Study: Early Neutering Poses Health Risks for German Shepherds

The study from UC Davis researchers found that neutering or spaying before one year old, triples the risk of one or more joint disorders in these dogs.

German Shepherd Dogs are important in police and military work, and are a popular family pet, they are great work dogs, and they even save lives so the use of a German shepherd life jacket is essential to protect the dogs. The debilitating joint disorders of hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament tear (CCL) and elbow dysplasia can shorten a dog’s useful working life and impact its role as a family member. For this study, veterinary hospital records were examined over a 14.5-year period on 1170 intact and neutered (including spaying) German Shepherd Dogs for joint disorders and cancers previously associated with neutering. The diseases were followed through 8 years of age, with the exception of mammary cancer (MC) in females that was followed through 11 years. The cancers followed, apart from mammary, were osteosarcoma, lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma and mast cell tumour.

Continue reading Study: Early Neutering Poses Health Risks for German Shepherds

FDA Approves First Drug to Treat Urinary Incontinence in Female Dogs

FDA Approves First Drug to Treat Urinary Incontinence in Female Dogs
July 27, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration today announced the approval of Incurin (estriol), the first drug approved for urinary incontinence in dogs. Incurin is indicated for the control of estrogen-responsive urinary incontinence in spayed female dogs. Continue reading FDA Approves First Drug to Treat Urinary Incontinence in Female Dogs

Bone Cancer & Neutering

Read the full text of the article or the Abstract and Excerpts below:


Although experimental and clinical evidence suggest that endogenous sex hormones influence bone sarcoma genesis, the hypothesis has not been adequately tested in an appropriate animal model. We conducted a historical cohort study of Rottweiler dogs because they frequently undergo elective gonadectomy and spontaneously develop appendicular bone sarcomas, which mimic the biological behavior of the osteosarcomas that affect children and adolescents. Continue reading Bone Cancer & Neutering

Effects of spay or neuter on behavior & performance

Effects of Gonadectomy on Health, Behavior and Performance of Pets
Are there reasons to recommend castrating or spaying pets other than to feel good about not contributing to the pet overpopulation problem and avoiding the hassle of having a litter in your home? Like any other medical procedure, gonadectomy decreases the risks of some conditions while increasing those of others. Continue reading Effects of spay or neuter on behavior & performance

Possible Effects of Ovary Removal

A Healthier Respect for Ovaries
David J. Waters, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS
Director, Center for Exceptional Longevity Studies
Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation

A recent study by my research group appearing next month in Aging Cell reveals shortened longevity as a possible complication associated with ovary removal in dogs (1). This work represents the first investigation testing the strength of association between lifetime duration of ovary exposure and exceptional longevity in mammals. To accomplish this, we constructed lifetime medical histories for two cohorts of Rottweiler dogs living in 29 states and Canada: Exceptional Longevity Cohort = a group of exceptionally long-lived dogs that lived at least 13 years; and Usual Longevity Cohort = a comparison group of dogs that lived 8.0 to 10.8 years (average age at death for Rottweilers is 9.4 years). A female survival advantage in humans is well-documented; women are 4 times more likely than men to live to 100. We found that, like women, female Rottweilers were more likely than males to achieve exceptional longevity (Odds Ratio, 95% confidence interval = 2.0, 1.2 – 3.3; p = .006). However, removal of ovaries during the first 4 years of life erased the female survival advantage. In females, this strong positive association between ovaries and longevity persisted in multivariate analysis that considered other factors, such as height, adult body weight, and mother with exceptional longevity.

In summary, we found female Rottweilers who kept their ovaries for at least 6 years were 4.6 times more likely to reach exceptional longevity (i.e. live >30 % longer than average) than females with the shortest ovary exposure. Our results support the notion that how long females keep their ovaries determines how long they live. Continue reading Possible Effects of Ovary Removal

Neuter considerations

While neutering may be beneficial from the standpoint of fewer dogs in rescue, for the individual dog, it may be worth taking a second look at the common practice of neutering all male dogs not in the AKC show ring.

In the 5th ed of Ettinger [4] Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine it says; “The risk of prostatic carcinoma in a castrated male dog is approximately two times greater than the risk in an intact male dog, and the risk appears to increase with the time that the dog has been castrated. [5] A dog that has been castrated for at least 10 years has a four times the risk of developing a carcinoma as an intact dog.” Continue reading Neuter considerations