Neoplasia Used with permission from the AKC Canine Health Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the health of all dogs and their owners by funding sound scientific research and supporting the dissemination of health information to prevent, treat, and cure canine disease. That study did not consider the effect of obesity, a known risk factor for diabetes mellitus. Your dog might be less likely to mount other dogs, people and inanimate objects after he’s neutered. This may be hormonally related; there may also be a breed predisposition. Obesity is very common in dogs, with reported incidence of 2.8% in the general dog population; incidences of 34% of castrated male dogs and 38% of spayed female dogs were reported in one study. Several studies have demonstrated that spayed and castrated female and male dogs live longer than do intact bitches or dogs. Veterinarians and pet owners are taking a closer look at when it should occur. Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Best Age To Neuter Or Spay A Dog I was writing to ask about the right time to neuter a Lab male. Incidence in this context is reported as a percent; this is the number of affected animals out of a random sample of 100. Table 1. Whether these other hormone changes affect other systems positively or negatively often is unclear. The increased size of the prostate is associated with increased blood supply. Incidence of sexually dimorphic behaviors decreases after gonadectomy in bitches and dogs, with the decrease in incidence not correlated with length of time the animal has shown the behavior prior to gonadectomy. Behaviors that are most likely to be affected by gonadectomy are those that are sexually dimorphic (seen primarily in one gender). It Depends. It is thought that the current age recommendation arose after the World War II, when increasing affluence of American families first permitted them to treat animals as household pets and were, therefore, more interested in controlling manifestations of reproductive hormone secretion and very interested in making sure the animal survived surgery. Neutering can be carried out very young, before the first season in females but some vets will also advise waiting until after a season or longer. Hart, B. L., Hart, L. A., Thigpen, A. P., & Willits, N. H. (2020). Here are three of the top reasons to spay or neuter your canine companion from AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein: Prevent unplanned puppies. And the answer isn’t what you might think. Keep an eye on the Distance and Distraction levels, and make sure you’re succeeding often. Conditions associated with castration. It is possible that gonadectomized dogs are less likely to show risky behaviors or that owners who have invested in animals by presenting them for spay or castration continue to present them for consistent veterinary care. The timing depends on what age they can expect to hit puberty. Let’s take a look at the benefits and risks of these surgeries and what, if any, is the best time to schedule the snip or spay. The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) undergoes tearing or complete rupture when the stifle is stressed from the side, especially if the animal twists while bearing weight on that limb. Considerations must include evaluation of incidence of various disorders, breed predisposition, and health significance of the various disorders (Table 2 and Table 3). I'm planning to get my doberman spayed when she reaches 6 months old in 2 weeks. A: We spay or neuter dogs at our clinic at 8 weeks as long as they weigh at least two pounds. Benign tumors tend to stay in one location and cause disease by altering the single tissue involved and compressing tissue around it. Large breed dogs are generally at risk, with some breeds predisposed (Table 1). The new long-term study suggests that might not always be the best option. Development of BPH predisposes the dog to prostate infection (prostatitis). The exact cause-and-effect relationship between intact status and development of mammary neoplasia in female dogs has not been identified. If you ask your veterinarian at what age it is best to spay or neuter your dog or cat, most will probably have an answer of between the ages of 6-9 months (or for simplicity, under 1 year of age), with an emphasis on spaying female pets before their first heat cycle. However, spaying is surgery, and your vet knows better than anyone whether your dog is up to handling such a procedure. And for all these major health benefits in your dog, all it takes is a little responsiblr pet ownership during the 3 – … However, for Golden Retrievers, this recommendation has now changed to 18 months. 2It will calm your female dog. The best age to spay or neuter a large breed dog may be significantly later. } There is no evidence documenting a decline in trainability of working female or male dogs after spay or castration. If neutering is done too early or too late, the risks get higher and the benefits lower. Prostatic adenocarcinoma is a highly malignant tumor that cannot be cured medically or surgically. Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is age-related change in prostate size. A 10-year study by researchers at the University of California, Davis examined 35 dog breeds and found breed differences in vulnerability to neutering, with regard to joint disorders and cancers. Determining the optimal age for gonadectomy of dogs and cats. What Is The Best Age To Spay A Female or Neuter a Male Dog? The best age to spay or neuter a dog is altered before the first heat cycle. Veterinary experts recommend that for larger breeds, it is better to wait until they have achieved full-skeletal maturity. Spaying is the term used to describe removing the reproductive organs (ovaries and uterus) of a female dog. No studies have demonstrated increased incidence in fractures or other abnormalities of the growth plates associated with age at time of spay or castration. Multiple studies have documented that spaying bitches when young greatly decreases their risk of developing mammary neoplasia when aged. This better allows for reproduction control in animals no longer capable of or not considered desirable for breeding, and eliminates behaviors and physical changes related to presence of reproductive hormones that dog owners find objectionable. Neoplasia, or cancer, is abnormal growth of tissue. max-width: 1000px !important; Correctly picking the perfect age to spay or neuter your dog has been discussed in the veterinary literature for decades. Ovarian and uterine tumors are very uncommon in bitches. For example, your female dog should NOT be spayed at 6 months old. Unlike in humans, testicular tumors occur late in life in dogs, are readily diagnosed, and are rarely malignant. The vast majority of these post surgical complications are transient and do not require veterinary care. This research provides veterinarians and dog owners with data-based information regarding the best age for neutering any individual dog.The AKC Canine Health Foundation and its donors are also supporting studies that explore how spay/neuter may produce adverse health effects in an effort to develop treatment and prevention strategies. Surgical complication rate does not vary between groups undergoing surgery when very young compared to those undergoing surgery at the more traditional age, with overall postoperative complication rate reported as 6.1%. Spay a female dog before the first season that is at around 5 – 7 months of age. Those of us with responsibility for the