Thursday, August 21, 2008

Best age to neuter a Great Dane pup?

Princeton likes to hide under the bed -- while he's still small enough to fit!

Soon we’ll have to decide when to neuter our Great Dane puppy, and we’re getting mixed messages from experts.

Our breeder requires neutering before Princeton is one year old because his coloring is merle, and therefore not “show quality.” We don’t want to add to dog overpopulation anyway. But we don’t want to damage Princeton’s health by neutering him too early.

We had planned to wait as long as possible (one year based on our contract). However our veterinarian said the surgery is less traumatic for the dog if done at 4-1/2 months, before sexual maturity. She says that if it’s done early, he probably won’t even have to wear a surgical Elizabethan collar afterward for protection. That collar was more traumatic than the surgery for our old dog.

The vet said that when the surgery is done later, the sudden dramatic hormone change is hard on the dog. She said that if Princeton is neutered before adulthood, he will grow taller with bones that are not as thick -- and she thought that this might provide an advantage against hip dysplasia.

On the other hand, some Great Dane experts say that Danes are so giant that they mature more slowly than other breeds. They say it’s best to wait until the dog is a year old.

So down the road we will have decisions to make about whether Princeton will ever know what it is to be a sexually intact and mature adult male… or be a little Prince forever.


Michalea said...

I neutered Merlin around 9 months. He didn't need to wear the Elizabethan collar. In fact, except for his dignity, he barely noticed.

KC said...

Thanks for the reassurance, Michalea. I was worried after you told me that your Dane disliked vet forever after getting neutered.

I know you enjoy the "Sharkey" photos of Princeton. More are on the way when I get time to download them from the camera.

M said...

We've 5 Danes over the years and have spayed/neutered each of them between 6-9 months...closer to 9 months. None of them needed collars and recovery was quite easy (or so it seemed)!
M and Piper

Abbey said...

Well Chels is a girl with not the same issues(she was done at 5month) barely noticed the stitches.I read somewhere the timing had to do with their growth plates?

The All About Danes website might have some adivce

Jill said...

This article was written a while ago, I now have a Great Dane pup and am wondering when to neuter him. What did you end up deciding?

KC said...

We neutered Princeton when he was 7 months old and have never regretted it.

I often think back on a comment I read from a Dane breeder who said Danes neutered that young would never develop the musculature needed to support their bones. Are they crazy???! Princeton is incredibly strong!

Anonymous said...

Just thinking on this, my 10 week old Blue Deacon is going to need this. Very helpful..hope Princeton is still wonderful. Thanks!!

Unknown said...

I neutered mine at just under a year when he started being overly protective with me. It took some sports bandage and strategically cut compression shorts, but I don't regret it. He died suddenly, literally just collapsed dead, this March at age 12.6. He was my best friend. RIP.

Jami Cliborne said...

Did all of your Danes grow to be full size?