IT’S A VET’S LIFE by VetSavers
There are different views on the subject of whether or not to have your male dog castrated.
As vets, we often see male owners wince when it comes to this subject.
However, let’s look at some facts:
Some unneutered dogs start to display unwanted behaviour related to testosterone production, such as aggression, not responding to commands, or unwanted sexual behaviour.
Some dogs start to enter sexual maturity around six to nine months old and this is when problems with behaviour can start to occur.
Health problems are less likely if your pet is castrated, so there is no chance of testicular cancer and the chances of developing other testosterone responsive cancers are reduced.
There is also a lower risk of some prostate problems in castrated dogs.
An entire dog can sometimes drive you crazy when a bitch in the close vicinity is in season. Some dogs have been known to jump fences, dig under fences or just bolt at any given opportunity to get to the bitch.
If your dog manages to escape and mate with an entire bitch, this could result in an unplanned pregnancy.
Our advice would always be to neuter your pets.
If you are not planning to use your dog as a stud dog for properly planned mating then remove the risks.
You can have a dog castrated at any age, but the earliest is from about six months old, depending on the breed of dog.
Recovery is very quick. They will be fully responsive when you come to collect them after their surgery and aftercare is also very easy – restriction on exercise for seven to 10 days and then that’s it!
The cost is not huge and you can not put a price on the health risks that are removed.
We are often asked if the dog will gain weight, is this true?
It is not true. Castrating your dog can slow down his metabolism and may make him less active, but it is over eating which makes neutered dogs gain weight.
This can easily be corrected by cutting down on his food intake.
This week’s question is from Mrs Zainiskova:
My dog, Mishka, a Yorkshire terrier, is nine months old and has recently started to not want her food. I haven’t changed her food....what is wrong?
Answer: You say you haven’t changed Mishka’s food so it could be a couple of things.
Firstly, Yorkshire terriers can be a little fussy and suddenly decide they don’t want their usual food, it can be just fussy or another reason.
To see if it’s just fussy – if you offer Mishka another choice does she eat it readily?
If she does then it’s not a medical reason for her inappetance, she is just being fussy.
Sometimes young dogs will bore easily with a food when they think they may get something better from your plate. Do you feed her titbits from your plate?
They say that no animal will starve themselves and if there is food available then this is true.
However, there may be another reason why Mishka isn’t eating and if this continues over three days then we would advise with some urgency that you let your vet take a look over Mishka.
There are various reasons why a young dog may stop eating and these should be looked into.
Let us know how you get on.
We run a nutrition advice clinic so it would be worth popping in if things don’t change.