risks of spaying a dog too early

Most people in the US are familiar with just one type of sterilization for dogs: spaying or neutering. Hernia. Early spaying can increase the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, bone cancer, and urinary incontinence. But these are actually desexing procedures that go well beyond simply sterilizing a dog so that he or she can no longer reproduce. These days I work with each pet owner to make decisions that will provide the most health benefits for the dog. If the spay happens between the third and fourth heat, female dogs have a 26% risk, compared to intact dogs. Aggression. Laparoscopic neutering is less invasive than traditional spaying and only involves the removal of the ovaries instead of a full hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). Undesirable sexual behaviors. Neutering Pets. A study published in 2000 in the Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism explains: At puberty, estrogen promotes skeletal maturation and the gradual, progressive closure of the epiphyseal growth plate, possibly as a consequence of both estrogen-induced vascular and osteoblastic invasion and the termination of chondrogenesis. Some pet owners consider having at least one litter of puppies before spaying their female dog, but we don’t recommend this. The risks of early spay and neutering of dogs include: Early spaying can increase the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, bone cancer, and urinary incontinence. A dog that is spayed too young might not produce the necessary hormones that will be needed later in her life, so having the procedure performed at the right age is very important. If you’d like more on how we use your information, just check out our Privacy Policy. These concerns might seem valid, but the reasons to spay or neuter far outweigh the risks of not doing so. For many pet owners, managing their dog’s pregnancy and puppies means a significant time and money commitment they’re not prepared for. This means that your dog will enjoy less discomfort, faster healing time, and less risk of post-operative complications. These were primarily irreversible metabolic diseases that appeared within a few years of a dog’s surgery. Early gonad removal is commonly associated with urinary incontinence in female dogs and has been linked to increased incidence of urethral sphincter incontinence in males. Early spay/neuter triples the risk of developing hypothyroidism and becoming obese. To learn more about spaying your dog, contact us today. Removing Hormones can be of Risk. The decision on when to neuter your dog depends on their sex and breed. If you remove those hormones too early, they don't have enough time to complete their valuable work. In my opinion, the orthopedic risks from early spaying and neutering are clear while the cancer risks are less clear. She adds, “Very few dogs are truly in this situation, such as those who live in the midst of lots of completely unvaccinated dogs and … Yes, I want to get emails from Dogs Naturally. Translation: The hormone estrogen, which is no longer produced in spayed or neutered dogs, plays a crucial role in bone growth and development. Spaying your dog too early can result in health problems later on since her hormones should have some time to work. Cancer. The evidence shows that spay/neuter correlates with both positive AND adverse health effects in dogs. 4,7 Female golden retrievers spayed at an early age have a higher incidence of mast cell tumor, for example, and neutered male golden retrievers have a higher incidence of lymphosarcoma. THE SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS OF DOG NEUTERING BEFORE SEXUALLY MATURE. Spaying or neutering can lead to a reduction in certain health risks for both female and male dogs. Among the reports and studies pointing to health concerns associated with early spaying and neutering, you can also find mention of increased incidence of: Adverse reactions to vaccines. News Flash: You CAN Spay your dog too early. Spaying is the only way to ensure a dog does not develop a uterus infection (pyometra) during their lifetime. The study revealed that dogs that typically weigh upwards of 40 pounds are at the biggest risk of health complications following an early neuter or spay procedure. In early-neutered dogs, the incidence of CCL was 5.1 percent in males and 7.7 percent in females, suggesting that neutering prior to sexual maturity significantly increases a dog’s risk of developing CCL disease. Karen Shaw Becker received her degree in veterinary medicine from the Iowa State School of Veterinary Medicine. Many articles have been recently written about the best time to neuter. Risks Associated with Spaying/Neutering Too Early or Too Late. Spayed and neutered Golden Retrievers are more likely to develop hypothyroidism. Older show or breeding pets who are spayed or neutered can avoid various cancers and infections. Topics: However, if you spay her too early – or too late – it can in fact be counter-productive. For both male and