This can mean you either do it too early or too late. Early spaying can increase the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, bone cancer, and urinary incontinence. In almost all cases, the answer is yes. That said, it's wise to let your dog go through one heat cycle so she can get those hormones running through her system. According to studies, Golden Retrievers are at the greatest risk if spayed or neutered early. Early spaying can increase the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, bone cancer, and urinary incontinence. Many spay-and-neuter clinics are low-cost and anesthesia in veterinary medicine now is on par with human medicine. An objective reading of the veterinary medical literature reveals a complex situation with respect to the long- termhealth risks and benefits associated with spay/neuter in dogs. In a retrospective cohort study conducted at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and published over 10 years ago in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, results showed that both male and female dogs desexed at an early age were more prone to hip dysplasia. I understand why veterinarians want all dogs to be fixed by 6 months of age. Pregnancy and birth also come with health implications that could put your dog at risk of injury or even death. Spaying your dog too early can result in health problems later on since her hormones should have some time to work. However, if you spay her too early – or too late – it can in fact be counter-productive. These concerns might seem valid, but the reasons to spay or neuter far outweigh the risks of not doing so. Early spaying causes the leg bones to grow unevenly. In a study of Rottweilers published in 2002, it was established that the risk for bone sarcoma was significantly influenced by the age at which the dogs were desexed. In my opinion, the orthopedic risks from early spaying and neutering are clear while the cancer risks are less clear. Pregnancy risk. A cohort study of shelter dogs conducted by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University concluded that infectious diseases were more common in dogs that were desexed at less than 24 weeks of age. Fearful behavior. Waiting to spay means an increased risk of tumor development. Reduction of certain health risks. Here are examples of studies evidencing some of these potential issues. Spaying is the only way to ensure a dog does not develop a uterus infection (pyometra) during their lifetime. And the earlier the spay/neuter procedure, the taller the dog. Other studies have linked early spaying and neutering to certain cancers, joint disorders, and urinary incontinence—though the risks tend to vary by sex, breed, and living circumstances. Nikki is the marketing manager for IPH and has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014. Some pet owners consider having at least one litter of puppies before spaying their female dog, but we don’t recommend this. Your dog's reproductive hormones help his bones and joints develop properly. In addition, during puberty and into the third decade, estrogen has an anabolic effect on the osteoblast and an apoptotic effect on the osteoclast, increasing bone mineral acquisition in axial and appendicular bone. The Royal Veterinary College researchers concluded: Due to the limited evidence available and the risk of bias in the published results, the evidence that neutering reduces the risk of mammary neoplasia, and the evidence that age at neutering has an effect, are judged to be weak and are not a sound basis for firm recommendations. Dogs who are spayed/neutered too early have an increased chance of developing undesirable behavioral issues such as phobias, fear aggression and reactivity. The risks of early spay and neutering of dogs include: Consider the circumstances carefully before you choose to breed your dog. If a dog is truly at a high risk of infectious disease, revaccination might be a safer bet than relying on the results of an antibody titer test. [src="https://a.omappapi.com/users/3d3cb4d2c858/images/d5ebc782e5241584136416-Ear-Drops.png"], [src="https://a.omappapi.com/users/3d3cb4d2c858/images/50c975d7b7d11585953588-d5ebc782e5241584136416-Ear-Drops.png"], The Invisible Slimy Monster in Your Dog’s Water Bowl, Why Adding “Human Food” To Your Dog’s Diet Is So Important. Many articles have been recently written about the best time to neuter. This means that your dog will enjoy less discomfort, faster healing time, and less risk of post-operative complications. The dogs continue to grow and wind up with abnormal growth patterns and bone structure, which can result in irregular body proportions. THE SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS OF DOG NEUTERING BEFORE SEXUALLY MATURE. She adds, “Very few dogs are truly in this situation, such as those who live in the midst of lots of completely unvaccinated dogs and … And while large breed dogs had more CCL injuries, sterilized dogs of all breeds and sizes had increased rupture rates. Topics: Risks Associated with Spaying/Neutering Too Early or Too Late. You can change your mind and unsubscribe anytime. 1. May 14, 2007 Precis At some point, most of us with an interest in dogs will have to consider whether or not to spay / neuter our pet. First, we’ll answer the simplest question: should female dogs be spayed? Spaying or neutering can lead to a reduction in certain health risks for both female and male dogs. Your dog’s ideal time to spay will also be based on her breed and size, so it’s best to work closely with a veterinarian to determine when is the right time. A dog that is spayed too young might not produce the necessary hormones that will be needed later in her life, so having the procedure performed at the right age is very important. Early spaying causes urinary incontinence in … This is because orthopedic diseases are usually young to middle age dog problems and all the dogs in the studies would be equally susceptible to developing orthopedic disease. A 1998 study published in the Veterinary Journal using data from the Veterinary Medical Database for the period 1980 through 1994 concluded that the risk for bone cancer in large breed, purebred dogs increased twofold for spayed or neutered dogs. © 2020 Dogs Naturally Magazine Inc. For both male and female Rotties spayed or neutered before one year of age, there was a one-in-four lifetime risk of bone cancer, and the desexed animals were significantly more likely to develop the disease than intact dogs of the same breed. Studies also indicate that the earlier a puppy is spayed or neutered, the greater the likelihood of health problems later in life. Often, tradition holds Only 1 in 200 dogs spayed before their first season will develop mammary cancer. Aggression. The objective of the study was to evaluate the evidence that spaying, or the age at which a dog is spayed, has an effect on the risk of mammary tumors. Spaying or neutering are invasive procedures and only a certified medical professional should be allowed to perform it. Over the years, I’ve changed my view on spaying and neutering dogs, based on emerging research, and also on the health challenges faced by so many of my canine patients after I spayed or neutered them. Is it too late to spay an old dog? With client education and marketing, our profession has succeeded in making early spay-neuter programs our national custom, primarily for control of the population explosion. Early neutering causes the leg bones to grow unevenly. These were primarily irreversible metabolic diseases that appeared within a few years of a dog’s surgery. That said, it's wise to let your dog go through one heat cycle so she can get those hormones running through her system. Early spaying can increase the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, bone cancer, and urinary incontinence. Dr Becker is also licensed by the U.S. But most importantly, your pooch will avoid the cone-of-shame. Among the reports and studies pointing to health concerns associated with early spaying and neutering, you can also find mention of increased incidence of: Results of a UK study published in 2012 in the Journal of Small Animal Practice were unable to validate the theory – a theory that is widely assumed to be a fact – that early spaying protects female dogs from mammary neoplasia. During an analysis of medical data that was recorded from 1982 to 1995, it was found that cardiac tumors were found… This practice was embraced by … Given that one of the accepted behavioral reasons for spaying … If you’re thinking about adding a puppy to the family, in addition to deciding what type of dog is right for you, you’ll also be making lots of lifestyle choices for the long-term health and happiness of your new best furry friend. Nikki Wardle. Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs Laura J. Sanborn, M.S. Over the past decade several other untoward health events related to juvenile spay/neuter surgery have come to light, including cancer and behavioral problems. Undesirable sexual behaviors. Certainly older dogs can still get pregnant... Mammary cancer. If you’d like more on how we use your information, just check out our Privacy Policy. Sterilization is what I want to discuss today. Now that we’ve established how important it is to spay your female dog, we should discuss how to time the procedure. Cancer. Back in the 1990s, studies showed that dogs spayed or neutered before one year of age grew significantly taller than dogs not spayed/neutered until after puberty. Hernia. If you remove those hormones too early, they don't have enough time to complete their valuable work. Older show or breeding pets who are spayed or neutered can avoid various cancers and infections. 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