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Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

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Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  northernwitch on 5/7/2011, 6:07 pm

I'm posting this article as information only--not to start a debate against spay and neuter. The article states up front that it is not addressing over population or behavioural issues with spay/neuter. As a rescuer, I will ALWAYS support spay and neuter programs, but this is an interesting article with information that doesn't get brought forward often.

We're all pretty savvy dog owners and I think there's some information in here that's worth us knowing and thinking about.

http://www.stonedance.ca/images/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  Pugsavers on 5/7/2011, 7:55 pm


I guess I have some concern that this was not written by a vet but by an "M.S." (masters of science??). I see it being quoted by several show breeder web sites.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  DappleDoxieStaff on 5/7/2011, 8:05 pm

I am also seeing much information that is 10-20 even 30 years old ... surgeries/surgeons and nutrition and anesthesias have all made tremendous progress in that time.

Interesting information to consider, certainly.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  Aussie Witch on 5/7/2011, 8:06 pm

Interesting, but wouldn't change my mind. Blanche, you find the most amazing information!
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  Aussie Witch on 5/7/2011, 8:09 pm

Just meant to add - one bit of information (I didn't read right through to the end) that made me go "HUH!?!" was that neuturing causes obesity in male dogs. HUMANS cause obesity in ANY dog, neutured or spayed or not. That is a crock. But I'm not telling you ladies anything.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  northernwitch on 5/7/2011, 8:09 pm

Pugsavers wrote:
I guess I have some concern that this was not written by a vet but by an "M.S." (masters of science??). I see it being quoted by several show breeder web sites.
Well, what she's doing is reviewing the existing material out there on risks and benefits of spay/neuter. She's not citing her own research and is citing the research that has already been done.

I posted it for a couple of reasons--one, Roxane is right, it is the paper most often referred to by breeders. Two--there are some potential health issues with neuters and spays. Three--if we are going to argue that it's better to spay and neuter, we need to be able to argue against this type of paper. The work seems solid to me and she is as clear about where the risks have been exaggerated as where they've been down played.

I do think the obesity argument section is weakest of all of the sections and I'm not convinced personally that there is a clear correlation between obesity and neutering/spaying. There may be some, but it is not clear to me that it is a large factor.

The bottom line reality is that it's hard to convince people that the over population issue is way bigger than the potential for health risks. There IS no bigger health risk, in my mind, than being euthanized in a shelter due to lack of space due to an over population of dogs.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  northernwitch on 5/7/2011, 8:45 pm

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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  DappleDoxieStaff on 5/7/2011, 8:53 pm

northernwitch wrote:Here's the flip side of the coin:

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/spayneuter/early-spay-neuter.aspx

LOL ... well, that is a case of considering the source - Beef Council studies say beef is tremendously healthy :-)

Pediatric spay/neuter makes me horrendously nervous ... they are so very tiny.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  northernwitch on 5/7/2011, 9:01 pm

DappleDoxieStaff wrote:
northernwitch wrote:Here's the flip side of the coin:

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/spayneuter/early-spay-neuter.aspx

LOL ... well, that is a case of considering the source - Beef Council studies say beef is tremendously healthy :-)

Pediatric spay/neuter makes me horrendously nervous ... they are so very tiny.
LOL--well, frankly, I see the consequences of intact animals all the time and I do think the pros outweigh the cons--at least in our country. There are countries where speutering is not a common practice and the shelters aren't over flowing. Norway is often cited in this regard. However, I don't have much information on what their shelter policies are--could be that dogs and cats get euthed very quickly.

And bottom line, my distrust of people is so very high that I just don't trust most folks to have any animal--intact or not.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  DappleDoxieStaff on 5/7/2011, 9:07 pm

"speutering"

Love the term!!!!!!! LOL

You could not convince me to keep any dog of mine intact. Speutering is a way of life here.
Yes, Nemo still has his dangly bits, but that is only temporary ... when he came home he was so wormy and thin and just not a good surgery candidate in my mind. I wanted him to get some weight and a bit more mass. His surgery date is now looming close.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  MandyPug on 5/7/2011, 9:44 pm

Look at me now i just can't shut up lol.

