ANIMAL HOUSE: When is the best time to neuter? It depends
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#1 Apr 11, 2008
I neutered my dog at age 3. He now has a deadly form of bladder cancer. His ONLY risk factor for this type of cancer is being neutered. We have spent thousands of dollars to try to delay his death, while giving him a good quality of life.
Half of his litter were spayed or neutered by 6 months of age. Those littermates died of bone and hemangiosarcoma several years ago. They were also very much over sized for their breed, about 2 inches taller then their intact littermates.
Spaying and neutering is NOT as safe and healthy as the urban myths have lead us to believe all of these years. Spaying and neutering may prevent mammory and testicle cancer, but those forms of cancer are rarely fatal if treated. Spaying and neutering leaves the door wide open for some of the most terrible, always FATAL cancers. Now government is mandating the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats at 4 months of age. The list of medical problems that owners are going to have to pay is going to be staggering. The ones that can't pay, the animals are going to be suffering, sometimes silently at home or in the backyard (spay incontinence) or dumped at shelters.
Finally an article that isn't so one sided, but actually presents the real dangers of government interference in what should be a matter between owner and vet.
#2 Apr 13, 2008
Statistics can be manipulated in many ways. It seems logical that dogs that are cared for and spayed/neuterd at earlier ages and living longer are more likely to develop cancers or other diseases of older age.
#3 Apr 18, 2008
At the hospital where I work, we generally say to spay or neuter around 6 months of age. Part of the reasoning is that at this age, we can remove any remaining deciduous (baby) teeth that haven't fallen out yet since they should have by that age. Yes, two completely different health issues, I know.
#4 Apr 18, 2008
Thanks for writing this article!!! All my pets are spay or neutered, but I didn't spay them all by 6mos old. My male cats, by 5mos (one of which is and always has been a horrible sprayer). My female cat by 8mo. My female dog was spayed at 6mos (and she has spray incontinence - i have all the luck - but I guess a little dribbling is better than blood twice a year). With my male dogs I waited until a year, as they showed potential for athletic events (agility and coursing). I had read an article written by a vet geared towards dogs who where "athletes" and it was suggested in waiting until growth plates closed (which sex hormones play a big part in). So, i figured better safe then sorry later. And to tell the truth, I never had any unwanted male dog behaviors from them in that year. No marking, no humping, no aggression. But my vet and I discussed the article and agreed on what was best for the dogs, and 6 months it was not. I have to disagree with people who push for spay/neuter at 4mo or 6mo for ALL animals (although I do agree with the rescue/shelter doing early s/n for it's own population). Again fantastic article!!!
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