Wait To Fix Your Dachshund

Why You Should Wait To Fix Your Dachshund

Updated 03/02/2021 by Ava Jaine

If you plan to have your Dachshund spayed or neutered in the near future, it is recommended to wait until a certain age to prevent serious health risks and developmental issues.

To tell you the truth friends, this whole concept of waiting to get a doxie fixed is totally new to me.  Many years ago, my husband and I had our first two dachshunds fixed as young pups, per the vet’s recommendation.

We didn’t think anything of it.  We grew up with the famous saying from Bob Barker: “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.” I had no idea about the negative effects of fixing a puppy too soon.

 

Top 5 Dangers Of Fixing Your Dachshund Too Soon

The following issues have been associated with neutering or spaying a Dachshund puppy too soon: Developmental Issues, Higher Risk of IVDD, Hip Dysplasia, Prone to Disease, and Separation Anxiety Issues.

Developmental Issues

Abnormalities in bone growth have been found in doxies that were fixed at an early age.  Experts have noticed that Dachshunds have much taller legs if they are fixed before going through puberty naturally.

It is believed that removing a puppy’s hormones before they are fully developed keeps their bone’s growth plates open longer than usual.  This causes the leg bones to grow longer than they should.

This extra bone growth not only leads to a disproportioned doxie, but also leads to ligament tears (a painful condition called CCL) and joint disease.

Higher Risk Of IVDD

25% of all Dachshunds are unfortunately cursed with the spinal condition called IVDD.  Bone growth abnormalities, like extra long legs, found in Dachshunds who were fixed at a young age puts them at a much higher risk for IVDD.  IVDD is the Dachshund’s worst enemy!

 
Wait To Fix Your Dachshund

Hip Dysplasia

Dachshunds that were spayed or neutered too early are more likely to develop hip dysplasia.  This is due to the removal of a puppy’s hormone producing organs, leading to underdeveloped hip joints.

When a Dachshund’s hip joint isn’t properly developed, their hips are more likely to keep dislocating, cause limping, or walking with a wobble.  Overtime, this can develop arthritis and lameness in your doxie.

“Dogs that were neutered — castrated or spayed under a year of age — developed joint disorders that were four times more prevalent than dogs that weren’t neutered under a year of age.” –Dr. Mike Hutchinson, of Animal General Hospital

Prone To Disease

Dogs (not just Dachshunds) who where castrated too soon have a higher rate of infection, disease, and are prone to certain types of cancers. Many dog shelters and rescues have even noticed the increase of the deadly parvovirus with shelter puppies who were fixed at an early age.

 

Hypothyroidism: The Dachshund dog breed is already extra prone to hypothyroidism, but their chances are even higher when altered too early.  Hypothyroidism is know to cause obesity, hair loss, itchy/dry skin, and high cholesterol.  Keep in mind, a dachshund that is overweight also has a higher risk of IVDD.

Heart Tumors:  Tumors on the heart were found more often in female dogs who were fixed too early versus dogs that were intact.  This is known as Hemangiosarcoma (HAS).

Cancer Risks: Many dogs that are spayed or neutered at a young age were diagnosed with cancer at a much younger age than dogs who weren’t.  Male dogs that were neutered too early were three times more likely to suffer from a cancer called lymphosarcoma.  The stats on female dogs are a bit more complex.  There are more details on that below.

 

Separation Anxiety

A dog with Separation Anxiety will panic and sometimes act out when their owner leaves the home.  This particular issue is well known when it comes to Dachshunds. They love to be around their people and tend to act spiteful when they aren’t around.

Dachshunds who were desexed (fixed) too early as pups have an increased chance of more Severe Separation Anxiety Issues.  This is definitely something that affected my Dachshund, Reno. 

He would destroy things in the house and leave unwanted “gifts” for me and my husband when we arrived home.  This was a huge challenge for us, but we found some ways to help him through this behavior.

 
Wait To Fix Your Dachshund

When Should I Spay Or Neuter My Dachshund?

When we brought home our dachshund puppy, Eko, his vet recommended that I wait to get him fixed after his first birthday.  Some vets even believe that you should wait up to 18 months before having the surgery.

Male Dachshunds: For the boys, anywhere between 12-18 months old is the best time to get your doxie neutered.

