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2013 study on adverse impact of neutering on health of dogs

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  • #61
    Originally posted by wendy View Post



    I'd happily have traded the inconvenience of a couple of heats in order to improve her quality of life and possibly extend her life, and think it mind-boggling that anyone would even consider their personal inconvenience more important than the dog's quality of life.

    Lots of people keep intact pets, and manage to not let them breed. Just because some irresponsible people somewhere else let their dogs breed, doesn't mean that should have anything at all to do with your decisions about what you, a responsible person, will do.
    *steps onto massive soap box*

    This is bigger than you or any other singular responsible owner. It does not matter whether a portion of the people adopting animals are responsible the majority are not. You are in the minority.

    People barely provide sufficient medical care and keep their dogs in outdoor kennels or locked inside all day. The average dog is poorly trained and receives minimal exercise and stimulation, allowed to become morbidly obese and often suffers from chronic ear infections (likely tied to the cheap grain-heavy diet). If you truly do not think that this is the life of the average American dog then you really need to step back and look at the big picture. Maybe in your animal-friendly sliver of the country you don't see the reality but that does not mean it isn't there. Americans are not responsible with their animals.

    Even with low-cost spay and neuter clinics people cannot be bothered to get their animals to a clinic. Even free spaying and neutering is not enough to tempt many people to get their butts off a couch and to a mobile clinic.

    Knowing this, why on earth would we arm these people with the knowledge that there are health benefits from spaying and neutering later? Where are we going to get the funding to provide for the extra animals irresponsibly created? Where are we going to get the resources to police people down the road and ensure they spayed and neutered post adoption? How are we going to handle people who will not comply?

    In terms of policy making, the costs of these potential health issues are far less than the potential repercussions from allowing people to adopt intact animals and informing them about the potential health benefits.

    I would never support a rescue that allowed animals to be adopted out intact unless they had the funding and legal support to reclaim that animal if proof of neutering was not produced by a set date and the likelihood of that seems slim.

    We are the minority.

    The apathy that most people have towards their "loved" pets is truly staggering. 6 years of experience working in vets office taught me that ignorance and neglect is not limited to geographical area, SES, education, gender, age, race, etc. It is pervasive and deeply rooted in America. Until people change the way they approach animal ownership, early spaying and neutering is the least of our concerns.

    *steps off soapbox to take intact dog to the park*

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
      *steps onto massive soap box*

      This is bigger than you or any other singular responsible owner. It does not matter whether a portion of the people adopting animals are responsible the majority are not. You are in the minority.

      People barely provide sufficient medical care and keep their dogs in outdoor kennels or locked inside all day. The average dog is poorly trained and receives minimal exercise and stimulation, allowed to become morbidly obese and often suffers from chronic ear infections (likely tied to the cheap grain-heavy diet). If you truly do not think that this is the life of the average American dog then you really need to step back and look at the big picture. Maybe in your animal-friendly sliver of the country you don't see the reality but that does not mean it isn't there. Americans are not responsible with their animals.

      Even with low-cost spay and neuter clinics people cannot be bothered to get their animals to a clinic. Even free spaying and neutering is not enough to tempt many people to get their butts off a couch and to a mobile clinic.

      Knowing this, why on earth would we arm these people with the knowledge that there are health benefits from spaying and neutering later? Where are we going to get the funding to provide for the extra animals irresponsibly created? Where are we going to get the resources to police people down the road and ensure they spayed and neutered post adoption? How are we going to handle people who will not comply?

      In terms of policy making, the costs of these potential health issues are far less than the potential repercussions from allowing people to adopt intact animals and informing them about the potential health benefits.

      I would never support a rescue that allowed animals to be adopted out intact unless they had the funding and legal support to reclaim that animal if proof of neutering was not produced by a set date and the likelihood of that seems slim.

      We are the minority.

      The apathy that most people have towards their "loved" pets is truly staggering. 6 years of experience working in vets office taught me that ignorance and neglect is not limited to geographical area, SES, education, gender, age, race, etc. It is pervasive and deeply rooted in America. Until people change the way they approach animal ownership, early spaying and neutering is the least of our concerns.

