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First time I've seen this article, relating cancers to early spay/neuter:

Is Early Neutering Hurting Pets?

Hemangiosarcoma is one of the three most common and devastatingly fatal cancers in larger dogs, especially German shepherds and golden retrievers. We see it most commonly as malignant growths in the spleen, but 25 percent of cases involve the heart and 25 percent appear in multiple locations.

Ware’s study also found a 2.4 times greater risk of hemangiosarcoma in neutered dogs as compared to intact males. This information has been around in journals for almost a decade, but it takes time to consider large epidemiological studies as evidence-based medicine useable in decision making.

A 2002 epidemiological study of 3,218 dogs done by Cooley and Glickman, et al, found that those neutered before age 1 had a significantly increased chance of developing osteosarcoma. Another study showed that neutered dogs were at a two-fold higher risk of developing osteosarcoma.
 

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Yes, I have read many other similar articles which is why my male will never be neutered and Zoe who is almost 14 months will finally be spayed next month at 15 months. Hormones play a huge role in our bodies and it is no different for dogs- we really do function better with all systems go;)
 

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I still think that neutering your male if you don't plan on breeding is the best thing for the dog. I will be neutering Deuce at around 18-24 months. Articles and studies differ every day it seems. It's like some studies saying humans who eat carrots too much with have an orange tinge to their skin but carrots prevent cancer and make your eyesite better ;)
 

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Unless it is critical that my pets be altered, I'll leave them intact. And by critical I am talking about health issues, behavior issues or avoiding unwanted litters.

There is a rise in cancer in dogs - I never thought it could tie back to alterations. Interesting thought.....
 

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I'm debating neutering as well...it's one of those topics that seems to always be iffy. One day eggs are bad for you, the next day they are great for you....
 

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Ok. Here we go again. More excuses for people not to neuter or spay their pets. Seriously people, lets think about this. This study takes 2 of the most popular breeds. Breeds that are, I hate to say it, overly bred. I don't believe that having your dog fixed is the major cause of these cancers. Lets think about this. Wouldn't you think that genetics would play a bigger factor in this than just having your dog fixed? Or perhaps poor diet, too? I think this gives people the wrong message on spay or neutering their pets, whether they a purebred or not. I have heard "they won't look right if you fix them early", or "Its more beneficial for them to be left intact as nature intended". Hog wash. Oh, and this is my favorite "well, if I get my dog fixed he will get fat". Ok, so which one is it? Not fill out properly, or get fat? How do people know these facts? Just because they owned 1 or 2 dogs? Have they worked for a vet to see how these animals turn out over the years after spay or neutering? I bet most haven't. But guess what? I have. And its BS. I am a groomer, and also worked for a vet for over 10 years. I have followed clients from puppy, to adulthood, to there senior years. I have seen MORE POSITIVE OUTCOMES ON LIFE EXPENTANCY DUE TO SPAYING AND NEUTERING. I am all for opinions. I have many. But, if its because "you read it on the interenet, it must be true" or "you heard it from a friend of a friend of a friend that used to breed....." Talk to your vet, talk to the people who work for vets, who see this everyday. Not from someone who "read it" or "heard it" somewhere. I feel people on this forum are extremely intelligent people in which they will do there own research and talk to the proper people to get the education they need for the health of there furry kid. On that note. I'm done with my rant. No ill towards you Ms MaggieRose. :). Just another opinion. And you know what they all say about opinions...... :p
 

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There is a difference between being filled out because you are fat, and being filled out because your bones and muscles are well developed- very different. Early spay neuter doesn't allow for the long bone plates to close on time resulting in too long leg bones which puts extra strain and the hips and spine. This is not opinion but fact any vet will be honest about.

I agree diet and genetics play a role in cancers, but of course hormones do as well. Why do you think woman after menopause have higher rates of cancer than men who by far are guiltier of eating poorer diets, consume more alcohol, and are more prone to smoke? Hormones help combat free radicals that cause cancer and studies by respected institutes such as UC Davis and others agree waiting does decrease the risk of cancer. It doesn't mean every dog speutered early will get cancer or those speutered later will not- it means the risk is reduced. The only cancer increased by later spay is mammary cancer which is highly localized, curable, and easy to deal with.

