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Spaying, Neutering and Dog Cancer Risks
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The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 26551
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31 May 2013 - 10:39 am
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We talk about this a lot here. This is the first part of a great series by The Dog Cancer Survival Guide’s Dr. Sue Ettinger. I’ll post her follow-ups here.

Spay/neuter and the association with cancer in dogs: part one

In the US, there is widespread recommendation for early spay and neuter. But recently the association of spay/neutering and cancer in dogs has been in the news again. Specifically the concern is that spay/neutering increases the risk of cancer, which brings into question this recommendation to spay/neuter at 6 months of age. We are going to look into this complicated issue is this series.

 

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31 May 2013 - 11:40 am
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This is very interesting to me.  Miss Lili is a rescue from the pound.  We were told she was 6 mos old when we got her.  But she was a mere 6 lbs at the time, yet ended up being 50+ lbs fully grown, pre-amp.  I suspect they thought she was going to be much smaller (scruffy Schnauzer/terrier face), and thus, she was actually way younger than suspected.  She was spayed the day we brought her home, poor wee thing.  

hhackett
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1 June 2013 - 7:41 am
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This is an issue that we deal with on a daily basis. At hospitals I have worked at in the past, the doctors have stuck by the blanket 6 month rule. I have always felt that vets who do not even talk to clients about these other studies are doing the pet owners an injustice. I feel that the best veterinarians give an owner ALL the information, and then help guide them to a decision that is best for their pet and personal situations. This applies to many situations, not only spaying and neutering. I am happy that the veterinary industry is being more progressive and conscientious about issues like these. It really boils down to being a balancing act between the owners capabilities/needs and the medical studies/recommendations. There often are issues with behavior that arise with later neutering that force us to choose between a dog being neutered earlier than a year, or it possibly being given up for adoption. Also, we constantly worry that the females we are waiting to spay are going to end up pregnant due to owners being irresponsible (I do not say this to be disrespectful, but as the owner choosing to wait to spay, part of your responsibility becomes not contributing to pet overpopulation, and a lot of owners do not take this seriously enough even with proper education). There really is no clear cut “right” answer, but it sure would be great if there was!

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 June 2013 - 1:06 pm
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Heather, your insight is so helpful here, thank you for giving us the perspective from professional side of things.

Are you going to vet school? I sure hope so because I know you’d be a PAWESOME vet!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Sydney, Australia
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2 June 2013 - 5:37 pm
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Really interesting article. It certainly seems that the early neutering rule has come about because there are too many irresponsible pet owners. And when I look around me I suspect there are a lot more of them than there are responsible pet owners (although not on this site smiley).

Magnum developed an open pyometra at age 2 years but survived.  She then had no health problems until age 8 when she developed her first breast lump.  At that point I elected to have her desexed.  1 year later she developed another breast lump and then osteosarcoma. 

I’ve always wondered, I I had gotten her desexed early would she have developed osteosarcoma at a younger age?  Did getting her desexed at 8 years reduce her protection from osteosarcoma or was she always destined to get it because of her genetics?

Can’t wait for part 2.

 

Karen

Magnum: 30th May 2002 to 5th May 2012. Lost her back left leg to osteosarcoma on 5th Sep 2011. Lung mets found on 20th Mar 2012 but it was bone mets in the hip that ended her brave battle. Magnum's motto - "Dream as if you'll live for ever, live as if you'll die today" (James Dean). Loyal, loving, courageous and spirited to the end. My beloved heart dog, see her memoirs from Rainbow Bridge ...... http://princess.....pawds.com/



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3 June 2013 - 1:12 pm
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Karen,

I asked this question in the chat a few days ago and this is why it came up.  I had Sassy spayed at 2.  I wondered the same thing if I had her spayed at a later time if it would have prevented Osteo, Bosch has not been neutered at all and he is 7.  Sassy will be 7 in July.  I couldn’t let her have puppies because of hip displaysia plus I didn’t want to have to worry if those puppies would have a good home or not.  But do I worry about another Rottie when I get one?  Yeah, I do.  I always worry about this stuff.  My last 2 werent fixed until 2. 

 

I am interested in the next part also.

 

Michelle & Sassy

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

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3 June 2013 - 7:27 pm
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Very interesting. Atlas is an in tack male and got cancer at 7 years. Osteosarcoma front left leg. Our plans were to let him grow properly before neutering, then his champion father went sterile after his first litter and the breeders asked to keep him in tact and did collections. Atlas never had the first behavior issue ever so we just never thought about it after that. I wonder what this means post OSA diagnosis.

Patricia & Atlas



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6 June 2013 - 12:37 pm
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Here is part 2 of this article

 

 

http://www.dogc…..rblog.com/

 

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 June 2013 - 8:15 am
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Thanks M, you beat me to it.  What did you think of Dr. Sue’s article?

“In part one of my series on spay/neutering, we reviewed the data that sex hormones can promote certain cancers, specifically anal gland tumors in males and breast cancer in females.

But more recently, there is evidence that less exposure to sex hormones increases risk for other aggressive cancers, including osteosarcoma, bladder transitional cell carcinoma, and prostate cancer, lymphoma, and mast cell tumors. So sex hormones may not be all bad, and in fact may be PROTECTIVE again certain cancers.”

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7 June 2013 - 2:45 pm
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I think that some breeds (Rotties, Danes. Greyhounds) have an increased risk of OSA even if left intact so there may be a genetic component as well as a sex hormone influence.

Pam



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7 June 2013 - 4:47 pm
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I know that I left Sassy intact for 2 years.  We thought about breeding her & Bosch but it came back when we did the hip xrays (Rotties also known for hip displaysia), for certification,  that she had severe hip displaysia in her right hip (only).  So I then chose to have her fixed because not knowing for sure if that was caused by an injury because typical one hip can be caused by an injury or if it was genetics.  I didn’t want to pass that disease on. 

 

So I know she beat the odds because she was over a year old when she was fixed but was it long enough?  Should I have left her intact and just seperated Bosch & her?  I will never know that correct answer.  I know my next dog will probably be a Rottie, I can’t help it.  I know the odds etc, just love the breed.  I will probably spay later like I did Sassy.  Doesn’t mean that I will breed but I want the best opportunity to beat this stinking Cancer.

  The thing Dr Sue brings up is what age is good?

 

 

Michelle & Sassy

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."


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9 June 2013 - 7:50 pm
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It is difficult to say what age is ideal for females since spaying before 2 years of age significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer which is probably more common than OSA.  I think 18 months to 2 years is a safe bet for a Rottie.

I know what you mean about loving the breed… we got another Mastiff even after losing Tazzie to cancer at age 7 1/2 since I just love their squishy faces and sweet temperment.

Pam

New York, NY
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11 June 2013 - 11:52 am
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Hi All,

 

Dr. Sue discussed her blog post about spay/neutering and the link it has to cancer (and benefits for preventing it!) last night on her weekly radio show.  You can listen to the hour long show on the podcast here (it’s the 6/10 show):

 

http://www.radi…..er-vet.htm

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.fac.....tty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at http://jillsjou.....ipawds.com. xoxo

The Rainbow Bridge



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11 June 2013 - 12:37 pm
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Pawesome! Thanks for sharing this Erica.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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12 June 2013 - 8:31 pm
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Here is part 3

 

http://www.dogc…..art-three/

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

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