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Neutering questions

December 10th, 2005, 08:25 PM
My shih tzu puppy is 4 months old. The vet said that neutering can be done at 4-6 months. Does anyone have strong opinions on which end of that spectrum is better?

Also, I'm torn between two vets. There is one with a great high tech office--high price tag too. I know many people who've left there because they felt that the quality of care wasn't comparable to the cost. But I am seduced by the smooth operation. The second one is a country vet. Really. He's off a winding road. Been around forever. Has his own big old dogs lying at the door to greet you. But his office is at the back of his house. Low tech is an understatement. We were there for shots and I loved the way he handled the pup, and the way he was just loving on him.

But neutering is surgery, you know? I'm not being cheap. Believe me, we spent a small fortune trying to get Joey well. I'm just torn between that homey, love the pup, feel and what seems like a state of the art facility. I think I just need to keep asking around and researching before I decide.

But the age thing. Any insights you can give me? My husband said he saw him trying to hump his snowman squeeky toy. Is he young for that? Should I be proud that he's precocious.;) Is it a sign that he is ready for neutering?

I'm sorry if these are silly questions. Joey was two and half and already neutered when we we got him from the rescue. I've never had a dog from scratch before and I want to do what's best for his health. So if this decision might affect his health (or his training even) please give me your opinion.

Thanks !!

December 10th, 2005, 08:49 PM
Mounting at his age is not usually do a sexual behaviour so no worries there. Where to get the surgery done is going to have to be where you are comfortable. Spay/Neuter is one if not the most common surgery vets do. As long as the country vet has what he needs to do the surgery then he should be quite capable. There can be some benefits to the high tech vet such as having the laser done but if you are opting out of that one then the surgery will be the same with either choice.

December 10th, 2005, 08:57 PM
I would ask your country vet if he would allow you to see his surgical facilities as well as ask questions about post-op care, staff assistance, emergency procedures, etc. You'll get a better feel then for the extension of the warm fuzzy you got from your first visit, if there is one. I got really lucky that my vet is a GREAT mix of the two - very state of the art but really down to earth. Both Peaches and Simon are legendary to the point that the other vets and techs come in to play with them when we're in (which lately has been often). It's this combo that's also kept me going back, even though Simon's kidney issues are still baffling everyone. State of the art is great, but if it's cold and impersonal, your pup will feel it and resist going. Good luck with your decision! Oh and yeah, neuter him :) Sooner preferably than later, but that's just my humble opinion :)

December 10th, 2005, 09:55 PM
I say go with the country vet. It's a fairly simple surgery and having great equipment around that you will pay for but that won't actually be used on your pet seems a little wasteful... The fact that he has animals around (some vets don't have any animals at all...:eek: ) and the fact that he's been there forever mean more to me then equipment. All he needs is a sterile scalpel and stitching needle, some gas, and a clean place to work on. ;)

For the age, if as they say, little dogs develop faster, I'd get it done at 4 months. Why not get it out of the way, and on top of that, you usually pay per pound of doggy, so you might save a couple bucks..:D And if you do it too early, there are no consequences really, but if you do it too late, you might end up with the marking and humping anyway. Just my 2 cents.

December 10th, 2005, 10:15 PM
I'd go with the country vet. It's a surgery, but not a difficult one. :)

I don't know what the best neutering age is for dogs . . . My kittens got neutered at eight weeks and the afternoon after it was done you wouldn't have known they'd had any surgery from the way they acted.


December 11th, 2005, 07:09 AM
Thank you so much for your advice !! I will definitely have it done before the new year. And I'll go check out the equipment too. If I'm paying per pound this surgery shouldn't cost me much at all. He's still a bit of a peanut, although I think we're having a growth spurt.

Ok, one more question. Is it true that they are less playful after neutering? He just has the cutest little personality. Makes me laugh all the time when he's playing with his toys (and anything else he can get his little paws on).

OF COURSE I'll still have it done. I'm just looking for some reassurance that it won't change his personality.

December 11th, 2005, 08:35 AM
If being less playful were true, then both my parents dog Max and my Simon must've been wildchildren before hand :) i can't see any evidence to support that theory :)

December 11th, 2005, 08:38 AM
There is no scientific proof that having an animal altered will do anything to change their behaviour. The reason why many think that it does is because at the time that most are fixed is the same time that they are going through adolescence or the tail end of it. It appears that it was the spay/neuter but in fact it was just that they matured a little.

December 11th, 2005, 10:51 AM
I had Charley done around 5 months. Other than being sleepy when I brought him home, there was no change what so ever to his personality, he's still as playfull and cuddly as before. (he's 10 months now)

He'll still mount his toys, and the occasional submissive dog that will let him get away with it, though.

Also, because he was neutered earlier, he doesn't mark anything, anywhere and still squats to pee. He stops to smell the occasional lamp post, but that's it. He's only ever lifted his leg once, outisde of course, and that was a month ago and another larger non neutered male dog had also just used said post.

It won't make him fat either!

December 12th, 2005, 08:25 PM
I believe that if there is a difference in behavior, it is that the doggy is less stressed. It shouldn't affect playfulness at all... JMO.

December 12th, 2005, 08:41 PM
I forgot to ask. Do I need to wait until he is fully housebroken? He's making progress but he's not there yet. Does that make a difference?

December 12th, 2005, 09:47 PM
No... I think it only makes a difference in the leg lifting. (They might take longer to lift, but even then, it's hard to say that it's not just the personality of the doggy...)

December 13th, 2005, 12:19 PM
I had Schultz neutered at 5 months. He lifts his leg only about half the time though, depending on how lazy he is feeling (he is currently 11 months old). Schultz is certainly very playful and didn't change at all after the surgery.

I think that you should take your dog to where you feel the most comfortable with - it is for your own piece of mind!

My only comment would be preparing yourself when you pick your doggy up from the vet. Schultz was totally out of it which I expected but I wasn't expecting the groaning noise so that freaked me out, he stopped at about 10 pm though. He was really sore for the remainder of the day (couldn't sit comfortably) and he was only a little bit uncomfortable the next day.

My vet told me, with my breed of dog, that neutering will slow his metabolism down a bit and to watch his food intake....

December 13th, 2005, 12:54 PM
No... I think it only makes a difference in the leg lifting. (They might take longer to lift, but even then, it's hard to say that it's not just the personality of the doggy...)

I think the same... not sure if it was the neuter or Tucker's personality, but he lifted his leg ONCE (a week before neuter surgery) and hasn't done it again since. he squats like a girl. Which is totally FINE by me! I primarily wanted him to be snipped before he got into marking, and now he doesn't. (maybe not interested in it, or maybe the neuter, i'm not sure) It's nice though, we can go for a walk, or visit other dogs and he's not obsessed with marking. I had him done right after he turned 6 months.

Tucker's playfullness has been the same since the surgery. We haven't noticed any changes.

as for which vet - country or high-tech - I'd go with one that has a good repore. If you don't know anyone who uses these vets, ask to talk to some of their regular customers. My family has been using the same vet for over 20 years - I always go with a recommended vet, unless it's an emergency situation, then the nearest one wins.