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A quick question about neuter/spaying young dogs

January 13th, 2011, 03:49 PM
What are your guys opions on neutering and spaying young dogs as young as 12 weeks?


Sandra RVT
January 13th, 2011, 08:06 PM
My opinion on early spay and neuter depends on the situation. In puppies in humane societies and shelters I am a huge fan. Having worked at the humane society I know just how many people say they will spay and neuter and then never do. In many cases I've seen the pet returned years later still intact or worse with puppies or kittens. I think the current over-population problem puts more animals at risk and therefore outweighs the risks of early spay or neuter.
For pets already in loving homes however I think its worth doing some research on risks vs. benefits. There are increases in certain types of cancers such as bone cancer (osteosarcoma) linked to early spay and neuter as well as hip dysplasia and other conditions. I would look for a vet who is willing to have an open and honest discussion with me about the risks and benefits in order to find the optimal time to spay or neuter in order to minimize the risks.

January 13th, 2011, 09:50 PM
What is your reasoning for having them done so early? These are puppies you have adopted, right? Are you worried about them mating? Did you want to do it now just to get it over with? Maybe a little history and your reason for wanting it done may help answer your question better.

January 14th, 2011, 07:04 AM
I am on the fence about it at this point, I have large breed dogs which take a long time to mature and neuter/spaying them early will hinder that growth but from a breeder point of view and the number of BYB that are popping up selling my breed on Kijiji (not allowed anymore but are using the term mastiff and getting away with it) is scary so I can see wanting to have them fixed early.

I think it only takes getting burned once by someone when you sell them a dog and have them breed it (by accident or not) and then you are all for fixing early.
I don't know what the shelters do anywhere else but here there is an incentive to have your pet fixed if it was too young to do before leaving the shelter, they will return a percentage of the adoption fee you paid to get the pet.

Like Sandra RVT said there are benefits to waiting if you have people that care enough to look after and take precautions of an intact animal until they have matured.

January 14th, 2011, 07:47 AM
Being in rescue and working closely with shelters, I am also on the fence about this. I would much prefer that they are sterilized early just based on how many dogs/puppies are in the system. Accidents apparently happen :frustrated: which leads to the over population.

No matter how well you screen people, there is always a question of doubt. Where there is doubt leaves me to believe that you must do what is right by the animal.

I would never discourage a shelter or rescue from spay/neuter early for dogs and cats. Personally I would not have any of mine done until maturity but that's just me.:shrug:

Again - I am on the fence with this question.

January 14th, 2011, 07:29 PM
If it's a rescue situation you likely won't have an option. If you do have an option and want to read more about the pros and cons there are some articles in my list that do deal with paediatric neuter/spay. I think you can pick them out from the title. As said above, in large breeds many believe there are significant benefits to waiting till the growth plates are closed, at least.

Neuter/Spay - Health, Behavioural, Societal and Other Pros and Cons

This is a reading list of articles and papers by Veterinarians, breed clubs, trainers and others on the pros and cons of neutering or spaying your dog that I have found helpful and very educational. Most are based on extensive Veterinary research and also provide references you can check further. If you are wrestling with the question of when or whether to neuter/spay these may help. They do not all agree and one is even a rebuttal of another. One is a link to a radio show interview. One is a link to a medical testosterone suppressant not yet available in N. America but is in the U.K. and Australia. Some are not easy reading.

