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 Sherry makes claims with absolutely no research done to substantiate those claims, to try and make herself look smarter then she is. Come on Sherry, check your facts at least before you pretend to know it all and tell others how it MUST be

Endorse Pediatric Sterilization
It is my understanding that you have an interest in early-age sterilization. Our organization has done extensive data collection on this subject and has recently co-produced a video with the University of California, School of Veterinary Medicine. It is entitled "Early-Age Neutering, A Practical Guide for Veterinarians." Needless to say, we and many other veterinary medical associations support and endorse early-age sterilization. Concerns about the effects, both long and short-term, of early-age sterilization surgery cited by some veterinarians as problematic have been unproven, and this is largely because they haven't read the numerous studies now available."
Teri Barnato, National Director,
Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR).


No "Cons" to Pediatric Spay/Neuter

As far as I'm concerned, there are no "cons" to early spay/neuter. The younger ones are up and playing the same day. No matter how good the s/n contract, you're still going to have people who will give you a hard time, saying they don't have time or never answer the phone or move away. Spay/neuter 
before adoption is the best solution." -- Diana Nolen, S.T.O.P.

No Negative Data reported with Pediatric Spay / Neuter

"There is no up-to-date data on the problems of pediatric spay/neutering because there ARE NO PROBLEMS.  

I for one believe that all animals should be spayed/neutered before purchase or adoption unless they are going to a reputable breeder.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  -  If the animal is old enough to be purchased/adopted it is old enough to be spayed/neutered.

Current research has proven that all of the "old" (which is exactly what they are... old) concerns and myths regarding early spay/neutering are false.  I defy anyone to provide CURRENT research from reputable individuals or groups that support any of the old myths regarding problems associated with early spay/neutering.  Whether they are physical or mental in nature...

The following is a list of:  Controlled Studies, Personal Experiences and Personal Opinions.  Most of them from experts in the field.  It's a lot of reading but I'll tell you up front... they all say the same thing.  There is no logical reason NOT to spay/neuter at an early age......... even as early as 6 weeks old.

During my own research of this topic... the only negative information that I could find against early spay/neuter was dated at least 6 years ago or longer.  Times are changing and people need to move forward.  Considering the massive overpopulation of unwanted animals in this country... mandatory early spay/neuter before adoption/purchase is one of our greatest hopes for success in reducing this number.  We already know that we can't count on John Q Public to do it himself... he has proven that over and over again.  So the burden falls on the Breeders, the Pet Stores and the Animal Shelter/Rescue organizations.  I'm sorry; it's not my fault! But if you won't do it, trust me, it won't get done... That, unfortunately, is a proven fact. " Sincerely, Amber Koeller

Misconceptions  and Q & A  about   Pediatric   Spay/Neuter

Pediatric spay/neuter is safe and effective when anesthetic and surgical guidelines are followed.  The theorized concerns such as the potential for stunted growth, obesity, perivulvar dermatitis vaginitis, urinary incontinence, behavioral changes, impaired immunocompetence, and urethral obstruction in male cats for early age neutering (8 weeks) are unfounded.  In fact, benefits of pediatric spay/neuter surgery include, less bleeding, less stitching, less time required for surgery, fewer drugs required, quicker recoveries, near zero complications, less fasting time, and less healing time.         
by Marci Hess

Quote from the Dalmatian Club of America - Study now appearing on website states
 For physiological and anatomical considerations that are logically and medically sound, the development of the os penis is incomplete until about 12 months of age in males.  Castration prior to this age impedes the development of the os penis, and the resulting immature, small os penis size may contribute to the development of clinically relevant obstructive urinary stone disease in these animals. This subgroup analysis would be very important to conduct, if possible, from the survey results as it may support the recommendation to breeders, owners and others to delay male Dalmatian castration to one year of age. "

Response from Dr Tracy Land
Castration prior to this age impedes the development of the os penis, and the resulting immature, small os penis size may contribute to the development of clinically relevant obstructive urinary stone disease in these animals.

That "may" is pretty telling.  I can give you a stack of scientific studies like a phone book showing no problems.  So the questions is do they have even one study to support their supposition?  If they did, wouldn't they quote it instead of saying "may" - which also means "maybe not".  Where is the study? 

