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The Prolific Sammie
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Cases from the Clinic
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SamoyedAbout 30 years ago, we had the opportunity to see a Samoyed of unquestionable conformation and lineage (ancestry). He was a champion, both his parents were champions, and he had fathered many champions. He was owned by two exceptionable people and he had a personality to match theirs. If ever there was a candidate for future breeding potential, he fit the bill.

He was brought into the clinic for a seemingly minor problem, but some of the clinical signs caused us to look more closely at him. We did a work-up and had to tell the owners sad news: he had a terminal form of cancer. We estimated he had only four months to live. He was twelve years old, had been taken care of exceptionally well, and in fact, in the past year he had sired two litters. We gave the owner medication to keep him comfortable in the meantime.

Two days later, we got an inquiry from the owners asking whether it would be okay to breed this exceptional animal a few more times. In the next few weeks he successfully sired eight litters!

We bring up this point only to remind pet owners how prolific (able to produce many offspring) even a twelve-year-old dog can be. In our practice we neuter hundreds of male dogs every year. Their owners feel that it is the right thing to do and they do not want to be responsible for a litter of unwanted puppies.

Neutering often prevents behavioral problems and can also prevent medical problems.
It is obvious that dogs carrying harmful genetic traits like hip dysplasia or epilepsy should be altered, but there are also plenty of other reasons why male dogs should be castrated (their testicles removed). We can think of two general categories they fall into: prevention of behavioral problems or prevention of medical problems. Both are caused by the release of the hormone testosterone, which is produced in the testicles. Removing the testicles eliminates certain behavioral and medical disorders. Altered adult males will tend to be less aggressive than those left intact, both towards people and toward other male dogs. Altered males tend not to feel the need to roam to find mates. Altered males also have longer attention spans that facilitate training whether for field work or for obedience.

Medical problems prevented by castration include: the formation of and removal of benign or malignant testicular or anal tumors. A herniated anus (where the walls of the anus protrude and interfere with other organs like the bladder or the prostate), because of the weakening of the muscles around it is also a problem. Prostate problems are by far the most common medical problems eliminated by neutering.

If everyone who does not have a professional breeding program neutered their dogs, unwanted puppies would be a thing of the past.


RELATED ARTICLES:
Dog Spaying & Neutering: Spay or Neuter Your Dog or Puppy for Behavior & Health Benefits
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