Neutering male dogs involve removal of both testicles and spaying a female dog requires removal of the ovaries and uterus. Both procedures result in the interruption of the body’s production of hormones. Without hormones, unwanted canine pregnancies and pet overpopulation issues are avoided. For years, veterinarians and pet owners alike have been taught about all the potential health benefits of spaying and neutering dogs. Unfortunately, recently published research indicates otherwise. Hip Dysplasia, knee or stifle ligament injuries and three types of canine cancer were the focus of this canine lifetime study. The 3 types of dog cancer studied were Lymphoma, Hemangiosarcoma, and Mast Cell Tumors.The rate of disease development in neutered male and spayed female dogs was significantly higher in each of the 5 diseases studied versus the intact group of dogs in the study that were not neutered or spayed.
What other Dog Health Issues are Affected by Early Age Spays & Neuters?
In addition to dog arthritis and canine cancer, early age pet spays and neuters have been linked to unwanted dog behavioral issues and a host of other negative health disorders still being studied.
Does Spaying Female Dogs offer any Health Benefits?
Yes, in addition to reducing the population of stray, homeless canines, spaying dogs does offer certain pet health benefits. For example, spaying female dogs does prevent the development of a life-threatening disease called Pyometra. Pyometra is of greatest risk to senior aged, intact female dogs. Age 10 is typical for intact female dogs to develop and present with Canine Pyometra. The dog’s uterus fills with pus and spaying her becomes a lifesaving procedure in this particular case. Spaying female dogs after age 6, offers the best of both worlds; dogs are able to maintain health and wellness and avoid Pyometra.
What are the True Benefits of Neutering Male Dogs?
Neutering male dogs do help to reduce unwanted, aggressive behaviors as well as canine urine marking. In these, unruly dogs, neutering eliminates the production of the male hormone, Testosterone, which in most cases, along with behavioral modification suffices to “take the wind out of their sails,” and reduce or eliminate these unwanted behaviors.
This study indicates the importance of discussing the true risks and benefits of spaying or neutering your dog with your veterinarian prior to the procedure. Veterinarians and pet owners alike should use their best medical judgment when deciding the best time and age to spay or neuter dogs and cats.