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Edurne @Gin

Both dog and cat currently at vet getting their gonads removed. There was a lot of pressure to do it - esp from other dog owners - but I had read up a lot of counter-arguments, mostly from Scandinavian countries (in Norway it's illegal to neuter dogs). This was why I sat on the fence about it for 5 years.

But since the dog's aggression towards other dogs was getting worse, and since we had already arranged to get his kitten bro's balls removed, better at the same time...

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@Gin Kinda easy for Norway, they can't have a wild cat problem with their climate. But cats, after humans, are probably one of the worst and most widespread destroyers of ecosystems out there. Avoiding accidental litters of wildcats is every owner's responsibility, IMO. To a lesser degree dogs; third most deadly animal by human deaths per year, after mosquitos and snakes, IIRC.

@cathal Yeah, it was a no brainer for the cat (even though he lives inside, didn't want to risk it in case he escapes - he's a street cat himself!), but for the dog was another story. He's the sweetest, most loving dog - even gets along well with the cat! - we'll see if the dog's temperament changes and whether it reduces his aggression towards other male dogs. I'm going to write it all up- hopefully it helps someone else. Still can't help feeling a bit... helpless? Sceptical? 50 shades of shit?

@Gin It can take a few weeks or months for the endocrine effects to translate into different behaviour, so be patient. And don't feel guilty; dogs are clever and empathetic, but they aren't human. Their emotional response to things like neutering probably have little in common with us drastically-more-sexual humans. We attach social roles, emotional need, and life purpose to sex, dogs don't seem to. He'll be grand. :)

@cathal I'm sure he will but I wouldn't be surprised if the castration procedure itself is frowned upon in the future once a less invasive method is popularised. The way dog's affect is currently understood is that they don't have the introceptive sensations, emotional concepts and shared social reality as humans, sure. But unfortunately for me, I can't rationalise away the shit feeling of knowing my healthy dog is currently enduring a surgical procedure to make him forcefully adapt to my needs

@Gin I guess not being able to rationalise those feelings makes you an extra good person, right? :)

@cathal Haha, nope. I just don't have the emotional granularity to pinpoint where I'm currently at (except that it's unpleasant and agitated), most probably because I don't chop off my dog's bollocks off every other day and don't need an emotional concept for it as a result. However, how this feeling can extend to people using surgery to forcefully make others adapt to social convention (ala frontal lobotomies on young women back in the day) - yeah, I think it's worth more thought.

@cathal Maybe the concept should be: 'linking present experience to past horror to feel justified feeling like shit.' There. Lol.

@Gin Does Norway not have a problem with feral populations, then? Elsewhere, it's rather a mercy, reducing the disease pool in both animals and humans.

@Gin It's *illegal* to neuter dogs... in Norway? O.o I hope they can also boast not having a single homeless dog. Otherwise, it's surprising.

@lightone @risabee - Yes, it's illegal in Norway to neuter dogs- here's the relevant law (norwegian animal welfare act, 2010), "Surgical procedures or removal of body parts must not be carried out unless there is a justifiable reason to do so out of consideration for the animal's health." As for the strays, again, there doesn't seem to be that problem in Norway:

This is all kind of odd writing with my poor dog feeling sorry for himself post-surgery, oh well.

@risabee @lightone

To quote a reddit page as to why there isn't a stray problem, "to neglect or abandon your companion dog is seen as a great shame upon you. No one wants to be that guy, a deserter of friends"

Also found this comparative research about Norwegian animal welfare compared to Albania - as the thesis concludes, if the country already has a problem with strays, castration seems to be the most effective and viable way to keep stray dog population down:

@Gin You got me interested. I'll contact the vets I know to hear their opinion. Don't know about dogs, as for cats, next to reducing the number of strays, reason number two (should be number one) is care for their health - to guard them from pyometritis, ovarian cysts and other nasty stuff. Vets seem to agree on that one. From your words I assume dogs are different /needs research

Your doggo will be all right by tomorrow. You might have just made his future life several years longer ;)

@lightone There are many cons to neutering dogs re health: for my dog, castration at an early age meant he became overly tall, as the growth plates in the long bones will not close at the appropriate time - sure he's lived a long life, but in constant pain. This problem has been researched extensively but is not regularly discussed by vets, e.g.: Of early-neutered males in this study, 10 percent were diagnosed with hip dysplasia , double the occurrence in intact males:

@Gin OK, I did my homework.

The researches on neutering cats and dogs are somewhat different, with dogs having more conflicting results. Cats have either been studied less, or have somewhat less side-effects.

Similar dog neutering practices are found in Denmark as in Norway. Not in Germany though.

Thanks for the info. 🐢 🐱

@risabee Thanks <3 πŸ˜— πŸ˜™