Neutering has been the preferred method of dealing with your pet’s natural tendencies for a long time. Ever since the 1970s, vets across the country have been advocating for neutering your furry friend, as a way of keeping them safe, and making their existence overall easier. However, neutering continues to be a complex, and often highly debated topic to this day.
In today’s post, we thought we’d take a closer look at the relationship between neutering your dog and cancer. A quick survey of the Internet will show that there are a lot of people claiming a definite link between neutering and cancer in your pet, while others will claim the opposite, that neutering prevents cancer in dogs.
So, which exactly is it?
To be fair, it’s much trickier to answer this question than at first you might expect. It turns out, if you do a bit of online research on the topic, you’ll find compelling arguments on both sides.
Certain studies show that neutered dogs (both male and female) were more likely to die of cancer than untouched dogs, with certain studies linking the practice of neutering with things like lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma (in females) or mast cell tumors. This is not encouraging data, and if we were to go by this information alone, you’d have a strong reason not to neuter your beloved pet.
On the other hand, other studies show that the contrary is true, and that neutering is linked with a reduced chance of certain types of cancer (like breast cancer) in your pets. Interestingly enough, some professionals recommend neutering your pet, as a way to keep them safe from cancer. So naturally, the decision whether or not to neuter your dog can be quite the hassle.
So, what should you do?
First of all, you should consider your dog as an individual, since there are a lot of specific details that will need to be taken into account here. You can do this on your own, or ask for a professional’s opinion. When deciding on your options, one of your best moves is to reach out to a professional like BuenaVet. They will help you establish the health situation of your dog, as well as give you a more well-rounded, and professional opinion of the situation.
If you’ve got worries, such as the studies cited above, a veterinary professional will also be able to advise you and answer any questions you might have on the matter.
Other factors at play…
As we were saying, your dog’s chances of developing cancer (neutered or not) depend on a variety of different aspects, that all influence the result:
- Age plays an important role in your dog’s chances of getting cancer. As you may or may not know, neutered dogs actually live longer than untouched dogs, and so it’s possible that the reason for this link between cancer and neutered dogs is simply that the dogs in question lived long enough to develop cancer.
- Genetics are another key aspect worth considering while on this topic. As you might expect, certain breeds of dog have higher chances of developing cancer than others. Rottweilers, for instance, run a higher risk than other breeds of developing bone cancer.
- Hormones, as with people, also influence a dog’s chance of cancer. With some types of cancer more prevalent in males than females, or vice-versa, it’s safe to say that your dog’s sex hormones are also playing a part in all this.
So, with all that being said, it can be tricky to determine the best course of action for your pet, in particular. There’s a chance that your dog will get cancer, just like there’s a chance anyone (dog or human) will get cancer, eventually. A chance that is influenced by several other factors, like age, genetics, hormones, and so many others.
Will neutering your dog increase its chances of cancer? It’s hard to say, but hopefully by now, you have a better understanding of the complexities of this issue. Our advice would be to contact a medical professional, to address your concerns, and also tailor their answers to your particular situation, since there’s no universal answer, unfortunately.