• West Cactus Kennels

To "fix or not to "fix"

What is the ideal age to spay/neuter your pup?

It used to be that dogs regularly got neutered before 6 months of age. But more and more, evidence has shown negative effects on a dog's growth or cancer risk if neutering is done too early.

UC Davis recently published a study of 35 common breeds and gave neuter age recommendations for both males and females. For example, for my breed, Boston Terriers, the study says the following:

Boston Terrier

The study population was 75 intact males, 67 neutered males, 54 intact females, and 96 spayed females for a total of 291 cases. None of the intact or neutered males or females was diagnosed with one or more joint disorders. For cancers, the story is a bit different in that 5 percent of intact males were diagnosed with one or more cancers and 10 percent of males neutered at <6 mo., and 12 percent of males neutered at 6–11mo. had cancers (p <0.01, the two neuter periods combined). For females, 2 percent of intact females had one or more of the cancers and with spaying, there was no evident increase of cancers. The occurrence of MC in intact females was 2 percent and for PYO, 7 percent. UI was 2 percent in early-spayed females. In light of the significant increase in cancers in males with neutering through 11 months of age, the suggested guideline for males is delaying neutering to beyond a year of age. Lacking a noticeable occurrence of increased joint disorders or cancers in neutered females, those wishing to neuter should decide on the appropriate age.

To read the entire study and see the results for the other 34 breeds on the list please see click here.

We are now recommending this protocol for all of our puppies produced in our breeding program. While it is up to each owner, along with their Vet, to determine the best time for spay or neuter, we are grateful for this study so an informed decision can be made.

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