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Page name: Neutering Your GSD [Exported view] [RSS]
2009-07-09 02:06:17
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Neutering Your GSD



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There are some conflicting opinions on when you should neuter your GSD. I am going to wait for Sky to mature a bit before I neuter her but there is nothing wrong with neutering at 6 months.

Let's clear up what neutering is:
Castration - Removal of the testicles of a male dog
Spaying - Removal of the ovaries and uterus of a female dog


Why is neutering so important?



The most obvious answer is unwanted pups. What will you do if your girl has pups? Sell them on? What if you can't sell them? What will you as a responsible owner do? Put them in a shelter? We do not need anymore dogs in rescue centers. The kindest thing to do is as soon as you know your girl has mated/is pregnant, go to your vet and get a mismate jab. When she is in season only walk her in secluded areas and make sure you keep an eye on her, even when she's in the garden!! Male dogs who have picked up her scent will easily find a way in and if she wants to get out she will!

Neutering can also reduce the risk of certain health problems your GSD may contract in the future.


How much does it cost?



In the UK castration will cost between £60-100 and spaying will cost between £100-200 depending on what part of the country you live in. If you are on benefits you can neuter your GSD at a reduced price with some vets and the PDSA.

It's so expensive because of the amount of equipment, care before, during and after, and the experience of skilled vets and veterinary nurses who will be spaying your dog. It all mounts up!


When I should neuter?



Most vets are happy to neuter at 6 months. However, most vets don't know anything about breed specific dogs. GSDs do not mature until the age of 2 so it's best to hold off as long as possible if you can.


What will happen if I don't neuter?



Males:
An increased level in testosterone could make them aggressive and they could develop behavioural problems. They may also start mounting dogs of either sex or things around the house like cushions and teddies. They may also start to mark their territory, particularly around the house and straying.

Females:
No matter how careful you are, your girl could become pregnant. She may also develop pyometra which is a womb infection and could be fatal. She is more likely to develop cancer in later life. If not pregnant, her seasons will be followed by phantom pregnancies. It is an old wives' tale to let your girl have a litter before spaying her; there is no scientific evidence that this is beneficial.


So what are the advantages?



Males:
It can reduce unwanted sexual behaviour.
Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer.
Reduces the risk of problems with the prostate gland.
Reduces the risk of some anal and perineal tumours.

Females:
Eliminates unwanted pregnancy.
Eliminates ovarian cysts, tumours and potentionally fatal pyometra.
Reduces the risk of mammary cancer if spayed before or after her first season.


Are there any disadvantages?



In some breeds it could change the texture of the coat. I believe this is common amongst springers/cocker spaniels etc. I've never heard of it happening in a GSD.
It could change your dog's appetite and they may become overweight if allowed.



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2009-08-01 [de Morte]: Un-neutered dogs can also develop cysts on their anus from too much testosterone. It is best to neuter at 6-7 months, but I have seen them come from shelters at 4 months. The most expensive part of neutering an animal is the anesthesia, and neuters only take a few mins, the dogs and cats are kept at the vet after that so the drugs have time to wear off and so they don't bite someone on accedent from the confusion.

2009-08-01 [sequeena_rae]: Thanks! :)

You don't think that these large breed dogs should be allowed to mature before neutering?

2009-08-01 [de Morte]: No, when they mature they change a lot of their habits as well as their personalty, it is the owners final word, but most animals should be neutered around 6 months

2009-08-01 [sequeena_rae]: I will leave my girl mature a bit I think. I know the possible risks (pyometra for one) but she's just had her first season and I want her to 'grow up' a bit before she is neutered. I think I might get her done between her 2nd and 3rd season.

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