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Early neutering of bitches increases incontinence risk, study finds

Discussion in 'Doberman Health Issues and Questions' started by Viemarangelrock, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

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    Published: 07 Oct 2019 | Last Updated: 07 Oct 2019 16:15:50

    Early neutering of bitches increases incontinence risk, study finds


    The age at which female dogs (bitches) are neutered is associated with early-onset urinary incontinence, academics from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) have revealed.


    Urinary incontinence affects around three per cent of bitches in the UK. The condition can be distressing and costly for owners and also harm the welfare of affected dogs due to an increased risk of urinary infection and skin sores stemming from urine-soaked skin. The link between urinary incontinence and neutering in bitches has previously been suspected, but this new study now provides real evidence on the extent of this relationship.

    The new research indicates that bitches of certain breeds including Irish setters, Dalmatians, Hungarian vizslas, Dobermans and Weimaraners are more prone to early-onset urinary incontinence than other breeds. This study therefore highlights that special care needs to be taken when deciding on whether to neuter these breeds.

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    Irish setter - one of the breeds prone to early-onset urinary incontenence (picture credit: Diane Peace Collection / The Kennel Club ©)
    The results identified an increased risk of 2.12 times of urinary incontinence in neutered bitches compared with entire bitches. Further to this, it identified an increased risk of 1.82 of urinary incontinence in bitches neutered before 6 months of age compared with those neutered from 6 to 12 months within the first two years following neuter.

    Although there are many benefits to neutering bitches, these new results will help vets to make evidence-based recommendations on neutering and timing of neuter, whilst taking other neutering considerations into account.

    Other key findings include:

    • The average age at diagnosis of UI was 2.9 years.
    • The average time from neuter to UI was 1.9 years.
    • Bitches weighing over 30kg had 2.62 times the risk of UI compared with bitches weighing under 10 kg.
    • Increasing body weight was also associated with an increased risk of early-onset urinary incontinence.
    The research was carried out by the RVC’s VetCompass™ programme, and supported by BSAVA Petsavers, and is the largest cohort study on incontinence in bitches carried out worldwide to date. The study collected data from anonymised veterinary clinical records of 72,971 bitches within VetCompass™ born from January 1st 2010 to December 31st 2012 until 31st March 2018.

    Camilla Pegram, VetCompass™ epidemiologist and lead researcher on the study, said: “Neutering is something that every owner will need to consider at some stage but there has been limited information on the risks of urinary incontinence following surgery up until now. The decision to neuter a bitch is complicated but the results of this study suggest that early-age neuter should be carefully considered, particularly in high-risk breeds and bitches with larger body-weights, unless there are major other reasons for performing it.”

    The study, ‘Associations between neutering and early-onset urinary incontinence in UK bitches under primary veterinary care’, has been published by the Journal of Small Animal Practice - onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsap.13072.


    Source : Early neutering of bitches increases incontinence risk, study finds
     
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  2. My2Girls

    My2Girls Notable member

    Thanks for posting this!

    Does anyone know if males get UI if fixed or is that just a female thing?
     
  3. Rodyboy

    Rodyboy Jr Member

    I had four girls spayed. One developed incontinence. She lived to be 14 years old and died of pancreatic cancer. The boys, I did not note any problems. Zeus never had any problems and he died of spinal cancer. Buddy is our dog ow and he was neutered and have not experienced any problems. Hope this helps.
     
  4. My2Girls

    My2Girls Notable member

    I was just curious. I actually have 2 females but UI is brought up often when having a dog fixed and I did t know if it applied to both.
     
  5. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    That’s a good question, I bet it’s more problematic for females, because, isn’t everything? :rolleyes:

    This article was helpful as I’ve been worried about my cat developing UI since she was spayed around 6 months, but she’s just tiny at 7 lbs so hopefully we won’t encounter this with her. So many things to learn about these animals!
     
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  6. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    We had many cats all through life, and all of them, male and female were "fixed" at about the 6 month mark. None ever had any incontinence or issues of any kind relating to neutering.

    It was a total shock to me when Jazz developed hormone incontinence before a year old after being spayed too early. The possibility just wasn't discussed when I was talking to the vets, but I know much better now. Much later or never would be my choice now.
     
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  7. Rodyboy

    Rodyboy Jr Member

    The rule for a female, years ago, was wait until after first heat. I don't know what changed but I do think in females you run the UI issue if done to early. In our dobes the first wasn't done till 7 yrs. the second was a year, third was a year and the last two years almost three. Because of her state at rescue, and having a bad heat, no one knew she was in heat until opened up. Then later she developed UI and was on a hormone med. She did fine with that and lived to be 14 yrs. old. She was another rescue that was 30 lbs. when we got her and was a 70 lb. dog. I was in disbelief standing there talking to this owner I wanted to pummel, but I wanted to save the dog more. Sorry, went off subject. Hope this helps.
     
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  8. My2Girls

    My2Girls Notable member

    Yes it does. Thank you. And thank you for rescuing.
     
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