Friday, February 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Study: Golden retriever health affected by neutering

By
From page A4 | February 15, 2013 |

A new study from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine indicates that neutering at any age impacts health risks for golden retriever dogs. Hiroki Nakamura/Courtesy photo

Neutering, and the age at which a dog is neutered, may affect the animal’s risk for developing certain cancers and joint diseases, according to a new study of golden retrievers by a team of researchers at UC Davis.

The study, which examined the health records of 759 golden retrievers, found a surprising doubling of hip dysplasia among male dogs neutered before one year of age. This and other results were published on Wednesday.

“The study results indicate that dog owners and service-dog trainers should carefully consider when to have their male or female dogs neutered,” said lead investigator Benjamin Hart, a distinguished professor emeritus in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

“It is important to remember, however, that because different dog breeds have different vulnerabilities to various diseases, the effects of early and late neutering also may vary from breed to breed,” he said.

While results of the new study are revealing, Hart said the relationship between neutering and disease-risk remains a complex issue. For example, the increased incidence of joint diseases among early-neutered dogs is likely a combination of the effect of neutering on the young dog’s growth plates as well as the increase in weight on the joints that is commonly seen in neutered dogs.

Dog owners in the United States are overwhelmingly choosing to neuter their dogs, in large part to prevent pet overpopulation or avoid unwanted behaviors. In the United States, surgical neutering — known as spaying in females — is usually done when the dog is less than one year old.

In Europe, however, neutering is generally avoided by owners and trainers and not promoted by animal health authorities, Hart said.

During the past decade, some studies have indicated that neutering can have several adverse health effects for certain dog breeds. Those studies examined individual diseases using data drawn from one breed or pooled from several breeds.

Against that backdrop, Hart and colleagues launched their study, using a single hospital database. The study was designed to examine the effects of neutering on the risks of several diseases in the same breed, distinguishing between males and females and between early or late neutering and non-neutering.

The researchers chose to focus on the golden retriever because it is one of the most popular breeds in the United States and Europe and is vulnerable to various cancers and joint disorders. The breed also is favored for work as a service dog.

The research team reviewed the records of female and male golden retrievers, ranging in age from 1 to 8 years, that had been examined at UCD’s Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for two joint disorders and three cancers: hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament tear, lymphosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma and mast cell tumor. The dogs were classified as intact (not neutered), neutered early (before 12 months age) or neutered late (at or after
12 months age).

Joint disorders and cancers are of particular interest because neutering removes the male dog’s testes and the female’s ovaries, interrupting production of certain hormones that play key roles in important body processes such as closure of bone growth plates, and regulation of the estrous cycle in female dogs.

The study revealed that, for all five diseases analyzed, the disease rates were significantly higher in both males and females that were neutered either early or late compared with intact (non-neutered) dogs.

Specifically, early neutering was associated with an increase in the occurrence of hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament tear and lymphosarcoma in males and of cranial cruciate ligament tear in females. Late neutering was associated with the subsequent occurrence of mast cell tumors and hemangiosarcoma in females.

In most areas, the findings of this study were consistent with earlier studies, suggesting similar increases in disease risks. The new study, however, was the first to specifically report an increased risk of late neutering for mast cell tumors and hemangiosarcoma.

Furthermore, the new study showed a surprising 100 percent increase, or doubling, of the incidence of hip dysplasia among early-neutered males. Earlier studies had reported a 17 percent increase among all neutered dogs compared to all non-neutered dogs, indicating the importance of the new study in making gender and age-of-neutering comparisons.

Other researchers on this UCD study were Gretel Torres de la Riva, Thomas Farver and Lynette Hart, School of Veterinary Medicine; Anita Oberbauer, department of animal science; Locksley Messam, Department of Public Health Sciences; and Neil Willits, department of statistics.

— UC Davis News Service

Comments

comments

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
.

News

New greenhouse will add to ‘Farm to Mouth’ program

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Learn about pollinators, gardens and honey at Yolo Basin fundraiser

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Woodland infant’s death remains a mystery

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

Fire damages South Davis home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Gerber nominations close Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Explorit: Humming right along

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

Flower arrangers feature S.F. designer

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Celebrate Africa on Saturday at I-House

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Chamber explores how to pay for Davis’ needs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Wolk and Dodd team up to provide Napa earthquake tax relief

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Robb Davis to speak about homelessness, energy

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Spring sing-along is March 4

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Learn about your brain on March 14

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
A fill-up mishap

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Two free yoga classes offered March 12

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Take a night walk at Cache Creek

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Class of 1970 plans 45-year reunion

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Bicycle safety course to be offered in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Adopt a household for Bridge to Housing participants

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Workshop will teach sustainable gardening methods

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Forum

Tired of all of this

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Start early to build healthy dental habits

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

No extra cost for containers

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

 
Oral Health Project launches

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

Here an H, there an H

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

 
Cavalier attitude about bike safety

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Blue Devil boys expect a spike in production

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Inquiring minds want to know about Aggies

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Encouraging start for DHS boys tennis team

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Off day for Aggie men at UCSB

By Kim Orendor | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Aggie women fall to 4th after lackluster showing

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Lady Devils are on to the SJS semis

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Late goal lifts Red Wings over Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Watney struggling at windy Honda Classic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Monticello announces March schedule

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
The Artery presents ‘Stepping Into Nature’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

YoloArts’ Gallery 625 presents ‘The Poetry of Dots’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
International Film Series to present ‘Jaffa’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

‘Focus': A sharply conceived caper

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
The Woodland Opera House announces 2015-16 season

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Business

Nissan’s Z remains an affordable performer

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

 
Car Care: Simple DIY steps to protect your car through all seasons

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
.

Obituaries

Dieter W. Gruenwedel

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Death notice: Celia E. Recchio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Vernon E. Burton

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Friday, February 27, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B5