Cat Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
672 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All of my pets are altered. I have always been a firm believer that it is the responsible thing to do when you have a pet. I did find this extremely interesting article, written by a vet, concerning altering and especially altering a pet too young. I never read/heard a good, well thought out position on why not to do it. He goes into the history of altering pets in our country as well, which I also found interesting.

I agree with some of what he says and I disagree with some of what he says... but its a very well done article. I do think vets or shelters don't explain the risks, pros and cons of altering your pet. We never hear about the bad stuff. :wink
When To Spay When To Neuter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
thank you for sharing. my pets are altered too, and if we decide to add more cats/dogs to our family, they will also probably be altered, but it definitely is interested to read more on the history as well as both sides of spay/neuter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
672 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I found it interesting where he explains that stiffer laws concerning owners who let their pets roam is much more effective then altering. I am a hands down firm believer that stiffer pet ownership laws should be in place.
I do think the combo of altering laws AND stiffer ownership laws should be used together.

He also makes a lot of sense that the % of RESPONSIBLE owners that have unwanted litters is extremely small. These are the owners that are being targeted however in altering campaigns. Its the knucklehead owners who let their pets roam the neighborhood freely that cause the booming pet population. usually if they don't care where their pet is, they don't care if the pet is altered or not. :?

I still thinking having your pet altered is the best thing for our society. I did find the long term effects of altering interesting as well. How do you weigh that against the overpopulation? Stiffer laws concerning ownership.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
sometimes i feel bad that aster and cody were altered at a young age (20 and 17 weeks), like it might not be right for their bodies biologically and it may negatively affect their development, as the author of the article mentions, but i can't imagine living a house with a teenage male and female cat with raging hormones...

:( i actually didn't think about the possible negatives about early spay/neuter until a friend brought it up to me, and it makes me a little sad inside, but i think ultimately it is in their and our best interest as a family. the author argues about how spay/neuter is linked to many diet-related ailments, but i'm hoping it's less because of the altering and moreso the owners that overfeed their cats that now have less calorie requirements since i heard that their metabolism may go down by 25% when they are spayed/neutered.

but yes, i agree with you, overall in our society it is best to have your pet altered. the overpopulation is already huge a problem as it is.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,849 Posts
The fact that the vet doesn't have his dog neutered really turned me off anything he had to say... I realize he considers himself a responsible dog owner but despite that, accidents happen.

All it comes down to for me is - will my cat/dog end up spraying, humping, bleeding, yowling, escaping, and possibly having unwanted litters, with or without me realizing it's happened. I'd rather be proactive, as like he said near the end, they're going to die one way or another one day. Maybe neutering/spaying young isn't the perfect solution, and I do know it's suggested to wait a several months until they're more mature, but I still think having it done young is better than the possibility of not having it done at all, or waiting too long and then ending up with kittens/puppies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
I can appreciate that he wants to get all the information on both sides, but his arguments don't make any sense. Most of his negatives, where risks are increased for different things, the last sentence is almost always that these are common in all pets and neuter/spay isn't a major factor. Working at a vet, I see pets develop a lot of diseases, conditions, etc. and usually there are other factors like genetics, environment, diet, etc. that have a much bigger impact on the pets' health than neuter/spay, even at an early age, have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I have a 9 year old intact female dog that has never had puppies. I also have an intact female German Shepherd puppy that won't be spayed. I've had both intact males and females in my home at the same time and never had a breeding. None of my intact animals have had any medical issues with their reproductive organs and died of other natural causes of old age. Responsible owners are not the problem.

I haven't spent the time investigating cat spay and neuter as I have on dogs, I've only owned one cat in my adult life which was a rescue, before getting the kittens last month ( also rescues ).

I will say I think the mantra of spay and neuter no matter the health cost as young as 6-8 weeks is crazy. My sister used to work at an animal birth control clinic that did that.


