Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs

I believe this is an interesting article about the pros and cons of spaying/neutering dogs.

http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf

thank you for that link. ever since I read Dr Zink's article, i've decided not to do early spay/neuters on my performance dogs. (Of course, I didn't get much input on rescue malinois)

http://www.caninesports.com/SpayNeuter.html
(dr Zink's article)

Very interesting article. I waited 9 months to neuter Dallas. I would have waited until he was at least a year old [which he turns next week!] but he wouldn't stop humping everything/everyone in sight! :o

I like that you posted those articles on here. There are many people dead set on both sides. (I used to be more dead set on not neutering). This is one of the things that can help open peoples eyes to the differences.

There is always good and bad on both sides of the coin. However, there are not many pet owners that I know of… or breeders when you come right down to it, that enjoy when their bitches are in season...
And I am not sure that I agree totally with the all "negatives" against spay/neuter... one that I totally disagree with is the statement about weight. I think like people, some dogs are pre-disposed to weight gain and/or add in the lack of activity for the dog and once they are mature, the weight goes on...

But it is always good to weigh the facts before making a decision.

And since over population is a problem in the US due to the lack of education of pet owners, I think the best choice is spay/neuter.

@tanza:

However, there are not many pet owners that I know of… or breeders when you come right down to it, that enjoy when their bitches are in season...

This always makes me a little bit itchy.. If you don't like the normal behaviour of a dog… don't take a living creature, but buy a toy version in a toy store...

Sorry..

I agree with you that when there is an over population, you have to do something.. But it's still important to research the consequences. The positive and the negative ones..

And about the obesitas.. They did research on living animals and had these results.. so there has to be some truth in it..

@Janneke:

This always makes me a little bit itchy.. If you don't like the normal behaviour of a dog… don't take a living creature, but buy a toy version in a toy store...

Sorry..

I agree with you that when there is an over population, you have to do something.. But it's still important to research the consequences. The positive and the negative ones..

And about the obesitas.. They did research on living animals and had these results.. so there has to be some truth in it..

Like I said, there is not reason to have to keep an animal in tact…. it becomes a personal decision as there are pros and cons both ways... and it is not necessary to have to "live" with in-tact dogs.

And I never said that there was no truth (spay/neuter leading to obese dogs) to it, only that I don't believe it is the "biggest" reason for overweight pets... If they had a spayed/neutered dog that became overweight, how would they know if left in-tact it would not have done the same? I believe that obese dogs are more the fault of the owners period... and their feeding habits. All of mine are now spayed/neutered. All done at different ages. Male at 3, one bitch at 3, one bitch at 5, one bitch at 4(now deceased at age 16 3/4), one bitch at 6 and they were never overweight. My one bitch who was spayed at 6, when in tact was at different times overweight... and it was due to the feeding/activity level (and easy enough to correct).

I do agree with waiting if possible until they are a year to spay/neuter or at least make sure the growth plates are closed, however that said, when I place a pet and the owners want to have it done before the bitch goes into season, I do not have any problem with that.

The problem with a review article like the one posted is that the reader does not get to see the experimental design of the works being used to build the author's argument. I would tend to wonder about how reliable the data on obesity being related to spay/neuter is since all the articles cited about obesity seem to be a collection of data from veterinary practices. Without seeing how they did their data analysis, it is impossible to tell how well they accounted for the dog's lifestyle. Many intact dogs are in homes that are active with them, showing, performance, etc. and the level of activity will contribute to them being in better condition. Many spayed/neutered animals are in pet homes that are not as active with their dogs and that decreased activity will contribute to their physical condition. I would really want to see what the researchers did to make sure that they were comparing like groups.

Each person needs to make their own decision but it is not fair to say that a person who chooses to spay/neuter should get a stuffed toy because they should be willing to live with "normal behavior". I have known people with girls who have had pyometria, not something I would want anyone to go through. With the risk being 1 in 4 that an intact bitch will have pyo in their lifetime, I think it is something to weigh heavily in a decision about whether or not to spay. For males, I know males who do serious harm to themselves during breeding season in their frustration at not breeding a female. Again, I think it is wrong to say that making the choice to neuter equates to bad ownership irregardless of whether one lives in a country with a pet overpopulation problem or not.

@lvoss:

Again, I think it is wrong to say that making the choice to neuter equates to bad ownership irregardless of whether one lives in a country with a pet overpopulation problem or not.

