In this day and age, part of owning a dog is automatically planning for his or her spay or neuter. The public has come to look at this as a healthy choice and the right thing to do to curb pet overpopulation and be a responsible and accepted conscientious pet owner. In the 1950s the craze was tonsillectomies in young children. Your kid have a sore throat? Remove his tonsils. The general thought in the medical community at the time was tonsils served no real purpose and in many cases were detrimental to the development of the child – always becoming infected and causing problems. Getting tonsils was one of the rites of passage of childhood. Well, as it turned out, it was discovered that as part of the immune system, the tonsils fight infection; they are first line of defense in the throat, and when they are doing their job fighting infections, you get a sore throat. So, like tonsils, reproductive organs in a dog control a lot more than reproduction. They control skeletal and organ development, personality development and now, appear to protect the body from certain diseases and structural breakdown.
Planning to spay or neuter as a matter of course because it’s the “right thing to do” is the WRONG reason to have this life altering surgery on your dog. If you are a responsible pet owner and your dog is properly trained, kept on a leash and runs free in a fenced yard and is properly socialized and not allowed to roam, you might want to reconsider having a life altering surgery on your dog. Early spay/neuter of large breed dogs is especially detrimental to their overall health.
Researchers at UC Davis examined the veterinary records of 759 Golden Retrievers for hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament tear, lymphosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma and mast cell tumor. The dogs were grouped as intact, neutered before 12 months of age or neutered after 12 months of age.
The study revealed that the disease rates were significantly higher in both males and females that were neutered both before and after 12 months of age.
In contrast to European countries, the overwhelming majority of dogs in the U.S. that are neutered (including spaying), is usually done before one year of age. Given the importance of gonadal hormones in growth and development, this cultural contrast invites an analysis of the multiple organ systems that may be adversely affected by neutering. Using a single breed-specific dataset, the objective was to examine the variables of gender and age at the time of neutering versus leaving dogs gonadally intact, on all diseases occurring with sufficient frequency for statistical analyses. Given its popularity and vulnerability to various cancers and joint disorders, the Golden Retriever was chosen for this study. Veterinary hospital records of 759 client-owned, intact and neutered female and male dogs, 1–8 years old, were examined for diagnoses of hip dysplasia (HD), cranial cruciate ligament tear (CCL), lymphosarcoma (LSA), hemangiosarcoma (HSA), and mast cell tumor (MCT). Patients were classified as intact, or neutered early (
Serious thought needs to be given to this surgical procedure. Remember, mother nature made all body parts interact with one another and removal of one can have major consequences for all.
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