Research Finds Spayed & Neutered Dogs Live Longer

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New research from the University of Georgia has found that spaying and neutering your canine companions could lengthen the lives of your pets.

Pet owners are encouraged to sterilize their dogs in an effort to help control the pet population; however, the study is now suggesting that the procedure is also good for a dog's overall health.

Researchers looked at a sample of 40,139 death records from the Veterinary Medical Database from 1984–2004. They determined that the average age of death for dogs that had not been spayed or neutered was 7.9 years vs. 9.4 years for dogs that had been sterilized.

Researchers also found that the reasons behind why intact dogs (dogs that had not been spayed or neutered) and sterilized dogs died were different. Dogs who had been sterilized were more likely to die from cancer or autoimmune diseases, whereas those who still had their reproductive systems at death were more likely to die from infectious disease and trauma.

Dr. Kate Creevy, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine, said that while the study does suggest that sterilized dogs do live longer, pet owners who have their dogs spayed or neutered should still be be aware of the possibility of immune-mediated diseases and cancer.

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April 22 2013 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When I first asked my vet about this in the hopes of keeping my furbabies alive as long as possible, he responded that most of the spay and neuter advocates fail to mention one valuable thing. The pets who are intact and tend to die much earlier than spayed/neutered pets are those that never breed. The intact animals who do breed get to release the hormonal build up that when left unreleased tend to produce cancer/growths in pets and ultimately an early death. He further stated that the animals sexual organs are important in that they release important hormones needed in the animal's physiology. I think that something that should be researched further besides the whole spay/neuter spectrum.

April 21 2013 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My best dog ever was a male part lab and pug and lived to be 15 although the last year of his life was sad. He first went deaf and then developed cancer and then went blind. While he was blind I just imagined how frightened he was not to be able to see or hear. The only time he would calm down was when he knew I was holding him. He died in my arms in 08 I still havent forgotten him and have his ashes. I will never forget the good times.

April 21 2013 at 6:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

if i get spayed, will i live longer?

April 21 2013 at 2:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I have 2 female spayed cocker spaniels. One is 11, one is 12, coming up in a few months, 12 and 13. They are on vegetarian diets, vegetarian food with some pumpkin added in for extra fiber. They are both so healthy, their vet says whatever you are doing, keep doing it. The 12 year old, we adopted a few years ago when our friend died. She was eating some meaty flavored pellets for food, almost 50 lbs, health problems. We switched her food, vitamins, etc. to the vegetarian and within 6 months she was 28 lbs, lots of health problems went away.

April 21 2013 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have a friend who is a veterinary oncologist. She spends 90% of her time trying to save the lives of pets from cancer that would have been completely preventable if they had been spayed (before the first estrus) or neutered. Not spaying or neutering almost guarantees that your pet will develop mammary or testicular cancer in their lifetime.

April 21 2013 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the moss importein to me that I wish I have a pupy that stay litter like me but I can by one it can be my friend I am a hv+poz men for 35-years and he will be my best friend I love all animail I think that they nee love yes like a human bien yes like us wee us nee love like then seasery Edgardo medina 1434 taylor ave apt 2f Bronx nyc 10460 ok that wy I red this meseasege to there can have a home

April 21 2013 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

spaying and neutering are for people who cannot control their pets and having stray unwanted pets running around. but eventually if every pet was to be S/N, there would never be any pets for everyone as to the fact all pets would be extinct!!!!!

April 21 2013 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to oldedude's comment

Since we kill about 4 million unwanted dogs in shelters each year--that is not a current threat.

April 21 2013 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just have to say, I definitely see where they are coming from. I work in animal rescue and I find 99% of pet owners are not responsible enough for an intact animal. That being said, I am a zoology major and I have access to many studies that the general public does not have access to (that and I go to one of the best agriculture and animal research universities around). Altered animals suffer so many health related conditions because by altering them, you are removing part of the endocrine system which does far more than help in reproduction. Why do you think it is such a big deal for women to get total hysterectomys? The fact that the unaltered animals mostly die from infectious diseases and trauma is very telling. I saw a similar study once and it found similar things but was a smaller study, so it was not heavily publicized. These animals got these infectious diseases because of course being unaltered made them more likely to wander but in addition, it's been found that these unaltered animals belong to people who are irresponsible anyway in all aspects of their pet's care. So poor diets, letting them wander (and mate), interacting with wildlife, no vaccinations (although I have certain beliefs regarding over-vaccinating after it killed my cat), etc. I still promote spaying/neutering to most pet owners because they can't handle an intact animal (mostly referring to dogs here, cats are a different story). That animal may die of some disease later on in life related to being altered but at least the animal would not be hit by a car, picked up by animal control, or attacked by another animal all because it escaped or was wandering in an attempt to reproduce. Additionally, certain behaviors of intact animals drive owners to abandon them unfortunately. Now though, for people really looking out for the best interest of their animals and whom are very responsible, having an intact pet is no big issues. I have had no problem in the 6 years of owning my intact dog but that is because I am truly invested in his care and am responsible. Proper training and socializing is the first step and then being always vigilant is the next. My boy does not have aggression problems (despite being a "dangerous" dog), has helped raise numerous litters kittens for me (I do cat rescue), is great with children, dogs, birds, small animals etc, and either fortunately or unfortunately stuck up my butt 24/7. The only thing he does is pee on every tree when we go out; annoying, but I can put up with it if it means I get more time with him in the long run. I don't have space to go over the health pros and cons but there is plenty of info available for those that look. I believe this is a gray area and what is right for some is not right for others. I have a cat as well. She is fixed mostly because I get intact male fosters sometimes that are too ill to be immediately fixed and also because I know few people that can put up with an intact cat (far more obnoxious than dogs).

April 21 2013 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lashleydunc11's comment

When they are spaye or nuetered whay is removed? Are the ovaries and testies removed or are the tubes snipped?

April 21 2013 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Almost all pet food (kibble) comes from the scraps that are unfit for human consumption or even from the four \"D\"s: dead, dying, diseased and disabled animals. Unfortunately, many kibbles also contain parts of animals you\'d never knowingly feed your pet such as feathers, beaks, pulverized heads and basically inferior ingredients. Most kibbles have a lot of grains (cheap and just added to bulk up food) with corn being one of the most common. Dogs cannot digest corn, so what\'s the point except for the manufacturers to save money?

April 21 2013 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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