I think I personally found the first two in the list to be of most help and I appreciated the non-biased way the information was presented. The list is in no particular order, articles were simply added as I discovered them. If the links are not clickable I have tried to include the name of the paper and author in case you have to search for them. I hope this helps folks out and good luck with your decision. A tip, I went to my Vet to discuss the first two articles with her.
Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs
Laura J. Sanborn, M.S.
May 14, 2007
Determining the optimal age for gonadectomy of dogs and cats,
Margaret V. Root Kustritz, dvm, phd, dact
Veterinary "Review" Article on Neutering, with Implications for Dalmatian Stone-Formers Abstracted by Carroll H. Weiss
Study Group on Urinary Stones
Research Committee
Dalmatian Club of America
Mary C. Wakeman, D.V.M.
©2003 for BREEDERVET
The Question Of Neutering and at what age
(Put together by Gregg Tonkin, Little River Labradors from postings by Pam Davol PHD and Chris Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP)
Should You Neuter Your Dog?
Ed Frawley, Leerburg Kennels * words are l e e r b u r and L e e r b u r g Kennels
The Bond and Beyond for VPN December 2008
by Alice Villalobos
Will We Change on Early Spay-Neuter?
Mary C. Wakeman, D.V.M.
©2003 for BREEDERVET
New Views On Neutering
By Ruth Marrion, DVM
Non-reproductive Effects of Spaying and Neutering
Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Non-Surgical
Contraceptive Methods for Pet Population Control •
SESSION OVERVIEW - Dr. John Verstegen
A non-surgical method to suppress testosterone
Pros and Cons of Neutering
E. Hardie
Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.
RSPCA Admit to Spaying and Castrating Puppies AT SIX WEEKS OLD
Stan Rawlinson MTCBPT.MPAACT
Doglistener Behaviourist and Obedience Trainer
Should I spay or should I no..? -- pros and cons of Spay-neuter
Hungarian Vizsla Health Resource
Spaying and Castration (Neutering) Dogs and Cats A Stark Warning
Stan Rawlinson, a full time Dog Behaviourist and Obedience Trainer.
Spay, Neuter, and Cancer: Revisiting and Old Trinity
Myrna Milani, BS, DVM
Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete One Veterinarian's Opinion
© 2005 Chris Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP
Rebuttal to “Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete”
Lisa M Howe, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS Associate Professor, Small Animal Surgery Co-Chief
Surgical Sciences Sect Dept of Vet Small Animal Clinical Sci
College of Vet Med and Biom Sciences Texas A&M Univ College Station TX 77843
Dog Talk Show #96 Tracie Hotchner (10-18-2008)
Early spay/neuter may be harming our dogs! Hear Dr. Christine Zink, DVM, PhD, DAVCP on the physical benefits of delaying neutering and trainer Parvene Farhoody on how it can reduce aggression.
Effects of breed, sex, and neuter status on trainability in dogs
James A. Serpell* and Yuying Hsu†
Gonadectomy and behavior
Dr Joël Dehasse
Temperament and personality in dogs (Canis familiaris): A review and evaluation of past research
Amanda C. Jones *, Samuel D. Gosling
Evaluating the Benefits and Risks of Neutering
The SkeptVet – the owner of this blog is not identified but the articles referenced are searchable.
Pediatric Spay/Neuter
Dr. Lila Miller, ASPCA
Spaying and Castration – What Your Vet and the Rescue Centres May Not Tell You
Pauline Waller, member #178 Professional Association of Applied Canine Trainers, - articles referenced and searchable;hl=castrate#pid1123732
To Castrate or Not? – Interesting discussion regarding a young male targeted by an aggressive older male.
Non-reproductive Effects of Spaying and Neutering on Behavior in Dogs
Deborah L. Duffy, Ph.D., and James A. Serpell, Ph.D., Center for the Interaction of
Animals and Society, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
At What Age Should I Spay or Neuter My Dog or Cat?
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Neutering My Pet?
Revisiting The Idea Of Early-Age Neutering
Ron Hines DVM PhD 10/05/09
Articles and links to Veterinary organizations opposing mandatory spay/neuter
Can Spaying Make Dog Behaviour Worse?
Sophia Yin, DVM, MS March 5, 2009
The Effects of Spaying and Neutering on Canine Behaviour
James O’Heare, Based on section from Aggressive Behavior in Dogs, 2006,
The Behavioural Effects of Canine Castration
Hazel Palmer, 1993 See post #8 in the chat forum at Pet Friendly World.
Does Spaying and Neutering Reduce Aggression?
Dr. Polley DVM, 2001 American Dog Breeders Association
A Healthier Respect for Ovaries (in dogs)
David J. Waters, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS
Director, Center for Exceptional Longevity Studies
Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation
Message for women and dogs: keeping ovaries is linked to longevity
To the Purdue Research Park,

January 14th, 2011, 10:06 PM
If you are a breeder and sending some out as pets. I do not allow my pets to go with out spay or neuter. I have it done before the new owner takes them. However I wait for 16 weeks and so do the new owners.
From our rescue point as soon as possible. They will become a little leggie. But in all our years it has been fine.

Then there will be those who will not do it. You can only hope to educate.
Better to spay or neuter then to have them in some back yard breeding.

For all those who rescue. You have the gratitude of every one and the dog or cat you rescue.

This is a caring list And nice to be a part of it.


January 14th, 2011, 10:22 PM
:yell: Longblades, I'm going to be up til tomorrow morning reading all those links :D. What a list...thank you so much for sharing!

January 17th, 2011, 08:39 PM
If it's a rescue situation, I understand why they have the policies they do but I think anything below six months is way too early for a dog anyway. Under no circumstances would I neuter a Great Dane before the age of 18 months. Just like humans, they have hormones for a reason, and not only for procreation. In a breed where we have to watch carefully for bone, joint and other growth issues to begin with, it's not worth the risk of long term affects in my opinion. I also don't believe that we really know the full picture of ALL the long term affects of early spay/neuter yet. It hasn't been done long enough, or had enough un biased studies to give a true picture. There is such a huge fight out there to stop over population of unwanted pets ((which is understandable for obvious reasons)) that any study or opinion going against spay/neuter is not going to be given much credence. I forget now where I was reading it, but there was this vet in the UK...who has done long term studies on this, and he says that in the past ten years, he and vets around the world are seeing a huge increase in illnesses, diseases and the like in dogs that were rarely if ever seen before, and he attributes a lot of this to early spay/neuter and the over vaccination of pets. Whether that's true or not, it makes sense to me.

January 17th, 2011, 10:47 PM
I forget now where I was reading it, but there was this vet in the UK...who has done long term studies on this, and he says that in the past ten years, he and vets around the world are seeing a huge increase in illnesses, diseases and the like in dogs that were rarely if ever seen before, and he attributes a lot of this to early spay/neuter and the over vaccination of pets. Whether that's true or not, it makes sense to me.

I wonder if he did any of that research on the commercial food we are feeding our pets in that study. I agree about the over vaccination. Not so sure about s/n. I still go with the 6 to 8 months. Especially for people who are less than attentive with their dogs when out and about.

January 17th, 2011, 10:50 PM
I'm not sure but I think it's definitely a factor.