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Open AccessReview

Possible Relationship between Long-Term Adverse Health Effects of Gonad-Removing Surgical Sterilization and Luteinizing Hormone in Dogs

Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences, Oregon State University, 112 Withycombe Hall, Corvallis, OR 97370, USA
Animals 2020, 10(4), 599; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040599
Received: 10 March 2020 / Revised: 30 March 2020 / Accepted: 31 March 2020 / Published: 1 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Approaches to Non-Surgical Sterilization for Dogs and Cats)
Spaying and neutering dogs is commonly used to prevent the birth of unwanted animals. However, spaying and neutering is associated with an increased risk of several long-term health problems including obesity, urinary incontinence, bladder stones, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, hip dysplasia, cruciate ligament rupture, behavioral changes (including owner-directed aggression and fear), cognition problems, as well as several forms of cancer (including leukemia, prostate cancer, bone cancer, skin cancer, splenic cancer, and bladder cancer). An explanation of how spaying and neutering increases the risk of these long-term health problems is discussed in this review.
Spaying and neutering dogs is commonly used to prevent the birth of unwanted animals and eliminate the risk of reproductive diseases. However, removal of the gonads prevents the feedback of estrogen and testosterone on the pituitary and hypothalamus. As a result, luteinizing hormone (LH) is continuously elevated at supraphysiologic concentrations. Although the main role of LH is for reproductive function (e.g., ovulation), there are LH receptors present in several normal tissues including the thyroid and adrenal glands, gastrointestinal tract, cranial cruciate ligament and round ligament, and lymphocytes. In addition, there are LH receptors present in several neoplastic tissues (e.g., lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, mastocytoma, transitional cell carcinoma, and osteosarcoma). The role of LH receptors in non-reproductive normal and neoplastic tissues is not known but may stimulate nitric oxide release and induce cell division. The precise etiology of the increased incidence of several non-reproductive long-term health complications following spaying and neutering is not known but may be related to LH receptor activation in these non-reproductive target tissues. How these effects may be mediated is described in this review. View Full-Text
Keywords: behavior; canine; luteinizing hormone; musculoskeletal; neoplasia; neuter; obesity; spay; urinary incontinence behavior; canine; luteinizing hormone; musculoskeletal; neoplasia; neuter; obesity; spay; urinary incontinence
MDPI and ACS Style

Kutzler, M.A. Possible Relationship between Long-Term Adverse Health Effects of Gonad-Removing Surgical Sterilization and Luteinizing Hormone in Dogs. Animals 2020, 10, 599. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040599

AMA Style

Kutzler MA. Possible Relationship between Long-Term Adverse Health Effects of Gonad-Removing Surgical Sterilization and Luteinizing Hormone in Dogs. Animals. 2020; 10(4):599. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040599

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kutzler, Michelle A. 2020. "Possible Relationship between Long-Term Adverse Health Effects of Gonad-Removing Surgical Sterilization and Luteinizing Hormone in Dogs" Animals 10, no. 4: 599. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040599

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Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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