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Neutering: changes after procedure
  • mmobedmmobed
    Posts: 79
    It's coming time for me to neuter my little 10 month male and I have been searching through the discussions to see what changes I would find in him after getting him neutered. He has no aggression towards other dogs and humans, no food aggression, does not lift his leg or mark(not that I think neutering could change any of that like people and certain groups suggest it does) he has very high energy and I hope that will not change. Anyone notice any changes in their Shibas after neutering? Upon the breeders contract it must be done by the age of 1, should I wait and do it at 11 months or is would 10 months be okay?

    [added keywords ~mod.]
    Post edited by curlytails at 2013-08-03 19:16:45
  • maxwellsmaxwells
    Posts: 347
    My male, Ichiro had no personality change after his surgury which was done at about 7 months. He was dopey from the surgury for a day or so after, but that was it. However, he has gone through some changes with adolence and adding a new female pup Akira. (All good stuff!)

    Can't say when is *best* for neutering, but I'm sure others can share their thoughts/opinions. :)
    Jenn & Stephen (humans), Ichiro & Akira (shibas), Abraham & Anya (cats)
  • mmobedmmobed
    Posts: 79
    Thanks for the input! I love him just the way he is so I'm hoping I won't see any changes in him, he's been a really good boy so far and I'd hate for that to change.
  • I've been doing lots of research as to what is the optimal age to neuter. Lots of conflicting research to say the least plus there are so many different variables. I have a female Shiba who got spayed around 6 months. Not sure if I noticed any changes in her behavior or personality.
  • I just wanted to add that I've worked around dogs for a while and I've never personally seen a dogs personallity change after a spay/neuter procedure. I've heard storys but never witnessed it. I had my male shiba fixed at 4 or 5 months, can't remember exactly, and there was no difference in him after it was over. I adopted my female from our breeder, she ended up not being a show worthy dog, and she was spayed at 7 months and no difference there either. I don't think you really need to worry about a personality or energy change with your pup. Good luck.
  • mmobedmmobed
    Posts: 79
    Perfect, thank you all for the help! =)
  • pamelapamela
    Posts: 66
    Termi is getting neutered next week and he will be 6 months... so I will let you know.
    Pam, Garrett, Termi & Shelby
  • I've never seen the personality changes either, on any of my dogs, nor has it changed behavior in terms of marking (or not) or aggression/reactivity. Up to this point, I've always listened to conventional wisdom and had them spayed/neutered at 5-6 months, but I've found enough compelling evidence to suggest waiting (at least for large breeds like my Akita) would be a good idea, so I'm not neutering my AA pup til he is a year old at least. (he just turned 6 months).
  • mmobedmmobed
    Posts: 79
    @ Pamela , Thanks! I look forward to hearing from you, I wish Termi a speedy recovery =) !

    @ Shibamistress Yeah I figured neutering won't change any habits all that much like some places suggest but I have also read much research and articles suggesting to neuter larger breeds no early than the age of one due to increased risk of Osteosarcoma. I also wasn't sure if neutering my Shiba would affect his growth since he seems like he is still growing to me although it won't be a lot. I've read a lot of mixed things when it came to Shibas reaching full size ranging from a year to a year and a half and considering he's only 10 months and still looks smaller than his father (breed standard) and his mother ( above breed standard) I'm not sure if he has some more filling out to do.
  • TortieTortie
    Posts: 197
    About neutering affecting growth, I'm pretty sure that if anything, early neutering would cause him to grow more than waiting would. I've heard from somewhere that in an intact male, there's a point to when growth hormones slow down and (I'm guessing) testosterone kicks in and the energy that would have been used to grow is now put into reproducing. Therefore when you neuter, the growth hormones have the chance to finish their duty. Or something along those lines. I may be way off so perhaps someone can comment, but I picked that up from somewhere.
  • mmobedmmobed
    Posts: 79
    Well I just checked him in this morning for neutering and he will be staying at the vet overnight and should have him home tomorrow morning so I hope he'll be back to his good old self when he recovers!
  • Hope he does ok!