      *steps off soapbox to take intact dog to the park*
      I agree and not only that, I have seen over the past few decades this and that study saying this and that and some in the dog world taking it and running with it.
      I have friends that didn't spay until after the first heat because supposedly their dogs would be healthier later and guess what, they had just as many problems as their previously early spayed ones, plus they had incontinence problems now to boot.

      And so on.

      There is no action without reaction.
      There are trade-offs to all we do.
      Sure, there may be some dog that may have been this or that better if not spayed early, but you know what, maybe not either.
      I still say, as a general rule, spaying right before sexual maturity is still in general best, in the personal experience of those that have been in the dog world very long, be it vets, trainers or just educated dog owners.

      As for not spaying, just having to go thru one pyometra will quickly bring that home to anyone that doesn't.
      If you are a breeder, well, you don't have a choice and all breeders I know spay as soon as they decide they won't breed or not breed that one any more.
      Anyone else that doesn't spay, just hope your dog doesn't has that problem, because, as our vets say, after having to treat those dogs, with fatal consequences many times, it was so, so avoidable.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by wendy View Post
        well, it seems to be true that they are at increased health risks if they are neutered, particularly if neutered at a young age, so I hope this will indeed be the "new trend", rather than the current trend of telling people untruths about it.

        If your dog had cancer, and your vet told you a pack of lies about the dog's prognosis and possible side effects from treatment, and you therefore made a bad decision about what to do for your dog, you'd be more than a little ticked off. So you should be very angry about what the vets, and the rescues, and the shelters, are currently telling pet owners about the impact of neutering on health.

        If you're a responsible pet owner, you weigh the pros and cons before making decisions about what to do for your pet. You can't weigh the pros and cons if you don't know what they are.

        I had a bitch who was spayed at a very young age by a rescue. She suffered life-long from recurrent UTIs and vaginal infections and "spay incontinence". I knew those were directly caused by the early spay. She also went on to suffer through two CCL tears/repairs, and then a bit later died young from a cancer. I suspect all of her health problems could have been avoided if only the rescue had let me wait until she matured before spaying. I'd happily have traded the inconvenience of a couple of heats in order to improve her quality of life and possibly extend her life, and think it mind-boggling that anyone would even consider their personal inconvenience more important than the dog's quality of life.

        Lots of people keep intact pets, and manage to not let them breed. Just because some irresponsible people somewhere else let their dogs breed, doesn't mean that should have anything at all to do with your decisions about what you, a responsible person, will do.
        I'v had multiple dogs in my family my entire life and never had one die from an issue related to being neutered. But even if there was a possible chance of it I. Would not hesitate to do it. No freakin way am I cleaning up dog discharge and I do walk my dogs offleash sometimes, have them in my yard, etc. The bebefits so far outweigh the risks that their is not even ahesitation to me.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
          *steps onto massive soap box*

          This is bigger than you or any other singular responsible owner. It does not matter whether a portion of the people adopting animals are responsible the majority are not. You are in the minority.

          People barely provide sufficient medical care and keep their dogs in outdoor kennels or locked inside all day. The average dog is poorly trained and receives minimal exercise and stimulation, allowed to become morbidly obese and often suffers from chronic ear infections (likely tied to the cheap grain-heavy diet). If you truly do not think that this is the life of the average American dog then you really need to step back and look at the big picture. Maybe in your animal-friendly sliver of the country you don't see the reality but that does not mean it isn't there. Americans are not responsible with their animals.

          Even with low-cost spay and neuter clinics people cannot be bothered to get their animals to a clinic. Even free spaying and neutering is not enough to tempt many people to get their butts off a couch and to a mobile clinic.

          Knowing this, why on earth would we arm these people with the knowledge that there are health benefits from spaying and neutering later? Where are we going to get the funding to provide for the extra animals irresponsibly created? Where are we going to get the resources to police people down the road and ensure they spayed and neutered post adoption? How are we going to handle people who will not comply?

          In terms of policy making, the costs of these potential health issues are far less than the potential repercussions from allowing people to adopt intact animals and informing them about the potential health benefits.

