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2013 study on adverse impact of neutering on health of dogs

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  • #21
    Just to clarify, I think animal shelters in the US should indeed require s/n on the dogs and cats they adopt out!

    It is only those who are responsible, dedicated owners with appropriate facilities and management capabilities who have the privilege and responsibility to figure out out what is best for their particular animal, and of course it is, or should, go without saying that control of reproduction is already a given.

    I realize that in the US, at least, we are a small minority of dog owners. Nevertheless, we do exist!

    Comment


    • #22
      I'd s/n a beagle in a heartbeat!

      But, grayarabpony, the data from multiple studies is pretty compelling that for large breed dogs which are prone to osteosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma, the risk of those cancers is so much greater for s/n vs intact animals, that it is pretty compelling that they are at much less risk of death if kept intact.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Houndhill View Post
        I'd s/n a beagle in a heartbeat!

        But, grayarabpony, the data from multiple studies is pretty compelling that for large breed dogs which are prone to osteosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma, the risk of those cancers is so much greater for s/n vs intact animals, that it is pretty compelling that they are at much less risk of death if kept intact.
        For a couple of years, as I recall, which I put in my previous post. After that no added benefit. The risk doubles if the animal is neutered before a year of age. The genetics of the animal is also key in whether or not the animal will develop cancer. Leaving the animal entire does not mean it won't get cancer.

        For hemangiosarcoma there was no increase in risk in that cancer between animals spayed early (before one year of age) and entire animals in the Golden Retreiver study.

        How many of these large breed dogs will end up lost/ hit by cars while they're out looking for some.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
          You did read the Shade thread, right? A quarter of bitches will develop a pyometra by the age of 10, and then there's a HIGH rate of recurrence.
          .
          Sad as was was that Shade was lost following surgury for pyometra at ten years of age, who's to say that she only made it to that age because of the fact that she was intact? As a large lab/shepherd mixed breed dog, she might have died from bone cancer, hemangiosarcoma, or lymphoma at age five or six, had she been spayed, who knows?

          I've lost many IWs at ages four, five, and six to bone cancer over 40 years. I've had only one pyometra case, and she did fine after a spay surgury. Today, I would have instructed the surgeons to spare her ovaries.

          With my breed, I will continue to maintain intact animals unless there are health reasons that make gonadectomies/hysterectomies necessary. That is what the research evidence indicates ata this point, I am open to further evidence.

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
            For a couple of years, as I recall, which I put in my previous post. After that no added benefit. The risk doubles if the animal is neutered before a year of age. The genetics of the animal is also key in whether or not the animal will develop cancer. Leaving the animal entire does not mean it won't get cancer.

            For hemangiosarcoma there was no increase in risk in that cancer between animals spayed early (before one year of age) and entire animals in the Golden Retreiver study.

            How many of these large breed dogs will end up lost/ hit by cars while they're out looking for some.
            That is not the conclusion I draw....the longer a bitch has ovaries, the smaller the risk.

            How many will be lost or hit by cars while out looking for sex? I've had zero so far, in forty years. But again, if you are looking from a population point of view, in the US with irresponsible owners, yes! you do have to factor that in. With responsible individuals in the US it is different, or at the population level in some other countries where responsible dog owners are more the norm, the decision can be made upon what is best for that individual animal's health, as proper management is the norm. Not the case in the US, I know!!

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Houndhill View Post
              Just to clarify, I think animal shelters in the US should indeed require s/n on the dogs and cats they adopt out!
              I don't quite understand. If leaving an animal intact should be a decision made by owners because there are health benefits to the pet, why should shelters be allowed to take that decision away from people who acquire a pet second-hand?

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              • #27
                That's great that you've had zero get out. You obviously don't live in an area with people who need to get into your yard to read meters or work on cable boxes. You obviously don't live in an area where it's constantly windy, where 35mph sustained is typical and gusts over 75mph aren't unusual. Fences come down in this area daily from the damned wind.

                I never said whether I was for or against s/n. I never said whether my dogs are altered, though I will say one is because he came from the shelter (Fantastic running partner, btw). I simply said I have a hard time WITH THIS ONE 2013 STUDY because they used one breed pool. One breed with numerous inheritable health issues BEFORE any s/n talk.

                For the record, my dogs have never gotten out. My dogs growing up only got out once because a meter reader left the gate standing wide open. Those two dogs were spayed. Neither had health issues. Both lived into their twenties (Lhasa was 21, Maltese, who had a horrors start to life and was rescued a age 2 from her hell with our neighbors, lived to 26).
                "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Houndhill View Post
                  That is not the conclusion I draw....the longer a bitch has ovaries, the smaller the risk.

