Thursday, August 21, 2008
Best age to neuter a Great Dane pup?
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.