What do you think the health benefits are of early speuter anyway since you believe you have seen it increase life expectancy?
 

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I asked Ace what was his opinion on this subject and his answer was:eek:
 

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Ok. Here we go again. More excuses for people not to neuter or spay their pets. Seriously people, lets think about this. This study takes 2 of the most popular breeds. Breeds that are, I hate to say it, overly bred. I don't believe that having your dog fixed is the major cause of these cancers. Lets think about this. Wouldn't you think that genetics would play a bigger factor in this than just having your dog fixed? Or perhaps poor diet, too? I think this gives people the wrong message on spay or neutering their pets, whether they a purebred or not. I have heard "they won't look right if you fix them early", or "Its more beneficial for them to be left intact as nature intended". Hog wash. Oh, and this is my favorite "well, if I get my dog fixed he will get fat". Ok, so which one is it? Not fill out properly, or get fat? How do people know these facts? Just because they owned 1 or 2 dogs? Have they worked for a vet to see how these animals turn out over the years after spay or neutering? I bet most haven't. But guess what? I have. And its BS. I am a groomer, and also worked for a vet for over 10 years. I have followed clients from puppy, to adulthood, to there senior years. I have seen MORE POSITIVE OUTCOMES ON LIFE EXPENTANCY DUE TO SPAYING AND NEUTERING. I am all for opinions. I have many. But, if its because "you read it on the interenet, it must be true" or "you heard it from a friend of a friend of a friend that used to breed....." Talk to your vet, talk to the people who work for vets, who see this everyday. Not from someone who "read it" or "heard it" somewhere. I feel people on this forum are extremely intelligent people in which they will do there own research and talk to the proper people to get the education they need for the health of there furry kid. On that note. I'm done with my rant. No ill towards you Ms MaggieRose. :). Just another opinion. And you know what they all say about opinions...... :p
Wow, what was already said about the growth plates, and neutering before their closure. For dogs, yes, you can get a leggier appearance, and also secondary sex characteristics will not be as pronounced, so you can get a "bitchy" dog (looks not temperament).

Have I seen this happen? Yes, and no. Yes, I neutered Cujo at 14 or 18 weeks, hard to remember now. I then gave him to my parents and see him daily.

He was the runt of the litter, 13 ounces. I graphed the pups weight with relation to days, and not only was he smaller than the others, he grew at a slower rate -- the graph, rise over run was more horizontal than the other pups in the litter. My thought was that he would be a smaller dog, nice for the old people...

We still joke that Cujo has NEVER stopped growing. He is larger by far than his littermates, who stayed around 26 - 27 inches and 80 - 90 pounds (males). Cujo is a regular horse at 30 inches and 86 pounds. He did not develop the mane, the depth of chest, the breadth of body that the other dogs did. His face is a carbon copy of his mother's. And he has had a host of problems.

However, even being able to chart his littermate's progress, there is no way for me to say that this dog was not DESTINED to be taller, skinnier, bitchier, with skin problems and others. He may have been a true-runt and had that in his genetic make up when he was conceived.

You on the other hand have watched dogs grow up. So. You cannot say in good concience that this dog would NOT have had more depth, more breadth, shorter, heavier in face and bone, etc. Because you see one dog who has been alterred. You cannot split a dog in two and alter half of the dog. So you cannot say what that potential would be. And nor can I.

Of the six dogs out of this breeding that I personally own or my parents own, five are intact 4 and 5 years old. They are bitches. They are all 23.5 to 24.5 inches tall, they are all well proportioned, and none of them have the problems that Cujo has. Does that mean the problems are caused by neutering? No. But some of them could be.

If anyone wants to neuter their dog that is fine. They should have available the pros and the cons to neuter. I have tried to be unbiased in printing these out for puppy buyers. I encourage waiting for sexual maturity. I WANT to encourage them NOT to do it at all, but especially with females, many do not want the hassel of dealing with a bitch in heat. AND, knowing that they ARE spayed or neutered, helps me to know that they will not end up in anyone's nasty puppy mill. So it is a mixed bag.

