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To Neuter or Not to Neuter

   That is the Question!

 Jean Schrader

~~Many people are still under the misguided impression that it is in the best interest of your beloved pet to let them "have one litter" before they are neutered. 
  This is a fallacy that has persisted for many years.
 It is one which has yet to be proven to be in the best interest of anyone,
especially the pet...

As a young adult I worked for the Pierce County Humane Society.  During this time  I had the opportunity to visit homes all over the Pierce County area, contacting owners to verify the number of animals they owned and whether they were properly licensed.
  The pet owners were given a discount for pets which had been neutered when they were asked to purchase their pet's license.  This discount was established to give the owners incentive to have their pets neutered,  in an ongoing effort to keep their pets from contributing to the unwanted reproduction of their species at random (or due to their owner's misguided intentions..)

During this time I had the
opportunity to see and observe the living situations of many pet animals who had not been neutered.  I was appalled at how some poor animals had been forced to live through the misguided actions (and/or neglect) of their owners... Many of these owners simply took their chances and hoped their dogs or cats didn't get "into trouble". In almost all of these cases, they were very unlucky with this method of birth control, their many pets continuing to produce more offspring with each heat. 
This scenario contributed horribly to the rise of the number of unwanted animals being produced.
   I saw first hand the number of puppies, kittens, and adults of these same species who had to be sent to the Humane Society to be cared for, hoping to be able to find a caring owner who would take them and give them a good loving home.  Or worse...animals who were needlessly euthanised, simply because their parents had not been neutered and had come into heat without the owners paying attention to the fact that...
yes...a 6 month old puppy or kitten
can and in fact does become pregnant on their first heat!!!
   A responsible pet owner should be aware, and observant, of changes in their animals at  all times,
 so as to not let his occur... 
                     Please read
this article on the best age for neutering your pet...
   Having also worked for several Veterinarians over the course of my years, I helped care for the animals at the hospitals in the kennel recovery area there and also assisted the Veterinarians during Surgery.  Here I witnessed emergency C-sections on dogs who had been impregnated by animals much larger than themselves, causing the mothers to be unable to deliver these babies themselves normally. Many times these puppies were euthanised at the owners request simply because they had no intention of caring for them or of taking the time to find them homes...

Also during this time, I assisted with animals who's caring owners brought
their pets in as young adults to be spayed or neutered at the appropriate age.

Knowing how easily unwanted pregnancy is prevented simply by having your pet
spayed or neutered,  I understand the importance of educating people
 about the "unnecessary reproduction at random" of unwanted animals.
I firmly believe that domesticated animals should
not be left to their own decisions.
They are guided by nature and cannot make the best decision for themselves, so
this duty falls on the shoulders of their responsible owners, to do what is best for them.
Only those quality animals selected by responsible breeders with the goal being to

 reproduce quality progeny; animals who themselves are worthy and capable specimens
of improving upon their respective breeds; or those whose animals are striving to achieve their
working titles which may require these animals remain un-neutered, need remain intact.

Schraderhaus K9




 In addition, as relates to cancer there is a study of 3218 dogs that showed that dogs that were neutered
before a year of age had a significantly increased chance of developing bone cancer
(Cooley DM, Beranek BC, Schlittler DL, Glickman NW, Glickman LT, Waters D, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers
 Prev. 2002 Nov;11(11):1434-40) a cancer that is much more life-threatening than mammary cancer,
and which affects both genders.

 Finally, in another study, unneutered males were significantly less likely than neutered males
to suffer cognitive impairment when they were older (Hart BL. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2001 Jul 1;219(1):51-6).
 Females were not evaluated in that study.
 Studies have also indicated that it is the sex hormones which are relied upon
by the young growing animals
to close the growth plates of the knees. 
Early neutering which removes the production of these sex hormones can affect the normal time frame
 that this should occur in your dog, leading to possible future hip and arthritic problems later in life. 

             Read more about these findings on
HD and the Role Sex Hormones Play  

It is my opinion that you, as a responsible dog owner, must protect your animals
from having or producing unplanned and unwanted pregnancies...
It is the duty of the owner to do so for the safety and well being of their animals.
This article  truly sheds new light on the most beneficial age for dogs to be neutered. 

Don't simply take your vet's advice blindly...
ask questions,
find out answers to your questions, and then

make the best decision for your dog. 

They trust in you to do this for them.  


That being said...
There is new evidence of adverse effects occurring from neutering your animal. 
It may not be what is in the best interest of every single dog,. 
Each situation should be visited with a fresh mind, for each and  every animal's situation as it applies.
Certainly age at which neutering is performed should be of paramount consideration. .

While I have great concern for intact animals being under the supervision of owners who are not duly diligent,
 there are those owners who are truly concerned and diligent about protecting their animals;
owners who have the welfare and future health of their animals foremost in their minds.
 For such owners, it is possible to have and maintain an  intact animal who is supervised in such a manner
as to prevent there ever being an unwanted mating.

For those diligent, responsible and concerned owners who do not want to neuter,
 here is an excellent study
about the merits of keeping your animal intact.



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Schraderhaus K9
Quality Working German Shepherd Dogs

Roy, WA.  US
+1-253-253-843-1123 PST

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