Female Dachshunds: For the girls, this can be a little more complicated.  Most female doxies have their first heat between 5-9 months of age.  Spaying your female Dachshund early may result in a lower risk of mammary cancer.  But, early spaying can also cause urinary incontinence and an increased risk of orthopedic disease.

Many vets recommend getting your female doxie spayed sometime after their first heat and before their second heat.  Definitely consult your personal vet on this one.  They do have the option for a partial spay, which may help reduce the cancer risks in female dachshunds.

I do believe that a Dachshund’s reproductive hormones are very necessary for proper development and bone growth. So, Wait To Fix Your Dachshund.

 
Wait To Fix Your Dachshund

Why It’s Hard To Wait

Get Ready!  It may be a bumpy road ahead.  Waiting for your doxie’s first birthday has it’s challenges.  Here is what to expect from your Dachshund when they start going through puberty (before they turn one). It’s also what will happen going forward if they don’t get fixed at all.

When my Dachshund’s vet asked me to wait on Eko’s surgery until he turned one, she also added “If you can wait that long.” She emphasized that his male hormones would be showing up and that can bring on a whole different personality. Well, she was correct.

 

Behavior Changes:

Around 10 months of age, my Dachshund, Eko, started showing aggression when he had a toy, a bone, or food.  This is often called possession aggression.  In the past, I noticed some very mild aggression from my first Dachshund, Reno…but, not like this! 

In the moment of Eko’s aggression, his eyes literally turned all black, he showed his teeth, sounded off a deep growl, and even gave a hard bite to my husband’s hand.

Our sweet and innocent doxie pup had turned into a little devil dog in a quick instant.  My husband and I were in shock!  It felt very much like a bazar transition from Dr. Jekll to Mr. Hyde.

Eko was showing us for the first time how strong his male hormones really were.  Folks, this was a first for me.  As I read a little more on the subject and heard from other Dachshund parents going through the same thing, I found that this is not a “new behavior” for Dachshunds at this age.  It is one of the major reasons why many of us get our Dachshunds fixed.

When Eko turned one, we didn’t hesitate to get him fixed because of the change in his behavior.  It was about a month after his surgery that we noticed a big difference in his aggression level.  I would describe it as going from a possessed devil dog down to a bratty teenager, which is a lot more tolerable.

Wait To Fix Your Dachshund

Marking:

Oh, the Pee!  I always tease my husband that having 10 Dachshunds is on my ultimate bucket list.  His response is always: “How would we clean up all the pee?”  Dachshunds tend to hold magic reserve tanks of urine.  Even after being properly potty trained, pee still finds it’s way into the home.

Intact Dachshunds will heavily mark certain spots on the rug or furniture to stake their claim… It’s mine!  After being fixed, about 50-60% of dogs stop marking in the home. That’s right, not all of them, but most of them will stop this stinky behavior.

 

Humping:

You knew this one was coming up, right?  My first Mini Dachshund, Reno, had the humping issue when he was a young pup.  He would ravish my couch pillows and any stuffed animals he could get his little paws wrapped around. 

After he had his way with them, he was so exhausted he could barely move.  He was like a machine! 

It got so bad that it felt more like an addiction that he couldn’t stop.  It had a strong grasp on him.  After Reno was fixed, there was no more of this behavior…it was gone!

Waiting for your doxie to reach that golden age of 1 can be really hard, but it is worth the wait to lower the health risks listed above.

Wait To Fix Your Dachshund

Conclusion:

I understand that this particular subject can get a bit heated with different opinions.  If some doxie parents decide not to fix their dachshund, that’s fine.  No two doxies are the same. If your dachshund was fixed very early in life and had no health issues, I am glad to hear it.

Please know, waiting to get your Dachshund fixed after going through puberty will reduce the risk of development issues and health risks.  This does not mean it will make them Disease Free, IVDD Free, or cause them to act like a perfect angel…we are still talking about Dachshunds, right? 

Thanks so much for reading about the 5 Reasons Why You Should Wait To Fix Your Dachshund.

 

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References:

Rick Dayton. “New Study Shows Potential Benefits Of Spaying/Neutering Dogs After Age 1.”  KDKA 2 CBS Pittsburg, 14 November 2016, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/