                  How many will be lost or hit by cars while out looking for sex? I've had zero so far, in forty years. But again, if you are looking from a population point of view, in the US with irresponsible owners, yes! you do have to factor that in. With responsible individuals in the US it is different, or at the population level in some other countries where responsible dog owners are more the norm, the decision can be made upon what is best for that individual animal's health, as proper management is the norm. Not the case in the US, I know!!
                  Why do you draw that conclusion? Is there a study that backs that up, or is that wishful thinking on your part?

                  Dogs can get away even from responsible dog owners. Most dogs are not as low energy as a wolfhound.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    How many have actually looked at figures 1 and 2 in the Golden Retriever study?

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
                      I don't quite understand. If leaving an animal intact should be a decision made by owners because there are health benefits to the pet, why should shelters be allowed to take that decision away from people who acquire a pet second-hand?
                      I suppose because shelters in the US must adopt out animals to less than optimal homes to keep them from being euthanized? It does seem a shame, but evidently that across the board policy is something many shelters feel is needed yo prevent reproduction. Plus, I think the pro-s/n agenda has been so promoted that many are convinced it is absolutely the best thing for the health of all dogs, to the point where some folks are not willing to entertain any scientific evidence to the contrary.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Kenike View Post
                        That's great that you've had zero get out. You obviously don't live in an area with people who need to get into your yard to read meters or work on cable boxes. You obviously don't live in an area where it's constantly windy, where 35mph sustained is typical and gusts over 75mph aren't unusual. Fences come down in this area daily from the damned wind.
                        And some dogs are champion jumpers and diggers. A fence really ought to be 6', with wire buried underneath to keep the dog from digging out from under it. My FIL gad to bury wire under his dog pens so they couldn't dig out when the bitches were in heat.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                          Why do you draw that conclusion? Is there a study that backs that up, or is that wishful thinking

                          Dogs can get away even from responsible dog owners. Most dogs are not as low energy as a wolfhound.
                          That is from the Rottie study.

                          Oh, yes, I am very aware that dogs can get away from even responsible owners! I did have a wolfhound bitch get away who was lost for two weeks! New dog sitter, horrible situation, we did nothing 24/7 but look for our beloved Tulip! We were so fortunate to find her so had a happy ending. We also have had a tree come down on fences, yes it definitely can happen! There are injections of prostaglandin F2 alpha you can do in case of accidental breedings, fortunately Tulip was not in heat at the time she was lost.

                          Tulip evidently hunted deer while she was missing, she had not lost much weight. What a nightmare though!

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Up until recently I spayed/neutered my dogs if they werent uses for breeding. However, with new evidence that intact is "better" I went along with it. Well, one of my intact females is now dead and the other has osteosarcoma. Neither have made their 8th birthday. Not sure if its just my luck or what.

                            My oldest is 14, and he was neutered at 6 months. Other than his neuter, never had a surgery or sick day in his life.

                            Although I had planned on having my youngest spayed, I had a setback with the loss of my older one. Its still in the books for her though, she is not having a litter and is now fully mature (2 years old).

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              The Rottie study showed an increased risk with EARLY neutering:

                              "This risk was further studied in Rottweilers, a breed with a relatively high risk of osteosarcoma. This retrospective cohort study broke the risk down by age at spay/neuter, and found that the elevated risk of osteosarcoma is associated with spay/neuter of young dogs14. Rottweilers spayed/neutered before one year of age were 3.8 (males) or 3.1 (females) times more likely to develop osteosarcoma than intact dogs. Indeed, the combination of breed risk and early spay/neuter meant that Rottweilers spayed/neutered before one year of age had a 28.4% (males) and 25.1% (females) risk of developing osteosarcoma. These results are consistent with the earlier multi-breed study13 but have an advantage of assessing risk as a function of age at neuter. A logical conclusion derived from combining the findings of these two studies is that spay/neuter of dogs before 1 year of age is associated with a significantly increased risk of osteosarcoma."

                              Houndhill, believe me, I do not disapprove of someone keeping their dogs entire if they can manage the dogs well. I'm just not seeing the scientific evidence that there is a big advantage for keeping the dogs entire long-term for many breeds, at this time.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Houndhill View Post
                                Sad as was was that Shade was lost following surgury for pyometra at ten years of age, who's to say that she only made it to that age because of the fact that she was intact? As a large lab/shepherd mixed breed dog, she might have died from bone cancer, hemangiosarcoma, or lymphoma at age five or six, had she been spayed, who knows?

