I seem to get this question a lot so I figured I would write something up to explain my position on spay and neutering your Rottweiler Puppy. A long good read with FACTS from 4 case studies. King Rottweilers recommends you do not spay your rottweiler until at least 12 months of age and neuter your stud before 18 months. Of course the longer the better up to two years old.
One in four Rottweilers – Bone Cancer
(All case study as independent and authors are listed for each.)
The pet population has always the main goal in spayed or neutering your pet at an early age. After all the shelters are full of dogs and cats that do not have a home. Most shelters require you to fix your new pet before taking them home just for this reason. This is very understandable since these are the people that recuse so many cats and dogs due to over or accidental breeding. It is here where so many of the myths come from. As a breeder I hear so many of them. Some Veterinarians are spreading these myths without even knowing they are doing it because this has been the rule of thumb for ALL dogs. However what is great for one breed is harmful to another.
This is where the breeder comes in. After all, breeders know their breed and have done the research on their breed to be able to inform their clients the proper time lines for such cases. In most cases a breeder will tell you to go with what your Veterinarian recommends. Is this bad? If you don’t know better than it cannot be bad. However you as a client are relying on your breeder to have the knowledge of the breed to help, not hinder you.
In most cases breeders are trying to protect their lines they have worked so hard to produce. After all if you take your Imported rottweiler and pair it with another Imported Rottweiler of the wrong lines it will make the original breeder look bad, along with your expensive Rottweiler. Not all Rottweilers should paired with another. Producing a litter for the wrong pairing could cause disqualifying faults, hereditary defects, or poor bloodlines. Ethical breeders want all of their offspring (if you have breeding rights) to produce the best possible rottweiler puppies. Finally, remember future puppies produced will reflect what the kennels produced in the past.
Any breeder that requires you to spay or neuter your Rottweiler should know the pro’s the con’s and the myths.
King Rottweilers has never required to spay or neuter your puppy at a early age. We have had it in our contract to wait at least 12 months for a Rottweiler Bitch and 18 months for a Rottweiler Stud. While we always encourage all our clients to wait to as close to 24 months if possible before sterilizing your Rottweiler.
Pro’s, Con’s and Myths
- No puppies
- Pet Overpopulation
- Eliminates pyrometra in females
- Prevents Tumors (only 1% get it)
- Veterinarians get money to spay/neuter
- Prevents most uterine infections in females
- Rottweiler Studs won’t get excited to mate
- Prevents uterus and ovary cancer in females
- No heat cycle every 6 to 7 months in females
- Prevents tumors for UN-descended testicles (14% get it)
- Change your dogs personality
- Increase risk of ligament rupture (ACL)
- Increase risk of osteosarcoma – bone cancer
- Excessive bone growth – height, actual study below
- Triples the risk of hypothyroidism (removing hormones)
- Early spaying causes urinary incontinence (up to 20% increase)
- Increase risk of hip dysplasia (wrong age when neutered/spayed)
- Early spaying changes the shape and size if the “private parts”
- Increases the deadly risk of hemangiosarcoma (Rottweiler is a high risk)
- Doubles the risk of obesity resulting in heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and joint disease.
Sexual hormones are extremely important to a Rottweilers development. So, by removing the hormones you are putting your dog at a increased risk for some serious health problems later in life. This is also believe to be ONE of the reasons behind the “American Rottweiler” look. They need those hormones to develop their plates (Jaw, Hips and Elbows), bone (head, legs and ribs) and drop their chest.
- My Rottweiler Stud will stop humping
- The Rottweiler will feel less of a man
- My Rottweiler will not be aggressive
- Spay and neutering causes weight gain
- My Rottweiler Stud will stop wanting to breed
- The Rottweiler will stop using the bathroom in the house
- My Rottweiler will get lazy and fat (only if you overfeed your dog)
A Rottweiler does not stop growing until at LEAST 2 years of age, this includes height, weight, bone growth, and hormone maturity. Hormones make the body grow naturally. When breeders certify the dogs hips and elbows, it is checked at 2 years of age. The reason a OFA is checked and certified at the age of 24 months is because the growth plates in the joints have closed completely and growth is complete. If the hormones are removed then the dog does not grow properly. I now believe a breeder should not require you to spay/neuter your dog before 1 year old, but I suggest it to done at 24 months old if the new puppy owner want to spay or netuer the dog.
STUDIES – ROTTWEILER
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2002 Nov;11(11):1434-40.
Endogenous gonadal hormone exposure and bone sarcoma risk.
Cooley DM, Beranek BC, Schlittler DL, Glickman NW, Glickman LT, Waters DJ.
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.
Although, experimental and clinical evidence suggest that endogenous sex hormones influence bone sarcoma genesis, the hypothesis has not adequately tested in an appropriate animal model. We conducted a historical cohort study of Rottweiler dogs because they frequently undergo elective gonadectomy and spontaneously develop appendicular bone sarcomas, which mimic the biological behavior of the osteosarcomas that affect children and adolescents. Data were collected by questionnaire from owners of 683 Rottweiler dogs living in North America.