It's practically a religion at this point. Anyone that questions spay and neuter is deemed at nut most of the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I can appreciate that he wants to get all the information on both sides, but his arguments don't make any sense. Most of his negatives, where risks are increased for different things, the last sentence is almost always that these are common in all pets and neuter/spay isn't a major factor. Working at a vet, I see pets develop a lot of diseases, conditions, etc. and usually there are other factors like genetics, environment, diet, etc. that have a much bigger impact on the pets' health than neuter/spay, even at an early age, have.
My biggest problem with the usual arguments that spay and neuter prevents testicular cancer or pyometra is that I do not choose to cut off healthy body parts to prevent possible illness later. I'm not getting a mastectomy to prevent breast cancer and I won't spay to prevent the same in my dog.

Having said that, I'm not against spay and neuter totally. I think people that aren't responsible or can't be bothered should have their pets altered. I'd rather a pet find a home than not. Which is why I have rescue kittens even though they were neutered at an insanely young age IMO.

But if I get a purebred kitten from a breeder and decide to get it altered I'm not doing it at 8 weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
I waited until Rocky was 5 1/2 months before neutering him and i also had an altering contract with the breeder, as well as a contract to keep him strictly indoors, which obviously isn't a problem. I read that early altering can cause the bones to not ossify properly, but i've also heard there's no consequence to early altering, so i think it's just ultimately a personal preference in what you feel is best for your pet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
I like that he had more than one side, and like you Praline there are both things I agree with and disagree with.

One of the things I agree with most is that blanket statements on complicated issues help no one. Even though I myself will probably always spay or neuter my pets, I have debated on whether or not it's right to spay and neuter all pets and have long been uncomfortable with the downright judgement people lay on those who want to keep their pets intact. :?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,249 Posts
I agree with almost everything he wrote. My cats will always be fixed by 6 months, I own males and spraying is almost a guarantee. I can't live with a cat urinating all over the house. But with dogs I feel differently, I can work with humping and fixed dogs hump plenty too. And I feel that dogs are easier to contain.


I completely agree that it is healthiest to wait until the animals has completely done growing and developing (which will be different for different breeds/sizes, but 2 years for dogs is good). Those hormones have a purpose and there can be repercussions of not letting them do their job. But in cats waiting may mean you don't neuter until the spraying has started and then it likely won't stop.


MANY of the people on the dog forum I'm on leave their male dogs intact. Why put there dogs through surgery if they don't need to? Females are more likely to have health problems from being intact for a long time. So spaying them after they're done growing is a good idea. Nearly all health problems caused by leaving an animal intact happen when the dog is getting rather old, so if you alter them at 2-4 you get the best of both worlds.


I HATE the current idea that if you don't put your pet through a completely unnecessary surgery you are irresponsible and contributing to pet overpopulation. No, if I let my pet have a litter I am. Just because I don't cut things off of my pet doesn't mean I'm letting him have litters.


That said I still think your average owner should spay/neuter before maturity because most pet owners are irresponsible and won't do what it takes to prevent their dog from getting pregnant. As sad as it is, I'd rather see some dogs get bone cancer and ligament tears from being fixed before their grown than see each of them produce a litter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Unless you are intentionally breeding, or live in the middle of a national forest, I would always recommend spaying or neutering. As anyone who works in animal rescue will tell you, the vast majority of rescued cats/dogs are a direct result of un-altered pets getting out.

Facts are facts. People who think it's inhumane are ridiculous. You will force the animal to live the majority of it's life indoors and give it dry food, but that is where you draw the line?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
672 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think my point is we should be more informed as owners as to the pros and cons and risks involved. I have never been told there were any risks, I have never been given paperwork stating the long term risks. When the kits got their shots, I was given a book on after care and issues that come about with each shot... nope, nothing for the spay.

I do agree with spay neuter programs but I also think there is a trend that if for whatever reason you decide against it ..even if your responsible and your pet is indoors only your a crappy owner. This is not the case.

