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Telephone: 01534 742619 Email: gailmalanddogs@hotmail.com

OH HOW EASILY THERE CAN BE A 'BALLS UP'!

Not a very nice title I know but then once again another subject that owners, particularly the male ones, don't seem to want to discuss:

CASTRATION

As a branch of the Retired Greyhound Trust it is our policy to always have the dogs we home either castrated or spayed in the case of female dogs. In general folk don't seem to have such a problem with the latter. We look at it very much from a health point of view, unspayed bitches can develop mammary tumours and indeed one of the deadliest and most life threatening conditions, if not caught early, pyometra. These are just two illnesses that can be prevented by having your bitch neutered.

But back to the male hound - we liken keeping a dog entire to parading an extremely attractive naked female in front of a healthy young man and never allowing him to have his wicked way - think on gentleman! Agreeably some dogs are oblivious to this, in fact I have a friend who had an entire Labrador who given the choice between a female on heat and an apple core would inevitably choose the latter but then as we all know, labs are ruled by their stomachs.

Over the years Mal and I have owned many male dogs, 30 odd at the last count and everyone of them has been castrated. People say their personalities change - this has never been the case with any of ours or indeed any of our friends dogs. Apart from preventing unwanted puppies it is the health reasons that frighten us.

Testicular Cancer - completely preventable, no testicles no cancer. Recently one of our owners discovered, quite by chance, that although he had been castrated prior to arrival - the vet had only taken one testicle not bothering to search for the remaining one. When opened up a tumour the size of a grapefruit was discovered attached to the testicle that hadn't decended. Thankfully the cancer doesn't appear to have spread unless some cells have escaped, this is one lucky dog. Not so for another case recently on one of the forums by the time they opened this particular dog up it was too late and the dog had to be put to sleep. It is vital that if testicles do not appear of their own accord that they need to be brought down by surgery. Leaving them can prove dangerous.

Ranger's massive incision to remove the testicle with the tumour attached to it.

Ranger 10 days after his operation still on pain relief and still a little confused

Apart from the serious aspects of keeping a dog entire, there are other reasons, that constant mounting, leaving home in search of that bitch on heat. Embarrassing your guests by climbing up their legs, aggressiveness, dominance, I could go on, all we ask is that you consider these aspects see if you agree that this is the road to go down for your dog. Discuss it with your vet.

We all think arrr..... aren't puppies gorgeous but the world is full of unwanted dogs, do we really want to add to this!!!

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