Spay and Neuter Causes Cancer


Wow. I’m writing this up because I’m not sure any of you would find the forthcoming information just by going about your daily lives. Plus, with all the marketing and animal shelter/Friends of the Animals marketing and news you would think that if you don’t spay or neuter your pet, you’re going to hell. A new study reveals that you actually may be HURTING your pooch by snipping- or at least snipping ‘early’.

Research funded by the AKC Canine Health Foundation shows that neutered dogs are more likely to develop cancer and joint problems. We’re talking hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, mast cell tumors, and canine cruciate ligament (CCL) ruptures. Yikes!

A team of researchers from the University of California, Davis, studied early fixed (before 12 months old), late (12 months or older), and intact golden retrievers. The stand out trend was that the risk of hip dysplasia doubled in the early-neuter group compared to the other groups. Cases of lymphoma were three times greater in the early-neutered males but ironically, incidence of mast cell tumors (male and female dogs) and hemangiosarcoma (female dogs only) were highest in the late-neuter group. So do we not spay or neuter our pets at all to avoid tumors? I, for one, would rather put a diaper on my dog and keep her inside than have to treat her for cancer.

“Timing of spay and neuter does indeed have health implications,” said Dr. Shila Nordone, Chief Scientific Officer for the AKC Canine Health Foundation. “The AKC Canine Health Foundation is committed to funding research that can lead to evidence-based health recommendations.”

The next step is to determine if these results apply to other breeds, not just retrievers. Last summer, the AKC Canine Health Foundation released a podcast interview with the director of the study- Dr. Benjamin Hart. To listen to the podcast visit



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