I consider myself pretty self-motivated. You have to be when you’re a freelancer, what with needing to find work and finish it in order to eat and pay the bills.

Still, I tend not to pursue topics that interest me just for the sake of education. Law and Order re-runs and mystery novels exert an undue influence over my free time.

Thus the weekly feature I’m introducing: The Friday Five. I’m going to chose a dog-related topic that I’d like to research further and, each Friday, post five articles I’ve found on it. The convincing. The controversial. But probably not the boring.

While this in itself should help me focus, I’d prefer not to go it alone. If you have a link to offer on a particular topic, please send it along. No prizes; just the glory of a shout out if I chose to highlight something you’ve sent.

I’ll announce the topic each Sunday evening and remind you about it via Twitter and Facebook.

So… without further ado:

Should vets reconsider vasectomy for male dogs instead of neutering (castration)?

No question: Keeping pets from reproducing makes the world a better place. But some recent studies have linked a lack of testosterone with some diseases in male dogs.  Is it time to reconsider vasectomy?

Please post any reading suggestions in the comments section; tweet them to me (http://twitter.com/WillMyDogHateMe); or email them to me (writestf at mac.com)

14 thoughts on “Introducing: The Friday Five”

  1. Dunno. But I read an interesting article/post on “fixing” male dogs. While I will try and find it for you, the theme goes like this. Most people who get their male dogs fixed are responsible people to begin with. Responsible enough that they probably did a good job of selecting a dog of good temperament. By having these dogs fixed, we are decreasing the gene pool of well-behaved dogs. In the meantime, the not-so-responsible dog owners don’t get their probably not so well adjusted males fixed – and their genes get propagated. Well … at least I thought it was interesting! Will try and track the source down.

    BTW – Amy and I were RABID Law and Order rerun fans, but I think we finally saw them all (at least all the ones starring Lenny).

    1. Interesting premise; if you can track the article down, I’d really like to read it. I’m hoping to look at an issue from different angles and that would be one I hadn’t considered.

      I’m pretty sure I saw all the original Law and Orders too but after 15 years, they seem fresh again. My favorites definitely included Lenny Briscoe and Clare (Jill Hennessey) as the assistant D.A.

  2. Lo these 15 years ago, my vet told me that castration would eliminate the possibility of testicular cancer down the road. Not that I had an option: I adopted Archie from Animal Control with the proviso that I would do the deed within a week of adoption. But I’ve wondered whether testicular cancer is a significant issue for dogs.

    I was also told that castration would end his wanderlust. Ha! Folklore, nothing more.

    1. Testicular cancer is actually a significant issue for dogs but recent studies seem to indicate that other, equally common cancers may be caused by depriving a dog of hormones. I wonder if any studies have been done on the wanderlust issue…

  3. I have little clue about studies that have been conducted for efficacy of vasectomy vs neutering, but in cases where the uninformed have been put in charge, like CA where they have mandatory speuter at 3 mos because they can, not because it’s good for the dogs, I’d like to see that changed to vasectomy. The cascade of hormones needed for proper development of the organs and skeletal system are released at different rates depending on the size and breed of dog. When blanket legislation interferes with medical decisions the results are usually not good for the animals. I did a ranty post on MSN last summer I think, but let me look and see what sources I used and I’ll pass them on if they look like a good fit for this:) It would be pretty cool to do an end run around this law.

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  5. Nothing useful to offer you on this week’s topic (though it makes me wonder if there are similar issues associated with the early removal of a dog’s ovaries), but I’m strongly enthusiastic about the concept of The Friday Five. Cool idea!! I’m looking forward to this Friday and following!!

    1. Thanks, Mary-Alice. There definitely are similar issues involved with ovary removal (but no clear cut alternatives like vasectomy).

      Feel free to suggest topics!

  6. Interesting idea, I guess. For every article you find though, stating that neutering CAUSES disease, I think you’ll find one quoting studies that prove they help lower the risk. Personally, (although I agree a blanket age neutering done in shelters could be harmful) in the long term I would think vasectomies will leave a male dog with hormones that will still cause the desire to mate, to roam (no, neutering does not REMOVE the wanderlust, but you don’t have a male who will bolt everytime he gets a scent of a bitch in heat either) and to fight. While this may not be an iron-clad rule and there will be exceptions, generally speaking 2 intact males -which is essentially what they would be- hanging at a dog park are more likely to fight. (IMO). You are leaving a dog who will still want to be “breed”, will still want to fight another intact male, may still want to mark his territory (a problem if that’s your living room). If you’re going to consider this option, make sure you consider it from all angles-physical, mental & social.

    1. Thanks, Jen. I’m actually looking to post about all sides of the issue so if you have a link to a good article(s) that supports your (very valid) points, I’d love to see it/them.

    1. Nothing to catch up with. I’m just at the info gathering stage and what you sent is great; I didn’t know such a coalition existed. Thanks!

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