Reader Comments

Post a new comment on this article

English Cream Golden Retrievers - spay vs alternatives

Posted by cguiher on 16 Oct 2014 at 16:22 GMT

Your study presented outstanding information, however as the owner of a 10 1/2 month old female, who has not yet had her first heat cycle, English Cream Golden Retriever the concerns regarding spay appears to have no "good" answer. Unlike the Labs, GR appear to have a greater response to estrogen. With that in mind what is your recommendation to balance bone plate development with the risks of the introduction of estrogen, then the removal with spay. Until I read your study I planned to allow one heat cycle to allow for bone plate development, however it appears that to then spay increases the risk for cancer. What would be your thoughts on this controversy? Would it perhaps be worth considering tubal ligation (and yes i am aware that she would have regular heat cycle including discharge)? I also have an English Cream Golden Retriever male who is 3 months old - with the plan to keep him intact until 15-24 months. Thank you so much for your time to help me clarify my thoughts for the best health concerns of my canine family members.

No competing interests declared.

RE: English Cream Golden Retrievers - spay vs alternatives

blhart replied to cguiher on 16 Oct 2014 at 18:31 GMT

Thanks for raising this important issue that we see in female Golden Retrievers. As discussed in our paper comparing Golden with Labrador Retrievers in this same journal (10.1371/journal.pone.0102241), the female Golden Retriever is much different than the female Lab (and presumably other breeds) in being vulnerable to the effects of estrogen removal on the risks of the cancers that we followed. This vulnerability to spaying in this breed exists throughout much of the female's adult life. I think that with the Golden Retriever, tubal ligation, and leaving the ovaries intact, is a realistic choice. Hysterectomy (ovary-sparing spay), if done carefully to not disrupt the blood supply to the ovaries, is another option. Other caregivers may choose to just be vigilant in not letting the female have exposure to intact males when they are in estrus. As for your male, neutering in the 15 to 24-month period clearly allows for normal bone-joint development.

No competing interests declared.