reason to do so, not "just because". Her heats are easy, Havanese are at low risk for both pyo and malignant mammary tumors, and I have my hands on her regularly. My vet has been in agreement with these decisions for the girls.

I am not militant about it. I think every family should feel comfortable deciding what is best for them and each dog in their household. The only one I have regrets about is Kodi, my oldest. If I'd known more then, I would have done things differently.

As far as vaccines are concerned, I believe in a minimal vaccine protocol. Again, Kodi got too much because I didn't know enough. The girls each got 2 puppy distemper and parvo shots, and have had only mandatory Rabies since. (just titers for distemper and parvo beyond that) Kodi is now on a Rabies waiver because of a severe reaction. My vet won't touch him with ANY vaccine! LOL!

I also use as LITTLE other chemicals as I can on them and still protect them against heartworm and TBD. We live at ground zero for Lyme and other TBD, so we do need to be careful. But we MOSTLY use management. We might use Advantix once or twice a season if we are heading into a heavily tick-infested area on a camping vacation. They get Interceptor starting in June, every 6 weeks, and ending in November. We titer for TBD twice a year, and for heartworm in the spring before re-starting the Interceptor.

That's the balance we've chosen and it works for us. But I think everyone needs to educate themselves and make their own decisions based on their area, their breed, and their own situation.
Thanks Karen. Great information on the spay/neuter question. I think if I had it to do over, I would do neither unless some issue popped up that it would resolve, like you experienced. Glad to know Havanese are not at risk for pyometra which can come on fast and be quite deadly. Even if pyro does occur, I assume if a person is on the outlook for it and deals with it promptly the prognosis would be good.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 12:27 PM
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Hi all! Just thought I would add my most recent experience to the discussion. With my current little boy I was determined to not neuter him. The act of neutering seemed unecessary, with health risks and to me at the time, even cruel. At 6 months he was potty trained. At 8 months, he began to mark outside and within the following two weeks he was marking EVERYTHING inside and out. The marking was completely different than being potty trained. I would take him out to do his business and then he would come inside and mark. He marked couches, draperies, walls, blankets, pillows- everything. I spent my day using the enzymatic cleaner never really being able to save many of those items. I began to wonder if I could get through this. Teddy either had to be in his room or gated in the kitchen. As soon as he was let into any other area, he would mark. I work from home and he is with me nearly the entire day. He did not mark when I left him alone in his special room (with puppy cam). When he would lift his leg in front of me and I could interrupt the act, it made no difference. I started to think maybe I should get him neutered around the age of one. I was so concerned about the health benefits of waiting, I tried to stay with him 24/7 to alter the behavior but marking is a tough one to break. After 3 weeks of really struggling with this difficult issue, I went ahead and had him neutered. Honestly, the behavior changed immediately. Since he was neutered, he never once marked again inside or outside. ( I am fortunate because I know that this is not always the case.) I also have to say, regardless of the literature, he has also very much calmed down which has made our lives much better. So, perhaps there are reasons to consider neutering and every circumstance is different. Teddy is now 11 months old with no accidents since his neutering nearly two months ago and is a little dream boy <3
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 01:04 PM
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Hi all! Just thought I would add my most recent experience to the discussion. With my current little boy I was determined to not neuter him. The act of neutering seemed unecessary, with health risks and to me at the time, even cruel. At 6 months he was potty trained. At 8 months, he began to mark outside and within the following two weeks he was marking EVERYTHING inside and out. The marking was completely different than being potty trained. I would take him out to do his business and then he would come inside and mark. He marked couches, draperies, walls, blankets, pillows- everything. I spent my day using the enzymatic cleaner never really being able to save many of those items. I began to wonder if I could get through this. Teddy either had to be in his room or gated in the kitchen. As soon as he was let into any other area, he would mark. I work from home and he is with me nearly the entire day. He did not mark when I left him alone in his special room (with puppy cam). When he would lift his leg in front of me and I could interrupt the act, it made no difference. I started to think maybe I should get him neutered around the age of one. I was so concerned about the health benefits of waiting, I tried to stay with him 24/7 to alter the behavior but marking is a tough one to break. After 3 weeks of really struggling with this difficult issue, I went ahead and had him neutered. Honestly, the behavior changed immediately. Since he was neutered, he never once marked again inside or outside. ( I am fortunate because I know that this is not always the case.) I also have to say, regardless of the literature, he has also very much calmed down which has made our lives much better. So, perhaps there are reasons to consider neutering and every circumstance is different. Teddy is now 11 months old with no accidents since his neutering nearly two months ago and is a little dream boy <3
Thanks for sharing. I have no experience with an unneutered male and I only know one male dog who is not neutered, a Shiba Inu. The Shiba Inu did not have this issue, but I assume every dog is different. My neutered yorkie marks on every single vertical “thing” he can find outside but has never done this inside. It sounds like you were informed and did your best to avoid it. The sanity of the dog owner is a critical thing to consider as well. We all do our best.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 03:07 PM
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Thanks Karen. Great information on the spay/neuter question. I think if I had it to do over, I would do neither unless some issue popped up that it would resolve, like you experienced. Glad to know Havanese are not at risk for pyometra which can come on fast and be quite deadly. Even if pyro does occur, I assume if a person is on the outlook for it and deals with it promptly the prognosis would be good.
All unspayed adult females ARE at risk for Pyo, but some breeds are much higher risk than others, and Havanese are one of the lower risk breeds at 10 years. (the study I read didn't extend beyond that, and not sure if I'd stretch the non-spay that long either. We'll see. At this point, my vet feels comfortable waiting until at least 6 with otherwise healthy, non-breeding females.

