Neuter/Spaying Giant Breed Dogs

Ivy

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#1
I heard somewhere that for large or giant breed dogs it's best to wait until they are fully matured in comparison to smaller breed dogs getting neutered/spayed before they reach adulthood.

Does anyone know the reason behind this?
 

Cheza

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#3
In general, because they mature much more slowly. They happen to do a lot of their growing in the 6-18 month stage, especially in terms of filling out. They have a ton of size to make up, and if they are spayed / neutered too early it *can* (not always *will*) stunt their development a bit due to reduction of hormones.

That being said, the consensus seems to be that since giant breed females tend to go into heat later than your average dog (9+ months) you can wait a bit to get them fixed. Not everyone does this though, and there are a myriad of opinions out there.

I had one dane spayed at 10.5 months and the other spayed at 11 months, neither went into heat before we sent them in. With males it doesn't matter as much if you leave it later, but beware that after that 8 month - 1 yr mark they may start displaying unwanted male behaviours such as marking in the house.

Also FWIW, if you do own a giant breed I'd heavily consider getting a gastropexy done at the same time.
 

Romy

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#5
Altering before the growth plates close is linked with them not closing correctly, which goes on to cause problems like arthritis.

I know of more than one borzoi breeder who put in their puppy contracts that the puppy is not to be altered before 1 year of age because of the high likelihood of problems occurring.
 

Cheza

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#6
What is a gastropexy?

Also, I feel funny asking...but what does FWIW mean?:)
FWIW means "for what it's worth" :)

A gastropexy is a surgery usually done laparoscopically that in essence "ties" the stomach wall to the dog's ribcage to keep it from swinging freely. Most giant breed dogs have a very deep chest and can easily succumb to Gastric Torsion, otherwise known as bloat. Their stomach will swell and twist over itself, cutting off the blood supply to the GI tract. Unless immediate (and expensive) treatment is provided, the dog will likely die. So basically, a gastropexy is preventative maintenance.
 

Zoom

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#8
HI CHEZA!!! *waves*

Yeah I have nothing else to add. It's all been mentioned already.
 

Fran101

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#10
Ive heard that its best for all sized dogs. Im going to wait until 2 with romeo..
 

Doberluv

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#11
It doesn't stunt their growth. It actually makes them get taller faster because the hormones which close the growth plates are gone with neutering. Growth plates at the ends of the long bones don't close soon enough, which prevents them from bulking up and getting more bone density. By leaving the hormones there, it causes a slower growth, as the long bones stop getting longer sooner....thereby allowing growth of better density to develop in the bones. Bone cancer is associated with early neutering. Dogs that are neutered later...after full grown will tend to be shorter and more stocky looking...heavier boned etc... than dogs neutered very early. This is my understanding anyhow. My Doberman was neutered at 7 months. He was lankier and taller by an inch or two than he most likely would have been, had I waited.
 
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#12
There may be other considerations though, heres a study conducted on Rotties...

Although experimental and clinical evidence suggest that endogenous sex hormones influence bone sarcoma genesis, the hypothesis has not been adequately tested in an appropriate animal model. We conducted a historical cohort study of Rottweiler dogs because they frequently undergo elective gonadectomy and spontaneously develop appendicular bone sarcomas, which mimic the biological behavior of the osteosarcomas that affect children and adolescents. Data were collected by questionnaire from owners of 683 Rottweiler dogs living in North America. To determine whether there was an association between endogenous sex hormones and risk of bone sarcoma, relative risk (RR) of incidence rates and hazard ratios for bone sarcoma were calculated for dogs subdivided on the basis of lifetime gonadal hormone exposure. Bone sarcoma was diagnosed in 12.6% of dogs in this cohort during 71,004 dog-months follow-up. Risk for bone sarcoma was significantly influenced by age at gonadectomy. Male and female dogs that underwent gonadectomy before 1 year of age had an approximate one in four lifetime risk for bone sarcoma and were significantly more likely to develop bone sarcoma than dogs that were sexually intact [RR ±95% CI = 3.8 (1.5–9.2) for males; RR ±95% CI = 3.1 (1.1–8.3) for females]. χ2 test for trend showed a highly significant inverse dose-response relationship between duration of lifetime gonadal exposure and incidence rate of bone sarcoma (P = 0.008 for males, P = 0.006 for females). This association was independent of adult height or body weight. We conclude that the subset of Rottweiler dogs that undergo early gonadectomy represent a unique, highly accessible target population to further study the gene:environment interactions that determine bone sarcoma risk and to test whether interventions can inhibit the spontaneous development of bone sarcoma.

Endogenous Gonadal Hormone Exposure and Bone Sarcoma Risk ? Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention

Many people opt to alter giant breeds later in life. You know the point is that one gets it done, its more of a personal choice of when you do it provided it is within reasonable time frame to prevent any accidents.
 

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