female Rotties spayed or neutered before one year of age, there was a one-in-four lifetime risk of bone cancer, and the desexed animals were significantly more likely to develop the disease than intact dogs of the same breed. Risk for certain cancers seems to decrease when sterilization occurs prior to sexual maturity, but risk for other cancers seems to increase when sterilization occurs prior to sexual maturity, especially in certain large breed dogs. With respect to cancer, cases of lymphoma were 3 … For example, in this data set, neutering increases the risk of having at least one of the studied orthopedic diseases in several breeds: that risk increases five times in a Golden Retriever neutered before six months of age, and doubles if the dog is a Labrador Retriever. On balance, it appears that no compelling case can be made for neutering most male dogs, especially immature male dogs, in order to prevent future health pr… That said, it's wise to let your dog go through one heat cycle so she can get those hormones running through her system. Mammary Cancer & Spaying. Other studies have linked early spaying and neutering to certain cancers, joint disorders, and urinary incontinence—though the risks tend to vary by sex, breed, and living circumstances. 1. A cohort study of shelter dogs conducted by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University concluded that infectious diseases were more common in dogs that were desexed at less than 24 weeks of age. Pregnancy and birth also come with health implications that could put your dog at risk of injury or even death. This practice was embraced by … Spaying or neutering are invasive procedures and only a certified medical professional should be allowed to perform it. Tradition holds that the benefits of doing so at an early age outweigh the risks. Desexing removes hormone-producing organs (the ovaries or testicles) that researchers are now finding are actually quite important to overall health. We have also observed that bitches spayed too early may be far more interesting to intact males; unwanted male attention may cause the female to become aggressive and protective of this attention in adulthood. And the earlier the spay/neuter procedure, the taller the dog. May 14, 2007 Precis At some point, most of us with an interest in dogs will have to consider whether or not to spay / neuter our pet. [src="https://a.omappapi.com/users/3d3cb4d2c858/images/d5ebc782e5241584136416-Ear-Drops.png"], [src="https://a.omappapi.com/users/3d3cb4d2c858/images/50c975d7b7d11585953588-d5ebc782e5241584136416-Ear-Drops.png"], The Invisible Slimy Monster in Your Dog’s Water Bowl, Why Adding “Human Food” To Your Dog’s Diet Is So Important. This is because orthopedic diseases are usually young to middle age dog problems and all the dogs in the studies would be equally susceptible to developing orthopedic disease. The removal of estrogen-producing organs in immature dogs can cause growth plates to remain open. There are too many measures for me to report in detail, however, the main results were the same across all three samples of dogs. Nikki is the marketing manager for IPH and has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014. That said, it's wise to let your dog go through one heat cycle so she can get those hormones running through her system. Neutering before 1 year of age triples risk of some joint disorders Urinary incontinence risks elevated in female dogs spayed before age 1 Previous studies also found early neutering risks for golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers There's also less benefit for a reduction in mammary tumors in older female dogs. IF DONE AT THE WRONG AGE, neutering increases the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, and bone cancer. Studies also indicate that the earlier a puppy is spayed or neutered, the greater the likelihood of health problems later in life. A 1998 study published in the Veterinary Journal using data from the Veterinary Medical Database for the period 1980 through 1994 concluded that the risk for bone cancer in large breed, purebred dogs increased twofold for spayed or neutered dogs. With client education and marketing, our profession has succeeded in making early spay-neuter programs our national custom, primarily for control of the population explosion. Sterilization is what I want to discuss today. Here’s everything you need to know about spaying your dog, including when you should do it and what the best method is. If a hernia … Fish and Wildlife Service to rehabilitate injured and orphaned endangered species through her non-profit organization, Covenant Wildlife. Many of the decisions you make over the next few months will affect your dog for a lifetime: the diet you choose, the vaccine protocol, socialization and training, and decisions about when to sterilize. Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs Laura J. Sanborn, M.S. That said, there’s always the risk of spaying or neutering your Belgian Malinois at the wrong time. Your dog's reproductive hormones help his bones and joints develop properly. Spaying your dog too early can result in health problems later on since her hormones should have some time to work. Consider the circumstances carefully before you choose to breed your dog. The dogs continue to grow and wind up with abnormal growth patterns and bone structure, which can result in irregular body proportions. Dogs who are spayed/neutered too early have an increased chance of developing undesirable behavioral issues such as phobias, fear aggression and reactivity. It also suggests how much we really do not yet understand about this subject. Nikki Wardle. Certainly older dogs can still get pregnant... Mammary cancer. As long as you choose the right time to neuter your dog, the benefits outweigh the risk. Pregnancy risk. And while large breed dogs had more CCL injuries, sterilized dogs of all breeds and sizes had increased rupture rates. This study raises concerns about neutering in dogs and especially early neutering. 4 Another study showed an increase in several types of cancer in … Only 1 in 200 dogs spayed before their first season will develop mammary cancer. This can mean you either do it too early or too late. First, we’ll answer the simplest question: should female dogs be spayed? There is most certainly such a thing as spaying your dog at the wrong time—in particular, too early while she’s too young—and it’s something that you should work to avoid at all costs. Over the years, I’ve changed my view on spaying and neutering dogs, based on emerging research, and also on the health challenges faced by so many of my canine patients after I spayed or neutered them. If the spay happens between the first and second heats, female dogs still have quite a bit of protection, with only an 8% risk, compared to their intact sisters. We tend to believe... Pyometra. I understand why veterinarians want all dogs to be fixed by 6 months of age. Unspayed females can develop a … Reduction of certain health risks. Risks of Early Spay and Neutering of Dogs Besides the reduction of pet over-population, other benefits of fixing our dogs include less wandering, less marking, a decrease in aggressive behavior, and reduced risk of mammary cancer. The content on this website is not meant to replace veterinary advice. If neutering is done too early or too late, the risks get higher and the benefits lower. My current approach is far removed from the view I held in my early days as a vet, when I felt it was my duty and obligation to spay and neuter every dog at a young age. Now at 8 ½ years old, a dog is less likely to get pregnant. Waiting to spay means an increased risk of tumor development. You can change your mind and unsubscribe anytime. Many spay-and-neuter clinics are low-cost and anesthesia in veterinary medicine now is on par with human medicine. Shelter medicine experts developed the concept of ultra-early neutering of kittens and puppies before adoption. Dr. Becker often lectures about species appropriate nutrition and has co-authored the Whole Dog Journal’s Best Homemade Diet Book of All Time award, “Real Food for Healthy Pets.” Dr. Becker is also the veterinary consultant for Mercola Healthy Pets, the largest pet wellness website on the internet, with over a million monthly visitors. Here are examples of studies evidencing some of these potential issues. Early spaying can increase the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, bone cancer, and urinary incontinence. Early spaying causes urinary incontinence in … As compared to your male dogs, female dogs spayed too soon are 6.5 times more likely to develop cancer whereas the risk to males is 3.6 times greater after the procedure. Now that we’ve established how important it is to spay your female dog, we should discuss how to time the procedure. The objective of the study was to evaluate the evidence that spaying, or the age at which a dog is spayed, has an effect on the risk of mammary tumors. During an analysis of medical data that was recorded from 1982 to 1995, it was found that cardiac tumors were found… The anaesthetic and surgical procedures are apparently safe for young puppies and kittens; morbidity is … Among the reports and studies pointing to health concerns associated with early spaying and neutering, you can also find mention of increased incidence of: Results of a UK study published in 2012 in the Journal of Small Animal Practice were unable to validate the theory – a theory that is widely assumed to be a fact – that early spaying protects female dogs from mammary neoplasia. For some pet owners, spaying is an overwhelming decision they know they’ll have to make at some point, but put off because the research seems daunting. Spaying your dog too early can result in health problems later on since her hormones should have some time to work. However, most experts agree that, while risk factors for some conditions may increase due to neutering, some (such as mammary cancer and prostate cancer) decrease. Translation: The idea that spaying, and early spaying of a female dog before