          I would never support a rescue that allowed animals to be adopted out intact unless they had the funding and legal support to reclaim that animal if proof of neutering was not produced by a set date and the likelihood of that seems slim.

          We are the minority.

          The apathy that most people have towards their "loved" pets is truly staggering. 6 years of experience working in vets office taught me that ignorance and neglect is not limited to geographical area, SES, education, gender, age, race, etc. It is pervasive and deeply rooted in America. Until people change the way they approach animal ownership, early spaying and neutering is the least of our concerns.

          *steps off soapbox to take intact dog to the park*
          Thank you for this. I feel the same way but couldn't have put it as eloquently.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by wendy View Post
            well, it seems to be true that they are at increased health risks if they are neutered, particularly if neutered at a young age, so I hope this will indeed be the "new trend", rather than the current trend of telling people untruths about it.

            If your dog had cancer, and your vet told you a pack of lies about the dog's prognosis and possible side effects from treatment, and you therefore made a bad decision about what to do for your dog, you'd be more than a little ticked off. So you should be very angry about what the vets, and the rescues, and the shelters, are currently telling pet owners about the impact of neutering on health.

            If you're a responsible pet owner, you weigh the pros and cons before making decisions about what to do for your pet. You can't weigh the pros and cons if you don't know what they are.

            I had a bitch who was spayed at a very young age by a rescue. She suffered life-long from recurrent UTIs and vaginal infections and "spay incontinence". I knew those were directly caused by the early spay. She also went on to suffer through two CCL tears/repairs, and then a bit later died young from a cancer. I suspect all of her health problems could have been avoided if only the rescue had let me wait until she matured before spaying. I'd happily have traded the inconvenience of a couple of heats in order to improve her quality of life and possibly extend her life, and think it mind-boggling that anyone would even consider their personal inconvenience more important than the dog's quality of life.

            Lots of people keep intact pets, and manage to not let them breed. Just because some irresponsible people somewhere else let their dogs breed, doesn't mean that should have anything at all to do with your decisions about what you, a responsible person, will do.
            What was the dog treated with? When my dog started developing UTIs at the age of 10 years PPA didn't work but estrogen therapy worked wonders.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by saratoga View Post
              I'v had multiple dogs in my family my entire life and never had one die from an issue related to being neutered. But even if there was a possible chance of it I. Would not hesitate to do it. No freakin way am I cleaning up dog discharge and I do walk my dogs offleash sometimes, have them in my yard, etc. The bebefits so far outweigh the risks that their is not even ahesitation to me.
              I do think that this is best for many people, but I think that breed has to be taken into account. I had a male that had been neutered at 6 months who died of bone cancer. This was a large breed. Thankfully, he was able to reach a decent age before this happened, but it is always hard. I do wonder if he would have had bone cancer if I'd waited another 6 months or year to have him neutered. When you are talking about a larger dog, and a breed more prone to these types of cancers, then it can be a different set of considerations. I am not asking shelters to start adopting dogs out unaltered, but I do think that there is a stereotype that if you have an unaltered animal then you must be ignorant and that your dog isn't well cared for or well-trained. Surgical alteration is a great thing and I do plan to have all of my dogs altered eventually, but a lot more thought goes into the "when" of it now.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
                *steps onto massive soap box*

                This is bigger than you or any other singular responsible owner. It does not matter whether a portion of the people adopting animals are responsible the majority are not. You are in the minority.

                People barely provide sufficient medical care and keep their dogs in outdoor kennels or locked inside all day. The average dog is poorly trained and receives minimal exercise and stimulation, allowed to become morbidly obese and often suffers from chronic ear infections (likely tied to the cheap grain-heavy diet). If you truly do not think that this is the life of the average American dog then you really need to step back and look at the big picture. Maybe in your animal-friendly sliver of the country you don't see the reality but that does not mean it isn't there. Americans are not responsible with their animals.

                Even with low-cost spay and neuter clinics people cannot be bothered to get their animals to a clinic. Even free spaying and neutering is not enough to tempt many people to get their butts off a couch and to a mobile clinic.