To me it depends on the breed, the job it will be doing (if any), the sex of the dog, and the person responsible for the dog.

Any future dogs i have will remain intact until 1.5-2 year of age or so, which is maturity. I'm only ever going to own bitches, but if i had males I'd probably leave them uncut as long as they weren't causing issues. My reasons are strictly because i want to play sports and I want to stack my deck as much as i can in my favour to have a good healthy pet dog who can play sports well and play them a long time. In order to be an athlete they need good strong bones and joints which CAN be affected by S/N, especially early S/N (<6 months).

I also find that dogs left intact longer have more developed minds. Many, if not all of the pediatric spayed dogs i have met are just nuts... Especially the Pug i babysit, Stitch, who was spayed at <8 weeks and she just has no sense even approaching 2 years old. This is all anecdotal but many breeders around here of purebreds and doodles spay <8 weeks and they're all just off in the mind to me.

Hormones do play a part in proper development and nobody can deny that, it is unfortunate that most folks are idiots which has pushed our society to be one that is terribly irresponsible and money hungry that we cannot let our dogs use their gonads to produce the hormones necessary to develop fully. Personally i do believe that tubals and vasectomies would be able to help allow our dogs to develop, but still prevent overpopulation. They do them in Europe i believe. Just try to find a vet that will do one here though.

Here's an article by a Canine Sports Vet named Chris Zink. Our club's recommended sports vet believes much of the same as far as S/N goes.
http://www.alabamacaninecoalition.org/earlyspayconsiderations.pdf
http://www.caninesports.com/SNBehaviorBoneDataSnapShot.pdf

She has several out there.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  Not Afraid on 5/8/2011, 6:09 am

I feel MUCH stronger about cats being neutered/spayed than dogs because they are roamers (and really noisy and demanding when in heat, not to mention the spraying and pure frequency of breeding). But I do believe that most dogs should be spayed as well. I, like Blanche, have a mistrust of MOST (not all) people who don't spay/neuter their dogs.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  Saira on 5/8/2011, 11:25 am

Not Afraid wrote:I feel MUCH stronger about cats being neutered/spayed than dogs because they are roamers (and really noisy and demanding when in heat, not to mention the spraying and pure frequency of breeding). But I do believe that most dogs should be spayed as well. I, like Blanche, have a mistrust of MOST (not all) people who don't spay/neuter their dogs.

Yup! It's hard for me to even think of the health risks because as Blanche said, the biggest health risk of all is dying alone and scared at a shelter. Pigs will fly before I trust people to do the right thing, which is sad but there are way too many oops litters around.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  thminis on 5/8/2011, 9:36 pm

Saira wrote:
Not Afraid wrote:I feel MUCH stronger about cats being neutered/spayed than dogs because they are roamers (and really noisy and demanding when in heat, not to mention the spraying and pure frequency of breeding). But I do believe that most dogs should be spayed as well. I, like Blanche, have a mistrust of MOST (not all) people who don't spay/neuter their dogs.

Yup! It's hard for me to even think of the health risks because as Blanche said, the biggest health risk of all is dying alone and scared at a shelter. Pigs will fly before I trust people to do the right thing, which is sad but there are way too many oops litters around.

Agreed, agreed, and agreed. Unfortunately, working at the vet's, I've started to notice some...patterns/unfortunate stereotypes. It seems that a lot of the families/people who won't/can't pay for spaying/neutering are the ones who can't/won't later. Meaning, they're the clients who won't notice, pay for, or be able to pay for things like enlarged prostate issues, pyometras, c sections, emergency spays, etc. It's hard to feel like you're judging everyone who doesn't spay/neuter by the worst cases, but sometimes it's the truth.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  juneau hunter on 5/9/2011, 8:52 am

I'm enjoying the information and opinions that you all have. I do wonder if Juneau was neutered too young - he was 5.5 months old - because he basically has no "junk" if you know what I mean. He still squats to pee like a girl. However, he is extremely sports motivated - loves fly ball - runs like the damn wind - and is wayyyyyy smart!!!! He doesn't have an ounce of fat on him either.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  Renee on 5/9/2011, 12:36 pm

I neutered my Ichiro quite young, less than 6 months. I think he was 4 months? I have not regretted it. He raises his leg to pee and is very sports motivated. If not for his back problems, he would be awesome at flyball.