                                I've lost many IWs at ages four, five, and six to bone cancer over 40 years. I've had only one pyometra case, and she did fine after a spay surgury. Today, I would have instructed the surgeons to spare her ovaries.

                                With my breed, I will continue to maintain intact animals unless there are health reasons that make gonadectomies/hysterectomies necessary. That is what the research evidence indicates ata this point, I am open to further evidence.
                                Shade was a Lab x Border collie, I wish I could say for sure I did the right thing by her. A month ago I would have said that there was no reason to spay either of mygirls. Now Shade is gone and I don`t know if spaying Dynamite is the right thing to do.

                                Would you spay an active 6 yr old Golden Retriever x Lab who has never been sick a day in her life? Am I being paranoid thinking she might get sick too? It would kill me to lose her to complications from surgery.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  If you have ever seen a puppy mill, in person, you will know exactly why shelters require pets spayed/neutered before leaving.

                                  Years ago I worked at a shelter, it was an awful job but eye opening. We microchipped everything, but didnt spay/neuter (gave a voucher for a spay/neuter at new owners choice) After a puppymill raid, and realizing 100+ bitches came from the shelters, the new policy of EVERY animal getting fixed was implemented.

                                  I would much rather see a dog live a quality and (maybe) shorter life than have to be stuck at a puppy mill in a mass breeding operation where they are neglected, repeatedly bred/abused and fearful of people.

                                  It happens. I 101% agree with ANY dog leaving a shelter to be altered. You cant guarantee what type of home they will get and shelters dont follow through the dogs life like many good breeders do.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by cnigh View Post
                                    Shade was a Lab x Border collie, I wish I could say for sure I did the right thing by her. A month ago I would have said that there was no reason to spay either of mygirls. Now Shade is gone and I don`t know if spaying Dynamite is the right thing to do.

                                    Would you spay an active 6 yr old Golden Retriever x Lab who has never been sick a day in her life? Am I being paranoid thinking she might get sick too? It would kill me to lose her to complications from surgery.
                                    I would spay her. The 24 per cent of females developing pyos by the age of 10 came from a Swedish study.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Ugh, I hope its not a new trend to be telling people their dogs are at health risk if they are spayed/neutered.

                                      Where to even start? Its just simply not true that all neutered pets are obese or that they are ticking time bombs for dropping dead at a young age.

                                      Why would you even want an intact dog? Females bleeding in the house and horny males? yuck

                                      Unless you keep your dog confined in your house at all times and take it outside on the leash only, there is no way to be sure it cant breed. Dogs can jump in and out of yards, escape accidentally from a yard or take a detour if being walked off leash, it could get away from a dog walker/pet sitter/while being boarded, etc. etc.

                                      No one is forcing you to get your dog fixed (unless its a shelter/rescue dog but anyone who spouts this nonsense must be a dog breeder or someone who doesnt know or care about all the dogs being killed in shelters everyday) so PLEASE dont be encouraging this.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        cnight - tough decision, as you can never know what "may" happen in any given situation.

                                        For example, I have had 4 female dogs. 3 of them were spayed at 6 months.
                                        - German Shep lived to 15+
                                        - JRT still going strong at 16+
                                        - Lab x Staffie is 13
                                        - Greyhound x passed away at 11 (spayed at 1.5 years old) due to sudden stoke/clot.

                                        NONE of them have ever required hospitalization (except for eating chocolate lol).

                                        I lost a 7 year old neutered male to potential toxin ingestion.
                                        I lost a (8?) intact pomeranian to renal disease.
                                        Still have 14 year old JRT, neutered at 5 months.

                                        So in MY anectodal experience, females live longer than males. Regardless if they are neutered or not. But in all seriousness, for most dogs spaying or leaving intact isnt frequently the root cause of illness/death.

                                        The only exception (in my experience in medicine) is pyometera. I have known far too many intact females die from complications of pyos. Easily see tenfold more cases of pyo's than I do osteosarcomas,hemangiosarcomas, etc.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
                                          It happens. I 101% agree with ANY dog leaving a shelter to be altered. You cant guarantee what type of home they will get and shelters dont follow through the dogs life like many good breeders do.
                                          I totally agree. I once volunteered at an animal shelter, and had to select which dogs got euthanized, then personally gave the injection so as to spare them from the CO 2 chamber. I also got to pick which dogs went for medical research. If I liked a dog, I usually killed it. Dogs were adopted out to homes I would not have considered, but they were s/n so as not to continue the cycle.

                                          I did not volunteer there very long, I'm afraid it was just too difficult. Fortunately, things have improved there over the years. They no longer sell the dogs for research purposes, and all are euthanized by injection. The euthanasia rate is greatly decreased.

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