is fixing or neutering necessary? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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is fixing or neutering necessary?

Lately I've been concerning about fixing or neutering my prairie dogs. They're both almost two years old now and I hear that's about the time they start entering rut and becoming less predictable. I was wondering how many people had experience with this and if they felt neutering was a necessity. From what I've read on the web, neutering or fixing them will make them happier during rut and less likely to be aggressive. Also, neutering or fixing will make them healthier as well. So, I've been seriously considering this but am kind of worried about the cost and the difficulty of finding a veterinarian who would be willing to do such work on my dogs.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 02:04 PM
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I think most people have their pd's spayed/neutered before they turn a year old. I did not have my girls done because my vet has never spayed pd's before and I couldn't find a vet near me that has. Yes, they would be healthier if they were spayed but I just couldn't bring myself to let my vet use my pd's as her first experience doing it. The risks of something going wrong made me decide to not do it.

I do know that spaying/neutering doesn't always take away all the effects of rut, but it can certainly help lessen the moodiness. They can still be moody, but not in the sense that they want to rip your face off everytime you open the cage door. My one girl did get that moody, but thankfully it only lasted a few days!

I'm not trying to say that you shouldn't have it done. If you can find an experienced vet to do it, the benefits far outweigh the risks. Your pd's will be healthier in the long run if you can find an experienced vet. The decision to not have mine done was just that, my decision. You have to decide what's best for you and your pd's.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2005, 03:14 PM
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I didn't have mine done because I was afraid they might have problems. The Vets around MA and CT aren't up on prairie dogs and I didn't want to take any chances.

I just have to be careful when they get rut. Fortunately they give signs when they are in rut so I know when to leave them alone. I have been nipped twice by my female.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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thanks scarlette and poochie lover. I guess what I should do is see what sort of experience the vets around here have with prairie dogs. From what I remember, my girlfriend took her prairie dog to a vet that had experience with them once. I'll consult my regular vet first. They would know who that vet was and would probably have advice about getting the dogs fixed this late in their life.

I really appreciate all the good prairie dog advice I've been getting lately. I've always had a lot of questions about them, and it's nice to know people who've been through the same thing with their dogs.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 01:39 PM
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I live in CT - and there are several excellent prairie dog vets there.

My trio were spayed/neutered as pups, and they have never gone into rut. They are turning 4 this year - and spend all year smiling ane being silly. The only change in seasons is they sleep more in the winter.

Donna
Dallas, Houston & Peanut the Prairie Dogs
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 03:37 PM
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To Lambelly, when you find out about neuturing and spaying older prairie dogs let me know. The only reason I didn't do it was that I did not know any vets in my area who knew what they were doing, and I did not want to take any chances with my precisous ones.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2005, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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poochie lover
I'll let you know what I hear. I should be talking to the vets within the next couple of weeks or so.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 04:11 PM
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Thank you lambelly.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 05:46 PM
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Yes I personally recommend getting them nuetered or spayed before 2 years old. I tried to get away with not doing it on my dear Peanut and when she came into full rut she was miserable and felt HORRIBLE! My poor Peanut was a wreck! Her vagina had opened up and swollen outward about 1/4th an inch. She couldn't even sit down without it hurting.
I got her done immediately. Not during rut though. They shouldn't be done during rut because the blood vessels are expanded and they could bleed out during surgery.
So all three of my PD's are fixed and each of them recovered well. Two of them were taken up to Amarillo where Lynda Watson (The Prairie Dog Lady) gets hers done and they were done for me for $60. The other one was $170. Lynda Watsons vet did an incision not even half an inch long. I was so tiny. He also did the vet wrap around their body so they couldn't bend over to chew their incision.
My two males have ZERO rut symptoms, and Peanut the female which is also the "alpha" prairie dog does have testy days still during rut season. But nothing in comparion to how she was before she was fixed. We couldn't even touch her.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 04:17 PM
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To Eyes of TXChins, Thank you so much. I wished I was even close to Texas, I'm from New England so I'll find a reliable vet around here. Someone experienced in prairie dogs, including spaying and neutering.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 03:06 PM
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lambelly, I just joined paw-talk & look forward to hearing from everyone. To fix or not to fix? I have mixed feelings on this topic. My first pd was a male. When Beefcake was a baby I took the book Prairie Dog Pets by Pat Storer to a vet in Amarillo, Tx.who claimed to have experience with pds. There is a section specifically for vets(by Jim Gleason DVM& Phillip Thiac DVM) She apparently didn'teven look at it. We absolutely beleive this local vet used this an opportunity to do exploratory surgery on an animal she had no clue how to treat, even though she had the info. right in front of her. I had a hysterectomy after the birth of my son. I swearBeefcake's incision was almost as large as mine. She cut him from stem to stern. He couldn't lay down, or get any real rest for weeks. I have never felt so low in my life. Neadless to say I was very sceptical about having another one fixed. When I caught my next male, I talked to Linda Watson about Dr. Gleason. Linda said when he neuters them, you would be hard pressed to be able to insert a pencil lead into it. I wound up taking Norman & Teddy all the way to Levelland, Tx. for their surgery. Norman slept, & Teddy did that packing thing they do on the way home! I wish I had felt that good after my surgery! I don't beleive Beefcakes vet even found the testicles. He certainly didn't act like he was fixed. He was always tempermental, especially during winter. If my husband or son walked into the room Beefcake would cling to the side of the cage & chatter. If they tried to pet him on the wrong day, they were subject to pulling back a bloody nub. We adopted an adult male(not neutered) who had been abused by a man,if you want to call him that. We were afraid Cricket being full grown already, when we got him would be agressive towards men. He got a little testy once or twice but has been an angel most of the time. When he gets to run loose, guess who's lap he crawls into? My husband's. We also have 4 females(not fixed) none of which get agressive.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 03:15 PM
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EyesOfTXChins,Lynda Watson's vet Jim Gleason is actually in Levelland, Tx.,not Amarillo.He is wonderful! If I ever have surgery again, I want him to do it. Ha Ha.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2005, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Deana

My ability to find a vet who has PD experience is one of the deciding factors I need to weigh. I trust my current vet, but don't think they've done PD work. Hopefully they can recommend a vet who has done some PD work in the Michigan area.

However, right now I'm in the process of weighing that decision and considering whether I want to try to breed my dogs or not, as you'll see in the breeding thread if you look there.
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