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I have a 4 month old Boxer boy (Murphy) with huge paws,  I think he's going to be a big boy.   I want to get him neutered, but I also want him to grow nice and big in size.    Does having your dog neutered have any impact on how big he will get?    I've heard that some dogs gain weight (get fat) after being neutered,  I just wondered if there were any hormonal or testosterone related things that affect how much more the dog will grow after being neutered.

Also, what is the average age that most Boxers are neutered at?
 

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I personally don't like to have any of my pups fixed until they are atleast a year old.  I believe that they need all those hormones for true growth and health.

Nano
 

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I have actually read somewhere else that neutered boxers grow taller than intact boxers.  Now, let me go see if i can find where that was... I'll post it later if I do.
 

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Boxers growth plates do not fully close til about 18 mos, so the thought is that if you are planning on doing Agility or anything along those lines, it's a good idea to wait til then for your male to be nuetered. It's not to make them look bigger or tougher, it's a health reason..A dog can be nuetered as young as 3 mos, myself personally I don't like that idea and wouldn't do it unless it was a medical issue..Generally most people will have males fixed about 6 mos, females some wait til after first season, some will spay before....
 

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Well we're trying to hold off till Odin is 18 months. He's marking in the house and it makes me want to do it NOW! But I know that neutering him almost definitely won't solve it... it's just my "quick fix" solution in my head. I'm working on him not marking in the house and it's going okay... I just need to not be impatient!  :D

But that's the reason for our neutering delay.
 

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There have been studies done on rotties.  Neutered rotties grew larger than intact rottweilers because testosterone is the hormone that tells the growth plates to close.
 

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Okay, it seems that (like always) there is conflicting information on the subject.  I had also read that neutered pets grow taller because the testosterone isn't there to "tell" the growth plates to close.
However according to this site http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm ... icleid=911  that isn't true.  
Seems like it won't make much of a difference at any rate.  I don't know what to believe, but if the reasoning behind the neuter and affecting growth plates is true you would want to wait until after 18 months, when the plates are closed.
I don't think there is really an average age.. Felix was done at 6 months.  Genetics and to a lesser degree, nutrition is going to play a bigger part in the size of your pup than when he is neutered. do you know what his parents were like?
I agree with what has been said though, keep him on a low (<25-28%) protein food to prevent him from growing too fast and straining joints/plates.  He will get to whatever size he is supposed to be, and we want him to get there slowly :)
 

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The breeder that I got Major from told me that if they don't get fixed though that they develop testicular cancer.  That's why I made sure I had him fixed at 6 mos.  Also, I think that its all in the genetics.  You won't end up with a 20 lb or 150 lb boxer just because you do or  don't neuter him.
 

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My information came directly from the veterinarian so maybe Sharon can shed some light.
 

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Also, who knows how credible peteducation.com is?  I don't... there are also many factors besides size which will be affected by the time of neuter, perhaps more important than how large he will grow.  
Good luck with whenever you decide to get him done ;)
 

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My boy duke is still intact....I have decided not to untill he is at least 18mo.  I have never neutered any of my males though....In my family we always had the females spayed(but we have had labs, great danes, and old english sheepdogs, Duke is the first Boxer). But I do understand the cancer part of it and I also want to foster so I want to have him done by 18mo - 2yrs.
 

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Peteducation.com is pretty credible, but like many vets they are strongly influenced by the HSUS, ASPCA, PETA, and other animal rights groups (like most people, most vets don't realize the true mission of these groups, and simply assume that they are experts and have the best interests of animals in mind).  So they talk about the benefits of s/n but not the risks, and they quote the thoroughly debunked 'reproduction numbers' about one cat producing 420,000 kittens and never realize that they're feeding the anti-breeding, anti-pet agenda.

At any rate ;) what they say is that early spay/neuter shows no *appreciable* difference in growth; studies have shown that dogs who under pre-pubertal gonadectomy do grow taller than dogs sterilized after puberty (or not taller), but only fractions of an inch taller.  The larger difference is that early sterilized dogs, especially males, more often do not develop secondary sex characteristics; they tend to be more adolescent-like even into full adulthood, and are less-developed in, for example, chest depth and width.
 

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g00dgirl\";p=\"97635 said:
do you know what his parents were like?
I got to meet his mom, but not his dad.   At 4 months old, he was only slightly smaller than his mom.  I'm pretty certain I'm going to have him neutered before he's a year old (or whatever age the vet recommends), I figure that's my best shot at avoiding territorial marking issues.  

