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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not wanting to start an argument I just want to know facts. Is there any sort of research out there that shows that letting a bitch have a litter has any impact on her chances of developing cancer? Wether it's an increased risk or a decreased risk :)

I know that spaying decreases and eliminates some cancers and has also been shown to increase the risk of others but I'm specifically asking about females that have had littters not unspayed females.

Reason I am asking is because a lady on a facebook group insists that you should let a bitch have a litter before deciding whether or not to spay her. Apparantly it greatly reduces the chance of them getting cancer. I'd just like to know if there is any truth to it. Sounds like nonsense to me and I've never heard anyone else say it. I'd hate others to take her advice seriously though and breed their bitches because of this.

I've had a look on google and can also find nothing to support this but you know what google is like. I've already replied saying that what she said is not true and that there are only health risks not benefits to breeding and people need to seriously consider and reasearch before breeding.

I did also say if you can provide a credible source for the info that I would hold my hands up and and appologise. I thought I would help her out and ask you guys if there has ever been any kind of reasearch like this done.

Thank you.
 

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Reason I am asking is because a lady on a facebook group insists that you should let a bitch have a litter before deciding whether or not to spay her. Apparantly it greatly reduces the chance of them getting cancer. I'd just like to know if there is any truth to it. Sounds like nonsense to me and I've never heard anyone else say it. I'd hate others to take her advice seriously though and breed their bitches because of this.
This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard. Not only have I never heard of anything about having litters reducing cancer risks, but its not taking into account the other health risks of pregnancy and whelping a litter, and that many bitches should not be bred due to other health issues or size or anything. This sounds like people who just think that "natural" things like giving birth must be healthier than something "unnatural" like spaying. This would create SO much more pet overpopulation if people did this, and I'm sure all their proof is purely anecdotal and has no medical or scientific support to this claim.
 

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Spaying and neutering only reduces cancer risk in the genitals. I think most of the cancer risk comes from other things humans have done to the environment, and that the topics are unrelated except in the specific circumstance of ovarian cancer and the like, which crop up consistently after a certain age. There's not really any solid research I've seen on the topic of spay/neutering and other cancers.

A lot of females do get spayed after they've had their last litter with breeders, currently, to avoid cancer risk once they no longer need those parts.
 

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Vet once told me that Mammary cancer is reduced in bitches that have had litters vs intact ones that aren't bred
 

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Sounds ridiculous. If it were true, then people would keep breeding dogs, what if their dog had 5 more female puppies? They would have litters, and then each of those 5 had 3 more, that's 9 more females! And then they would breed those nine, and it would go on, and on, and on! It would most certainly make placing homes for dogs harder because there would be a lot more than there already are.

My belief on this: It's baloney.
 

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Really? You would breed your dogs just for a reduced in cancer?

That's like saying that since castration would eliminate testicular cancer that men should be lining up to get their balls chopped off.
 

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reminds me of a facebook page where in the uk someone was asking if to nueter their male dog they got told no because leaving him intact has many health benefits! yeah right? i noticed last year lots of dogs are intact
 

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reminds me of a facebook page where in the uk someone was asking if to nueter their male dog they got told no because leaving him intact has many health benefits! yeah right? i noticed last year lots of dogs are intact
Its that there are less clear health benefits to neutering a male dog than a female dog.

In fact if I didn't have a bitch I wouldn't have neutered my dog but I did, just to be extra careful, and its a decision I regret deeply, but that's another thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
To be fair alot of reasearch has been done on spay/ neutering and there are alot of cons aswel as alot of pro's in my opinion health wise they kind of balance each other out. I think it's up to each individual wether ot not they neuter their animals.

I noticed when I got my female done 9 years ago and when my male got his vaccs neither vet mentioned any cons to neutering/spaying only the positive. I know that vets probably see the problems that come with over population all the time so ofc advocate neutering, but personally I believe each owner should have the right to the facts so they can make an informed decision.

I was thinking this might be the same. Maybe vets don't say any possible benefits (if any) there are to breeding because they don't want to encourage it. Sadly if it where true and became public knowledge I think alot of people would use it as an excuse to breed.

The lady who originally made the comment never replied back so I'm guessing she doesn't have an credible source to back up her claims. If it's true that having a litter reduces mammary cancer risk I can only guess that it doesn't reduce the risk nearly as much as spaying early does. Without any stats though I suppose we can only guess.

The bitch in question was a chihuahua the owner wanted to breed her with a pom. Alot of people mentioned the risk of breeding such a small breed to a larger one then this other woman jumps in and starts sprouting that nonsense. Thankfully the original poster has said for now she is putting the breeding on hold while she researches more and talks to her vet. Tbh I believe she has only said this to get people off of her back as she seemed pretty adamant at first, but hopefully she has seen sense.
 

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I can't imagine there being any massive benefit that would justify throwing another litter of puppies out into the world.

The thing with cancer is there are so many causes, it's insane. Nearly everything could potentially be carcinogenic. And genetics plays a big role too - so it may have nothing to do with life circumstances. I know of people who have gotten lung cancer who haven't smoked a day in their lives (or even been around any irritants for an extended period of time). Go figure.

Generally, I agree with you that everyone should make an informed decision whether or not to spay/neuter. But, it should be an educated one and not taken lightly. If you choose not to spay your female - fine - but you have to commit to paying attention to heat cycles and preventing your dog from being bred, which is sometimes easier said than done.

I think the reason spay/neuter is touted so highly by vets and rescues is that 90+% of the populated ISN'T educated or making a conscious decision. Most who elect not to spay/neuter either want to breed, aren't bothered with their dog becoming pregnant, or just don't want to pay the cost or see it as necessary. So it's easier to push it as a good thing because they probably don't care about the research in the first place.

For the record, I have an intact female, had an intact male (and at the same time - but no litters or even scares!) in addition to a few rescue dogs who were spayed/neutered at various ages due to the rescue's policies. I haven't yet noticed any massively negative effects to either situation, but it'd be hard to compare anyway because it's not like I can go back in time and "undo" just to see if there would be a different outcome.

In short, I think as long as the decision is intelligently made and consequences are prepared for, there's nothing wrong with going either way.
 

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The main problem I see with everyone breeding their dogs to reduce cancer risk is that most dogs have anywhere from five to twelve puppies per litter. At that rate, if everyone bred their dogs, we'd eventually be absolutely flooded with dogs. If dogs only had one or two pups per litter, everyone could theoretically breed their dog once and it wouldn't be a problem. It's, again, the number of puppies in a litter.
 

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The main problem I see with everyone breeding their dogs to reduce cancer risk is that most dogs have anywhere from five to twelve puppies per litter. At that rate, if everyone bred their dogs, we'd eventually be absolutely flooded with dogs. If dogs only had one or two pups per litter, everyone could theoretically breed their dog once and it wouldn't be a problem. It's, again, the number of puppies in a litter.
Does anybody actually do this? Birthing a litter is not without health risks. Ones I'd wager are greater than the marginal reduction in susceptibility to certain cancers.
 

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Does anybody actually do this? Birthing a litter is not without health risks. Ones I'd wager are greater than the marginal reduction in susceptibility to certain cancers.
I was saying that only to make a point. I doubt it's commonplace for people to make their dogs have just one or two pups. As far as I know, it's not possible to determine(decide) the number of pups in a litter. You may possibly be able to abort fetuses but that's pretty invasive.
 
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