But I didn't say that..

However, there are not many pet owners that I know of… or breeders when you come right down to it, that enjoy when their bitches are in season...

This was being said by Tanza. I reacted to that.

Edit: and there are quite some references at the end of the review.. so maybe you can find some more information about the researches that way?

I'm not trying to say ppl should or should not spay/neuter their dog.. I just would like to see ppl making their own decisions. Thinking about their options. The pros and cons etc.

Great article. Thank you for the post. Just a few questions….

page 2 of PDF: "for female dogs spayed before puberty". Am I interpreting this correctly when I infer they mean 'before the first heat cycle' ?

Also, am I off base to wonder why many of these bitch studies, that relate to estrogen levels of female based malady's :
A) are based on estrogen levels (parameters) that seem absent in the study?
😎 are at times, breed specific?
C) don't contain any relative studies (cross-referenced) done in our national zoo's on the canines that now are not spayed, but implanted with birth control?
It would seem to me, these dogs, who's records are impeccable, could provide some sort of a base line.

Please, not trying to agitate, just asking. Thanks!

As someone who does rescue, I am all for having dogs fixed.
Everything comes with risks…a pg basenji can have all sorts of issues, an intact female in heat can have an opps pregancy...
We need to have quality show dogs for breeding, that are used to improve the breed, and to be shown. I am all for responsible breeders keeping this going...
But as this forum shows, there are so many basenji mixes...not to mention oops litters from breeders who were not expecting that to happen.
As responsible breeders are more aware than the general public, and they have oops things happen, is it any wonder the general public has issues with unwanted litters?
The general public is no way as responsible or aware of their dogs as show breeders...
So, pet dogs should be fixed. IMO.

@Janneke:

This always makes me a little bit itchy.. If you don't like the normal behaviour of a dog… don't take a living creature, but buy a toy version in a toy store...

Sorry..

When I read the above statement, I did take it to mean that if someone chooses to neuter then they are a bad owner. I know what Tanza wrote and I don't disagree that breeders who have intact animals do see a significant difference in the behavior of intact animals versus not especially during breeding season. I also think that those behavioral changes can be justification for spay/neutering for the best interest of the animal. Which led to my response that I think it is wrong to equate choosing to spay/neuter in the absence of pet overpopulation with not having respect for a living animal.

As for the works cited, I did go and read through them which is why I know that the works cited about Obesity all have to do with observations made by practicing veterinarians about their clients. I do not have online access to get the actual written articles to check the specifics of their experimental design and data analysis without actually going to the University library so had to go by the titles of the articles.

@lvoss:

When I read the above statement, I did take it to mean that if someone chooses to neuter then they are a bad owner.

I hope not everybody chooses to neuter their dog because they might behave badly… That would make me very itchy.. 🙂
There are more reasons to neuter, so I'm not saying ppl are bad owners because of neutering their dog. And even if they did it only because the dog might have a change in behaviour, I'm not saying they are bad owners. I said it makes me itchy, and it wouldn't be my choice.
Tillo is intact and he is lovely, sweet etc. An hour ago he played with 2 intact bitches and another intact male.. (all pet dogs btw) no problem.. If their is a bitch in heat, he reacts on it, of course.. but not in such a way that I find it annoying.. for me or for him. (or for the bitch in heat ;)) I know there are more dogs who won't change in behaviour that much.. So why spay/neuter them all? That's my question.. If it would only be because of the behaviour change.. you can also do it after you have noticed that change.. Like Ninabeana26 said.

@lvoss:

As for the works cited, I did go and read through them which is why I know that the works cited about Obesity all have to do with observations made by practicing veterinarians about their clients. I do not have online access to get the actual written articles to check the specifics of their experimental design and data analysis without actually going to the University library so had to go by the titles of the articles.

I have online access.. so if you want me to find an article.. please tell me 🙂

@sharronhurlbut:

So, pet dogs should be fixed. IMO.

I understand that you feel that way because you see a lot of rescue dogs.. unwanted mixes.. It would make me sad too..

But isn't it true a lot of these dogs come from BYB? And not from 'normal' pet owners? They breed for the money.. are 'breeders'.. maybe not responsible ones.. but by saying 'pet dogs should be fixed' your not including them.

I don't understand why a responsible pet owner (not only breeders can be responsible.. pet owners can be as well) can't make the decision of letting their dogs unfixed, because it is not a problem to them..

