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Data Breakdown by Age

Posted by Cpetersen57 on 27 Nov 2013 at 15:21 GMT

Is there more detailed data about age at spay/neuter, ie., before six months/after six months? The Illinois Department of Agriculture requires that any pet adopted from a shelter/rescue be altered before or within 30 days of adoption. We're considering using study data to make our case for, at the very least, not requiring puppies under six months of age to be altered prior to adoption.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Data Breakdown by Age

blhart replied to Cpetersen57 on 27 Nov 2013 at 18:15 GMT

I share your concerns about the health-related impacts of the very early spay/neuter policy that are required by various municipalities and state agencies. Just reflecting on the physiological role of gonadal hormones in early development should give pause to authorities. I agree with your perspective that delaying spay/neuter until at least 6 months of age is a good start.

We have extended our data collection and analyses on the Golden Retriever, and started the analyses on the Labrador Retriever, in unpublished (as yet) work, which has a separate category for spay/neuter prior to 6 months. The <6 mo spay/neuter does dramatically increase the incidence of joint disorders in the Golden and to a significant degree in the Lab. The effects on cancers in the Golden are also large, but much less so in the Lab. Even with just a couple breeds so far, we are seeing major breed-specific differences in vulnerability to gonadal hormone removal. But so far, the <6 mo. spay/neuter seems particularly bad – health-wise. In my advice to pet owners I suggest the closer to 1 year they can delay neutering, the better in terms of avoiding the increased incidence of joint disorders and cancers.

With regard to shelters and rescue centers, I do remind them of the well-establishd vasectomy operation for males and exploring tubal ligation, and preferably ovary-sparing spay, for females. Then they can leave the gonadectomy decision (if and when) up to the pet owner.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Data Breakdown by Age

Cpetersen57 replied to blhart on 27 Nov 2013 at 23:57 GMT

Thanks so very much for your prompt reply! We assumed the incidence rates were greater for goldens altered prior to six months so appreciate the confirmation. We'll check with our vets to see if they perform alternate surgeries and with the Dept. of Ag. to see if the alternate surgeries are acceptable since the law currently states pets must be spayed or neutered.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: RE: Data Breakdown by Age

blhart replied to Cpetersen57 on 28 Nov 2013 at 05:24 GMT

Thanks. You could be breaking new ground. Whatever the outcome you are contributing to a dialog that cannot help but be beneficial.

No competing interests declared.