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Posted: 30th May 2024

Five new breeds studied in neutering research
Both male and female pointer breeds experienced more joint disorders and cancers when neutered early.
The research considers links between early neutering and health issues.

New findings have revealed links between early neutering and health issues, as five more dog breeds are added to ongoing research.

The German short/wirehaired pointer, mastiff, Newfoundland, Rhodesian ridgeback and Siberian husky have joined 35 other breeds, which have been reviewed for the links of early neutering to joint issues and cancers since 2013.

The study saw Prof Lynette Hart and Prof Benjamin Hart, of the University of California, Davis, study over 200 cases of these breeds. Each case weighed more than 20kg, and was treated at the university’s veterinary hospital between January 2000 and December 2020.

The findings focused on the links between neutering or spaying a dog before they turned one, and the dog’s risk of developing cancers. This included cancers of the lymph nodes, bones and blood vessels.

It also considered joint disorders, such as elbow or hip dysplasia and cranial cruciate ligament tears.

The researchers were especially interested in these conditions due to their links to sex hormones. Male and female sex hormones play key roles in body processes, such as the closure of bone growth plates.

The data revealed that both male and female pointer breeds experienced elevated joint disorders and increased cancers when they were neutered early.

Male mastiffs had increased cranial cruciate ligament tears and lymphoma, and female Newfoundlands had higher risk of joint tumours. Female ridgebacks breeds were at heightened risk of mast cell tumours, when neutered very early.

Siberian huskies saw no significant impact on their chances of joint disorders or cancers.

These newest findings have been added to research conducted on 35 other breeds, which the researchers hope will support people with making neutering decisions for their pets.

Benjamin Hart said: "We're invested in making contributions to people's relationship with their animals,

"This guidance provides information and options for veterinarians to give pet owners, who should have the final decision-making role for the health and well-being of their animal."

The combined research studies will be made available in the open access journal Frontiers of Veterinary Science, as a free e-book called Effective Options Regarding Spay or Neuter of Dogs.

Image © Shutterstock

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