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  #11  
Old Jun 25, 2014, 09:53 PM
cookieP cookieP is offline
 
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Ted Kerasote is a man after my own heart as well. I just finished his book, and it has opened my eyes to so many things and really given a true thorough exposition that is research founded and scientifically backed. Plus a good dose of common sense.

Mignarda, if you like what Ted Kerasote had to say in that article, I highly, highly recommend his book Pukka's Promise. I just finished it. I have not yet read Merle's Door (which I should've read first) but I am sure it is also good. He has much to say about breeding, spaying/neutering, vaccinations, chemicals, freedom (dog freedom), genetics, diet, relationship with your dog…it is the best nonfiction book I have read probably in ten years. So informative. He finds answers to questions we've all asked ourselves and asks questions we haven't even thought to ask yet.

He also highlights the endocrine damage that is done by spaying and neutering, but does discuss some specific breeds that might benefit from S&N. He goes around to the world's best vets and vet schools and really picks their brains. Also goes to dog food manufacturing facilities, shelters across the country, homeopathic vets, "traditional" vets…does and discovers so many fascinating things.
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  #12  
Old Jun 26, 2014, 10:43 PM
Junebug Junebug is offline
 
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I read that book last summer. In a cruel example of irony (considering the subtitle of the book was "the search for longer lived dogs"), my sheltie, Graeme, died very young, at 11 1/2, that fall.

I did talk to my vet a bit about some of what I read, and suggested the book to him. I don't think he was impressed.

As for vasectemies and tubals for dogs, I wouldn't mind having it as an option, but I can't see it being a frequent choice. A tubal for a bitch would mean you'd still have the mess of a heat cycle, right? Males, perhaps, are a lot less of a concern anyway. It's one of the reasons I've gravitated to male dogs-- they are easier to keep intact.
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  #13  
Old Jun 27, 2014, 03:22 AM
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I notice Ted Kerasote doesn't mention Australia at all. We have the highest rates of dog longevity here and must be pretty high at the top of desexing rates. So I question his selection of examples. I don't see a problem with having choices but I think in the end the average dog owner would still go the way of complete desexing, esp with females where there's a chance of developing pyrometra . We also have dog birth control pills here, but so far everyone I know that has used them (for males) ended up getting the dog desexed. I guess it's a matter of how much they can teach in vet schools, and maybe the 'other options' fall more in the realm of specialists.
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  #14  
Old Jun 29, 2014, 08:17 AM
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Apparently, and I'm not a vet, but from what I've read from vets that do perform them it is an easy, simple operation to do that is less invasive than spay or neuter. Just as quick, if not quicker, if you know what you are doing. The only difference is the education. The vets are not being trained to do this in any vet schools in America (or were not as of 2011) and do not want to be seen as unskilled or uneducated and therefore most (not all) treat it as sort of a crazy concept and hogwash. ( http://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvett...sectomies-7245 )Seems like they spay and neuter because that's what they know and they've always done it. Vets almost never want to be questioned by patients as to whether or not they're up to date on their offerings. Nearly every vet I've ever talked to about trying new or different things that other vets are doing has been offended even when I am as humble and gentle with the question as possible.

They certainly don't want to feel like they're being one upped by a book (not saying they are actually being one upped by the book necessarily, but vets are pretty defensive). I had to search high and low to find a vet (finally, just recently) that thought additional knowledge and research might be good. Most vets I've had hate to be questioned. They just wanted me to nod my head.

There are certain breeds that are more prone to pyometra, and for those breeds, especially those in the top 10 (shelties are not even in the top 20) spaying may be more beneficial http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/iscfr/2012/74.pdf?LA=1. There are situations where spaying is preferable to tubal ligation. There are more benefits to spaying than neutering in general for sure. Especially when done at an older age (by older I mean when the dog is finished growing).

