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Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
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To neuter or not?
by Alison
To neuter or not? Hey, everyone! This is the first time Jasper (the dog, of course : ) and I have entered the Maltese-Zone...needless to say, he is very excited. Here's the thing - the vet just told us that Jasper (who is 5 1/2 yrs. old) needs to be neutered. He has some anal - sac problems (known hereafter as "butt glands"), and the toughening of his skin around his...um....butt could lead to health problems in the future without being neutered. HELP!!! I just read about Aimee and the spaying thing, but Jasper is older, and, to make matters worse, I don't trust the 3 vets in this VERY small town. Any advice/stories?? Thank you!! Alison & Jasper : )


I have not personally heard of neutering because of anal sac problems (not to say it isn't done, just that I haven't heard of it). However, the prostate gland is near there, and often older dogs need to be neutered because of prostate problems. I don't know if this helps, but I had my Puff neutered at 5 years old. When we first got him, we thought he was just so wonderful, we wanted to breed him so others could share in the joy that is Puff (I'm sure you can all understand!). Luckily, I went away to college while he was still too young to breed, and by the time I came back, I knew we didn't have the kind of knowledge, patience and time it would take to become responsible breeders. A couple of years later we decided to neuter him, mainly because we had two neighbors in close proximity with unspayed females and Puff was almost uncontrolable when one of them was in heat. Also, we were always so worried when he'd occaisionally get out of the house on us (they are just so small and fast aren't they?) that he'd mate with one of them, or that would run into the street to get to a female in heat and get hit by a car (he was deaf by this time). I must say, he was so much better afterwards (as far as escape attempts go), that I'm sorry we didn't do it when he was a pup. On the other hand, I would never bring my dog to a vet that I didn't trust implicitly and could never suggest that someone else does. If for whatever reason you don't feel these vets are qualified to perform surgery on your dog, you should try to find one you can have confidence in. Ask friends and neighbors who they use, and even if its a hardship, consider going to a town or city further away where you may have more choices and options.

Hi Alison! NEVER,NEVER,NEVER let a vet you don't trust operate on your dog. I once neutered one at age 7..what a mistake !!! His personality changed completely, he became lethargic and very angry and contrary to what some folks like to tell you..it did NOT help his piddling problem. He aged much before his time and wound up sleeping a lot & getting all kinds of quirky health problems...I finally had to put him to sleep at 10 1/2...what a pity ! Why did you decide to neuter him at this time ? Anal sac problems are very common, the gland needs to be emptied every so often, when full it's very uncomfortable for the dog, he will usually rub up agains the wall or often scoot to scratch that area , in my opinion NO Reason to operate ! Curious...
I'd definitely have Jasper neutered! However am curious as to why you don't trust the vets in your town? Are you near enough to another city where you could take Jasper for another consultation?
Leslie R
Beau (although he is only 6 months) got neutered a couple of weeks ago. I recommend it with a vet you trust, though. Beau was jumping around that same afternoon and doesn't even have a visible scar. The surgery was no problem for him. Good luck.
Today our 1 yr old maltese "Dodger" bit my 11 year old son because he tried to push him off the couch. He is very aggressive and mean. I also have an 8 yr old son and a baby on the way! I'm just about ready to give him away, but my husband thinks if we have him neutered this will calm him down. Several years ago I had a female maltese and she was never mean or bit the kids. Any suggestions??
Hello, everyone! What a treat to receive so many responses; it helps to feel not-so-alone when trying to make this kind of decision. To answer some of your questions, we live in a small, rural town. The vets in town work mostly with farm animals - horses, cows, etc. A friend of ours had her (non-Maltese) dog neutered by one of these vets, and the dog was overdosed with anesthetic! There is a town about 1 hour away that has very reputable vets, but the distance bothers me in case there are complications. As to why we need to get Jasper neutered, the vet (not the killer vet...) suggested we do so to avoid some of the prostate & testicular problems you mentioned. I'll keep you posted on our decision about Jasper, but I do remain worried in the meantime. Thanks again for your responses! : )
Mae, I had a poodle long ago that also started biting people. The vet suggested I have him neutered at 9 months, and said aggression would stop. It didn't. Did not change him one bit, and he bit people till the day he was old and sick at 14 years and I had to let him go to Rainbow Bridge. I loved him and had to tell people just to let him be and he was ok. If I had it all to do over again I would have taken him to obedience training. I would try this first, as well as having him neutered. But I feel sometimes that alone does not help all dogs.
Robin K.
Dear Alison, have you thought about taking Jasper to a groomer about his condition? Sometimes they have quite a bit of experience dealing with this problem. Also I think vet's sometimes want to take the quickist way to try to solve a probelm without checking for other options. I also had a dog neutered(not a maltese) at age 3 and it didn't help with aggression or the piddling problems he had. If you don't feel totaly happy with your vets in the area, I would take him as far as possible if you have to until you find someone that does. It is something you may regret in the future. Good Luck and Best Wishes,
In response to Mae's dilemma. I think it would be in the best interest of both your son and your pet if you found a new home for the dog. Any dog that is aggressive to a child should not stay around long enough for the child to get hurt or for the child to retaliate and hurt the little animal. Your dog might need to be in a home where there are adults. Sometimes children can be too man-handling with a dog and this could lead to aggressive behavior. I can't say our dog has ever done that with our kids. She's always loving. Good luck.

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