And where is the logic?  Doesn't intuitively make sense to me that a smaller bone would cause more of a problem? If the theory is that the bone causes the stones to block, wouldn't a smaller bone be a good thing?  Actually, I don't think it's the bone that causes the blockage at all, but soft tissue swelling, though I'd have to consult a urologist to confirm that.  Growth plates close at maturity, which stops the growth of the bone.  Dalmatian size dog will close from ten to sixteen months in most cases.  So if we neuter at 6, he's still not closed.  Again - where is the logic (or study) that says six months is any better than six weeks?

Seems to me another case of someone reaching to support a position that isn't backed up by the science. 

Tracy Land, DVM


Comment from Breeder, November 2007
We do not do pediatric S/N because of the increased risk of osteosarcoma in large breeds.

Response from Dr Tracy Land
This is an old one.  If you actually read & understand these studies, the only remotely relevant finding is an increased risk of osteosarcoma in
neutered vs unneutered Rottweilers, which are genetically predisposed to osteosarcoma anyway.  The issue of age at sterilization IS NOT ADDRESSED.  Overall, sterilized dogs live longer than those unsterilzied ones.  True more osteosarc in sterilized Rottweilers,
but overall they don't live as long due to deaths from other cancers & causes.

I'm attaching an excellent article from a famous veterinarian that attempts to explain some of these specific issues, one that has done a lot of our studies proving the safety of pediatric S/N.  It's a little complex, but is a great example of how studies can be misinterpreted by those lacking the scientific background to understand them, and how they can be just plain misquoted to support a position that otherwise can't really be supported.
Do take the time to try to read it, and stash it away somewhere safe for future reference.

It isn't as if we who support pediatric spay/neuter choose to ignore any relevant or even possibly relevant finding. 
Of the dozens of studies that will stand up to peer review that have been done, the ONLY negative finding is a slight increase in urinary incontinence in female puppies spayed prior to 12 weeks of age.  Though the increase is slight (3%) and the finding contradicted by other studies, we acknowledge it, attempt to err on the safe side when possible, and fairly weigh the possible disadvantage against the benefit of NBA (neuter before adoption) programs - guess what, a few animals that may be incontinent, which is treatable, doesn't outweigh millions dead.  You'll almost invariably find anyone who will argue that has never spent any time in a kill facility.

Comment from Dalmatian Rescuer    November 2007
Dalmatians have a unique uric acid metabolism, with high levels of uric acid excretion in their urine, which can make kidney and bladder stone formation a possibility.

Response from Dr Tracy Land
Dals do indeed have that problem.  The penis is indeed smaller in dogs castrated early - BUT - not the urethra, the difference is that the erectile tissue in the penis (around the urethra) does not develop.  The thought process is logical, but basically flawed in that regard. The studies on cats are 30 years old, going way back to research on the old blocked kitty problem.  I believe University of Florida repeated the study on dogs fifteen years ago

Comment, from a Weimaraner rescue person
99% of pediatric spays have incontinence

Response from Dr Tracy Land
Incontinence - If 99% of early spays were incontinent, we'd have stopped long ago - that's just absurd.  One study showed a 3% increase in the risk of incontinence if female dogs spayed prior to 3 months, though that finding has not been the case in several other studies.  The significance of a possible 3% increase in a treatable problem pales in comparison to six million dead annually due to overpopulation.  I personally have done thousands of pediatric spays, and have NEVER ONCE had one of my pups come back incontinent.  I do frequently treat incontinence in my outpatient clinic, and without exception, every single patient was spayed at or after six months, or not at all.  Who ever is saying that just has absolutely no clue what they're talking about.

Comment, from Weimaraner Rescue
We also prefer that they are developed hormonally and structurally to their best advantage. 

Response from Dr Tracy Land
  1. Hormones? Makes no sense. A weim spayed at six months is not "hormonally" mature either, so what's the difference?  We're currently collecting mature ovaries for research into an injectable method of sterilization for dogs at  Auburn.  They don't want us to collect six month old ovaries, as they don't yet contain the hormones needed for their research.  So there  really is no valid issue there.
  2. Structurally - Dogs sterilized early will have slightly delayed closure of the growth plates, and therefore be a fraction of an inch taller than those sterilized later. Who cares?  I do think this is a valid point for dogs being shown at conformation, as they will not develop quite the same extent of secondary sex characteristics - such as breadth of chest or head.  But, the average pet over can't tell that difference, show dogs can't be sterilized anyway unless someone's cheating, and there is little or no difference between those spayed at six months or three.  So again, logically not a valid issue there.
Comment from person who adopted rescue dog that was spayed at 8wks

She has too much skin around her pee pee because the early surgery stopped her maturation of her vaginal area. This causes the skin around it to keep it covered, therefore keeping it moist. This can lead to bladder infections and staph, per my vet at XXX (Columbus Ohio Area Vetl Hospital).