To determine whether there was an association between endogenous sex hormones and risk of bone sarcoma, relative risk (RR) of incidence rates and hazard ratios for bone sarcoma were calculated for dogs subdivided on the basis of lifetime gonadal hormone exposure. Bone sarcoma was diagnosed in 12.6% of dogs in this cohort during 71,004 dog-months follow-up. So the Risk for bone sarcoma was significantly influenced by age at gonadectomy.
The male and female dogs that underwent gonadectomy before 1 year of age had an approximate one in four lifetime risk for bone sarcoma and were significantly more likely to develop bone sarcoma than dogs that were sexually intact [RR +/-95% CI = 3.8 (1.5-9.2) for males; RR +/-95% CI = 3.1 (1.1-8.3) for females]. Chi(2) test for trend showed a highly significant inverse dose-response relationship between duration of lifetime gonadal exposure and incidence rate of bone sarcoma (P = 0.008 for males, P = 0.006 for females). This association was independent of adult height or body weight. We conclude that the subset of Rottweiler dogs that undergo early gonadectomy represent a unique, highly accessible target population to further study the gene:environment interactions that determine bone sarcoma risk and to test whether interventions can inhibit the spontaneous development of bone sarcoma.
J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2000;13 Suppl 6:1439-55.
Estrogen, bone, growth and sex: a sea change in conventional wisdom.
Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0434, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
The discovery of a man with a homozygous mutation in the estrogen receptor alpha gene, which results in estrogen-receptor alpha resistance, and of males and females with autosomal recessive mutations in the CYP19 gene encoding aromatase, which leads to a failure to synthesize estrogens, has challenged conventional wisdom about the ‘unimportant’ role of estrogen in the male.
For example, in the male, estrogen (not androgen) derived from direct testicular secretion (approximately 20%) and from extragonadal aromatization of testosterone and androstenedione (approximately 80%), is the critical sex hormone in the pubertal growth spurt, skeletal maturation, accrual of peak bone mass, and the maintenance of bone mass in the adult. Estrogen stimulates chondrogenesis in the epiphyseal growth plate increasing pubertal linear growth. At puberty, estrogen promotes skeletal maturation and the gradual, progressive closure of the epiphyseal growth plate, possibly as a consequence of both estrogen-induced vascular and osteoblastic invasion and the termination of chondrogenesis.
In addition, during puberty and into the third decade, estrogen has an anabolic effect on the osteoblast and an apoptotic effect on the osteoclast, increasing bone mineral acquisition in axial and appendicular bone. In the adult, estrogen is important in maintaining the constancy of bone mass through its effects on remodeling and bone turnover. Establishing a role for estrogen does not exclude a direct action of testosterone on bone in the human male (especially on cortical bone), but this action is less characterized than thought in the past and is relatively minor in comparison with the major effect of estrogen in the male.
Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2004 Dec;(429):301-5.
Canine ovariohysterectomy and orchiectomy increases the prevalence of ACL injury.
Slauterbeck JR, Pankratz K, Xu KT, Bozeman SC, Hardy DM.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, 3601 4th St., 4A136, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA. email@example.com
To determine whether canine ovariohysterectomy or orchiectomy affects the prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament injury, we compared injury rates of anterior cruciate ligaments of animals that had gonadectomy and animals that were sexually intact as a function of gender, breed, or size. Records of 3218 dogs treated in one orthopaedic veterinary practice during a 2-year period, retrospectively reviewed. Anterior cruciate ligament injury, diagnosed by a history of acute hind limb lameness and by positive anterior drawer test, was confirmed at the time of surgery. The prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament rupture in all dogs was 3.48%.
However, females that had ovariohysterectomy and males that had orchiectomy had a significantly higher prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament rupture than the sexually intact dogs. Larger dogs had an increased prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament injury compared with smaller or medium-sized dogs, with the increased rupture rates for sterilized animals holding across breeds and sizes. Thus. sterilization of either gender increased the prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament injury, suggesting a potential effect of gonadal gender on prevalence of injury of this ligament.
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
February 1, 2004, Vol. 224, No. 3, Pages 380-387
Long-term risks and benefits of early-age gonadectomy in dogs
C. Victor Spain, DVM, PhD Janet M. Scarlett, DVM, PhD Katherine A. Houpt, VMD, PhD, DACVB
Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. (Spain, Scarlett); Present address: Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Division of Disease Control, 500 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19146. (Spain); Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. (Houpt)
Objective — To evaluate the long-term risks and benefits of early-age gonadectomy, compared with traditional- age gonadectomy, among dogs adopted from a large animal shelter.
Design — Retrospective cohort study.
Animals — 1,842 dogs.
Procedure — Dogs underwent gonadectomy and adopted from an animal shelter before 1 year of age; follow-up was available for as long as 11 years after surgery. Adopters completed a questionnaire about their dogs’ behavior and medical history. When possible, the dogs’ veterinary records were reviewed. Associations between the occurrence of 56 medical and behavioral conditions and dogs’ age at gonadectomy were evaluated.
Results — Among female dogs, early-age gonadectomy associated with increased rate of cystitis and decreasing age at gonadectomy associated with increased rate of urinary incontinence. Among male and female dogs with early-age gonadectomy, hip dysplasia, noise phobias, and sexual behaviors get an increment, whereas obesity, separation anxiety, escaping behaviors, inappropriate elimination when frightened, and relinquishment for any reason were decreased.