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Traditional Spay-Neuter Shouldn’t Be the Answer for Every Dog

It's time to consider broader use of alternative sterilization procedures that don’t remove the ovaries or testes, especially for large and giant breed dogs.

spaying neutering risks in large breed dogs


  • Studies show that spaying/neutering (aka desexing) large and giant breed dogs increases the risk for many diseases, including several types of cancer
  • While animal health groups are reconsidering their position on automatic spays/neuters, animal welfare groups by necessity remain advocates of early desexing of all shelter pets
  • A reasonable compromise may exist in wider use of sterilization procedures that do not remove the ovaries or testes
  • For pet parents interested in, for example, an ovary-sparing spay for a female dog or a vasectomy for a male, resources exist but aren’t widely available
  • If you decide to spay/neuter your large or giant breed dog, consider waiting until your pet reaches musculoskeletal maturity, and in the case of a female dog, wait until she’s completed her second estrus cycle before scheduling the surgery

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