Abstract

Early Spay snd Neuter Correlation with Orthopedic Diseases in Dogs

For the past several years of veterinary medicine, it has been the standard to spay or neuter dogs at the age of 5 to 6 months. This method was meant to avoid or get rid of undesirable behaviors in dogs, however, the idea for what the optimal age for spay and neuter is changing. There have been more cases of orthopedic disease and sarcomas developing later after prepubertal spay and neuter. This may be caused by the removal of important hormones before the optimal age. Testosterone and Estrogen are what help stop bone growth after puberty, so when there are no more of these hormones, bone growth surpasses the natural disposition. Fixing this problem is not simply delaying spay and neuter. That is due to the fact that females who are spayed after their first heat have an increased chance of getting mammary cancer. The main concern is weighing the options and deciding which method bears the least risk. Observing the different effects of prepubertal versus post-pubertal gonadectomy will provide more insight on which method is more ideal. Animals vary and would require different optimal ages.

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