<<  Canine Health Bytes On Demand:  The Spay/Neuter Conundrum in Dogs


The Spay / Neuter Conundrum in Dogs:
Breed and Body Size-Specific Guidelines

The practice of early spay / neuter for companion dogs not intended for breeding has been standard for decades. The proposed reasons are several, including preventing unwanted pregnancies, preventing unwanted aggression, and preventing mammary cancer (none of which has evidence-based support). In contrast, over the past decade, several investigators have reported an increase in certain cancers and joint disorders that have increased in association with spay or neuter. However, these findings were not clinically useful because breeds were generally lumped together, as were ages of spay / neuter. 

UC Davis completed collection of data from extensive veterinary hospital records on 35 dog breeds and 5 weight categories of mixed breed dogs, showing major differences in vulnerability to the effects of gonadectomy on the prevalence of joint disorders and cancers. For example, with many specific breeds there is no impact of spay / neuter at any age or on the occurrence of joint disorders or cancers, while there are certain other breeds where spay / neuter, as late as up to two years of age, can significantly increase the chance of joint disorders or cancers. 

This webinar will provide an overview of the data-based findings from hospital patient records, and the spay / neuter guidelines for each breed and for each weight category for mixed breed dogs. Suggestions will be offered for deriving guidelines for breeds not covered by the findings with the intention of offering a “handbook” for veterinarians wishing to guide clients in making spay / neuter decisions, breeders wishing to advise clients, and for those wishing to adopt a puppy.  


Approved for 1 hour of CE credit by AAVSB RACE, NY State, and the NJVMA for veterinarians and veterinary technicians

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