As for Ted's lack of discussion regarding Australia, that would be a good thing to ask him. I do not remember if he mentioned Australia in the book or not, but he is notorious for answering reader mail. The book certainly isn't perfect, although I was happy to constantly see references throughout the book, all of which are from peer-reviewed research from vets.
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  #15  
Old Jun 29, 2014, 10:38 AM
Mignarda Mignarda is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookieP View Post
As for Ted's lack of discussion regarding Australia, that would be a good thing to ask him.
I'm wondering if part of the reason for the increased longevity is that Australia doesn't have rabies; hence, no, or limited, rabies vaccination.
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  #16  
Old Jun 30, 2014, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mignarda View Post
I'm wondering if part of the reason for the increased longevity is that Australia doesn't have rabies; hence, no, or limited, rabies vaccination.
Yes we are lucky with less diseases and no rabies or lymes. But then we do have extremely high rates of snake bite, heartworm and the bane of all pet owners, the paralysis tick. Would be interesting if anyone worked out why, it's always discussed at conferences. One theory is it's what we feed - home cooked and scraps. But really most people nowadays feed kibble and supermarket brand foods. One thing though, if longevity had anything to do with desexing you just wouldn't be seeing the longevity here (desexing rates must be close to 90% here). The longevity is most noticeable in larger breeds, like Labs and Goldies (also the most popular dogs). Mind you, I think with the explosion in poodle crosses the rates may go down, the designer dogs don't seem to be that long lived.
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  #17  
Old Jun 30, 2014, 08:22 AM
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The desexing is just one small factor in the overall discussion that he has. Vaccinations certainly have something to do with it, particularly the rabies vaccination which here in the States has been known to cause extreme adverse reactions particularly in small dogs/older dogs. It certainly did in my pomeranian, who I quit vaccinating after age 7 because he was so sick after his rabies shot that I thought he might not make it.

Many people in the US give heart worm medications every single month, just as they do in Australia.

Anyway, I wonder if there is perhaps a different line of goldens and labs in Australia. Here one of the reasons the goldens are so short lived is because almost all of them get cancer, some of them multiple times. This is thought to be at least partly due to the inbreeding of goldens here with many of the same family lines with the same poor genetic predispositions health wise being crossed many times over. Maybe Australian goldens are from a different (semi-recent) genetic background? Just a thought!

Another thing I thought about is I imagine dogs in Australia get more freedom and get out and about than dogs here. I could *totally* be wrong, I have no clue, but Kerasote discusses the role of freedom in dogs longevity (off leash walking, dog doors, traveling with their owners to different places, socializing more, smelling new smells, having new experiences, etc). Many dogs here (obviously not all) but many have essentially no freedom. They sit in their owners house and except for orchestrated potty breaks and trips to the vet they never get out of the house. Perhaps that is different in Australia too?

And you might even feed better kibbles. Here, many people just feed dog chow or kibbles n bits (crappy foods full of corn and soy). Maybe Australia has owners that select higher quality feeds…very interesting discussion indeed :)
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  #18  
Old Jun 30, 2014, 10:35 AM
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Unfortunately Australia is very backwards about dogs. No areas for off leash walking, dogs are not allowed at cafes or stores (not even pet stores), no pets in apartments and rental properties so you have to have a house. Which is the saddest part of all, as there's an attitude that if you have a backyard you should have a dog in it. So most dogs never leave the yard, and never go inside a house. Canberra is the only place where dogs have freedom (similar to the British approach) which is why I stay here - despite the crappy weather.

The kibble we have is mostly low end. Only about 5 brands until recently. Although at least it's made locally and as we don't subsidise corn here you won't find corn syrup in dog food (so that's something to think about). In the last decade we've started importing the expensive US brands. Many dogs get fed table scraps which I mentioned is thought to be a positive.

Our vets are still giving annual injections (it's rare to titre) which is C4/5 plus heartworm. Nothing for rabies, ticks or snakes (wish we did for the latter though).

I think the breeding standards with pedigrees are the same as the US (not as bad as Britain was tho) - but most people get their dogs from pet shops or byb anyway.

Shame they haven't been able to work out what contributes to longevity, a dog's life is just so short. The only clear research I've seen is with a litter of labs where the underfed ones lived longer.
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  #19  
Old Jun 30, 2014, 03:11 PM
JessicaR JessicaR is offline
 
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Interesting thought on the table scraps. On another forum I used to belong to there was a person from Poland, and her families dogs regularly lived to be in there 20's all they were fed was table scraps, never any type of kibble. Also the dogs were all intact (family only ever owned males) I cant remember the breed of dog, I do remember they were medium size long haired dogs.
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