    Yeah, it was the risk of bone cancer that convinced me to wait. I neutered my GSD at 5 months. He died in May at 11 years old of pretty severe bone cancer. If I have a chance of avoiding that with another dog, I will, so I'm waiting with my Akita boy.

    And yes, I've read that it is early neutering that makes them bigger, rather than smaller.
  • mmobedmmobed
    Posts: 79
    Just picked him up this morning, he a little groggy once he gave up trying to fight me to get to his stitches he has gone on to rest but I'm sure he is just glad to be home!

    I'm sorry to hear about your GSD and I wish the best for the health of your Akita, I'm sure he'll grow to be big and strong with healthy strong bones!
  • Bump..

    I have kept Denso intact for normal growth and confidence reasons, and I just honestly don't find it necessary for us. I have been thinking of it again, but still not sure if/when I'll do it.

    I have read that neutering a fearful dog can make it even worse, and I would really like to avoid that. Is that true? Should I neuter him, should I wait until he gets better (if ever), or should I just not neuter him ever?
    Post edited by Frillface at 2015-09-10 16:18:18
  • Tweener used to have this issue where he would get so excited or scared about things and/or people that he would pee everywhere uncontrollably. We tried everything to get him to stop but nothing worked. That was his only change after the neuter, he doesn't excite/nervous pee anymore! He doesn't appear to be more or less fearful or excited about things but he just doesn't have the bladder issue.
    Post edited by Tweenersmommy at 2015-09-10 18:53:40
  • hmbackhmback
    Posts: 42
    I wanted to comment on this subject as we just had our 10 month old puppy neutered three weeks ago and now I really wish we hadn't done it. Before Clifford went in for his neutering he had zero health problems or issues. He was a super happy, healthy little guy with an amazing personality. In fact everyone always commented how friendly and outgoing he was for a Shiba Inu. Since the neutering, he has had issues with vomiting, chewing his paw and allergies as well as behavioral issues that may have to do with him just not feeling well. After x-rays and multiple tests, the vet said he most likely had a reaction to the anesthesia which was causing his hacking and puking so they gave us an ulcer medication we give him orally every 8 hours. We also give him an antacid every day which might be ongoing forever. After his cone came off a week after the surgery, he started chewing on one of his paws which the vet said was a yeast issue so now we put an ointment on that twice a day plus the cone. Now this week we've noticed he is sneezing non stop and just miserable. I can't say for certain that the surgery is directly related to his multiple health problems but I can say that he didn't have any of these issues before the surgery and now three weeks after he has one medical problem after another. In addition, he has started to snap at me and my husband and has become very possessive of me which he never exhibited before. This is a champion sired Shiba - five generations of champions and grand champions so I doubt very highly it has to do with his genes. He's been highly socialized since we got him with classes, training and various situations/people. The only reason we neutered him was because everyone said it's what you should do as a responsible owner but looking back, I absolutely would never do this again. Especially since he isn't with other dogs that aren't neutered or spade and he is always closely supervised. I know many of you will disagree with me but if I can help one person know that yes, there may be other complications besides just the surgery - it would make me feel less like a complete failure as a parent. Of course it doesn't make my husband and I love him any less - he's still our perfect dog, but it's horrible watching him suffer through one thing after another and think you could have done something to prevent this.
  • Lrose1990Lrose1990
    Posts: 80
    So here's the deal.

    In small breed dogs, neutering at the recommended age doesn't have much impact on growth. Growth changes are far and away more common in bigger dogs, especially giant breeds (your great danes, etc). As Shibas are small to medium in size, they do not grow at the same pace, nor do they grow as much as a large breed dog. The only changes in growth you MAY see are around the waistline. Sex hormones up the animal's metabolic rate, and also increase roaming behaviors, etc. Ergo, removing the hormones means lowering the metabolism. Sex hormones also decrease appetite, so your pup will want to eat more.

    PLEASE note that I am not saying you shouldn't neuter because of this. I absolutely recommend it. Responsible ownership aside, neutering cuts the risk of reproductive cancers considerably, and the dog will be less likely to develop prostate problems in old age (yep, dogs have that just like human males do :P ). Additionally, neutered dogs will be less likely to mark (yes, there are behavioral causes for this, but hormones can influence this) indoors. But you may see increased appetite and lowered metabolism as a result, so take care not to overfeed. He may need less food now.