health of canine athletes need to continually read and evaluate new scientific studies to ensure that we are taking the most appropriate care of our dogs. Surgical removal of transitional cell carcinoma may or may not be possible, depending on site of the primary tumor. In that study, it was demonstrated that spaying before 3 months of age was significantly more likely to be associated with eventual occurrence of urinary incontinence in a given female dog than was spaying later. Breed, sex, agility, temperament – all of these come into play when deciding on the best age for spaying. The decision of when to spay a dog who is fully grown is much more flexible. Other, less obvious, hormone changes also occur after gonadectomy, including persistent elevation in hormones that control the secretion of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Orthopedic abnormalities Getting your dog spayed before she goes through her first heat is beneficial to her overall health. One behavioral consequence of spaying that has been documented in several studies is an increase in reactivity towards humans with unfamiliar dogs and increased aggression toward family members. For large breed dogs, I would recommend waiting longer before neutering. There are lots of health benefits to spaying or neutering your Shetland Sheepdog, but also a … In many parts of the world, due to cultural or economic prohibitions, bitches and dogs are not spayed or castrated unless they have reproductive tract disease. However, in the United States, virtually all bitches and dogs are rendered sterile by surgery at some point in their life. Large-breed dogs (over 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered after growth stops, which usually is between 9 and 15 months of age. The AKC Canine Health Foundation and its donors are also supporting studies that explore how spay/neuter may produce adverse health effects in an effort to develop treatment and prevention strategies. When to spay a dog is really the least of your considerations. Mammary neoplasia, or breast cancer, is a very common disorder of female dogs, with a reported incidence of 3.4%; this is most common tumor type in female dogs. Two studies have demonstrated increased incidence of hypothyroidism in female and male dogs after gonadectomy. Treatment often includes limb amputation and radiation or chemotherapy. This advice was based on a scientific paper (Schneider et al) showing a reduced risk of developing serious mammary cancer, when dogs were spayed early. While the benefit of spaying decreases with each estrous cycle, some benefit has been demonstrated in bitches even up to 9 years of age. Recommendations were recently published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science for 33 different dog breeds, including 3 varieties of Poodle, 1 and mixed breed dogs based on five different weight categories. During spay surgery, a female dog's reproductive organs - called the ovaries - are removed. What is the best age to neuter a male dog? The problem about teaching dogs is that the owners contribute to the vicious cycle. An increasing body of evidence shows that neutering (including spaying) male and female dogs can have adverse health effects such as an increased risk of certain joint disorders (hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and cranial cruciate ligament rupture) and cancer (lymphoma, mast cell tumor, hemangiosarcoma, and osteosarcoma). For the female corgi, this means the ovaries and uterus are taken out in a procedure known as an ovariohysterectomy. When Should I Spay My Female Dog? It is reported to be more common in large breed dogs with some specific breeds predisposed (Table 1). However, they admit that there are risks in the procedure. Depending on who you speak and in which country you find yourself, you will notice that veterinarians will give different advice on the best age to neuter your dog. This is not based in science; no one has performed a large-scale study in which bitches and dogs underwent gonadectomy at various ages and were tracked throughout life to determine what abnormalities developed relative to age at gonadectomy. Only one study has demonstrated a possible increased incidence of diabetes mellitus in dogs associated with gonadectomy. The cost of your pet's spay/neuter surgery is far less than the cost of … This paper is condensed from a more detailed, extensively referenced manuscript that may be available through your veterinarian (Root Kustritz MV. The findings are published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science. Spaying and neutering refer to the surgical procedures used to sterilize your pup. From a psychological and biological point-of-view, it is the best thing for your dog. Specific breeds are at increased risk (Table 1). Unspayed female dogs attract unwanted attention every six months. Spaying before the first heat cycle decreases the chance of later developing mammary tumors (breast cancer) by 97%. When's the best time to get my puppy spayed? Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2007;231(11):1665-1675). What is the best age to neuter a male dog? So how do you reconcile all this information in helping make decisions for individual animals? This discussion does not address the societal problem of pet overpopulation. Removal of the ovaries eliminates secretion of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Usually, your female will go into heat every six months for a period of two to three weeks. This normally occurs between five and six months of age. Hip dysplasia is abnormal formation of the hip joint with associated development of arthritis. When he got his annual exam and shots, the vet said to leave him unneutered until he was two years old as “large-boned dogs get cancer if they are neutered before then.” CCL injury is very common, with reported incidence of 1.8%. Since dogs can get cancer at any age, even senior dogs can benefit from a spaying procedure. What does spayed mean? The best age is between 4-6 months, so you spay BEFORE your dog ever goes into heat (but after your pet has had all necessary vaccines). A very commonly reported risk factor for development of obesity is gonadectomy. A very recent study documented change in anatomy of the stifle joint of female and male dogs with CCL injury with gonadectomy prior to 6 months of age; further research is pending. In many parts of the world, due to cultural or economic prohibitions, bitches and dogs are not spayed or castrated unless they have reproductive tract disease. In veterinary medicine, any condition with an incidence greater than 1% is considered common. As dog breeders, you are a source of information for people seeking a dog for companionship, to show or work as a hobby, or to grow up with their children. The Best Time to Neuter or Spay a German Shepherd. Best age to spay and neuter a dog? Diabetes mellitus Neutering your male Shih Tzu will also ensure that he is on his best … In more recent years shelter and animal rescue groups have advocated for early-age, 6 months of age and even younger, spay and neuter with the … Keep in mind that dogs will naturally push your limits if you don’t discipline them. With funding from the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), researchers examined medical records from the University of California, Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital to analyze these risks. In trainability of working female or neuter your pet dog might be less to! 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