And it Pyo is a loaded gun. It comes on fast and can be deadly. It means an EMERGENCY spay, often in the middle of the night at an emergency hospital with unknown staff (because isn't that when/how emergencies happen? ) and it means operating on a dog with an already raging infection. Putting off spay indefinitely is NOT an easy decision to make. It is not the same as deciding never to castrate a male dog. And again, every owner has to make the decision for themselves and their specific bitch, based on their situation (like access to middle of the night emergency care and willingness to pay for what is going to be a MUCH more expensive procedure if it does happen) and willingness to assess and accept the risks vs. benefits. Yes, there MAY be some long-term benefits. We aren't sure. But Pyo CAN be a death sentence. Even if it's not, it is DEFINITELY painful, traumatic and expensive.

This is an excellent booklet put out by the Puppy Culture people talking about the pros and cons of spay/neuter, and actually cites all the research Jane used to reach her own conclusions. She also does NOT "tell people what to do". She just tries to give people the information they need to make their OWN, informed decision that is best for their dog and their family. Which is, I think, the best.

https://shoppuppyculture.com/collect...neuter-booklet
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 03:26 PM
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All unspayed adult females ARE at risk for Pyo, but some breeds are much higher risk than others, and Havanese are one of the lower risk breeds at 10 years. (the study I read didn't extend beyond that, and not sure if I'd stretch the non-spay that long either. We'll see. At this point, my vet feels comfortable waiting until at least 6 with otherwise healthy, non-breeding females.

And it Pyo is a loaded gun. It comes on fast and can be deadly. It means an EMERGENCY spay, often in the middle of the night at an emergency hospital with unknown staff (because isn't that when/how emergencies happen? ) and it means operating on a dog with an already raging infection. Putting off spay indefinitely is NOT an easy decision to make. It is not the same as deciding never to castrate a male dog. And again, every owner has to make the decision for themselves and their specific bitch, based on their situation (like access to middle of the night emergency care and willingness to pay for what is going to be a MUCH more expensive procedure if it does happen) and willingness to assess and accept the risks vs. benefits. Yes, there MAY be some long-term benefits. We aren't sure. But Pyo CAN be a death sentence. Even if it's not, it is DEFINITELY painful, traumatic and expensive.

This is an excellent booklet put out by the Puppy Culture people talking about the pros and cons of spay/neuter, and actually cites all the research Jane used to reach her own conclusions. She also does NOT "tell people what to do". She just tries to give people the information they need to make their OWN, informed decision that is best for their dog and their family. Which is, I think, the best.