    Hmback, it's possible he had a reaction to the anesthesia, but I am not sure if he would have all those issues as a result. Some hypersensitivities are inherited, others seem not to be. This is why bloodwork is always recommended before any surgical procedure; it helps the vets identify any obvious problems. Of course, you can't detect everything pre-surgery... I've seen perfectly healthy dogs have severe reactions to anesthetic drugs (even with normal bloodwork), though thankfully all the ones I saw lived, and those reactions tended to be more acute than what you're pup's experiencing.

    The aggression is not at all typical post-neuter and I would mention it to the vet ASAP. It's possible the pup is in pain, and if not, he may need to see a veterinary behavior specialist. I have seen many, many neuters over the years and the overwhelming majority go off without a hitch. He may well have allergies, but without allergy testing you wouldn't know what the offending allergen was. Have you had a skin scrape done of the affected area(s)?

    Again, communicate your concerns to your vet. Don't be afraid to ask for a second opinion, either. I hope he feels better.
  • hmbackhmback
    Posts: 42
    Thanks Lrose. He did have blood work done prior to the surgery and he did have a skin scrape which they attributed to yeast. But yes, if he doesn't get better soon we are going to take him someplace else for a second opinion. We mentioned the behavioral issues to the vet and she thought he was just not feeling well with the coughing, puking, raw paw and allergies which would make sense as I would also be miserable in that condition.
  • Lrose1990Lrose1990
    Posts: 80
    It could definitely be from not feeling well. I know I'm grumpy when I'm under the weather :P

    Hopefully he'll feel better soon! There's nothing worse than feeling like nothing's working. I've been there with my own pets before (not dogs, but still).
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    They can feel a bit unbalanced from the lowered hormone levels too. At least that's what my vet told me when my shiba was a bit 'stingy' post surgery. She suggested we'd put on an Adaptil collar that releases relaxing feromones and it worked for us.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    @hmback - Allergies are NOT a side effect of neutering. Spring is right around the corner and allergies are flaring up all over the place (myself and my pups included). Seasonal allergies are not uncommon in Shibas.

    As for the behavioural issues... This could potentially be attributed to fluctuating hormones. It could also be attributed to the famous "terrible two's" that occurs about this age. Shiba adolescents have a tendency to push boundaries and really turn into little hellions between 8 months and two years of age.

    As for the digestive issues, that could definitely be a reaction to the anesthesia, pain medication, or antibiotics. It could also be something else unrelated. If it persists, I would seek a second opinion, perhaps from a specialist.

    Either way, if you live in a populated area, neutering is always the best recommendation if you are not going to breed the dog. Having an intact male dog in a populated area can be incredibly stressful to the dog. Just because you do not know of any intact females in the area does not mean there is not one, nor does it mean your dog will not be able to tell that there is a female in heat. In addition, you have the extra chances of cancer and other reproductive diseases.

    ETA: And also, do not forget about your contract with your breeder. Unless you entered into a mentorship to show and breed your dog, your contract is going to require you to neuter the puppy by a certain age.

    Have you talked to your breeder about the complications you are having post-neuter? Perhaps a sensitivity to anesthesia is known in his/her lines and s/he could provide some insight on how s/he or other puppy owners have dealt with it.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
    Post edited by sunyata at 2016-03-02 07:41:34
  • hmbackhmback
    Posts: 42
    @sunyata - thanks for the info. We don't attribute the sneezing to his surgery but it is just one more problem the little guy has that he didn't have before. We're giving him so many meds that I really don't want to add an antihistamine or anything else on top of. I'm just frustrated that prior to the surgery he was so healthy and energetic and now he is not. Yes he pushed the boundaries as most Shiba's do, but he was always happy - even if we put him in time out or did something he didn't like. Again though, he doesn't feel well and he's wearing a cone and he's on a bunch of meds so we are hoping it is attributed just to that and eventually he'll go back to being his normal self.

