Long-term outcome of gonadectomy performed at an early age or traditional age in dogs.
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OBJECTIVE: To determine long-term results and complications of gonadectomy performed at an early age (prepubertal) or at the traditional age in dogs. DESIGN: Cohort study. ANIMALS: 269 dogs from animal shelters. PROCEDURE: Dogs that underwent gonadectomy were allotted to 2 groups on the basis of estimated age at surgery (traditional age, > or =24 weeks old; prepubertal, < 24 weeks old). Adoptive owner information was obtained from shelter records, and telephone interviews were conducted with owners to determine physical or behavioral problems observed in the dogs since adoption. Follow-up information was obtained from attending veterinarians for dogs with complex problems or when owners were uncertain regarding the exact nature of their dog's problem. RESULTS: Prepubertal gonadectomy did not result in an increased incidence of behavioral problems or problems associated with any body system, compared with traditional-age gonadectomy, during a median follow-up period of 48 months after gonadectomy. Rate of retention in the original adoptive household was the same for dogs that underwent prepubertal gonadectomy as those that underwent traditional-age gonadectomy. Infectious diseases, however, were more common in dogs that underwent prepubertal gonadectomy. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: With the exception of infectious diseases, prepubertal gonadectomy may be safely performed in dogs without concern for increased incidence of physical or behavioral problems during at least a 4-year period after gonadectomy.
author list (cited authors)
Howe, L. M., Slater, M. R., Boothe, H. W., Hobson, H. P., Holcom, J. L., & Spann, A. C.