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Sterilizing an animal

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CG1

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Interested in somewhat of a debate on this one..

Thoughts on spaying and neutering an animal. Well really sterilizing an animal in general.

We are months maybe a year away from getting a new dog and I have never considered the health benefits of NOT neutering him until it was brought to my attention. Yes, I have to be a very smart and very on top of it dog owner to make sure he doesn't knock up the neighbors dog. But, our last dog had a huge list of health issues his entire life. Part of me wonders if it had to do with the fact we completely changed his hormonal makeup by removing his testicles at 6 months old.

Now I have a 5 maybe 6 year old steer. He is insanely huge. Fat and just giant. Has little muscle. He is raised along side our bull who has impressive muscles, strong body, looks much healthier than my steer. And, I assume its just simply hormones. My steer was not made to live into old age with no testicles and his body condition suffers because of it.

So why or why not?

Most vets will tell you what diseases they wont get if you sterilize them. But they don't touch on the ones they may get because you did...

What's your reason?
 

Dsth

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back in my younger years, we had a pure bred German Shepard for our farm/herd dog. he was neutered at a young age (not sure of age since it has been a long time ago.) He was definitely the largest German Shepard we had out of the four that we had throughout the years. Never had any health problems until he died of old age. Best dog we ever had on the farm. The problem we had with male dogs that were not neutered was that they liked to roam away to find romance in the neighbor hood. Old George never left the farm unless he followed us somewhere behind the tractor. Our little rat terrier we have now for our house dog is spaded and doesn't seem to have any health problems that we feel is from spade and she is 11 years old. I think it is much less hassle for us and the pets to have them fixed at an early age.
 

Silver

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The problem we had with male dogs that were not neutered was that they liked to roam away to find romance in the neighbor hood.
I found out a long time ago that un neutered dogs have a tendency to get lead poisoning.

And a non spade female will attract non neutered dogs and create further issues.

My female Aussie is turning 16 tomorrow, and she has been spade since she was two. The only problems she has had is just the old age creeping up on her.
 

Rafter S

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I recently got a new puppy, and someone told me the current wisdom is to let them mature before neutering so the loss of hormones doesn't affect their growth. This makes sense to me, but I don't know if it's valid or not. He has his first appointment with the vet on Monday, and I plan to ask his opinion and then decide.
 

wbvs58

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Managing their weight and giving plenty of exercise is important once they have been desexed. My last Kelpie male, Jed was an entire male and was a magnificent looking Kelpie but got killed by a dingo just short of 8 years. Jed was very easy to manage on the farm as an entire male and did not wander.

Ken
 

SBMF 2015

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I was going to wait until my Heeler was two before neutering him. My thought was that he would reach his potential for growth and muscle. My vet convinced me to neuter him at one. She said she feels that in general, neutered working dog focus more on task than non neutered dogs.
 

M.Magis

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There are far more risks to unfixed dogs than fixed ones. Far, far more. About the only place you’ll hear talk of risks to fixed animals is from online idiots that like to pretend they know what they’re talking about.
 

Lucky_P

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Veterinarian here.
There is no 'down-side' to spaying/neutering any dog or cat, with the one caveat that male cats *may* be better left intact until they reach most of their mature size, just to allow full-bore development of urethral diameter - but even that may be falling out of favor as we learn more about feline urinary tract disease (it's primarily a stress-related condition, not infectious, and most commercial cat foods do not promote urinary sediment formation, anymore).
I guess if you're raising pit bulls for the dog-fighting ring, maybe you'd want to leave the males intact to foster more aggression, but for a pet or working dog not intended for breeding purposes, neutering diminishes a host of health issues, ranging from fewer injuries/death associated with roaming, being shot, or hit by vehicles, fight wounds, infections, to virtual elimination of mammary, prostate, uterine, and ovarian cancer, as well as pyometra.
We've had nothing but spayed females and neutered males here for 35 years... all run, play, work, defend the homestead, etc., as well or better than an intact dog would, and they tend to 'stay home', so they're usually here when we need them. No issues with obesity... if that happens, it's on the owner - you're not controlling activity or dietary intake, and the same thing would likely happen with an intact dog.

No doubt, testosterone plays some role in the difference between a bull and steer...Cowgal's steer probably doesn't spend the day chasing cows, or tearing stuff up, like the bull. He's focused on one thing... eating.
Oxen (which are steers over 4 yrs of age) are plenty strong - for millenia, humans have used them as beasts of burden... they're less dangerous and intractible than bulls, but certainly muscular enough to drag logs, pull carts, plow fields, etc.
 

timwil94

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Sterilization is humane if the animal does not happen. True, spayed animals eat a lot - their hunger dulls. Because of this, you need to closely monitor the diet. And non-sterilized animals without sexual activity get sick up to oncology. Not even speaking about. that they themselves toil and cause discomfort to their owners.
 
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