Spaying/Neutering accelerates aging in dogs?

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Thats strange… that is opposite to most of what I’ve read in this area. Daniel Promislow of the Dog aging project is one of the authors on this paper, for example:

We found that sterilization was strongly associated with an increase in lifespan, and while it decreased risk of death from some causes, such as infectious disease, it actually increased risk of death from others, such as cancer. These findings suggest that to understand how reproduction affects lifespan, a shift in research focus is needed. Beyond the impact of reproduction on when individuals die, we must investigate its impact on why individuals die, and subsequently must identify the mechanisms by which these causes of death are influenced by the physiology associated with reproductive capability. Such an approach may also clarify the effects of reproduction on lifespan in people.


You may want to watch a 2013 podcast by Dr. Karen Becker: “The Truth About Spay Neuter.” Dr. Becker worked at a kill shelter as a young woman and was adamant about the necessity of spay neuter. But then she became a veterinarian and recommended that her clients neuter their dogs. And then she observed how it affected them. It is a very powerful and very sorrowful account.


Oh, I’m definitely not considering the Psych Today article and its referenced studies as the final word on the topic. The article doesn’t even mention practical effects of non-neutering, such as dogs running away from home due to the urge to mate (is that a real thing, I wonder?), horny male dogs humping our legs, female dogs bleeding in the house during menses, and most importantly, more unwanted puppies to crowd the already-overcrowded shelters.

Still, the biological effects on health and aging are absolutely worthy of consideration. Perhaps we could spay/neuter but then do doggie hormone replacement therapy to get most of the benefit and less of the hassle?

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This is really interesting. My 4 y/o dachshund had an ovary sparing spay done when she was 1 y/o because I had read (through Purdue) that keeping dachshunds intact for the first 3 years is optimal for spinal bone strength. My husband couldn’t take the spotting when she would be in heat though so keeping her ovaries was the next best option. I got raked over the coals over my decision by a travel vet filling for our regular vet last year. She made it sound like an almost complete certainty that my dog will die from breast cancer because of my choice and recommended I have her ovaries laparoscopically removed asap. I still don’t know if I did the right thing but so far she’s doing well. I suppose there are pros and cons to both options.
One thing that influenced us to keep her ovaries was our experience with our male chihuahua. We rescued him when he was estimated at 2 y/o and he was intact so we kept him that way until he was 11 and we were required to neuter him for boarding. He seemed to lose a lot of his zest for life after that and gained 5 pounds which is quite a bit considering he was only 12 pounds to start. After being on rapa since January 2023 he’s doing a lot better though and he’s back to staying in 13 pound range.


Dr. Karen Becker talking about the truth about the spaying and neutering.

Desex dogs before 7 years of age will remove hormone secretion organs, greatly increase the chance of cancer, osteoporosis, and hormone related diseases.

Desex also make dogs more aggressive toward strangers due to fear caused by lacking proper hormone, contrary to general believes desex tames male dogs.

New researches these years recommended to keep dog hormone secretion organs if birth control measures are necessary.

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