New research on spay/neuter and early spay/neuter

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New research on spay/neuter and early spay/neuter

This is a discussion on New research on spay/neuter and early spay/neuter within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Just thought folks may like to give it a read. As someone mentioned in a blog related to the article, animal advocates need to take ...

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Old 02-15-2013, 10:51 AM
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New research on spay/neuter and early spay/neuter

Just thought folks may like to give it a read. As someone mentioned in a blog related to the article, animal advocates need to take into account the total dog when making decisions to spay/neuter as population control.

My personal opinion is that it is better to neuter and spay after full maturity, especially with large breed dogs, unless the owner is unable to prevent an accidental litter. In that case, neuter/spay is best done asap.

Golden retriever study suggests neutering affects dog health :: UC Davis News & Information
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:23 AM
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Thanks for linking this. The results are not too surprising to me, having read similar hypotheses and studies for awhile, but it is nice that researchers are paying attention to the issue and continuing to look into it.

My opinion is similar yours but I have two reservations. Many people think they can prevent an unwanted breeding, but that is exactly how many happen (the rest probably from ignorance or just not caring). Also, the mammary cancer is a serious consideration for females when deciding when to spay. Definitely one should look at the total dog, and in the case of females, really weigh the risk of joint diseases vs mammary cancer.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:01 PM
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Thanks for linking this. The results are not too surprising to me, having read similar hypotheses and studies for awhile, but it is nice that researchers are paying attention to the issue and continuing to look into it.

My opinion is similar yours but I have two reservations. Many people think they can prevent an unwanted breeding, but that is exactly how many happen (the rest probably from ignorance or just not caring). Also, the mammary cancer is a serious consideration for females when deciding when to spay. Definitely one should look at the total dog, and in the case of females, really weigh the risk of joint diseases vs mammary cancer.
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I have read a few articles and research papers,too, which is why I decided to spay and neuter mine after maturity. The females being in heat, even with neutered males, caused all the dogs to make me a bit crazy. I questioned the heck out of my choice during the difficult period, but once it was over and I could spay I didn't regret my decision. I was sure glad not to have to crate and rotate and not to have to keep my gals tied to me 24/7. I love closeness and I would be willing to C&R if there was a DA issue, but doing it as an option was a bit much mentally, lol. A lot of "Just spay her right now and end this insanity!" and "Suck it up, this is best for her health." going on in my brain.

With Rita I had a lot of issues to deal with. Heart murmur making the surgery possibly dangerous, heats every few months followed by false pregnancy and then repeat...ugh! I was warned not to spay her until she had been off ear infection and allergy meds for two weeks and not to spay her during heat or a false pregnancy because of increased time to perform the procedure meaning increased time under anesthesia.

So, I took her to a couple other vets for 2nd opinions and to have her murmur graded. Meanwhile, I was watching for signs of pyometra and mastitis because I was warned she was at increased risk.

When I finally caught a break and could spay her as safely as possible i took her in. Turns out she had Pyometra. She saw 3 vets in 2 weeks leading up to the spay and none of them say any signs. Neither did I notice anything amiss at home. We got lucky she could be spayed when she was and that the disease did not advance enough to cause harm. Because of that I always take the possibility of infection very seriously with females.

I waited to neuter Ike at 18 months. Rita I got as a "rescue" from a relative at 1.5 years and couldn't do the spay til she was 2, Renee I waited til she was a bit over 1 year old and had a heat cycle.

Had there been any doubt in my mind that I could 100% prevent a litter I would have done them all as pups, though. I'd rather not be responsible for my beloved dogs contributing to the problem.

For accidental matings there is the option of spay-abort and mis-mate shots. Combining management and the option of a spay-abort or a mis-mate shot to spay/neuter being done at full maturity means no unwanted pups and possibly healthier adult dogs who are spayed/neutered at an optimal time.

I don't know why people don't talk about that more. I guess it's tied to how people feel about the human versions of the Morning After Pill and abortion. To me there is a huge difference considering human babies will eventually grow up and determine their own fate and "oops" pups will never have that ability and totally depend on us to do what is best.

