Advisory: Spaying & Altering


Spaying & Altering

This has its place in the world 

Altering of males too young can retard or even limit their emotional development. It is now believed that early altering can also cause bone density problems and less muscled appearance as an adult a softer body.

So for the canine gentleman who is family and an in-home companion, who's education has been as important to its family as it's health, cutting testosterone levels prematurely, altering or fixing as this surgery is referred to should be discussed with Mr. Hoytt before surgery for altering a male is not a form of brain surgery this is also not a correction  for poor genetic character traits or lack of manners. 

For the females the idea of spaying to just eliminate owner responsibilities related to unwanted pregnancies has merits but in the world of Hoytt Dobermans as well as those dog owners just as responsible as our clients who watch over their wards as they would watch over their human children accidental pregnancies are literally non-existant.  But really so many owners allow their dogs unsupervised freedoms while our families for the safety of their Dobes and the piece of mind of the passing public are allowed to roam like some homeless canine.  And while the plus in spaying is the elimination of the heat cycle this surgury is neither discouraged or incurred by Mr. Hoytt  thus the reason we added  this information.

Do consider discussing the surgeries with us if you have any questions before the boy joins the "The International Association of Canine Eunuchs" or your girl faces the more invasive Spay surgery. But we should mention about half the Hoytt Dobes are fixed so we are not against the surgeries just take advantage of the information that follows and know from client feed back vets in general are ready to operate as early as they can talk the owner into arranging the surgery  that is regretful. Many however push believing the bitch could wander off one night and seek a 'date' adding to the population of homeless canines. I can tell you that more then a few of our clients took offence, that the vet would even think their well mannered beautiful  creature being examined was acquired like one adds yard ornaments. 

Most of the following statistics came from a 10-year study at UT Davis  confirming what we have been writing about in our guides since the early seventies.

Spaying doubles the risk of obesity.

Extra weight leads to debilitating joint disease, arthritis, heart disease, pancreatitis, and diabetes.

Spayed dogs become overweight when owners feed the same amount of food as before their dog was spayed. Spaying, you see, changes a dog's hormonal make-up and metabolism so she doesn't require as much food.

Monitor your dog's shape as you feed her. Keep adjusting the amount you feed so she stays on the slender side, and provide plenty of exercise. Then your spayed dog will not become fat.

Spaying increases the risk of a deadly cancer called hemangiosarcoma.

Apparently the reproductive hormones offer some protection against this cancer, because spayed females are twice as likely to develop hematological of the spleen and five times as likely to develop hemangiosarcoma of the heart, compared to unspayed females.

Hemangiosarcoma is much more common in certain breeds, especially the Afghan Hound, Belgian Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dog, Bouvier des Flandres, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bulldog, Doberman Pinscher, English Setter, Flat Coated Retriever, French Bulldog, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Labrador Retriever, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler, Saluki, Scottish Terrier, Skye Terrier, and Vizsla.

Spaying triples the risk of hypothyroidism.

The loss of reproductive hormones appears to upset the endocrine system. This can result in low thyroid levels, which causes weight gain and lethargy. Fortunately it can be treated with a daily thyroid supplement for the rest of your dog's life.

Spaying is major surgery requiring general anesthesia.

Studies show that about 20% of spay procedures have at least one complication, such as a bad reaction to the anesthesia, infection, abscess, etc. But most of these complications are minor. Less than 5% are serious, and the death rate is less than 1%. Comment from Mr. Hoytt - when it's your Dobe that died even 1% is outrageous.

IF DONE AT THE WRONG AGE, spaying increases the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, bone cancer, and urinary incontinence.

The reproductive hormones help your dog's bones, joints, and internal organs to develop properly. If you remove those reproductive hormones too early, they don't have enough time to complete their valuable work.

  • Early spaying causes the leg bones to grow unevenly. This leaves your dog more vulnerable to hip dysplasia and torn ligaments.
  • Early spaying triples the risk of bone cancer, a deadly cancer that mostly occurs in large and giant dogs.
  • Early spaying causes urinary incontinence in up to 20% of spayed females. If your dog is spayed before her bladder is fully developed, weak bladder muscles may start to leak in middle age. This is stressful for both you and your dog, who is understandably upset at "having accidents" when she can't understand why. Lifelong supplementation with estrogen will be required and getting the medication properly balanced can be tricky. Unfortunately we have noted over the decades talking with both Hoytt Dobe owners and owners of Dobes from other
  • Early spaying can affect the size and shape of a female's "private parts." The vulva of a dog spayed early remains small and may even be recessed inside her body instead of protruding as it should. An abnormal vulva has folds of skin that can trap bacteria, leading to recurrent infections.

The moral is - Don't think spay or neuter before your dog's reproductive hormones have had time to do their valuable work.