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This stands out to me...

Mammary cancer was diagnosed in 4 percent of intact females compared with less than 1 percent in females neutered before 1 year of age. (The occurrence of the other cancers followed through 8 years of age was not higher in the neutered than in the intact dogs.)

I'm still not 100% sure about the hip Dysplasia. People get dogs from breeders that have hips tested to stack the deck in their favor but per these studies if you get a dog fixed before a certain age hip Dysplasia increases. So is it due to spaying/neutering or inherited? Since I haveca pup with no Dysplasia in his lines and he had severe Dysplasia I'm not convinced. The study that is of more interest is the one where hip Dysplasia is being looked at developing in pups between birth and 8-10 weeks. We know pups are born with loose hips and they develope and grow as the pup does. It makes perfect sense that a pup could damage those hips during that time. They are running, playing, standing on hind legs, they even slip and go spread eagle.

The cancers are more important to figure out IMO. Joint issues, hip Dysplasia and even incontinence(I've never had a dog with this) can be handled/managed.. Cancer in the breed is awful and usually doesn't have a good outcome. So this study isn't very helpful IMO. The numbers in this study seem to be much lower percentage then other breeds too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This stands out to me...


I'm still not 100% sure about the hip Dysplasia. People get dogs from breeders that have hips tested to stack the deck in their favor but per these studies if you get a dog fixed before a certain age hip Dysplasia increases. So is it due to spaying/neutering or inherited? Since I haveca pup with no Dysplasia in his lines and he had severe Dysplasia I'm not convinced. The study that is of more interest is the one where hip Dysplasia is being looked at developing in pups between birth and 8-10 weeks. We know pups are born with loose hips and they develope and grow as the pup does. It makes perfect sense that a pup could damage those hips during that time. They are running, playing, standing on hind legs, they even slip and go spread eagle.
hormones found in the ovaries and testes signal the growth plates to close. They impact bone and joint development, just as they do in every other species. Why is it hard to imagine that they would affect hip development as well?

Hormones also impact muscle development, as seen in the increase in muscle injuries in all of the breeds that have been studied. Again, something that is seen across the board in all species.

Young pups have more laxity in their muscles, alllowing for that puppy growth and clumsiness. Orthopedic specialists can tell a hip that is damaged by exercise/injury vs one that didn't develop properly in the vast majority of cases.

I think that part of it is that some people lump any hip issue into "dysplasia" while it is more correctly defined as an issue where the hip socket doesn't develop properly. It takes a severe injury such as a dislocated joint or broken bones to make a joint not develop. Much more than pups that are running and playing.

Now, repeated high impact exercise CAN impact bone growth and development. Again, across the board in all species. That's why we all know that it's bad to take young pups for "forced marches" or repetitive jumping such as agility training. Not to jog them on pavement etc etc However, in many cases, a specialist can tell this type of hip issue vs a joint that didn't form correctly.
 

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If the spaying/neutering early(I'm not saying I agree or don't agree, it's an individual choice) is part of an issue with Dysplasia or other joint issues the number(%) would be closer to the same in the studies for any breed and the numbers are not.

The range for goldens is 5-10% increase and that is males-nothing on females. GSDs are at 16-21%--male/female. Is the difference that the golden study names hip Dysplasia specifically and the GSD study list it as joint disorders? Maybe, maybe not.

In order to have a study there needs to be the same amount of dogs, the same amount neutered at this age or that age, individual cancers and joint orders looked at. They need to look deeper into diet and vaccinations too in those individual groups. For example neutered early and vaccinated versus neutered early minimal vaccines versus neutered early and over vaccinated then the same for the group of intact dogs. These studies they do don't even scratch the surface.
 

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And as far as the loose hips and Dysplasia being a possibly in that first 8 weeks, breeders are interested in that and have came right out and said that they could see that being an issue.
 

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It's great to see a study that focuses specifically on GSDs. While it's clear that very early speutering (like what shelters do) is bad for everything the study covered, what's interesting is that some things are actually better in dogs speutered at a year old than for 2-8 years or for intact dogs. That's such a broad age range though - I wonder if 2 years is significantly better than 8 years, or maybe somewhere in between? And is between 1 and 2 years, (say 18 months), better than a year?
 

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Breeders have come out citing the prevalence of HD in some lines which would indicate a genetic factor.

I can't see how studies would have the same results regarding joint issues across the board when different breeds have different angulations, and it is the rate of the closing of growth plates that impact those angulations and is a part of the problem. A dog with a straight leg vs one with a lot of angulation won't have the same degree of variance created by early spay / neuter.

Studies don't need to have the same amount of dogs to be valid or comparable, they only need to use a reasonable number of dogs to be considered a valid study. Studies aren't necessarily done to replicate previous findings but to further explore findings of previous studies. And regarding the same number of dogs, 1000 vs 1170?

I am really surprised that there was no difference in cancers except for a slightly increased risk of mammary cancer. I feel even more confident now that I made the right decisions for my dogs.
 

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Thank you Jax! I've been looking for more information. Like Debbie said, looking at the results tables, age 1-2 years seems to be the ideal time for neutering if someone plans. Our breeder said 18 months.
 

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If the spaying/neutering early(I'm not saying I agree or don't agree, it's an individual choice) is part of an issue with Dysplasia or other joint issues the number(%) would be closer to the same in the studies for any breed and the numbers are not.

The range for goldens is 5-10% increase and that is males-nothing on females. GSDs are at 16-21%--male/female. Is the difference that the golden study names hip Dysplasia specifically and the GSD study list it as joint disorders? Maybe, maybe not.

In order to have a study there needs to be the same amount of dogs, the same amount neutered at this age or that age, individual cancers and joint orders looked at. They need to look deeper into diet and vaccinations too in those individual groups. For example neutered early and vaccinated versus neutered early minimal vaccines versus neutered early and over vaccinated then the same for the group of intact dogs. These studies they do don't even scratch the surface.
Does it say they didn't control for diet or other factors?

Any sample size over 100 approaches statistical significance. These numbers are well over that, even in the subgroups.

"The complete data set available totalled 1170 cases with 705 males, of which 245 were neutered and 460 were intact and 465 females, of which 293 were neutered and 172 intact. The number of cases reported for each disease varied somewhat because, as mentioned above, a case could be excluded for one disease analysis but included for another disease analysis."

There are all kinds of factors in HD, including early jumping, falls and injuries, over exercising, diet and even whether or not the owner pushed down on the dogs hips repeatedly over time to teach the Sit command. But cancer doesn't depend on as many factors, except maybe diet. I'm not sure I agree that vaccines cause cancer. I've read a lot of supposed data and it seems to also include the hysteria factor.
 

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Thank! I appreciate the link to the actual study.

The actual study states that cancers are lower in intact dogs.
 

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Jax was gracious enough to post the link to the actual study, but on another thread. :)

But anyhow, to any who might read this, the actual study shows all cancers to be lower in intact dogs but the researchers did not consider the variance to be of enough significance.

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/basic-care/647009-early-neutering-poses-health-risks-german-shepherd-dogs-u-c-davis.html
I already notified the mods that I started a duplicate thread. I'm sure they'll combine them at some point.

And the link to the study is in the article that was originally posted.
 

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Two threads have been combined. Thank you for the notification. ADMIN
 

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Interesting read. Not much new information though. Pretty consistent with other studies. I guess it's nice to see one on shepherds specifically.

Personally the risk for CCL tears, HD, an ED in neutered dogs is enough for me to keep my guy's intact. Eh the UI too if I ever get another female. (I've had one spayed female who did have UI. Ugh. I also had a spayed foster with it. No fun.
 
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