I think the biggest argument in his article is the pets that are altered too young. The hormones effect the growth of the animal. That is something I never heard of before. Case in point is Bentley ~ he is flipping huge!
He is now 4lbs overweight. He lost 6 this month as we have been very good about his diet. He has a serious heart defect and his sheer size makes the condition more dangerous. I don't mean fat but his bones are thick and he is just a huge golden. He is purebred with champions in his bloodline as well. Did neutering him cause his size? There is no telling. I do think all of the facts should be presented to me as the owner.

I also dislike how some vets and the ASPCA automatically assume most pet owners are irresponsible. I don't think they give credit where its due. I understand they deal with a lot of nutjobs everyday so they may be more jaded but even then, there are many many responsible pet owners. I know if my pets were not altered, there would be no way I would end up with a litter. I would tie little chasity belts on them :wink The altering program campaigns are geared to these folks.. the already responsible ones. Having stiffer laws and penalties for ownership and allowing animals to roam, would have a bigger effect for the pet population with the altering program in place as well.

Like I said, there is some I agree with and other points I disagree. I do think it was a well written article on the other end of the debate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,194 Posts
Praline I do understand where you're coming from with posting this article. We know responsible owners aren't the problem. However...

I'm completely on the side of spay/neuter for all pets that do not belong to owners who go through some valid evaluation process with the intention of improving the breed.

Here's why. I worked at petsmart for 3 years as a dog trainer. Most of the dogs I saw were neutered. The ones who were not neutered largely belonged to owners who were too lazy to get it done. Not to the responsible ones. If you are too lazy, or uncaring, or think buying smokes is more important than vet care, it not at ALL likely you care enough about your pet to prevent litters.

I did meet people who had good reasons to keep their pets intact. If I had the impression they were responsilbe and would very carefully moniter their pets then I had no problems with them making that choice. But realistically these aren't the people who are the problem.

IMO I would rather have them neutered than deal with 'oops' litters. Because that's what will result from people not getting their pets neutered before they are capable of reproduction. TBH I don't believe the majority of pet owners are capable of preventing pregnances in unaltered pets. From my experiences and observations it just wouldn't happen. The other issue I have with this article being avaliable is that it's avaliable. So the people who use it as an excuse not to get their pets altered, but in reality are too lazy or think other things are more important, now have more ammunition to support their laziness.
Kinda like if studies were published that said eating too much greasy/salty foods wasn't the cause of obesity. Even though it obviously is. People would use that study as an excuse to not change their lifestyles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Oh ok, so you support censoring information unless you decide that someone is worthy enough, by definition of agreeing with your opinion to be informed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
672 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I do understand your point about lazy owners who won't get off their behinds to care for their pet. At the same time due to professionals thinking like this and being jaded, we responsible pet owners are not told of all the risks of the surgery. I think not informing us is pretty underhanded. I would still have my babies fixed but with any procedure they have ~ I want to know all of the pros and cons.

He also addresses the lazy pet owner. They are the target when it comes to pet overpopulation. As you said yourself, they are the ones not having their pet fixed. If there were stricter laws enforced to ensure these owners were fined for letting their animal roam, it would do a lot more to stop unwanted litters. The "responsible" owner is already having their pet altered, its the irresponsible owner we need to target.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,194 Posts
Oh ok, so you support censoring information unless you decide that someone is worthy enough, by definition of agreeing with your opinion to be informed.
...that's not quite what I was meaning. I think everyone should have access to information, but I also know that some people will misuse it and that irritates me a LOT. I've heard all of these arguments from his article from people using them as excuses. What it boils down to is how will the information be used by the majority of the public.

Most people here (the vast majority I think) are responsible owners. But all it takes is one child who learns to open a door, or a guest who isn't as careful as they could be, and an oops can happen. I think neutering pets is the best solution because it does completely prevent the problem.

I do understand your point about lazy owners who won't get off their behinds to care for their pet. At the same time due to professionals thinking like this and being jaded, we responsible pet owners are not told of all the risks of the surgery. I think not informing us is pretty underhanded. I would still have my babies fixed but with any procedure they have ~ I want to know all of the pros and cons.

