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Here is a picture of Cash since we said we would watch him to see if his coat changes.  It has been about 8 weeks I think since his neutering maybe 7.  He lost the ripples and thick stuff he had all over his spine.  It was wild at times and I am glad it is gone.  I know that he is at the age now, 9 months this week, to lose puppy coat anyway.  But the hair in its place is so dry and wispy.  Lighter in color also.  And sheds.  Not sure if it is from the neuter or the coat changing naturally.  I thought it takes months to see the changes hormonally from castration.  At least that is what I read.    Here he is as of tonight.  He was always a fuzzy wooly coated puppy.  So it might not be a fair evaluation yet.  Since he was called Chewbacca for you Star Wars fans as a baby.  He is cute though.  And the hair growing over his ankles?  Do you guys trim that?  I was told leave it as long as it doesn't grow over the ankles.  Suggestions please.

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Exactly my experience Sue--I had a male neutered and his coat became exactly like the photo you have posted--in fact much worse. I shall never ever desex an Irish setter again despite the vet advising it.When I posted to this forum for advice re neutering the response was 50:50 with no definite trend. I have a beautiful 8 month old Irish setter girl and I couldn't bare her glorious coat to be altered.
My experience with coat change after neutering is 50:50 and this does not seem to matter whether they are done as youngsters or as veterans. I had two brothers neutered at 9 months old, and more recently my two old girls - one because she developed pyometra and the other to avoid this happening. Rowena was always a Miss Glamour Puss and now her coat looks like a cross between an Afghan and a Poodle! We trim her excess fluff off with thinning scissors otherwise it is prone to matting. Daisy's coat has not changed at all, she still looks beautiful. A stripping comb or rake is good for getting out the fluffy undercoat. Good luck!
I agree with Elizabeth and would ONLY spay or neuter for health reasons. There are very few IS who's coat is not affected.
Sue....if you mean the long hair on the hocks I would trim that neatly back and keep it short, partly because mud clings to this hair like glue but mainly, when the rest of the coat becomes woolly at least his feet will look tidy.....you will have a better picture. If you mean the fringe on the back legs above the hocks just keep that trimmed neatly if it gets too long. If he gets any wispy hair on his head just pluck that out using finger and thumb
Hi Sue, in addition to possible coat changes, you may find that Cash grows taller than you might otherwise have expected, and doesn't mature in body proportions i.e. (stays lean and lanky). This is because losing the male hormones before maturity, delays the closure of the growth plates in the long bones. A bit like Roman eunochs. Did I spell that right?

Dawn R.
Yes Dawn I have heard this. That might be okay since I like lean and lanky! Just hope his coat doesn't get too funky. Luckily he loves to be brushed and pampered. He would let me do that all day long. I don't mind a bit more work to keep it looking nice if that is all it takes. Time will tell how it all turns out.
Prepuberal castration does delay the closure of the physiological growth plates but only by about a month. Cash might grow but probably not more than an inch on the leg.
It begs the question, if you are interfering with the natural development of a dog or bitch....why do it so early?
Are you asking me that question or the forum in general. I have given my reasons many times. We are of a different attitude here in the US on this. And I won't bore everyone with a rehash. I am well aware that it would be better to leave him intact. But I don't live in that kind of environment. He has to be with many other dogs daily for his exercise and intact males don't do so well in large packs of dogs here. I want him safe.
Hi, I have read with interest all your posts regarding this ..... And I understand why and agree you want to keep him safe ...... I haven't neutered Murphy and have no plans to either, but last year we lost an old boy to testicular cancer and my parents neutered their new pup on the advice of the vet .. They debated but made a choice that felt right for them.... As I am sure you did too....
Our first irish setter Casey was intact and we lost him to prostate cancer at the age of 6.
We never left one intact since. My husband never got over that loss, Casey was his constant companion. It is alarming to find out in the past couple years how bad it is to neuter them, so it was not a decision I made lightly. But in the end I made it. Now I live with it and hope he has a wonderful life and stays as sweet as he is.
I am asking the Forum in general. I am not questioning the decision to neuter, just why so early if it inteferes with the dog's natural development.
It is interesting how experiences colour people's decisions. My own dogs are excercised with many others every day and it is the neutered dogs that are pestered all the time because, for some reason, entire males find them very alluring. I meet dogs who will be aggressive to mine because they know they won't retaliate but they behavie totally differently to others. Bullying and ganging up occurs among bitches as well as dogs very much as it does among children (and adults for that matter) and depends more on the temperament of the individual than on it's sex.
I am very lucky because in a lifetime of owning dogs and 37 years of being owned by IS I have never had, or bred a dog who developed testicular cancer. You have just been unlucky. If vets had their way all dogs would be castrated and all bitches spayed.......then they could retire early on the lucretive earnings.
I have to comment here ... I think whether or not to neuter is a very individual choice and I think everyone makes the best decision they can. We all love our IS on this site, no question. Moreover, I have known many vets over the years and with the exception of one, they have always struck me as extremely committed to the health and well-being of their patients. They are not proft-mongers and in fact, at least here in the US, the cost of their education is extremely high (more than human medical degrees because there are far fewer veterinary schools and also no government scholarship support) yet they offer their services at very reasonable rates. I often wish I could just go to the vet when I myself am ill for all of these reasons!! So please, everyone make your best decision with love for your animals, but lay off the kindly vets!!

Also, fuzzy or not, I think Cash is just darling!!
Thanks Gigi -he melts my heart. He is such a sweet wonderful dog, I feel blessed to have him in my life.




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