|Spay and Neuter
|So you just brought your new puppy home and there is so much to learn and teach them.
You get advise from neighbors and friends, you read articles and even ask your Vet about when is the right
time to have your new baby spayed or neutered.
Times and research have changed, as has the recommended age for which to have it done.
New recommendations suggest to wait until after the first heat cycle with females and after the age of
(18) eighteen months for males.
One of the first reasons is because of the development and growth of your puppy.
(Article to read published by the AKC)
(This is the time table for when the growth plates of your puppy have matured and closed.)
As you can see some of the major plates don't mature and close until up to 16 months of age.
Abnormal Bone Growth, Development and Appearance
I can always tell, just by looking at pictures, when one of my male dogs I placed were neutered earlier
then a year of age. They will not have the broad, blocky head, wide chest and be much taller then the
Studies done in the 1990's concluded dogs spayed or neutered under one year of age grew significantly
taller than non-sterilized dogs or those not spayed/neutered until after puberty. And the earlier the
spay/neuter procedure, the longer the growth plates stay open, the taller the dog.
It appears the removal of estrogen-producing organs in immature dogs, female and male, can cause
growth plates to remain open. These animals continue to grow and wind up with abnormal growth patterns
and bone structure. This results in irregular body proportions.
According to Chris Zink, DVM:
"For example, if the femur has achieved its genetically determined normal length at 8 months
when a dog gets spayed or neutered, but the tibia, which normally stops growing at 12 to 14
months of age continues to grow, then an abnormal angle may develop at the stifle. In
addition, with the extra growth, the lower leg below the stifle likely becomes heavier (because
it is longer), and may cause increased stresses on the cranial cruciate ligament."
Higher Rate of ACL Ruptures
A study conducted at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center on canine anterior cruciate ligament
(ACL) injuries concluded that spayed and neutered dogs had a significantly higher incidence of ACL rupture
than their intact counterparts. And while large breed dogs had more ACL injuries, sterilized dogs of all
breeds and sizes had increased rupture rates.
In a study, spayed and neutered dogs were also more likely to develop behavior disorders than intact dogs.
fear of storms
fear of noises
Another study found neutered dogs were more:
less trainable than intact dogs
These findings also present a conundrum for shelters and rescues who advocate spay/neuter.
Although reducing the number of dogs in shelters is an important goal, it’s more important to prevent
them from ending up at the shelter. While most people believe that shelters are full because of over
population, behavior problems are the most common reason owners give up their dogs.