New Study – Extend Your Dog’s Lifespan by over 30%

Extend Your Dog’s Lifespan by over 30%!

More and more studies and research are proving the health benefits of NOT spaying/neutering our dogs. Most recently, David J. Waters, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS, director, Center for Exceptional Longevity Studies for Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation wrote a paper called:
A Healthier Respect for Ovaries

“A recent study by my research group appearing next month in Aging Cell reveals shortened longevity as a possible complication associated with ovary removal in dogs (1). This work represents the first investigation testing the strength of association between lifetime duration of ovary exposure and exceptional longevity in mammals. To accomplish this, we constructed lifetime medical histories for two cohorts of Rottweiler dogs living in 29 states and Canada: Exceptional Longevity Cohort = a group of exceptionally long-lived dogs that lived at least 13 years; and Usual Longevity Cohort = a comparison group of dogs that lived 8.0 to 10.8 years (average age at death for Rottweilers is 9.4 years).

A female survival advantage in humans is well-documented; women are 4 times more likely than men to live to 100. We found that, like women, female Rottweilers were more likely than males to achieve exceptional longevity (Odds Ratio, 95% confidence interval = 2.0, 1.2 – 3.3; p = .006). However, removal of ovaries during the first 4 years of life erased the female survival advantage. In females, this strong positive association between ovaries and longevity persisted in multivariate analysis that considered other factors, such as height, adult body weight, and mother with exceptional longevity.

In summary, we found female Rottweilers who kept their ovaries for at least 6 years were 4.6 times more likely to reach exceptional longevity (i.e. live >30 % longer than average) than females with the shortest ovary exposure. Our results support the notion that how long females keep their ovaries determines how long they live.” To read the entire study, please go Here

This study compared the medical histories, ages and causes of death in 119 long-lived rottweilers with a longevity of at least 13 years with 186 rottweilers with a normal longevity of about 9 years.
The study was published in the December issue of the journal Aging Cell.
dvm360

Aging Cell, December 2009

Common sense tells us, and research proves there are a number of health benefits associated with the sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) produced by ovaries and testicles. These advantages vary with the age, gender and breed of each animal.

Here is the information I have gathered on the ill-effects of desexing through direct observation, substantial anecdotal evidence from reliable sources (breeders/trainers/veterinarians, and affirmed published medical reports:

Altered Females:
– Increased aggression in altered females. (recent study)
– Increased occurrence of urinary calculi.
– Increased difficulty passing urinary calculi.
– Increased likelihood of vulvar pyoderma (urine scald)
– Increased likelihood of urinary incontinence.
– Increased likelihood of adverse reaction to vaccinations (27-38%).
– Notable decrease of activity/drive. (this is important to those whose animals aren’t just pets but are trained to do work too)
– Increased chance of “perpetual puppy syndrome” undesirable urination.
– Inhibited social adjustment if spayed prior to complete cognitive development (usually a good time AFTER sexual maturity).
– Substantial likelihood of appreciable demeanor change after spay (menopausal women know about hormone drop.. it’s not fun)
– Increased likelihood of cognitive disorders if spayed before sexual maturity.
– Increased likelihood of, or speeded progress of, degenerative osteological disorders.
– Notable decrease in muscle mass (again, not all dogs are lawn ornaments or carpet speedbumps)
– Generally live 2 (or greater) years shorter than unaltered littermates in controlled studies.

Altered males:
– Increased occurrence of urinary calculi.
– Increased difficulty passing urinary calculi.
– Increased chance of urinary obstruction.
– Increased likelihood of urinary incontinence.
– Increased likelihood of adverse reaction to vaccinations (27-38%)***
– Notable decrease in activity/drive. (same as above in female list)
– Increased chance of “perpetual puppy syndrome” undesirable urination.
– Inhibited social adjustment if castrated prior to sexual maturity.
– Substantial likelihood of appreciable demeanor change after castration (same concept as above in female list… reproductive hormones affect more than just reproduction).
– Increased likelihood of cognitive disorders if castrated before complete cognitive development (usually a good time AFTER sexual maturity).
– Notable decrease in muscle mass (yep, same as above)
– Generally live 2 (or greater) years shorter than unaltered littermates in controlled studies

*Here is a link to an article on the increased likelihood of adverse reactions:

http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs/10.2460/javma.2005.227.1102?prevSearch=

Sterilization decisions should be a part of an informed, holistic approach to your pet’s gealth and quality of Life and the decision to neuter or not is and should remain YOURS.

Be informed, be responsible!
Not neutering your dogs does not give you the license to breed your dog. Be responsible! Leave breeding to true breed preservationists such as Certified Natural Rearing Breeders or at the very least, breeders who keep their dogs current all health testing pertinent to their specific breed. Talk with natural rearing breeders and other experienced dog owners, and consult a veterinary naturopath or a true holistic veterinarian to understand what steps you can take to insure the overall health and longevity of your pet.

If you have a puppy or even an adult dog that is intact and you are considering a spay/neuter decision, I encourage you to please research and continue to learn all you can about surgical sterilization options and the risks associated with the procedures.

In a tubal ligation, the oviducts are cut and tied off, preventing ova from getting to the uterus or coming in contact with sperm. Tubal ligation does NOT shut off hormone production, so your dog will continue to go into heat and can mate with male dogs, but no pregnancy will result.

Dogs having had a vasectomy are still able to breed with a female but will not produce sperm to get her pregnant.

If you should decide for a tubal ligation, vasectomy, spaying or casteration is best for you and your dog, make sure that your dog is mature and healthy enough to be considered balanced both physically and mentally. Generally speaking, maturity is not achieved until a dog has reached at least one year of age. Keep in mind that giant breed dogs are still developing at 2 years of age and should not be considered canidates for the loss of hormones until at least two.

Links to learn more:
Spay-Neuter References
Companion Animals as Targets of Impolite Human Comments
Spay-Neuter
Long-Term Health Effects of Spay-Neuter in Dogs
Determining the Best Age At Which to Spay or Neuter: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Spay/Neuter question
Spaying/Neutering Being Promoted As A Replacement For Training & Responsibility

4 Comments

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