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Early Spay and Neutering – Helpful Information

Today I want to discuss a popular topic, and that is early spay and neutering, and the correlation with ligament tears.  Now, we are not saying that you should not fix your dog, only the reasons that you should wait until the appropriate age (depending on breed) to do so.

For most breeds, especially our giant breeds, we need to wait 12-18 months, to give the hormones a chance to work, and for our bones to finish growing.  The Femur and tibia can take up to 14 months to finish growing, and if we take away the hormones too early, then it can cause these bones to grow longer than they should, thus altering the knee angle, and putting too much pressure on the knee, hips, and spine. 

In recent studies, it is shown that dogs being fixed too early are 2 times more likely to have a CCL tear, and 3 times more likely to develop Luxating patella issues.  Also, in a closed study it was shown that 97% of patients getting hydrotherapy for hip dysplasia had been spayed or neutered before 1 year of age.

Early Spay and Neutering

Here are some other interesting findings spay and neutering:

  • It can causes loss of bone mass.
  • Dogs who are fixed before 6 months have a 70% increased risk of developing hip dysplasia.
  • Dogs who are spayed/neutered early are twice as likely to develop bone and other cancers.
  • Dogs who are fixed too early have an increased chance of developing undesirable behavioral issues such as phobias, fear aggression, and reactivity.
  • Early spay/neuter triples the risk of developing hypothyroidism and becoming obese

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