    I haven't talked to the breeder about it and I'll reach out to her. In reality though, while we bought him on a pet contract - I would have paid any additional amount to have not had him neutered if I knew this was going to happen. The money doesn't matter to us, what matters is that we have a happy, healthy dog. I knew Clifford was going to be with us for 10 - 12 years, that's a big commitment of time, love and money. Wouldn't most pet parents pay any amount to make sure their pet is happy, healthy and well adjusted? We searched for over a year for the right breeder to make sure we were getting a dog that was right for us and that we were right for him. And while I'm sure my case is a rare one, it absolutely makes me question if we made the right decision in getting him neutered. Anyways, thanks everyone for your help and support.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1272
    From what I'm familiar with, you usually can't pay your way out of a contract like that; responsible breeders aren't in it for the money, and often also don't want anyone to have access to their lineage. They work to better the breed, so it would be unlikely that they would trust someone who isn't dedicated and experienced in showing / breeding to keep an intact pet. Not saying you aren't dedicated, I just mean I very much doubt that a responsible breeder would allow someone they don't know extremely well to break the contract for any amount of money, and that's part of what makes them responsible in my opinion.

    You said he's 10 months, right? So this is his first adjustment to springtime, his first time to experience seasonal allergies, if that turns out to be one of the issues. Which is unfortunate at a time where he's on so many other medications. Poor guy. But I would give it some time and keep in contact with your vet and breeder as well. Much very well could have a lot more to do with his adolescence and temporarily fluctuating hormones, though I'm sorry that he didn't react well to the anesthesia. Hopefully in time things will improve. Please keep us posted! And don't blame yourself...what's done is done, for one thing, and you made this choice after much thought about what would be best for your pup. You obviously care about him, and no one expects uncommon things like bad reactions and sudden problems to crop up. I really hope the complications subside and turn out to be attributed to factors that are only temporary.

    My boy is only a few months old right now, but when the time comes, know that your experience has convinced at least me to ask my breeder if she knows of any bad reactions to anesthesia in my pup's line. I definitely wouldn't have thought to do that, and would've trusted whatever blood work results without a second guess. Sending good vibes to you and Clifford.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2016-03-02 14:30:37
  • hmbackhmback
    Posts: 42
    Thanks Lilikoi! It's always easy in hindsight to see things differently and we're optimistic. No clue if it would have been an option or not on a contract change but our breeder was pretty great with us which I know isn't always the case with everyone. We're going to bring him in this weekend and see what they say about the sneezing and allergies - when it rains it pours!
    Post edited by hmback at 2016-03-02 15:05:12
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 887
    @hmback-I can totally understand where you're coming from because after my Quakey was neutered at 30 months old he had some physical and behavioral issues. I was regretting having neutered him. He had an infection at the surgical site and had to be on antibiotics. Two weeks after the surgery his Spring allergies were worse than ever. Also he was destructive and territorial for the first time. The vet said that his body was trying to adjust it's hormone level and so that was why he was having so many issues and he was also in pain from the infection. Well, the infection cleared up and after two months his hormone levels balanced. As soon as his hormone levels balanced he began to be the sweet, adorable little furry angel that he had been prior to the surgery. He has never been destructive again and he is no longer territorial with his toys or treats. On the advice of his vet, I did start giving him Zyrtec once a day and that helped with the allergies. The year after the surgery his allergies were not as bad as they were right after the surgery. Another positive from the surgery is that he is not targeted by male altered dogs like he had been while he was still intact. It seemed like every male dog we encountered at that time wanted to fight him. Those are just my observations. I am glad you are optimistic and I hope all works out.
  • hmbackhmback
    Posts: 42
    @Antoinette - thanks for the words of encouragement! If your pup bounced back ours could too. He had a bad morning yesterday where he slept till noon (very unlike him) but last night he seemed to be perking up a bit more and we played fetch for awhile. It may just be he's adjusting to the hormone levels and we're keeping a close eye on everything. Hopefully the vet can also clear up his allergies this weekend too. I'm sure the surgery compromised his immunity some while he was healing which may be why he reacted so badly to the spring allergy season. And while Clifford has always gotten along with other dogs (that were nice) it is good to know he won't be targeted by any intact dogs while at the park. I can't imagine the fear of watching your dog get attacked by another dog!

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