First, it's the kind research that shows that having your pet fixed might not be as much of a no-brainer as you may have previously thought. A study of 3,000 golden retrievers, over the course of five years, showed significant health risks for those which had been spayed or neutered. The study conducted by the Morris Animal Foundation published in the scientific journal PLOS One had compelling differences to consider.
The 3,000 goldens studied were split near evenly between males and females, fixed and not fixed. Over five years, those which had been fixed were anywhere from 50% to 100% more likely to become obese and 300% more at risk for orthopedic problems. To date, expanding waistlines of humans had been used to explain growing obesity rates for our pets. That’s likely a contributing factor, that if we’re not responsible with food ourselves we may not be with our pets either, but clearly, it’s far from the only consideration.
The study was scientifically-conclusive of goldens. So, owners beware. But it also raises the likelihood that other breeds and perhaps other animals would also be at risk. This study will no doubt kick off further research but given that this one was five years in the making, you may have to wait a while for an update on other animals. The question then becomes if it changes your perspective on whether you want to fix your pets in the future.
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