För tidig kastrering

Många valpköpare kommer att kastrera sina hundar förr eller senare av olika anledningar. Vi vill här uppmana att inte kastrera sina hundar i alltför tidig ålder. Ofta råder veterinärer till kastrering innan valpen är mogen för det. Som tumregel kan man säga att man inte bör kastrera sin hund innan den växt färdig, både fysisk och mentalt. När det gäller Boerboel är det då bäst att vänta med en kastrering tills dess att hunden fyllt 2 – 3 år, helt beroende på dennes individuella utveckling. Nedan har vi kopierat utdrag ur en artikel med vad följden av för tidig kastrering kan bli. hela artikeln ligger på Facebook och kan läsas [här].

On neutering, you will be hard pressed to find a vet today that would recommend anything but neutering your pet early in their life, normally around six months. The reasons given are always the same, prevent unwanted babies and long term health benefits including a reduction in cancer.

But unlike your appendix for example where it’s absence is not noticed in your daily routine, your reproductive (or sex) organs play a whole host of hormonal roles that stretch far beyond the manufacturing of babies. Like dry food, parasite control, annual boosting and casual steroid shots, these things are not without consequence for the patient and too rarely are these consequences ever discussed with the owner. It is not enough that we are told things are perfectly harmless. We must go into the decision with eyes wide open.

In male mammals the gonads are the two testes, and in females the gonads are the two ovaries.

The gonads are best known for making gametes (single celled germ cells) which is sperm in males and eggs in females. These two cells then get it on inside the female and make a baby. Most of us have that down pat.

But the gonads also produce a variety of hormones including the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone; and the male hormones including testosterone and androsterone. However men necessarily have some of the female hormones, and women some of the male hormones.

While sex hormones in males and females function largely in the whole “sex” business from conception to baby birth, they also play pivotal roles in the maintenance of body muscle and bone growth.

We see testosterone’s dramatic effects in lanky 13 year old males. It controls all the typical puberty bits in males such as the less useful growth of the adams apple, facial and body hair to the very much more useful height and muscle mass of the individual. As adults testosterone continues to function in maintaining muscle strength and mass, and it promotes healthy bone density. It also reduces body fat (one reason why some spayed pets can put on weight).

Estrogen too functions in skeletal growth. At puberty, estrogen promotes skeletal maturation and the gradual, progressive closure of the epiphyseal growth plate (plates of cartilage at the end of bones, which are responsible for laying down new bone). Estrogen also functions in maintaining the mineral acquisition by your bones.

Neutering or ‘spaying’ a female animal involves removing the womb and ovaries (an ovaro-hysterectomy). Males are castrated whereby the testicles are surgically removed. This is done before dogs come into puberty (i.e. start producing sex hormones for the first time) which is very approximately 6 months in males and around 9 months in females, though breed and body size play large rolls here. General advice from the majority of veterinary circles is that responsible dog owners neuter at 6m months. In other countries it is much earlier. Both operations are carried out under general anesthetic.

The number one reason for removing the sex hormones is to prevent unwanted breeding, hence folk at the front line of mopping up all our unwanted fur babies are very big fans (www.dspca.ie/SpayorNeuteringYourPetBenefits). The major health benefit constantly cited is to prevent the possible occurrence of testicular cancer, peri-anal cancers and ovarian cancers in dogs and cats. Other reasons often cited is the spread of inferior genetic traits and to reduce problematic behaviour including male-male aggression around females in heat and the roaming behaviour of both males and females when love is in the air.

The early neutering of dogs is not without it’s side effects or critics, and I’m certainly one of them. But please, before the heavily stressed and over-worked shelter staff post up about overpopulation problems (I spent a couple of years in them too), lets look at this this issue with less emotion and more science.

If we ignore the fact that gonadal cancers are rare enough in a general population and that dogs recover very well from testicular cancer following diagnosis and castration, by removing the gonads in developing animals you certainly prevent the possible occurrence of gonadal cancers such as testicular and ovarian cancer. However, ironically, while these possible cancers of your pet will be avoided, numerous studies show that removing the sex organs early in the developmental period of an animal causes cancer in your pet, just not in their testes or ovaries.

