I've just adopted a adolescent Boston Terrier male. He is intact and we've decided not to neuter him but keep him as "nature intended". We're not really interested in breeding him but as I've learned as a new "Mom" the neuter issue seems to be a big deal to people asking. When people ask if we intend to do it and I say no I receive almost negative responces from people and my vet. Many people seem to believe that there are potential health concerns further in his life if he is kept intact. What are those concerns and how inpending are they? We don't have a difficult time with his "testosterone" behavior but would be devestated if he developed cancer or something else. What are your opinions?
Anything like marking or calming down from a lack of testostorone that might be lessened by neutering wouldn't happen to the same effect if the dog is older.
Health wise: not neutering increases the chances of: testicular tumors testicular torsion (twisting) testicular or epididymal infection disorder of the prostrate gland benign prostatic hyperplasia-- more than 60% of intact dogs over 5 years of age experience this disorder in which the prostrate is abnormally enlarged Prostatic cysts and abscesses perianal adenomas
Add: And while it isn't health related, dogs have been known to jump through glass windows and chew through drywall to get to a female in heat. They can smells females in heat from literally miles away, so an intact male may roam off your property quite far to try to procreate.
***Edited By: mafiaprincess on 6/22/2005 5:28:23 PM*** Reason: add
Who allowed you to "adopt" a dog without altering him? Any rescue group, responsible breeder or shelter would have serious problems with that.
Even if you don't intend to breed him- it's extremely difficult to keep an intact dog away from a female in heat- even one miles away. Like Mafia has mentioned, they've been known to chew through walls and doors just to get out.
A one year old hasn't reached his full potential yet. He won't be exhibiting the worst of the intact male behavior yet. Once a dog starts marking, humping, becomes aggressive- neutering doesn't always revert him to his nicer personality.
The risk of cancer is extremely high- almost all dogs left intact will eventually develop a cancer of the reproductive system.
Lastly, how would YOU feel- to be filled with hormones that demand that you breed- and then be restrained from doing that? Ask your significant other how HE'D feel? It's extremely cruel, IMHO.
Spaying and neutering pets is part of responsible pet ownership. Nature has little to do with domestic dogs. They're almost completely dependent on us to care for them. He deserves to have an owner who loves him enough to realize that- if you don't want to neuter him, return him.
Everyone made a lot of good points, but I do want to make people aware of the risks of anesthesia on a brachysephalic breed. Brachysephalic (short nosed) breeds are at high risk of dying when put under anesthesia (acepromazine most commonly). It is very important that you speak with your vet about this... I believe they do have tests now to determine whether or not your dog can handle the anesthetic, and different types of anesthetic specifically for these breeds. I am all for the altering of pet only dogs (I sell my pet quality pups on a spay/neuter contract and am involved in rescue, so all rescues are altered before being adopted), but do think the bully owners need to be aware of the risks involved and know to speak to thier vet about it.
First off, I'm a female so neutering is madatory he he, but, yes the risks for Cancers are high. People will be judgemental because of the population issue. Intact males they say will show a high drive to mark, find females and so on. Some of this stuff is quite annoying, and could pose some problems. Fighting among intact males is more likely as well. Intact males also seem to be a little more stressed because of the constant seeking of females (sexual fustration). Intact males are more likely to escape and seek out females and territory. I would never tell anyone to not neuter their dog, if the dog you've aquired is very calm and easy going and really good tempered then chances are these problems will be less of a worry. I know some really great dogs that are intact, but I know alot more that are idiots and have usually had zero training. But if you really think about it its really has alot to do with the owners. In hind sight, your dogs behaviors are not really going to change if you neuter your dog, he may slow down a bit but if there are any aggression issues, they will still be there after the surgery.
Thankyou very much for your responces, they've been very helpful. One more question, my guy is about 9 1/2 months old. I know this is alittle older than when is ideal to neuter but is there anything else I should know about if we do decide to neuter between now and 1 year? P.S. thanks for the detailed responces. I've spoken with my husband and he's now alot more open to the idea.
Aside from the obvious health and practical issues, there's just little reason for a dog to languish in unresolvable frustration. They aren't human beings, whose intellect can overcome those biological impulses and still remain perfectly well-adjusted. This is a compulsion in a creature that is overwhelmingly governed by their instincts. Even breeders ultimately neuter/spay their retired animals.
And with all due respect, I hope that this isn't a case of a dog being used as some sort of bizarre extension of your husband's masculinity. I've heard of that before, though I was never sure if it really happened.
As far as the urine smell, WOW! If he marks in the same spot outside time and time again even that area will smell like it! Or perhaps if your dog tends to get some on his abdomen from peeing, YA, it definitely builds up!
You can.. but most vets won't do puppies that young yet. A large number in Quebec that work with rescues do.. but the majority of vets are waiting to see if complications we don't know about will arise in these early neuters. They can also spay at that age too.. but so far most vets won't do either, even for some of the Ontario rescues that have been asking.. let alone for pet owners.
Our local Humane Society does both spays and neuters before any animal leaves the facility. No matter what age. I know the vets in town make you wait until 6 months for females, and testicles must have dropped on the males.
A female who is altered has a lower chance of mammery cancer then one who is not. But if she has come into season she may develop it. It'd be good to look at her lines and see if they are prone to it.
Now for your male prostate issues are normally resolved by alteration. An unaltered male should have a yearly prostate exam and if his prostate starts to enlarge alteration is nessessary.
However, reproductive cancers and reproducitve diseases will not always occure when one has not altered their dogs. There is a much greater risk of it and anyone who has un altered dogs must take the additional responsibility to keep track of their health and understand the pros and cons so that they can maintain their dogs health.