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post #1 of 157 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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statistics and misconceptions

today on Gloria Stillwells blog, reading through the spay info, it said that bitches spayed after the second heat have a 26% higher rate of mammary cancer.

That makes you want to spay, doesn't it. 26% that is like 1 in 4, about.

But earlier today in Dog World Magaizine, it said that mammary tumors occur in 3% of the population, and of those, one third are malignant. Ok, so now we have the cancer rate as 1 in 100.

So out of that 1 in 100 or 100 in 10,000, how many have been spayed before their second heat and how many spayed after their second heat?

In light of this information, if they are now saying that bitches' overall longevity increases on average the longer they have their ovaries, should we really be pushing to spay these girls before their first heat?

Are we spaying to remove the possibility of pregnancy, to eliminate the inconveniece of cycles, or for her health? And are we spaying when we do because this is what they tell us is best, and this is what we have done in the past?

I give Dog World Kudos for publishing this artical about this study, with references and all.

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post #2 of 157 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 11:23 PM
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For what it's worth, all the time I have worked in clinics we have never had a spayed female come in with mammary tumors. This is just my experience. The malignant tumors are nasty though and I believe tend to already have metastasized by the time we find them. I am having my girl spayed hopefully right before her second heat cycle so I can gain the benefit of increasing bone health but not so much increasing her chances of getting mammary cancer (the rate is 8% after the 1st heat cycle).
If you are interested, here is a discussion they are having on (veterinary) student doctor network that I've been following that is related to your question.
When to sterilize | Veterinary | Student Doctor Network
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post #3 of 157 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 11:33 PM
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I'm not reading a 26 percent higher risk does as one in four. I think it means if the risk is normally 1 percent it would now be 1.26 percent. At least that's the way I'm reading what you wrote!

When I spay it's usually for a combination of reasons, most of which you stated.

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post #4 of 157 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 11:40 PM
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the risk is 25-26% after the second heat cycle. So yes it is 1 in 4. I promise, this is what they teach in school


the other thing I wanted to mention is that the majority of the public (and I'm not implying any specific person) is NOT capable/responsible enough to keep an intact female (or male for that matter). I volunteer at the city pound and it's horrible how many healthy adoptable dogs are euthanized (most are pitbulls). So for most people, when I graduate I will be getting them in to get spayed/neutered as soon as possible.
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post #5 of 157 (permalink) Old 04-16-2010, 01:16 AM
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I would like to read that study, and perhaps see it redone. That paper which sites the 25% rate was published in 1969....


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post #6 of 157 (permalink) Old 04-16-2010, 01:29 AM
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I didn't realize this, but spayed females are at a greater risk of developing hemangiosarcoma than unspayed females: Epidemiologic, clinical, pathologic, and prognosti... [J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1988] - PubMed result

http://www.akcchf.org/pdfs/whitepape...iesArticle.pdf


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post #7 of 157 (permalink) Old 04-16-2010, 01:43 AM
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Just stumbled across this:

Effects of Ovariohysterectomy on Reactivity in German Shepherd Dogs

By: H.H Kim ; S.C Yeon ; K.A Houpt ; H.C Lee ; H.H Chang ; H.J Lee
Format: Article
Year: 2006
Published in: The Veterinary Journal ,
Database: Science Direct (Elsevier)
This study investigated the effects of ovariohysterectomy on reactivity of German Shepherd dogs. Fourteen healthy dogs ranging in age from 5 to 10 months were assigned to an ovariohysterectomy or a sexually intact group. Their behaviours were digitally video recorded 4–5 months after treatment and analysed for treatment effects on reactivity. Responses to the approach of an unfamiliar human leading an unknown dog were assigned the following reactivity scores: severe reactivity, 3; moderate reactivity, 2; defensive or mild reactivity, 1; attentive or no reactivity, 0. Median reactivity scores in response to the approach of an unfamiliar human walking with an unknown dog were calculated for each observation period.Dogs in the ovariohysterectomized group showed more reactivity, and median reactivity scores were higher in the ovariohysterectomy group compared with those of the sexually intact group. Ovariohysterectomy of 5–10 month old German Shepherd bitches specifically, and perhaps bitches of any breed generally, may induce an increase in reactivity. Practitioners may benefit from recognizing that a range of behavioural changes may occur post-ovariohysterectomy.


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post #8 of 157 (permalink) Old 04-16-2010, 01:44 AM
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I don't buy the 26% thing. Molly was spayed before she had her first heat. She is perfectly healthy. Same with Simba(RIP), she was perfectly healthy, passed away peacefully, and in her favorite spot.=)

So is this and other studies trying to say spaying or neutering your dog is bad?

My friend will not spay her2 females(they are JRT/MinPin Mix) because she thinks it will hurt the dog(well duh no surgery is non painful, any surgery will be somewhat painful), and she says it costs too much. I don't even know if her dogs are vaccinated..... :/ should I ask her?

Well anyways, I will always have my dogs spayed/neutered.

ADD: I asked her. She said no, because of money. Her dogs are still a few months old, i think not even a year yet. She says they don't need it, and said Yeah I know they can get sick or whatever.I really think she doesn't care for them. I really don't think she knows the consequences of not vaccinating her dogs.

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post #9 of 157 (permalink) Old 04-16-2010, 08:19 AM
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huh? I think you are confused. The increase in mammary tumors is due to NOT SPAYING. So you saying that your spayed dogs are "perfectly healthy" isn't contributing much, not to mention it's typically older dogs that present with these tumors.
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post #10 of 157 (permalink) Old 04-16-2010, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaT View Post
Just stumbled across this:

Effects of Ovariohysterectomy on Reactivity in German Shepherd Dogs

By: H.H Kim ; S.C Yeon ; K.A Houpt ; H.C Lee ; H.H Chang ; H.J Lee
Format: Article
Year: 2006
Published in: The Veterinary Journal ,
Database: Science Direct (Elsevier)
This study investigated the effects of ovariohysterectomy on reactivity of German Shepherd dogs. Fourteen healthy dogs ranging in age from 5 to 10 months were assigned to an ovariohysterectomy or a sexually intact group. Their behaviours were digitally video recorded 4–5 months after treatment and analysed for treatment effects on reactivity. Responses to the approach of an unfamiliar human leading an unknown dog were assigned the following reactivity scores: severe reactivity, 3; moderate reactivity, 2; defensive or mild reactivity, 1; attentive or no reactivity, 0. Median reactivity scores in response to the approach of an unfamiliar human walking with an unknown dog were calculated for each observation period.Dogs in the ovariohysterectomized group showed more reactivity, and median reactivity scores were higher in the ovariohysterectomy group compared with those of the sexually intact group. Ovariohysterectomy of 5–10 month old German Shepherd bitches specifically, and perhaps bitches of any breed generally, may induce an increase in reactivity. Practitioners may benefit from recognizing that a range of behavioural changes may occur post-ovariohysterectomy.

It needs to be pointed out that this study was done in puppies. You can't assume any of this holds true for dogs spayed at more than 10 months. Not to mention my pup is UNSPAYED at this point in time (almost 9 mths) and she has had a lot of issues with being very reactive to people vs. NONE of my spayed dogs I own now or have owned or that my family/friends own have had any issues at all.
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