There is a host of other things that could come from this. I have also been told that a female should be at least six months of age before spaying. When I took her to this vet at an earlier date, the Dr that saw her said that they don't do spaying at 8 weeks.  I have a lot of mixed feelings about this. I don't understand why this was done at such an early age. I would have taken her to be spayed when she was six months.

Response from Dr Tracy Land

I can tell you that the problem being described is usually seen in overweight dogs, and the cause is the obesity, not the age at spay.  The cases I have seen have, with one exception, always been overweight.  One was just primary anatomical problem.  I've spayed a lot of puppies, (thousands)  and never seen it as a problem in one of those.  Only those spayed at six months or later, that were too chubby.   Puppies spayed prior to six months usually have no significant difference in the size of the vulva than those spayed at six months.  This is another classic and tragic example of a vet who hasn't done his/her homework on pediatric spay/neuter, and has no experience in the area, unjustly criticizing something they don't understand.  Research, tons of it, have never mentioned this a problem finding.
Tracy Land, DVM

Pediatric Spay/Neuter Endorsements

Pediatric spay/neuter is endorsed by the following national organizations:

* AHA American Animal Hospital Association
ACA Alley Cat Allies
AHA American Humane Association
* American Kennel Club that Sherry loves to point to
ASPCA American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - Since 1972
AVAR Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights
AVMA American Veterinary Medical Association - July 93 Resolution in support
CFHS - Canadian Federation of Humane Societies
CFA Cat Fanciers Association
FoA Friends of Animals
HSUS Humane Society of the United States
ISAR International Society for Animal Rights
MSPCA Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
NACA National Animal Control Association
NHES National Humane Education Society
SOS Save Our Strays
* Many state and local veterinary associations including California Veterinary Medical Association and California Animal Control Director's Association, Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, and an increasing number of local animal shelters nationwide as well as
Cornell University and UC-Davis.
* Bob Christiansen of
Save Our Strays estimates only 5% of vets nationally perform early-age spay/neuters and was startled to find that many animal shelters with public spay/neuter clinics are not even practicing early age spay/neuters for the public. - USA Tour Summary, December 2000 (article no longer online.)
* The Southern Oregon Humane Society in Medford, Oregon began practicing prepubertal sterilization in 1975

The truth about what sherry calls downsized shih tzu

Throughout the entire period of Shih Tzu development in the United States no other topic about the Shih Tzu has been more hotly contested than Shih Tzu size. When the standard was established it was hoped all Shih Tzu fanciers would settle down and breed exactly to that standard. It has never been the case. Controversy over Shih Tzu size still rages. These differences of opinion cannot be dismissed as being "the smaller sizes are only rejects or Shih Tzu puppies born with excessive health problems." This is just not true at all to account for the smaller size Shih Tzu puppies that have always been in existence. The statements of breeders who have these small sizes obtained them through "faulty and irresponsible breeding, or instances of in-breeding and line-breeding of relatives is also "false." The truth to any breeding can be traced on the pedigrees to prove the smaller Shih Tzu was not the result of in-breeding and line-breeding with close relatives. These smaller size Shih Tzu have been in existence since the Chinese Imperial Palace days. There are several documented Shih Tzu history facts to prove that this is the most probable reason for the smaller Shih Tzu, so many people commonly "nickname" the Imperial Shih Tzu or the Teacup Shih Tzu. The size of a Shih Tzu does not dictate the health of that Shih Tzu. Health problems exist in all sizes of the Shih Tzu, and not the direct result of producing a smaller size Shih Tzu.

One fact that remains is that the breed is in the Toy Group. The Shih Tzu should therefore be "Toy" in size.

In the Shih Tzu breed's early days in the United States, there were several reasons for the controversy over size in addition to personal preferences
. None of these reasons have been documented as being "a small size Shih Tzu has more health problems," or....a small size Shih Tzu is produced by excessive irresponsible in-breeding and line-breeding of close relatives.