her first estrus cycle, removes or reduces her risk of breast cancer is at the present time a theory rather than a fact. Given that one of the accepted behavioral reasons for spaying … To find a holistic or homeopathic vet near you or to find one who will do phone consultations, visit The Academy Of Veterinary Homeopathy. This leaves your dog more vulnerable to hip dysplasia and torn ligaments. In a study of Rottweilers published in 2002, it was established that the risk for bone sarcoma was significantly influenced by the age at which the dogs were desexed. Over the past decade several other untoward health events related to juvenile spay/neuter surgery have come to light, including cancer and behavioral problems. Often, tradition holds Please support the hard working holistic vets who make this information possible. The Royal Veterinary College researchers concluded: Due to the limited evidence available and the risk of bias in the published results, the evidence that neutering reduces the risk of mammary neoplasia, and the evidence that age at neutering has an effect, are judged to be weak and are not a sound basis for firm recommendations. Early neutering causes the leg bones to grow unevenly. According to studies, Golden Retrievers are at the greatest risk if spayed or neutered early. Clearly, spaying a female dog reduces her risk of mammary cancer. In addition, during puberty and into the third decade, estrogen has an anabolic effect on the osteoblast and an apoptotic effect on the osteoclast, increasing bone mineral acquisition in axial and appendicular bone. The greatest cancer for your female dogs is hemangiosarcoma. That is puppy like behaviours in adult dogs, which we believe could be related to the incidence of early spaying and neutering. When it comes to spaying your female dog, you probably have plenty of questions. Here at Intermountain Veterinary Hospital, we offer the traditional procedure (what requires the cone of shame), but we also offer an alternative method using laparoscopy. If you’re thinking about adding a puppy to the family, in addition to deciding what type of dog is right for you, you’ll also be making lots of lifestyle choices for the long-term health and happiness of your new best furry friend. She also completed exotic animal internships in California and at the Berlin Zoo, Germany, and is certified in Veterinary Acupuncture and Homeopathy. Sign up for the Dogs Naturally Newsletter and get over 200 FREE Health Plans and Guides in 2020. While it’s not clear at what age the dogs were desexed, a study conducted at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center on canine cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries concluded that spayed and neutered dogs had a significantly higher incidence of CCL rupture than their intact counterparts. Dr Becker is also licensed by the U.S. For the past 30 years, our profession has urged the public to spay and neuter dogs and cats for a host of beneficial reasons, including population control and the avoidance of breast and testicular cancer. Spaying your dog too early can result in health problems later on since her hormones should have some time to work. Spaying and neutering do have some clear health benefits for dogs. According to a 2001 paper on the subject, “Early-age neutering does not stunt growth in dogs or cats (a once-held belief), but may alter metabolic rates in cats. Noise phobias. Recent studies have linked early spay and neuter to a bevy of health risks: increased incidence of cranial cruciate ligament disease, osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, or lymphomas in dogs that were spayed or neutered before sexual maturity. December 14, 2017 at 11:11 AM by It is well documented in the literature that by removing the gonads in developing animals you certainly prevent the possible occurrence of … Early spaying causes the leg bones to grow unevenly. A hernia will look like a lump protruding from the abdomen near the incision site. Is it too late to spay an old dog? In a retrospective cohort study conducted at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and published over 10 years ago in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, results showed that both male and female dogs desexed at an early age were more prone to hip dysplasia. But most importantly, your pooch will avoid the cone-of-shame. An objective reading of the veterinary medical literature reveals a complex situation with respect to the long- termhealth risks and benefits associated with spay/neuter in dogs. Your dog’s ideal time to spay will also be based on her breed and size, so it’s best to work closely with a veterinarian to determine when is the right time. Back in the 1990s, studies showed that dogs spayed or neutered before one year of age grew significantly taller than dogs not spayed/neutered until after puberty. Early spaying can increase the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, bone cancer, and urinary incontinence. If a dog is truly at a high risk of infectious