Unfortunately there are untruths and flat out lies provided to people by trainers, veterinarians, and shelter people about the risks of NOT altering, and I find this simply hard to let be.
 

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Bunchoberrys, how did you pick your user name. In this topic, I find it interesting....
 

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I believe spaying and/or neutering very young is NOT a good thing. However, I'm not agaisnt spaying and/or neutering after the dog is at least 18 months of age.
This is my same response.
 

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@ Selzer, What does that have to do with the topic at hand? I am intriqued to hear your answer?
 

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Studies or no studies, I have never been convinced that removing a functioning body part that serves a purpose is healthier than keeping it. I just can't accept that it isn't needed and that they are better off without it.
I understand the reason why it is done and why many people feel it is important, I am specifically speaking healthwise.
 

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@ Selzer, What does that have to do with the topic at hand? I am intriqued to hear your answer?

Well, :blush:

They do refer to the part at shows where the judge checks out whether the dog conforms to the standard, with respect to his anatomy as opposed to a female's, as "the Berry check."

Since you are very pro neuter... I just found that to be really kind of um funny.

I know, that will get me in trouble.
 

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Well I think we all can agree that if you are pro speuter or not that neutering YOUNG(as the thread title implies) such as 6 months or younger is not good.
 

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From what I can tell in this article Dr. Villalobos is questioning, not stating anything?

Sadly, we are fighting the inevitable. Go in the saddest section of the board - spayed, not, neutered, not, we all lose our friends. Yes we want to keep them as long, as healthy, and as pain free as possible.

With longevity we have:
Genetics*
Environment
Nutrition
Activity
Sun exposure
among other things.
*huge!

I can control some of some of those things. I also want to know - in those studies - were all these things equal in these dogs? Correlation does not imply causation.

So I will continue to speuter around 6 months, and/or preferably before first heat for females, and even have 2 dogs who have had pediatric speuters done before I got them. Since I don't know much of their genetics for all my dogs (other than they are dogs!), I just have to work on the other stuff to the best of my ability for greatest longevity and quality of life anyway.

ETA- actually Jessie, I don't agree with that. :)
And selzer as much as you are against it you try to be SMART about it when talking to people.

People need to remember that other than some cases, you don't KNOW anyone on this board. And you really need to think before you recommend to people who obviously can't control their dog, not to mention a bitch in heat or a dog looking for a bitch in heat, keep their pets intact. THAT to me is the deciding factor. IF everyone who thinks they can control their intact animals actually can, I say go for it. If they can't, then...do what needs to be done regardless of age.
 

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Ah, Selzer. You never fail to deliver. Just because someone has an opinion that doesn't agree with yours you do the juvenile thing an do a personal attack. Not surprised. As to the topic at hand. All I can suggest is to talk to many people in the veterinary field. We all are not monsters, we are not hoarders of testicles and ovaries "Selzer, that is a joke, don't get your panties in a 'bunch". We do actually care about animals and not the all mighty dollar.
 

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I really find myself marveling that perfectly intelligent, logical people can often be so confounded when it comes to certain fields. Dogs seem to be one of them.

If a woman has a hysterectomy, what do we do? We give her hormone replacement therapy. Why do we do that? Well, hysterectomies are linked with osteoporosis, heart disease, neurological disorders and mental health issues. Hormone therapy can prevent or mitigate the severity of, those risks.

If a man is hypogonadic, we treat with hormone replacement therapy.
Why? See above.

Yet, we induce identical states in our dogs, provide no hormone replacement, and then are shocked at rampant health defects in our pets.

Is it really any surprise that a dog who has suffered induced hypogonadism or menopause at an age before they even received adequate levels of hormones to ensure that growing completes correctly and that bones achieve adequate density, who is more likely to be overweight and have lower muscle mass, and is genetically prone to structural issues as the GSD is, should have such widespread problems?

Spay/neuter is a reality of life. There are irresponsible pet owners, who cannot, or will not, prevent the occurrence of unplanned litters. Ultimately, however, if you don't *have* to alter your animal, that choice is in their best medical interest.
 
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