Here's a pic of his mother while she was pregnant with him:

 

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Neutering isn't a guarantee that he won't mark, but it could help.  Felix started marking at the dog park at about 6 months, right before I got him neutered.  He still marks, but never in the house and not nearly as much as intact males that come in and mark EVERYTHING at the dog park.
 

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Well......Since someone mentioned that maybe I would chime in, I guess I will.....

First...let me start with this info posted above...... "but like many vets they are strongly influenced by the HSUS, ASPCA, PETA, and other animal rights groups (like most people, most vets don't realize the true mission of these groups, and simply assume that they are experts and have the best interests of animals in mind).  So they talk about the benefits of s/n but not the risks, and they quote the thoroughly debunked 'reproduction numbers' about one cat producing 420,000 kittens and never realize that they're feeding the anti-breeding, anti-pet agenda."  

I am not sure who you consider "most vets", but we should probably not all be lumped into saying "most of us".  I for one am not one and I actually dont know of any others that I have worked with or know who are. I dont base any of my information on PETA, ASPCA or HSUS. IMO PETA is a "freak case", the ASPCA and HSUS are in the business of rehoming and adoption and cruelty to animals and veterinary medicine being a part of it is secondary, if the pets were not there in the first place, they would not need verterinary care.  

These places exist because there is a over population of pets, if there was'nt.... there would be no need for them.  I know vets in general talk about the benefits of s/n of pets because we are in the field we are in for what we believe is in the best interest of pets.  

However, your vet should know the risk and also all information concering s/n, not just the benefits of it.....I dont feel that any vet would be "feeding the anti-breeding and certainly not the anti-pet agenda."  Why would we?  If we became an anti-pet society, I myself as well as many other vets would be out of a job and a profession.

The reasons for s/n will always be compelling.   The main concern will remain overpopulation and as a result mass euthanasia and neglect.  It also avoids heat cycles, unwelcome visitors fighting on the lawn, accidental pregnancies, unwanted puppies and kittens, inconvenience and expense.

Males and their owners have a benefit of helping to spare roaming, marking and fighting, and the injuries, spread of disease, and expenses of it happening. In our area, there are plenty of dogs killed by cars out roaming and they are generally 85% unaltered males....and also over 89% of the feline aids cases here are unneutered male cats.

More benefits incluse neutered males don't have testicular cancer or the prostate problems common in intact dogs. Females spayed before their first heat cycle have less breast cancer, a common cause of death. They have no risk of uterine infection, or the many complications associated with pregnancy, whelping or raising a litter.

My personal favorite to add to this list is that...... it also completely eliminates the possibility of intentional breeding by well meaning, but ignorant owners!  Lord knows there are enough of them already!  For all the breeders out there, they can avoid having their names show up on poor quality puppy/adult stock from pets that should not have been breeding if they have a s/n contract and follow through on making sure it is done.  

The bottom line is that yes s/n makes sure there are fewer unwanted pets, and fewer ill-bred animals filling up homes and shelters.


Is there negative things....yes there sure is!  But, keep in mind that there is vast information on the internet to find and the negative information that most people site against early s/n is also dated at least 6 years ago and in most cases even older/longer.  

The concerns/negative include:  The potential for stunted growth, obesity, perivulvar dermatitis vaginitis, urinary incontinence, behavioral changes, impaired immunocompetence, and urethral obstruction in male cats for early age neutering.  Since this thread is about growth, I will stick to that one......      

Structurally....... Dogs sterilized early will have slightly delayed closure of the growth plates, and therefore be a fraction of an inch taller than those sterilized later. According to the research yes that is true.....a fraction of an inch....and of course for some that fraction may be an important issue...... there is little or no difference between those spayed at six months or three years old in size.  

Yet, IMO I do think it may be a valid point for dogs being shown at conformation, as they will not develop quite the same extent of secondary sex characteristics - such as breadth of chest or head.  Show dogs can't be sterilized anyway.... unless someone's cheating,

But, on the average pet you can't really tell that difference, so no I dont feel that for an average pet "growth" should be a deciding issue on neutering early vs later.
 

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I am not sure who you consider "most vets", but we should probably not all be lumped into saying "most of us".
Yes, that's why it's "most" and not "all". :)

the ASPCA and HSUS are in the business of rehoming and adoption
That's a common thought, but it's not true.  The HSUS does not operate or have direct control over any shelters for dogs or cats, and of their ~$132 million in annual revenues, less than 1% goes to support local dog and cat shelters across the US.  The ASPCA does operate a shelter in New York, but that's the only one (though they do humane work across the country, they only rehome and adopt in NY).