                Knowing this, why on earth would we arm these people with the knowledge that there are health benefits from spaying and neutering later? Where are we going to get the funding to provide for the extra animals irresponsibly created? Where are we going to get the resources to police people down the road and ensure they spayed and neutered post adoption? How are we going to handle people who will not comply?

                In terms of policy making, the costs of these potential health issues are far less than the potential repercussions from allowing people to adopt intact animals and informing them about the potential health benefits.

                I would never support a rescue that allowed animals to be adopted out intact unless they had the funding and legal support to reclaim that animal if proof of neutering was not produced by a set date and the likelihood of that seems slim.

                We are the minority.

                The apathy that most people have towards their "loved" pets is truly staggering. 6 years of experience working in vets office taught me that ignorance and neglect is not limited to geographical area, SES, education, gender, age, race, etc. It is pervasive and deeply rooted in America. Until people change the way they approach animal ownership, early spaying and neutering is the least of our concerns.

                *steps off soapbox to take intact dog to the park*
                Awesome!!! Exactly what I was trying to say, but you said it much better!!! Thank you!!!
                Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
                friendship without envy or beauty without vanity?
                Ode to the Horse. ~ Ronald Duncan

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by Casey09 View Post
                  I do think that this is best for many people, but I think that breed has to be taken into account. I had a male that had been neutered at 6 months who died of bone cancer. This was a large breed. Thankfully, he was able to reach a decent age before this happened, but it is always hard. I do wonder if he would have had bone cancer if I'd waited another 6 months or year to have him neutered. When you are talking about a larger dog, and a breed more prone to these types of cancers, then it can be a different set of considerations. I am not asking shelters to start adopting dogs out unaltered, but I do think that there is a stereotype that if you have an unaltered animal then you must be ignorant and that your dog isn't well cared for or well-trained. Surgical alteration is a great thing and I do plan to have all of my dogs altered eventually, but a lot more thought goes into the "when" of it now.
                  Sorry about your dog, but I know several dogs that were neutered later in life or not at all, large breed also, that died of cancer before ten.

                  I think that the correlation with neutering past puberty and cancer late in life for big breed dogs is tenuous at best, because the first reason big breed dogs are prone to cancer when older is that they are, well, big breed dogs.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Casey09 View Post
                    I do think that this is best for many people, but I think that breed has to be taken into account. I had a male that had been neutered at 6 months who died of bone cancer. This was a large breed. Thankfully, he was able to reach a decent age before this happened, but it is always hard. I do wonder if he would have had bone cancer if I'd waited another 6 months or year to have him neutered. When you are talking about a larger dog, and a breed more prone to these types of cancers, then it can be a different set of considerations. I am not asking shelters to start adopting dogs out unaltered, but I do think that there is a stereotype that if you have an unaltered animal then you must be ignorant and that your dog isn't well cared for or well-trained. Surgical alteration is a great thing and I do plan to have all of my dogs altered eventually, but a lot more thought goes into the "when" of it now.
                    I lost my mutt to hemangiosarcoma at age 10. He was age 4 and intact when I got him. He was neutered 1 week after I got him.
                    I had a lab that was spayed at approximately 11/months 1 year old. He had hip displasia, elbow displasia and died from osteosarcoma.

                    I did decide to not neuter my current lab until 22 months. He has elbow displasia anyway. Both parents were certified clear. The late neuter didn't help him there. Obviously not sure on the cancer front.

                    Neutering the first two late and later didn't seem to make a difference with cancer for them.

                    Don't beat yourself up for neutering at 6 months versus 1 year versus 2 years. Genetics play such a big roll in dysplasias and cancers.

                    Friend has a JRT. She kept him intact until he was 10. Oops she just spent about $3,000 on treating him and getting him neutered for a testicular abcess and testicular cancer. He had not been breed for about 7 years.
                    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Anecdotes are not evidence.

                      However, humans are very prone to give much weight to anecdotal evidence. That is why we need studies at the population level to give us information about how s/n affects relative risks.