A study in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, compiled over 13 years found that ”… neutering dogs appeared to increase the risk of cardiac tumor in both sexes”. The results showed that spayed females were five times more likely to to suffer tumours of the heart than intact females
(Ware and Hopper, 1999, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10225598)

In another study spanning 14 years of research it was concluded that sterlisation increased the risk for bone cancer in large breed pure-breds twofold.
(Ru et al. 1998, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9691849).

Upon further investigation using male and female Rottweilers spayed or neutered before one year of age, both sexes were found to be significantly more likely to develop bone cancer than intact dogs with early sterlisation bestowing a staggering 25% likelihood of bone cancer in your Rottweiler.
(Cooley et al. 2002, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12433723)

It’s often stated that neutering a male dog will prevent prostate cancer but some authors refute this on the basis that “ non-testicular androgens exert a significant influence on the canine prostate”. The College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University found ”…castration at any age showed no sparing effect on the risk of development of prostate cancer in the dog.”

All these considered, it’s hard to argue the cancer benefits to neutering early or you end up playing the whole “I see your very slight chance of testicular cancer and raise you a certain increase in bone and heart tumours”.

Testosterone and estrogen play pivotal roles in the development of your muscles and bones. It stands to reason that if you remove testosterone and estrogen from the vital and dramatic puberty growth phase there will be consequences to that individual’s height, muscle mass and bone formation of the individual, compared to an intact animal of the same size and breeding. Studies show this to be absolutely the case.

A study by Stubbs and Bloomberg (1995) set out to answer the following theory: Estrogen tells the growth plates to stop. Thus if you remove the estrogen-producing organs in immature dogs, female and male, you could expect cause growth plates to remain open and the dog to grow longer bones. They divided dogs and cats into three groups. Group one was neutered at 7 wks, group two at 7 months, and group three remained unneutered. They found that “early spay/neuter may result in a slight increase in adult height”. The earlier the spay the taller the dog. Other authors found similar findings (Salmeri et al 1991).
Preston Stubbs, DVM & Mark Bloomberg, DVM Seminars in Vet Med & Surgery, Small Animal, Volume 10, No 1 Feb 1995 Dept of Small Animal Clin Sci, Univ of Florida
Katherine Salmeri, DVM, Mark Bllomber, DVM, Sherry Scuggs, BS, Victor Shille DVM, Journal of American Vet Med Association, Volume 198, No 7 1991

Thus with no estrogen to shut it down, these animals can continue to grow and wind up with abnormal growth patterns and bone structure. This results in irregular body proportions.

Grumbach (2000) quotes Chris Zink, DVM to explain the problem with neutering males and females early and cruciate rupture – ”For example, if the femur has achieved its genetically determined normal length at 8 months when a dog gets spayed or neutered, but the tibia, which normally stops growing at 12 to 14 months of age continues to grow, then an abnormal angle may develop at the stifle. In addition, with the extra growth, the lower leg below the stifle likely becomes heavier (because it is longer), and may cause increased stresses on the cranial cruciate ligament.”

This is verified with a study by Slauterbeck et al. (2004) who found that spayed and neutered dogs had a significantly higher incidence of ACL rupture than their intact counterparts, regardless of breed or size.

A study by the Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association showed that both male and female dogs sterilized at an early age were more prone to hip dysplasia.

When one organ is removed, others will suffer and spayed and neutered Golden Retrievers are proven to be more likely to develop hypothyroidism.
Panciera DL. Hypothyroidism in dogs: 66 cases (1987-1992). J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1994 Mar 1;204(5):761-7
Glickman L, N Glickman, and R Thorpe. The Golden Retriever Club of America National Health Survey, 1998-1999. Available online at http://www.grca.org/pdf/health/healthsurvey.pdf

Early neutering increases the risk of urinary incontinence by 4-20%

Very early neutering increases the risk of disease in dogs. A study of shelter dogs conducted by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University concluded that infectious diseases were more common in dogs that were sterilized at less than 24 weeks of age.