Okay everyone, today I am going outside the realm of politically correct. You will see me do this from time to time, and some readers are not going to like it. Sorry, but I want to present information, and I don’t care if it is not PC if it saves lives.
As a vet, I am trained to promote spaying and neutering so dogs in shelters are not euthanized (killed) before they find homes. This is sensible wisdom, and I agree. But guess what… whenever we intervene with a surgery, medication, or a supplement, there are effects on our dogs. And some of these effects are called “side effects”, because we don’t like them.
A little background first: Osteosarcoma is a brutal, aggressive cancer of the bone, common in large dogs such as Rotts, Wolfhounds, Goldens are more.
Here is some information that has been more or less kept under wraps, or has not been spread in the veterinary community for whatever reason:
If a male Rott is neutered before a year of age, his rate of osteosarcoma ALMOST QUADRUPLES.
If a female Rott is spayed before a year of age, her rate of osteosarcoma MORE THAN TRIPLES.
If a purebred dog is spayed or neutered before a year of age, his or her rate of osteosarcoma MORE THAN DOUBLES.
This information has massive ramifications, especially among owners of Rotts.
These figures were taken from an article in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, Nov. 2002.
To be sure, spaying and neutering saves lives, especially those of dogs in shelters and those in need of homes. But we must not be rigid in our thinking, because the “facts” of today are not those of tomorrow.
It’s my viewpoint that Rotts should be spayed and neutered after a year of age. Just my two cents, friends.
Dr. Demian Dressler is internationally recognized as “the dog cancer vet” because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management, and the popularity of his blog here at Dog Cancer Blog. The owner of South Shore Veterinary Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Maui, Hawaii, Dr. Dressler studied Animal Physiology and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. After practicing at Killewald Animal Hospital in Amherst, New York, he returned to his home state, Hawaii, to practice at the East Honolulu Pet Hospital before heading home to Maui to open his own hospital. Dr. Dressler consults both dog lovers and veterinary professionals, and is sought after as a speaker on topics ranging from the links between lifestyle choices and disease, nutrition and cancer, and animal ethics. His television appearances include “Ask the Vet” segments on local news programs. He is the author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the National Animal Supplement Council and CORE (Comparative Orthopedic Research Evaluation). He is also an advisory board member for Pacific Primate Sanctuary.
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