                      We all know cases of "My dog was neutered at birth and lived to be 23" and "my last three intact dogs had no health problems ever and lived forever" and "My friend spayed her dog and she got bone cancer anyway."

                      The Hart study on Goldens and the Rottie study clearly show nontrivial increases in the risk of developing osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, some orthopedic problems, and other health issues. Does this mean an intact animal will not develop these problems, of course not. However, it has been demonstrated that the risk increases with s/n for these breeds. Which particular individuals will be affected is another question.

                      The Irish Wolfhound Foundation is funding research to identify the gene(s) responsible for the development of osteosarcoma in Irish Wolfhounds. Perhaps, much like as is being done for women with the genetic predisposition to develop breast cancer and certain other cancers, we will be able to someday identify those Irish Wolfhounds most at risk for developing osteosarcoma, and those who are at less risk, and make health decisions such as whether to spay that are informed by this data.

                      PS As I have stated before (repeatedly), I support the s/n of shelter animals in the US.

                      Off to walk my seven intact IWs and one who is neutered.

                      By the way, just FYI, bitches in heat vary widely in terms of how much discharge they have. My beloved Tulip, who comes in only once a year, stays in the house when she is in heat. She keeps herself clean, does not wear any garments, and it is very much a nonevent. Wish they were all that way!

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        I've been involved in rescue for several years now; both my dogs are rescues. I've long been a staunch supporter of neutering dogs by six months. But the evidence continues to accumulate saying that is not the best thing for the dogs. It makes sense - hormones are important in the development of the body and mind. Removing them, particularly before maturity, is going to have a lot of effects. Some are good, some are not. It is up to the individual to weigh the pros and cons themselves and make a decision.

                        I fully support rescue dogs being altered prior to adoption. The rescue I'm connected with used to send puppies home intact, with a large refund of the adoption fee when proof of alteration was shown. People didn't do it. The rescue now does pediatric neuters prior to sending the dogs home. Do I love it? No. Would I adopt a dog who had be altered that young? No. Do I understand and support the rescue? Absolutely.

                        Both of my dogs were altered "later". My female at about 18 months (when she was turned into rescue) and my male at 11 months. I got my male at 7 weeks, and since it was a private rescue, had free rein as to when to neuter. I had planned to do him at a year; for a variety of reasons, I did him a bit earlier. At 25 lbs now, he was pretty much full grown. My dogs are active athletes and competitive agility dogs. I firmly believe that altering them later gives them a better chance of staying sound and healthy longer.

                        It isn't the right answer for everyone, certainly. I may not think it is in the dog's best interest to neuter young, but I'm not going to judge anyone who makes that decision. I think that "those people" who are deciding not to neuter out of laziness, or want to breed and experience the miracle of life, are going to keep doing their thing regardless of what studies say. Those people who are reading these studies and keeping up with research and making informed decisions? They aren't the ones filling up the shelters.
                        "Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." ~Mal, Firefly

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          I find the info interesting and one of many things that I considered carefully when I did spay and neuter by dogs. Ultimately I signed a contract with my breeder that I would spay/neuter my dogs before they reached 1 year of age. Done deal. I honor my promises. For both I did wait as long as I could (11 months on both male and female) and I do think that there are good arguments FOR waiting until the second year to spay/neuter. But for me there was also compelling reasons to spay before 12 months 1. the contract 2. the intact females that fought when ever they came into heat and the spayed female looked at her wrong, and 3) the reality that my trainer would not accept an intact male over a certain age into her day care program.

                          To the poster that asked WHY shelters require adopted dogs to be s/n.... perhaps it is because they put millions of dogs to sleep every year?

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            According to the Rottweiler study, the results for a higher risk of osteosarcoma are statistically significant (typically a p value of 0.05, meaning that there is 95 per cent likelihood of a hypothesis being proved by the data) only for the groups spayed earlier than one year of age.