https://shoppuppyculture.com/collect...neuter-booklet
Great information. Thanks again Karen. I do know someone who lost a dog to pyro. It was a super scary and very sad situation. That is why I originally mentioned the ovary sparing spay. I am wondering if this would keep the hormones yet eliminate risk of pyometra?
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by nwhavmom View Post
Hi all! Just thought I would add my most recent experience to the discussion. With my current little boy I was determined to not neuter him. The act of neutering seemed unecessary, with health risks and to me at the time, even cruel. At 6 months he was potty trained. At 8 months, he began to mark outside and within the following two weeks he was marking EVERYTHING inside and out. The marking was completely different than being potty trained. I would take him out to do his business and then he would come inside and mark. He marked couches, draperies, walls, blankets, pillows- everything. I spent my day using the enzymatic cleaner never really being able to save many of those items. I began to wonder if I could get through this. Teddy either had to be in his room or gated in the kitchen. As soon as he was let into any other area, he would mark. I work from home and he is with me nearly the entire day. He did not mark when I left him alone in his special room (with puppy cam). When he would lift his leg in front of me and I could interrupt the act, it made no difference. I started to think maybe I should get him neutered around the age of one. I was so concerned about the health benefits of waiting, I tried to stay with him 24/7 to alter the behavior but marking is a tough one to break. After 3 weeks of really struggling with this difficult issue, I went ahead and had him neutered. Honestly, the behavior changed immediately. Since he was neutered, he never once marked again inside or outside. ( I am fortunate because I know that this is not always the case.) I also have to say, regardless of the literature, he has also very much calmed down which has made our lives much better. So, perhaps there are reasons to consider neutering and every circumstance is different. Teddy is now 11 months old with no accidents since his neutering nearly two months ago and is a little dream boy <3
And you should NOT feel that you need to "explain" or defend your decision any more than the person who decides not to neuter at all, but is also conscientious about not letting their boy breed indiscriminately. I think that's my main point. We need to educate ourselves, for sure. but then the "right" answer may be different for each of us, and even for each animal in our care.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by nwhavmom View Post
At 6 months he was potty trained. At 8 months, he began to mark outside and within the following two weeks he was marking EVERYTHING inside and out.

The marking was completely different than being potty trained. I would take him out to do his business and then he would come inside and mark. He marked couches, draperies, walls, blankets, pillows- everything. I spent my day using the enzymatic cleaner never really being able to save many of those items. I began to wonder if I could get through this.

I tried to stay with him 24/7 to alter the behavior but marking is a tough one to break. After 3 weeks of really struggling with this difficult issue, I went ahead and had him neutered. Honestly, the behavior changed immediately. Since he was neutered, he never once marked again inside or outside. ( I am fortunate because I know that this is not always the case.
I'll add neutering to prevent marking needs to be done at a young age. My mother had a Yorkie who marked everything, even though he appeared housebroken and had access to a doggie door where he could go outside at will. His pee-pee was such as small amount you couldn't see it and he never did it in front of my mother or me. My mother finally figured it out and had him neutered when he was several years old. Didn't work. He ruined expensive rugs and was eventually put to sleep because he was such a problem and unbreakable. An unhousebroken dog is the main reason they end up in shelters and put down.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 08:52 AM
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I waited until after Patti had her first Heat and then had her spayed. She didn't bother her wound and there was little down time after the surgery. I thought about removing only ovaries and after research decided there could be problems not doing a full hysterectomy. I didn't see a reason to leave a uterus without ovaries.

Correction: I researched leaving the ovaries ... referred to as Ovary Sparing Surgery - OSS which would leave the uterus and decided on a full hysterectomy.

Patti had little blood and kept herself clean during her Heat. Those two weeks were problematic but not particularly overwhelming, although it did prevent me from going on a family trip.

All my dogs have been spayed. I prefer female dogs. The last one was a 17-years old and died of old age.

Last edited by Mikki; 11-13-2019 at 12:09 PM.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 09:46 AM
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It is great to hear personal stories. Sounds like there are pros and cons to neutering or not neutering, as well as the various options of neutering. As Mikki said in a recent post, there are now tons of options for everything and I think it makes it so much harder to decide! My husband and I went to the store for light bulbs the other day...after scratching our heads for 30 minutes, we left empty handed!

I was curious about ovary sparing spays. On the surface, they sound like a good option, however there are still pros and cons! Here is a great article by a person struggling with this decision. They eventually went with the OSS because their breed is at high risk for IVDD. And IVDD can be heart breaking. I was involved with Dodgerslist.com for awhile and I saw this first hand. Anyway, I thought it was a great article for anyone considering this option.

https://bloggydog.com/the-pros-and-c...our-dachshund/
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 10:56 AM
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there seems to be more of a movement in change for large breed dogs. https://healthypets.mercola.com/site..._rid=748843545
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