Written by  Jun 16, 2017

Porky & Buddy Column: Is Neutering Good or Bad For a Dog?

Dear Porky & Buddy: I was driving on a country road and encountered a very disturbing situation with a large, male, intact dog. He was beside the road in a brushy area where an oncoming car could not see it. I flashed my lights at the oncoming car.

The dog ran out in the road right in front of the oncoming car, and almost got hit, and then less than a minute later, it almost got hit a second time in a similar manner. I stopped to try to find out where he belonged and was directed to a house. I talked to his owner and told him that the dog would not be so likely to run off it he were neutered. The owner told me that he didn't "believe" in neutering male dogs, that it is not necessary as there would be no puppies from a male. (What?) It was a very frustrating conversation. What else could I have told him to change his mind? Signed, Laura

Dear Laura,

Well first of all, thank you so much for your willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to help this dog. You are absolutely correct that he would be much less likely to wander if he was neutered because his urge for "romance" would eventually subside. (His owner's cavalier attitude about puppies not being his problem is annoying, to be sure, but we will not use this column to vent about that.)

There are other behavioral advantages to neutering, primarily decreased aggression and increased concentration. Simply put, a dog who is not distracted by testosterone will not be looking for fights, or paying any attention to female dogs in heat, and can think more clearly. It's always a good thing when a dog thinks clearly.

The other big issue is the dog's health. The medical advantages of neutering are numerous and significant. He will not develop testicular tumors if he is neutered while young. These are common in older dogs and can be malignant. He will be at risk for fewer perianal hernias. Surgical repair for this condition can be expensive and is not always successful. He will be at risk for fewer perianal tumors. These can also be malignant bur are very rare in dogs neutered at an early age. And he will have fewer prostate problems. Over 80% of all unneutered male dogs develop prostate disease, such as benign enlargement, cysts, and infection, all related to the presence of testosterone.

Why would any dog owner want to subject his dog to all of these unnecessary risks?

Call your vet for more information about neutering your pets. For information about resources for low cost spaying and neutering contact the Oswego County Humane Society.

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