I checked the schedule this morning and was very pleased to see Rocco on the docket for a neuter. A sweet and allergy prone pup, he had been scheduled and re-scheduled for this neuter about three times.
My pleasure quickly turned to disappointment when our drop-off time came and went, with no Rocco.
I called the owner. “We missed you guys today,” I said. “What’s up?”
“Oh….” said the wife, somewhat sheepishly. “I couldn’t find him this morning.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. “Is he lost? Did you call the shelter?”
“Not exactly,” she said. “I called my husband.”
Apparently Rocco’s dad has been a tough sell on this whole neuter thing since day one, and was the reason his appointment had been canceled several times already. Every time we tried to broach the subject with this guy, his hands would fold protectively in his lap as he shook his head. Mom had made the appointment without his knowledge, but we blew her cover with our standard confirmation call the night before. So dad dog-napped the dog and took him to work.
It would be funny if it weren’t so frustrating. The dog is an allergy machine! He’s a terrible specimen of a breed that is already extremely over-represented in our area, and in the shelters. There is NO need to breed this dog.
While we were talking, Rocco’s mom suddenly said “SHHHHHH!!” and I heard a bunch of static. Then, in a hushed whisper, “I’m in the closet. They just walked in the door. I want to re-schedule for next week.”
At least she’s on board, I suppose. See you next week, Rocco. I hope.
Lisa W says
Looks like she’s going to have to dognap the dog right back.
Just make sure to NOT confirm the appointment next week and hope 😉
LOL thats so freakishly funny LOLOL. Keep the confirmation on the DL Like Kim said, and it will be over before Rocco and daddy knows it …Snip ,…Snip……LOL
ARGH, people like this drive me CRAZY — especially with the terrible animal problem we have here in the south. Euthanasia rates in our county are between 40-70%. We rescued a stray husky a few weeks ago and are in the process of rehoming him, and when a friend’s roommate saw he was still intact asked if he could breed his female dog with the husky — get this: he didn’t even have the resources to have his OWN dog live with him AND his dog wasn’t even a husky! So he wanted to breed a mutt (I do love mutts, but you know what I mean) while he didn’t even have a home for his OWN DOG!!! I wanted to throttle him. Thank goodness I already had an appointment to have him neutered the next day.
Oh Dr. V. You tell the greatest stories that liven up my morning as I start my fruitless job search again.
We had a female client ask the doctor to ‘save’ the ‘appendages’ for her. When I was with her at the discharge appointment, I asked her about that, as I handed over the bottle they were in. She said that she planned to give them to her husband with the remark “Since you were so attached to them, here they are’! This was a situation similar to yours – the neuter appointment had been cancelled several times by the husband, and rescheduled by the wife.
My puppy was neutered last month. He had one undescended testicle. My husband, I am proud to say, never flinched, but when I wrote about the surgery on Facebook every male friend in my friends list commented to shudder at my admittedly gleefully posted detailed description. They do have a problem with it.
Susan Montgomery says
Why don’t you put Neuticles in for her when you do the neuter, then the husband will never know the difference!
OK, I’ll play devil’s advocate.
1. My own super-fantastic vet tells me that most male dogs are probably healthiest if they’re not neutered. [My intact mixed-breed dog is sleeping at my feet at the moment. He’s awesome. Also: just for the record, I am not a guy.]
2. If Rocco’s a threat to the gene pool, don’t let him run loose. It’s entirely possible — easy, even — for a responsible, reasonably intelligent owner to keep an intact male dog from running around the neighborhood making puppies. Entire counties exist where most male dogs are not neutered. [Hello, Scandinavia!] And shelters in Norway and Sweden are not overflowing.
3. Sex hormones appear to benefit the immune system. Neutered dogs are more likely to suffer vaccine-related problems and more likely to suffer from hypothyroidism [among other heightened risks], and researchers believe there’s a cause-and-effect thing going on. Links:
Rottweilers [males and females] neutered before one year of age suffer a horrifying 1-in-4 risk of developing bone cancer.
Rocco lives in SoCal, presumably with caring, responsible owners and an established leash-law/fenced-yard culture. His owners aren’t interested in breeding him, so the gene pool would appear to be safe. Neutering him might exacerbate the allergy problems he suffers from, or be detrimental to his health in other ways. So why neuter him? Rocco’s dad’s a hero, if you ask me.
If one good thing has resulted from the recent attempts to pass mandatory spay/neuter laws in California, it’s this: dog owners are learning more about the effects of spay/neuter, and making more informed decisions. To quote the AVMA:
“Pets should be considered individually, with the understanding that […] population control is a less important concern than is the health of each animal.”
Sad to think of the dogs who have suffered unnecessarily because their well-meaning owners believed all dogs should be “fixed” by the age of 6 months. I am no longer one of those people, and regret that my earlier dogs suffered from hypothyroidism, vaccine reactions and other issues that might have been avoided if they’d been neutered at the age of two or three, or not at all.
Thanks for listening to another viewpoint! [And congrats on making it though our latest earthquake…]
Dr. V says
I thought someone might bring this up. Don’t get me wrong, if someone who is well educated on the topic and thoughtful does not want to neuter their pet, and thought it out as well as you have, I wouldn’t bat an eye.
“Rocco lives in SoCal, presumably with caring, responsible owners and an established leash-law/fenced-yard culture.”
No, he runs loose, on construction sites and on vacation in Mexico.
” His owners aren’t interested in breeding him, so the gene pool would appear to be safe. ”
He very specifically wants to breed the dog and is that is why he doesn’t want to neuter him.
“Neutering him might exacerbate the allergy problems he suffers from”
I highly doubt it, no correlation between testosterone and atopy that I am aware of. And there is the huge benefit of keeping the allergy genetics from being perpetuated.
So while I understand your viewpoint, in this case, my belief still stands that this is in his best interest.
Dr. V — Thanks for the thoughtful reply. My own vet [the one who is fine with my keeping an intact male intact] told me during a routine dog check-up yesterday that some skin conditions do improve with neutering [hello, castration-responsive dermatosis].
And if Rocco is running loose and unsupervised over half of creation, his owners aren’t a bit responsible.
Thanks again for the reply and the additional info — and good luck with the pup.
I actually had a female co-worker say to me just last week… “I don’t know why people get their male dogs fixed! I understand the females, because of the bleeding problem, but I just don’t understand the males! That is so sad and mean!”
WTF? It took everything in me to not throttle her, and explain to her in a nice friendly tone the reasons that males should definitely be fixed too. (and she KNOWS I have a male dog!)
ohhhhhhhh come on Rocco’s parents! It’s not mean, its about responsible, loving pet ownership!
When you call to “confirm” next week, just say he also has a huge allergy to anesthesia so he can’t get snipped. That will throw dad’s guard down. Haha.