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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-13-2007, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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effects of early spay/neuter

study by CCI of the effects of early spay/neuter


Here is some information regarding a study by CCI of the effects of early spay/neuter that contradicts the whole "healthy pets" concept being pushed by AB 1634. Save Our Dogs is, according to their website, "a grassroots effort to save working dogs from AB 1634, mandatory spay/neuter."

Lorna Maynard

GGPWCF Publicity Committee

From Laura Sanborn of saveourdogs.net:

Yesterday I made the rounds at the state capitol to visit the offices of
the Assembly Business & Professions Committee members to discuss AB 1634. I
was accompanied by two police officers who discussed the harmful impacts AB
1634 would have on law enforcement. Also with us was the person in charge of
the breeding and training program at Canine Companions for Independence
(CCI), who discussed how AB 1634 would harm programs that assist blind and
disabled Californians. He also represented Assistance Dogs International,
Inc., an umbrella organization over many guide/service/ hearing dog

Similar to guide dog programs, CCI breeds and trains dogs to assist disabled
people. They use Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden/Labrador
mixes. CCI breeds over 600 dogs a year.

My jaw nearly hit the floor when the CCI representative started describing
research that CCI did in the early 1990s to understand spay/neuter impacts.
CCI wanted to know if early s/n (less than 6 months of age) would yield
results at least as good as their traditional spay/neuter age, which is
usually over 12 months of age (typical is 17 months of age). So CCI did a
controlled prospective research study... the gold standard of research. They
assigned half the pups in a number of litters to be s/n early, while the
remaining pups in these litters were s/n at their traditional age. The
results were very unexpected. The early age spayed females were
significantly more dog aggressive than the traditional age spayed females.
Urinary incontinence was a much bigger problem in the early spayed females
compared to the traditional age spayed females. The early age neutered males
were more fearful than the traditional age neutered males. The bottom line
is that the early age spay/neuter dogs had a significantly higher failure
rate in CCI's program... a smaller percentage of them grew up to be working
dogs. CCI will not spay/neuter dogs before 6 months of age, and usually wait
until dogs are more than 12 months old to spay/neuter. The CCI rep said this
research has been repeated by others. I believe one of them may be Guide
Dogs for the Blind, as I was told by one of their trainers that they
recently stopped doing early spay/neuter owing to results they were seeing
that they don't like.

I spent 6 years poring over the veterinary medical research literature
trying without success to find research of this type, and here I was sitting
in the office of a state Assembly member, listening to a scientist describe
the work that his group did. It has not been published anywhere. Needless to
say, I spent the rest of the day bugging him to get this published. This has
implications far beyond AB 1634 and guide/assistance dogs. It has
implications for the health and well being of most dogs. There are very few
controlled prospective research studies of dogs in veterinary medicine
examining spay/neuter impacts. They are too costly for almost all
researchers to do. Guide & assistance dog programs may be in a unique
position to do these kind of studies, as they breed many dogs and they
maintain a degree of control over their dogs that is beyond what other
breeders can do.

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-13-2007, 03:42 PM
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Great article!

Its nice to see more research and studies on this. I'm glad I made the decision to hold off on spaying Gucci. Granted, it was more for bone development issues than "aggression", but its nice to hear there are other studies in progress, especially for the service dogs!

Ironically, I was just talking about early Spay/Neuter earlier today with someone that shared my opinion on the matter, and the risk of cancer only goes up a miniscule amount.

My opinion, is that any breed that has any hereditary bone risk should wait a bit longer for the dogs to develop more. I wish someone would do a study and see if that would decrease the risk of chrondo or hip dysplasia. I'd be interested to see what the results are.

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