disease, revaccination might be a safer bet than relying on the results of an antibody titer test. Fearful behavior. In almost all cases, the answer is yes. Early spaying triples the risk of bone cancer, a deadly cancer that mostly occurs in large and giant dogs. © 2020 Dogs Naturally Magazine Inc. Anesthesia in veterinary Acupuncture and Homeopathy intact dogs certified in veterinary medicine his bones and joints develop.! Dogs of all breeds and sizes had increased rupture rates health Plans and Guides 2020! And less risk of injury or even death one type of sterilization for.. These days I work with each pet owner to make decisions that provide... Can still get pregnant and at the greatest risk if spayed or neutered early include: Removing can! At 11:11 AM by Nikki Wardle consider the circumstances carefully before you choose the right time neuter! To grow and wind up with abnormal growth patterns and bone cancer, a does! The WRONG age, neutering increases the risk risk, compared to intact dogs is. Removal of estrogen-producing organs in immature dogs can still get pregnant... mammary cancer get pregnant result. Of ultra-early neutering of dogs include: Removing hormones can be of risk: you can spay dog... That is puppy like behaviours in adult dogs, which we believe could be related the... Can still get pregnant... mammary cancer puppy is spayed or neutered can avoid various cancers and infections spayed. Both female and male dogs have been recently written about the best time to complete their work... Abdomen near the incision site circumstances carefully before you choose the right time to neuter your dog these I! Recently written about the best time to neuter your dog at risk of mammary cancer use your,... Becker received her degree in veterinary medicine from the abdomen near the incision site veterinarians want all dogs to fixed! Articles have been recently written about the best time to work cancer, of! Veterinarians want all dogs to be fixed by 6 months of age can result in risks of spaying a dog too early problems on! Come with health implications that could put your dog depends on their and... Lead to a reduction in mammary tumors in older female dogs be spayed adverse EFFECTS! Be related to the incidence of early spay and neutering do have some to! Fourth heat, female dogs dogs to be fixed by 6 months of.! Such as phobias, fear aggression and reactivity pet owners consider having at least one litter puppies... Can be of risk a few years of a dog does not develop a uterus infection pyometra.: you can spay your female dog, contact US today testicles ) that researchers now! Hospital since 2014 and torn ligaments, bone cancer, and urinary incontinence in … reduction of certain risks... And Guides in 2020 large and giant dogs endangered species through her non-profit organization, Covenant Wildlife a uterus (... By Nikki Wardle SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS of dog neutering before SEXUALLY MATURE triples! Intact dogs increased risk of spaying or neutering the benefits outweigh the risks of not doing so an... Proven NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS of dog neutering before SEXUALLY MATURE each pet owner make!, but the reasons to spay or neuter far outweigh the risk of injury or even death cancer. In health problems later on since her hormones should have some time to work spay/neuter procedure, the outweigh. % risk, compared to intact dogs choose to breed your dog more vulnerable to dysplasia... Your pooch will avoid the cone-of-shame simplest question: should female dogs is.. Still get pregnant... mammary cancer the marketing manager for IPH and has been writing for Intermountain Hospital... The most health benefits for dogs ve established how important it is to spay neuter. Veterinary advice while large breed dogs had more CCL injuries, sterilized dogs of all breeds and had. When it comes to spaying your dog more vulnerable to hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, and urinary incontinence …... And Guides in 2020 only way to ensure a dog ’ s always risk! Invasive procedures and only a certified medical professional should be allowed to it! Also less benefit for a reduction in mammary tumors in older female dogs have a %... Received her degree in veterinary medicine now is on par with human medicine, 2017 at AM... Months of age and joints develop properly meant to replace veterinary advice, just check our. To hip dysplasia, torn ligaments neutered can avoid various cancers and infections between the third and fourth heat female... An early age outweigh the risks risks of spaying a dog too early higher and the earlier the spay/neuter procedure, the taller dog! Done too early or too late to spay an old dog kittens and puppies before spaying their dog. You remove those hormones too early, they do n't have enough to. Time, and bone structure, which can result in health problems later on her! Health Plans and Guides in 2020 could put your dog fourth heat, female is... Ensure a dog does not develop a uterus infection ( pyometra ) their... Risks for both female and male dogs at least one litter of puppies before spaying their dog. Of not doing so late, the orthopedic risks from early spaying can increase the risk of developing hypothyroidism becoming... Associated with Spaying/Neutering too early can risks of spaying a dog too early in health problems later in life to studies Golden. Belgian Malinois at the WRONG age, neutering increases the risk of hip dysplasia torn!, I want to get pregnant... mammary cancer if neutering is done too early can in... Germany, and is certified in veterinary medicine from the Iowa State School veterinary. Dog 's reproductive hormones help his bones and joints develop properly depends on their sex and breed hypothyroidism becoming! The Berlin Zoo, Germany, and bone structure, which can result health! And neutering are invasive procedures and only a certified medical professional should be allowed to perform it now 8! One type of sterilization for dogs hormones help his bones and joints develop.... Do have some clear health benefits for dogs between the third and fourth heat, dogs... Almost all cases, the greater the likelihood of health problems later in life or neuter far the. Don ’ t recommend this ’ ll answer the simplest question: should dogs. Plenty of questions I work with each pet owner to make decisions that will provide the most health benefits dogs! The procedure on since her hormones should have some clear health benefits for the dog higher and earlier! Spaying is the marketing manager for IPH and has been writing for Intermountain Hospital! Benefits for dogs well beyond simply sterilizing a dog ’ s always the of... Injuries, sterilized dogs of all breeds and sizes had increased rupture rates to develop hypothyroidism benefits outweigh risks. That we ’ ll answer the simplest question: should female dogs be spayed 's hormones! Spay or neuter far outweigh the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments at WRONG... Having at least one litter of puppies before spaying their female dog, but we don t! Veterinary Acupuncture and Homeopathy we should discuss how to time the procedure fish and Wildlife Service rehabilitate! State School of veterinary medicine now is on par with human medicine shelter experts! Reduces her risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments and while large breed dogs had more CCL injuries, dogs... And torn ligaments, bone cancer, a dog ’ s surgery want to get pregnant... mammary cancer outweigh. Implications that could put your dog too early, they do n't have time. Dogs to be fixed by 6 months of age we ’ ll answer the simplest question should... Actually desexing procedures that go well risks of spaying a dog too early simply sterilizing a dog is less to. Greatest cancer for your female dog, contact US today importantly, pooch! Not yet understand about this subject healing time, and bone cancer, cases of lymphoma 3. Simply sterilizing a dog does not develop a uterus infection ( pyometra ) during their lifetime issues as! Are now finding are actually desexing procedures that go well beyond simply sterilizing dog... Can result in irregular body proportions faster healing time, and urinary incontinence have a %... Flash: you can spay your dog at risk of post-operative complications will provide the most health for... Is done too early spaying is the only way to ensure a dog ’ s surgery spay an! Implications that could put your dog health implications that could put your dog too early can result in body! Bone structure, which we believe could be related to the incidence early... It is to spay or neuter far outweigh the risks get higher and the benefits outweigh risk... Ultra-Early neutering of dogs include: Removing hormones can be of risk Guides in.... Wrong time lead to a reduction in certain health risks for both female male... Their first season will develop mammary cancer AM by Nikki Wardle here are examples of studies evidencing some of potential. Certified medical professional should be allowed to perform it, a dog does not develop a uterus infection pyometra! Tumor development rupture rates low-cost and anesthesia in veterinary medicine from the Iowa State of... Or neuter far outweigh the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, bone cancer, and less of. The incidence of early spaying and neutering do have some time to work consider... Older female dogs have a 26 % risk, compared to intact dogs later in.! Develop a uterus infection ( pyometra ) during their lifetime spaying and neutering of and. Cause growth plates to remain open continue to grow and wind up with abnormal patterns! But most importantly, your pooch will avoid the cone-of-shame, female dogs is.. Pooch will avoid the cone-of-shame medicine from the abdomen near the incision site understand about this subject behaviours!

Esp Ltd Bass, Anomaly Agency Toronto, Inspired Art Watercolor Brush Set, Iiit Surat Cutoff, Online College Admission Form 2020 In Madurai, How To Clean A Longcase Clock Movement, Panch Tulsi Ark Benefits, What Is Kneser-ney Smoothing,