Dog spay/neuter at 6 months is harmful?

November 30th, 2022 at 10:13 am EDT

So when should you be spaying/neutering your dog?

The debate is on.

But here is something of which NO debate is needed...

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Neutering young dogs between 6 and 9 months of age is now common practice. This practice in the US contrasts with many European countries, where neutering is quite uncommon.

For example, in Norway, it’s illegal to neuter a pet unless there is a valid medical reason. With these opposing philosophies, veterinarians in the US have begun questioning the validity of the juvenile neuter approach.

Practitioners are asking: What are the clinical effects of removing these hormones? How early is too early? Are there even benefits to spay and castration?

New Research linking Spay/neuter to Joint Disease and Cancer

A fairly new research paper.. Assisting Decision-Making on Age of Neutering for 35 Breeds of Dogs: Associated Joint Disorders, Cancers, and Urinary Incontinence authored by Dr's Benjamin and Lynette Hart at UC Davis (California), puts a big question mark as to what really is the best age to be spaying/neutering.

The study found some worrisome results for certain breeds, such as Golden Retrievers..

...Recent research reveals that for some dog breeds, neutering may be associated with increased risks of debilitating joint disorders and some cancers, complicating pet owners' decisions on neutering.

The joint disorders include hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament tear or rupture, and elbow dysplasia.

The cancers include lymphoma, mast cell tumor, hemangiosarcoma, and osteosarcoma.

In previous studies on the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd Dog, neutering before a year of age was associated with increased risks of one or more joint disorders, 2–4 times that of intact dogs.

The increase was particularly seen with dogs neutered by 6 months of age.

In female Golden Retrievers, there was an increase in one or more of the cancers followed to about 2–4 times that of intact females with neutering at any age.

Here is what is suggested for Golden Retrievers based on these results..

The suggested guideline for males, based on the increased risks of joint disorders and cancers, is delaying neutering until beyond a year of age. The suggested guideline for females, based on the increased occurrence of cancers at all spaying ages, is leaving the female intact or spaying at one year and remaining vigilant for the cancers.

So WHAT should you do?

I would suggest delaying the spay/neuter of ANY dog to at least 1 year of age, preferably 2 years.

There is a clear association between JOINT disorders ( ie ACL injury, Hip Dysplasia and early spay/neuter)

There is an INCREASED risk of MANY of the cancers- the sex hormones are playing a role in cancer, and it would be wise to DELAY spay/neuter until 2 years.

When I get a puppy again, I will be DELAYING spay/neuter until 2 years of age.

Heal Your Pet At Home!

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew

P.S. So this is being discussed by MAINSTREAM Veterinarians...this is now a thing

IF I were to have a puppy, I would wait until 2 years of age before SPAY or NEUTER

P.P.S. This has been given by thousands of dog parents... with some GREAT results

A Complete All Natural Dog Supplement can help keep your dog healthy, and may even PREVENT disease

An easy way to do that...

Dr Jones' ULTIMATE Canine Health Formula

Dr Jones' ULTIMATE Canine ADVANCED Health Formula


DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. Dr Andrew Jones resigned from the College of Veterinarians of B.C. effective December 1 2010, meaning he cannot answer specific questions about your pet's medical issues or make specific medical recommendations for your pet.

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