Does Neutering a Dog Decrease Cancer Risks?by Naomi Millburn
Neutering your dog can be beneficial for your dog's life and happiness. It can make him less susceptible to troubling hormonal behaviors, from fights with other dogs to runaway missions. It can stop him from impregnating the dog down the road and therefore possibly exacerbating canine overpopulation. Neutering can even introduce health benefits through minimizing some cancer risks for him.
Neutering is a surgical procedure that involves the extraction of the testes -- male reproductive organs that are responsible for manufacturing sperm. The surgery, as a result, stops dogs from experiencing testicular cancer, according to the ASPCA. Testicular cancer is an often fatal condition that affects many elderly male canines. When dogs are neutered, they cannot get testicular tumors. Testicular cancer is one of the most frequently seen forms of cancer in unneutered dogs, says VCA Animal Hospitals.
The prostate of intact dogs increases in size as they age, which can often lead to problems with urination. Neutering a dog can be beneficial for stopping the expansion of the prostate. It also helps prevent infection of the prostate, the ASPCA says. Despite those advantages, neutering isn't capable of fully protecting dogs from prostate cancer. While prostate cancer is indeed a major health concern, it's rare in the dog world, according to author Cynthia M. Kahn and veterinarian Scott Line.
Neutering and Longevity
Minimizing some cancer risk is far from the only benefit commonly associated with neutering. The surgery can also affect dogs' lifespans in a positive way. Fixed male dogs generally enjoy longer lives than intact dogs, according to the ASPCA. This could be due to their decreased urges for participating in perilous behaviors, such as wandering around the neighborhood on quests for female mates, reports the ASPCA. Wandering can be extremely hazardous for male dogs, presenting hazards including infectious diseases to the threats of crossing busy streets with passing cars.
Spaying Female Dogs and Cancer
Neutering male dogs can decrease some cancer risks in canines of both sexes. By neutering a female dog, known as spaying, you can prevent her from developing some forms of cancer. If you get your female pup fixed before she attains reproductive maturity and goes into her first heat, you can contribute to greatly minimizing her odds of ever getting breast cancer, the ASPCA reports. Breast cancer is prevalent in intact female dogs. If you don't get your pooch spayed until she's through with her second estrus, her odds of getting the cancer rise. However, cancer risk is still not as high as in females that remain intact.
- Family Pet Animal Hospital: Why Should I Spay or Neuter My Dog?
- Horsham Veterinary Hospital: Ten Reasons to Spay Your Female Dog / Ten Reasons to Neuter Your Male Dog
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Myths About Spaying and Neutering Your Dog
- ASPCA: How Will Neutering Change My Dog?
- ASPCA: How Will Spaying Change My Dog?
- ASPCA: Top 10 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet
- ASPCA: Spay-Neuter
- The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health; Cynthia M. Kahn and Scott Line
- SPCA Florida: Health Benefits of Spaying & Neutering
- Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images