He also addresses the lazy pet owner. They are the target when it comes to pet overpopulation. As you said yourself, they are the ones not having their pet fixed. If there were stricter laws enforced to ensure these owners were fined for letting their animal roam, it would do a lot more to stop unwanted litters. The "responsible" owner is already having their pet altered, its the irresponsible owner we need to target.
I completely agree that people should be informed, but the reality is that some vets don't keep their knowledge as current as they could. They are people just like you and me, and they might have a different opionion. They might have seen different, or very few, issues related to neutering. They have different experiences from this vet who wrote the article. They might agree with me that sometimes too much information is overwhelming and makes a descision almost impossible.

Also, adressing the pros and cons...most of the issues associated with neutering could also be attributed to over feeding and under excersising (sp?). Which do you blame? This vet has chosen neutering. IMO it's much more a factor of overfeeding. Add to that that most of the issues relate mainly to dogs, not cats, and it changes the picture.

Personally I recommend neutering at 5-6 months for cats, and the same for most dogs. Giant breeds, or breeds that may be prone to more bone/growth issue I suggest waiting until they are 9-12 months. Giant breeds usually don't go through a heat until 1 year, sometimes later! But would I trust most pet owners to 1) know a heat when they saw one, 2) act responsibly during their females fertile period? Nope. Not because I think they are 'stupid' but because they are uneducated. Kinda a chronic condition when it comes to pets where I live.

This is a very fine line to walk IMO. Too many people have heard too many fallacies about neutering and too many people do not make an effort to be educated about their pets. When that is delt with then I will be 100% behind having people wait until their pet is older before being neutered. Until that perfect day I think that the best way to control and reduce overpopulation is to ensure the vast majority of pets should be neutered. Free spay and neuter clinics are a great way to make neuters avaliable to all owners, especially the ones who won't spend their own money to prevent pregnancies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
I called a lot of vets when it was time to neuter Mr Man. Half of the clinics said there is nothing wrong with neutering prior to 6 months. A few said they could do it at 3 or was it 4 months! I had a handful of others that refused to do it until they hit 6 months. Those same vets said that there are concerns that early neuter can contribute to urinary issues in males as well as other health issues when cats are not allowed to develop properly. I took their advise and waited. My male neutered 1 week before his 6 month birthday and I have wondered many times if it contributed to his block. I know the dry food diet is most likely the largest contributor but I still wonder if I should have wait a few more weeks.

People will take whatever they want from that article. I didn't see him being that one-sided. He points out the negatives and positives of altering our animals. What I got from the article is that the risks involved in early spay/neuter should be made very clear to pet owners and I agree 100% percent. I am glad I am a resourceful person. I shop around, make calls and gather as much info as I can before I ever settle on a decision. Most people are not like me, they call a vet, take his or her word for it and make a choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
The article is accurate and factual to my knowledge - yes, there are disadvantages to early spay/neuter of DOGS.

Using the word "pets" instead of "dogs" however leads to confusion. Cats are pets, but they're not dogs. Cats don't get problems that dogs get if they're spayed and neutered early.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,434 Posts
I prefer to wait until my animals are more mature before spaying/neutering, but will always have it done. I have no intention of breeding and think its a silly risk to take. I understand why shelters/rescues do pediatic spays/neuters. They may not be ideal, and may lead to some problems (though I have yet to see any real conclusive evidence of this, other than they tend to grow taller than average when done early) but at least it categorically eradicates any chance of that animal leaving the shelter or rescue and then contributing back to the problem of unwanted animals. If you are in the trenches and you see the ones that "don't make it" take that last trip to the back room, or die on the street a horrible death, then any slight chance of possible problem is a mute point. Better one pet have longer legs or immature features, than have babies while still a baby itself and those babies die in a shelter because there aren't enough homes. I've seen very responsible pet owners wind up with accidental litters. I've never met a breeder once who didn't have a dog they lost to pyo. These are not made up problems that dont' really happen. Are there drawbacks to pediatric spays/neuters, yes. Are there bigger problems to consider? Absolutely.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top