I'm a pet owner as well.. so should Tillo be fixed? Why? He's not bothering anyone.. (and he's very attached to his balls.. (in more ways than one :eek: ) ;))

I have to say.. In the Netherlands it's quite different.. 🙂

@snorky998:

Great article. Thank you for the post. Just a few questions….

page 2 of PDF: "for female dogs spayed before puberty". Am I interpreting this correctly when I infer they mean 'before the first heat cycle' ?

I think you are interpreting it correctly, yes 🙂

@snorky998:

Also, am I off base to wonder why many of these bitch studies, that relate to estrogen levels of female based malady's :
A) are based on estrogen levels (parameters) that seem absent in the study?
😎 are at times, breed specific?
C) don't contain any relative studies (cross-referenced) done in our national zoo's on the canines that now are not spayed, but implanted with birth control?
It would seem to me, these dogs, who's records are impeccable, could provide some sort of a base line.

Please, not trying to agitate, just asking. Thanks!

Your not agitating.. haha..
This is 'just' a review article.. the writer uses otherones research to draw conclusions. So for example research only done at Golden Retrievers (your 'B')
I don't know about your 'C'. Has there been any research? Maybe the writer of this article didn't want to look at birth control in other ways than neutering, because it hasn't anything to do with the pros and cons of neutering it self..?
Just a thought..

I don't understand your 'A' (sorry..)

@Janneke:

But isn't it true a lot of these dogs come from BYB? And not from 'normal' pet owners? They breed for the money.. are 'breeders'.. maybe not responsible ones.. but by saying 'pet dogs should be fixed' your not including them.

This is not true. BYBs and puppymills are what produce the majority of the purebreds in rescue and shelters but the shelters are full of mutts that were born because the owners of the parents refused to get them spayed/neutered and did nothing to keep away from the opposite sex when in season. Many of these dogs are second, third or more generation mutt.

Here are the dogs that are currently homeless in my county
http://www.petfinder.com/search/search.cgi?pet.Animal=Dog&pet.Breed=&pet.Age=&pet.Size=&pet.Sex=&location=95776

@Janneke:

I'm a pet owner as well.. so should Tillo be fixed? Why? He's not bothering anyone.. (and he's very attached to his balls.. (in more ways than one :eek: ) ;))

You show Tillo, right? When Pat and I say pet owner, we are not talking about people who show their dogs or even people who do performance events with their dogs like agility, lure coursing, racing on a regular basis. Both Pat and I expect that our puppies will all be first and foremost companions so when we talk about pet and show homes, they are all companions but pet homes are not active with their dogs in dog sports.

I am glad that Tillo is mellow and that you have not had any problems with him when rut hits, some never do, some get worse each year. I am not saying every dog has to be neutered but owners should not feel bad if that is the choice they make.

You didn't end you sentence with it makes you itchy to talk about neutering for behavioral reasons you said that those owners should own stuffed pets. That is a very different tone.

@lvoss:

This is not true. BYBs and puppymills are what produce the majority of the purebreds in rescue and shelters but the shelters are full of mutts that were born because the owners of the parents refused to get them spayed/neutered and did nothing to keep away from the opposite sex when in season. Many of these dogs are second, third or more generation mutt.

Here are the dogs that are currently homeless in my county
http://www.petfinder.com/search/search.cgi?pet.Animal=Dog&pet.Breed=&pet.Age=&pet.Size=&pet.Sex=&location=95776

Ok, I didn't know. It was also a question, not a statement.

@lvoss:

I am not saying every dog has to be neutered but owners should not feel bad if that is the choice they make.

No they shouldn't feel bad. And I think it's helping ppl not to feel bad when they can make a decision for their own. When they know the pros and cons. That's why I posted that article.

@lvoss:

You didn't end you sentence with it makes you itchy to talk about neutering for behavioral reasons you said that those owners should own stuffed pets. That is a very different tone.

Well.. tone is always a bit difficult on the internet..
And 'behavioral reasons' for me sounds like difficulties/problems. Tanza's words for me sounded like the normal changes in a bitch/dog during breeding season. And I do think that if somebody can't live with the normal behaviour of a dog.. they shouldn't get one.. I'm including barking.. peeing in the house when still a pup etc.. normal behaviour.. (that can still be quite annoying sometimes..)

Something that also makes a big difference, is that for some of you, English is not your first language. There are also much different terms used in the states than overseas, and differences is slang/local terms.

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