July 2005


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Laura Sanborn <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Farm Collie Breed Conservancy and Restoration <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 19 Jul 2005 09:51:40 -0700
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At 09:02 AM Tuesday 7/19/2005, Gwyn Diddally wrote:

>Me either, really.  I'm thinking it must be enforcable though, since Humane
>Societies do make you sign such a spay/neuter contract when you adopt an
>intact animal.  An interesting point she brought up in that message was
>avoiding the legalities altogether (in terms of spay/neuter) by getting the
>pups fixed before sending them off.  Supposedly it causes a minimal effect
>on males (leg bones grow for longer) and the effect it has on females
>(incontinence) is likely to happen no matter when you fixed them - it
>appears to be passed down genetically.  A vet's assistant even chimed in to
>the conversation and said that the vet she works for actually prefers fixing
>pups young - they recover faster and are less prone to complication.  This
>was something that had never occurred to me, I'd always thought you needed
>to wait until the dog is 6 months old.  I plan on talking to my vet about it
>to see what HIS stance is, they're all so variable.

The subject of the long term health effects of spay/neuter is complicated,
a lot more so than humane societies and even most veterinarians
realize.   For example, I doubt if many of them know that spay/neuter
greatly increases dogs' lifetime risk of deadly osteosarcoma (bone
cancer).  Yet this is documented in multiple veterinary medical research
studies, and AFAIK there's no research that refutes the finding.

There's actually a long list of adverse health effects linked to
spay/neuter, in addition to a long list of health benefits linked to
spay/neuter.  It's really very complicated, and there are undoubtedly other
impacts that we don't yet understand.  I've spoken to some vets about this,
but haven't yet found one who is as familiar with the long term s/n impacts
as I am.  I'm just a lay person, who has taken the time to plow through
much of the published veterinary research on this specific topic (building
on the efforts of a few others who have also done so).  This is NOT a
criticism of veterinarians.  Nearly all vets are generalists, not
specialists.   They don't have the time to learn about the wide range of
veterinary medical issues that they deal with to such an extent.

Laura Sanborn