Skeeter was not neutered until he was 2-3. I think it does make a difference in the dog. He is a serious marker and his little red rocket comes out a lot more than any of my other dogs. Also, he doesn't give a crap about the ball, or any toy for that matter. He only cares about food.

I still advocate spay / neuter because most people are fools. I just don't trust them. Like Blanche and Saira said - no bigger health risk than sitting in a shelter on death row.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  TNPUGMOMOF3 on 5/9/2011, 2:51 pm

I think that the spay/neuter argument to wait till maturity is much more important in large and giant breeds. I see the reasoning in smaller dogs only if you are showing the dog. It does effect their bone mass, etc. Important for a dog that weights 150+ lbs. We did wait for Odin, my EM, to be 3 yrs old before he was neutered. I only agreed to that because he is a large breed. He never marked and never humped. Now my pug who I have had as a puppy and spayed at 6 mos humps like a beast!

Also, he is the biggest whussy dog I have. Usually squats to pee and is no more athletic than my 12+ yr old elderly pug! I also know Mastiff's that were neutered very early in life an grew to be much larger than many dogs neutered later in life. It's breeding, not when you get the dog fixed. Being active in rescue I will always get my dogs fixed. It's just my preference. I do try to not judge people who don't until I know the reasoning behind it, then if they are morons, they are morons.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  northernwitch on 5/9/2011, 3:24 pm

TNPUGMOMOF3 wrote:I think that the spay/neuter argument to wait till maturity is much more important in large and giant breeds. I see the reasoning in smaller dogs only if you are showing the dog. It does effect their bone mass, etc. Important for a dog that weights 150+ lbs. We did wait for Odin, my EM, to be 3 yrs old before he was neutered. I only agreed to that because he is a large breed. He never marked and never humped. Now my pug who I have had as a puppy and spayed at 6 mos humps like a beast!

Also, he is the biggest whussy dog I have. Usually squats to pee and is no more athletic than my 12+ yr old elderly pug! I also know Mastiff's that were neutered very early in life an grew to be much larger than many dogs neutered later in life. It's breeding, not when you get the dog fixed. Being active in rescue I will always get my dogs fixed. It's just my preference. I do try to not judge people who don't until I know the reasoning behind it, then if they are morons, they are morons.
LOL. I agree with this, Marci. I grew up with intact dals and danes as my dad was a show breeder. We never had issues with marking, behaviour or humping. It's much about breeding and training. And quite a few behavioural issues won't get solved by simply neutering. And yes, I think later neutering is a bigger issue with bigger breeds.

However, a surprising number of morons have stumbled onto this article. I had a long discussion with a woman who had her intact, in heat bitch at the dog park. And she had this article virtually memorized. And yet, couldn't see where she was the type of owner most likely to need the dog fixed ASAP. Intact, in heat and in the dog park. Jesus.

The reality is that people like the woman mentioned above WON'T learn and simply gather material to use in their own defense without understanding the basics. But I'm increasingly running into folks with intact dogs who have a host of "medical" reasons for not speutering and I, personally, like to be able to have an argument back to theirs. It's why I posted the article.
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Re: Article on health risks/benefits of spay/neuter

Post  Maryjo on 5/9/2011, 4:19 pm

DappleDoxieStaff wrote:"speutering"
Love the term!!!!!!! LOL

I always wondered why we say 'spay' for females and 'neuter' for males?

Yes, we spay females, but we castrate males, and 'neuter' should apply to either.

I think speutering will have to be the way to go from now on... Laughing
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