These places exist because there is a over population of pets, if there was'nt.... there would be no need for them.
That's a whole other long argument that I won't get into here, but suffice it to say that in most areas it's not overpopulation that's a problem, it's retention.  In most cases reproductive status has no bearing on whether an animal is turned in to a shelter.

I dont feel that any vet would be "feeding the anti-breeding and certainly not the anti-pet agenda."  Why would we?  If we became an anti-pet society, I myself as well as many other vets would be out of a job and a profession.
As I said, most don't realize they are doing so.  I'd imagine even many members of the AVAR (or whatever their new H$U$-hybrid acronym is now) don't realize the full extent of the animal rights agenda.

Is there negative things....yes there sure is!  But, keep in mind that there is vast information on the internet to find and the negative information that most people site against early s/n is also dated at least 6 years ago and in most cases even older/longer.
And the positive information is how old? Heck, the "spaying before the first season nearly eliminates the risk of mammary tumors" information is from 1969!  ;)  

Besides which, there are over a dozen studies on the long-term effects of s/n which were published within the last six years, many within the last two or three.  Even so, lacking evidence to the contrary, there's no reason to disregard information obtained several years ago simply because it was obtained several years ago.  Hence why the decreased relative risk of mammary tumors is a valid consideration in the spaying risk assessment procedure. :)

But, on the average pet you can't really tell that difference, so no I dont feel that for an average pet "growth" should be a deciding issue on neutering early vs later.
Not "growth" itself, more along the lines of full development - outward and inward - but I also certainly don't think it should be the only deciding issue in any case.  :)
 

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Even in the slight off use of words between "most" and "all", it is certain to say that the phrase "all" can not be used because it would not be accurate.  Furthermore, the term "most" still should not be used, because it is still not very accurate. Considering there are probably close to 100,000 veterinarians in the US alone....how many do you know their personal ethics or feelings on this situation to say "most of them".  It would be much more accurate to probably say "a few".  

I think that when the majority of people think of the SPCA or Humane Society they think of the one that is close to their home, and that is the one I was speaking of.  People tend to believe the ASPCA and the HSUS are all interconnected with the one down the street. Certainly it is understandable to think that, but, it is not true. Maybe I should have pointed that out in my post/reply.  They are generally local an independent animal organizations. In fact, most people are not aware that there is no national SPCA, parent organization, or umbrella group that provides support. Each SPCA and Humane Society are completely unrelated organizations.  However when you are speaking of the animal shelters, the goal of them regardless of the name or location is finding homes for animals. Are those animals there because of retention,  someone making a mistake, not keeping the pet, irresponsible ownership....sure they are in connection with the fact that if pets were not being bred intentional or unintentional by irresposible people, there would not be as many out there to go into that home to begin with....

Ahhh....feel free to post a link to a study conducted by or in conjunction with verterinary medical doctors that were within the last two to three years regarding this specific information. I am not saying the information should not be considered because it is "old" I am saying there is plenty of information out there that will voice the pro and con to it and with all the information out there, you can find information to go with whatever a persons beliefs are on any subject from surgical, food, drugs and vaccinations when it comes to veterinary medicine.

The thread is about.......Does neutering affect growth....the answer is yes it MAY cause slight growth issues in your dog.  However these changes are not of considerable factors and the average person would not be able to look at a dog and determine if that dog was altered early or late....It also MAY NOT cause any growth issues at all in your particular dog.  

When to spay and neuter your pet is a personal decision and one you should review all the information, which may be good info, it may be bad info, it may be new info, it may be old info and speak to your vet about their recommendations for your dog.  I think it is fine to neuter a dog at 6 months and I also think it is fine to wait to 12 to 18 months if you want to and considering your situation.....Bottom line at the end of the day....its up to the individual owner and personal preference.....
 

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Very well said, Sharon.
 

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sharonL\";p=\"98119 said:
if pets were not being bred intentional or unintentional by irresposible people, there would not be as many out there to go into that home to begin with....
Couldn't agree with you more!

[quote="sharonL\";p=\"98119":14zytq9g]When to spay and neuter your pet is a personal decision and one you should review all the information, which may be good info, it may be bad info, it may be new info, it may be old info and speak to your vet about their recommendations for your dog.
 
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