Karen “Doc” Halligan is a renowned veterinarian, author, and celebrity spokesperson. “Doc” Halligan is the Chief Veterinary Officer of The Lucy Pet Foundation. The goal of the Lucy Pet Foundation is to have spay/neuter and adoption mobile clinics in every major city in the country.
Can spaying and neutering prevent some cancers in dogs?
Cancer is very prevalent in dogs and cats. In fact, breast cancer is more common in dogs than it is in humans. If you spay your female dog before she has her breast tissue desensitize at six months of age the chance of her getting cancer is zero. Now every heat cycle she has just increased her odds of getting breast cancer. Ovarian cancer, uterine cancer is all prevented by spaying and neutering. Male dogs get rectal cancer, perineal hernias, a lot of testicular cancer, all prevented by neutering.
Why are dogs more prone to getting cancer if not fixed?
Mammary tumors are tumors that are formed in the mammary gland which is the milk-producing gland of women or other female mammals. These tumors are more common in female dogs that are not spayed or were spayed after 2 years of age. The risk of a dog developing a mammary tumor is 0.5% if spayed before their first heat (approximately 6 months of age), 8% after their first heat, and 26% after their second heat.
It is the same for male dogs as well. Neutering a male dog can help prevent testicular cancers. The longer either males or females to have to fully go through “puberty” or to develop all their sexual organs, the higher their chances are to develop cancers.