Spay or Neuter: The Risks and Benefits

While all my puppies go to their new homes with a spay neuter contract, hermionethere are some reasons to delay the inevitable.  It’s true, that there are health risks either way.  Early spay-neuter has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer & mammary tumors in females and prostate cancer in males.  But besides those benefits and the obvious population control, there are several reasons to hold off on altering your dog until puberty has passed.

The main issue that bothered me the most is the fact that their growth plates have not closed.  Removing sex hormones too early can result in abnormal growth, hip dysplasia (in some breeds) and osteosarcoma.  It’s up to each pet owner to weigh these risks and decide if they want to wait as there are behaviors you have to put up with while you are waiting.  Either way, spaying and neutering is a good option – it’s just a matter of when to do it.  For more in depth information take a look at these articles.  They are a bit older, but the information is still valid.

Dogs Naturally
Whole Dog Journal

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