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Old 02-15-2013, 12:03 PM
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Personally, my dogs have all be spayed or neutered at 6 months because of what crock said. I don't know if I could prevent an accidental litter, or remotely want the chance of one. Remy's mother was a young pregnant stray, I wouldn't want Remy to have been the cause if more puppies. She also would have been a terrible mother

I definitely see the benefits to waiting, but at this time in my life I move around a lot and I just never know. So I have to live by the "better safe than sorry" rule for now. Leo will be neutered at 9 months and Remy was 6 months.

I do believe that later spaying and neutering is better, but not quite possible for me at this time.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:06 PM
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And that makes you a responsible dog owner, Zoo. Good for you to recognize your own limitations.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:08 PM
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When it's a shelter dog or cat I believe it should be altere prior to adoption. If you inherit the animal through other means then I am okay with waiting till maturity.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:17 PM
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When it's a shelter dog or cat I believe it should be altere prior to adoption. If you inherit the animal through other means then I am okay with waiting till maturity.
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That's something I have debated in my own head a few times. On the one hand I do agree shelter dogs should be done before adoption because some shelters and rescues don't have stringent adoption screening nor do they have the resources to make sure the adopters spayed/neutered at maturity. On the other hand I think that waiting is best for the health of a dog and could be very important for the large and x-large breeds.

Our city shelter doesn't spay or neuter before adoption. Heck, they don't give any vaccinations or medical care at all. The only thing they do to even try to promote spay and neuter is adopt for $35 and refund $25 if the adopter brings in proof of spay or neuter within 60 days. And the license unaltered dogs at $20 a year vs $10 a year for altered. The city shelters in surrounding cities don't do any vet work either. At least some local vets and a lot of spay/neuter low cost clinics and rescues will offer reduced fees to have it done if the dog was a rescue.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:19 PM
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Remy was 8 Weeks when I adopted her, so you basically get a voucher for a spay or neuter. I know for a fact one of her sisters had a litter last year. I think it was intentional too which makes me even more mad. I think there should be more rules from the SPCA on actually following through with the spay or neuter.

Leo's mother was from the SPCA and she literally had next to no c hance of getting pregnant, but she did before she was a year old. I love Leo, but I guess I believe they should have got a spay abort, but that is my opinion and what I would have done. Leo's mother is now spayed at least.

ETA- it's $20 to register altered dogs and like $70 for unaltered dogs back in my hometown. I don't know about the city I live in now, as I still register Remy in my hometown. Same province, so they are all connected to each other.

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Old 02-15-2013, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by crock View Post
My opinion is similar yours but I have two reservations. Many people think they can prevent an unwanted breeding, but that is exactly how many happen (the rest probably from ignorance or just not caring). Also, the mammary cancer is a serious consideration for females when deciding when to spay. Definitely one should look at the total dog, and in the case of females, really weigh the risk of joint diseases vs mammary cancer.
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The thing is for mammary cancer, it doesn't become a signifigant risk till after the dog's 3rd heat. Waiting till after the dog's 2nd heat doesn't actually increase the risk by a signifigant amount over all. There are individual breeds with higher risks though, so each dog has to be considered as an individual.

Pyometra again, isn't usually a risk till the dog is also a bit older, but as Mjjean discovered there are rare earlier occurances too, so again, each dog is individual.

Zoorun, see, I don't have a problem with your decision to spay/neuter earlier, you understand your limits, and thats what counts.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:29 PM
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I understand why shelters won't adopt out puppies without them being spayed/neutered first, but unless I adopt a puppy from a shelter I prefer to wait.

Shadow was around 8 months when I neutered him and his balls had just dropped.

Jersey was 3 when I rescued her, her former owner never spayed her and she had had at least 1 litter, she had 1 litter after I rescued her. My roommate at the time let her get together with his male dog, I got her spayed around a month after the last pup was adopted out. Last time I'll ever choose to treat heartworm before I spay a female. Spay first, heartworm after....

Pirate the cat I had neutered at around 8 months.


Just recently I saw a commercial asking people to spay and neuter their dogs and cats at 4 months old. I wonder how many people will blindly follow along and not research the decision.
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