                            Graphs:
                            http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content...expansion.html

                            http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content...expansion.html

                            Entire article: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/11/11/1434.full
                            Last edited by grayarabpony; Apr. 19, 2013, 09:34 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              χ2 test for trend showed a highly significant inverse dose-response relationship between duration of lifetime gonadal exposure and incidence rate of bone sarcoma (P = 0.008 for males, P = 0.006 for females). This association was independent of adult height or body weight. We conclude that the subset of Rottweiler dogs that undergo early gonadectomy represent a unique, highly accessible target population to further study the gene:environment interactions that determine bone sarcoma risk and to test whether interventions can inhibit the spontaneous development of bone sarcoma.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                That included the group spayed early, which is what caused those results. READ. THE. PAPER. Also read up on statistical significance.

                                You are demonstrating how humans love to see what's really not there in scientific papers. lol

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                                • #76
                                  In summary, this study found that male and female Rottweilers with the shortest lifetime gonadal exposure had the highest risk for bone sarcoma. Dogs that underwent early elective gonadectomy had a one in four lifetime risk of bone sarcoma development compared with a significantly reduced risk among dogs that were sexually intact throughout their lifetime. Although it remains unclear how endogenous gonadal hormones influence bone sarcoma development, our work provides the framework for selecting a target population for bone sarcoma prevention studies. We have identified a subgroup of Rottweiler dogs, recognizable as young adults, that are at high risk to subsequently develop spontaneous bone sarcoma. With the identification of this target population, practical clinical trials using pet dogs can be designed to test whether chemoprevention strategies can significantly delay or prevent the development of bone sarcoma. The conduct of such trials using pet dogs will further validate the use of the comparative approach to develop and test novel strategies that will decrease cancer-related mortality in humans.

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                                  • #77
                                    All you are doing is quoting from the paper and proving my point, that only Rottweilers spayed before one year of age showed a statistically significant increase in risk in bone cancer.

                                    if you think the paper says something else you're just incorrect.

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                                    • #78
                                      From the Hart study on Goldens:

                                      For all five diseases analyzed in the present study, the disease rates in males and/or females were significantly increased when neutering was performed early and/or late. When a disease occurred in intact dogs, the occurrence was typically one-fourth to one-half that of early- and/or late-neutered dogs. When no intact dogs were diagnosed with a disease, such as with CCL in both sexes and MCT in females, the occurrence in early- and/or late-neutered dogs ranged between 4 and 8 percent of the sample.

                                      The results are consistent with all of the previously reported findings, mentioned in the introduction, of neutering in males and/or females in increasing the likelihood of HSA, LSA, MCT and CCL by about the same degree. However, this is the first study to specifically report an effect of late neutering on MCT and HSA. In the case of HD, which was doubled in the early-neutered males in the present study, the previous study reported a significant increase by only 17 percent in neutered dogs grouped together [15]. These contrasting differences with the effects of neutering on HD profile the value of the approach of the present study in focusing on just one breed and separating out the effects of gender and early versus late neutering.

                                      An important point to make is that the results of this study, being breed-specific, with regard to the effects of early and late neutering cannot be extrapolated to other breeds, or dogs in general. Because of breed-specific vulnerabilities, certain diseases being affected by neutering in Golden Retrievers may not occur in other breeds. By the same token, different joint disorders or cancers may be increased in likelihood in a different breed. A full understanding of the disease conditions affected by neutering across an array of different breeds will require several more breed-specific studies.

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                                      • #79
                                        Further from Hart study:

                                        The findings presented here are clinically relevant in two realms. For dog owners and service dogs trainers and caretakers using the popular Golden Retriever as the service dog, the study points to the importance of acquiring information needed for deciding upon if and when to neuter. Specifically for Golden Retrievers, neutering males well beyond puberty should avoid the problems of increased rates of occurrence of HD, CCL, and LSA and should not bring on any major increase in the rates of HSA and MCT (at least before nine years of age). However, the possibility that age-related cognitive decline could be accelerated by neutering should be noted [26]. For females, the timing of neutering is more problematical because early neutering significantly increases the incidence rate of CCL from near zero to almost 8 percent, and late neutering increases the rates of HSA to 4 times that of the 1.6 percent rate for intact females and to 5.7 percent for MCT, which was not diagnosed in intact females.

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                                        • #80
                                          Again, that study only shows benefit from not spaying early.

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