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Effect of neuter status on inherited conditions in dogs

J. M. Belanger, T. P. Bellumori, D. L. Bannasch, T. R. Famula, A. M. Oberbauer

NEUTERING is commonly performed on dogs and is associated with many positive effects on behaviour, health and longevity. Although recent reports suggest that neutering may increase the occurrence of some joint disorders and cancers, the relationship between inherited diseases and neuter status has not fully been explored. This study evaluated the prevalence and risk of genetic diseases, both early and late onset, in intact and neutered male and female dogs that were seen over a 15-year period.

Medical records for 90,090 individual dogs seen at the University of California teaching hospital from 1995 until the end of 2010 were reviewed. The disease conditions assessed were chosen because they were considered to be inherited (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals website), had a relative surety of diagnosis, had an impact on quality of life and presented at a high enough prevalence to permit analyses.

Neutered dogs were at less risk of a number of early and congenital conditions (aortic stenosis, early onset cataracts, mitral valve disease, patent ductus arteriosus, portosystemic shunt and ventricular septal defect) than intact dogs. …

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