In the United States, spaying and neutering of dogs and cats is commonly performed to prevent the birth of unwanted pets. However, surgically removing the ovaries or testes may have unexpected consequences. Dogs that have been spayed or neutered have an increased risk for developing obesity, urinary incontinence, hypothyroidism, hyperadrenocorticism, diabetes, cruciate ligament tears, hip dysplasia, and cancer. Lymphoma is three to four times more common in spayed and neutered dogs compared to dogs left intact. In addition, dogs that are neutered before one year of age are three times more likely to develop lymphoma than dogs neutered after one year of age. This funded study is investigating the hormonal and cellular relationships between spaying/neutering and the development of lymphoma so that new treatments will be available in the future to extend life expectancies of dogs with cancer.
Abstract published in the Society for the Study of Reproduction Abstract book: “Wanli Li, Michelle Anne Kutzler: Luteinizing Hormone Receptor Gene Expression in Canine Neoplastic Lymphoma Cells is Upregulated by Treatment with Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. 2020;4 (abstract #1850).”
Abstract published in the journal Clinical Theriogenology: “Dietz A, Kutzler M: Luteinizing hormone receptor activation stimulates endothelial adhesion of neoplastic canine T-lymphocytes. Clin Theriogenology 2021;13:302.”
Kutzler, M. A. (2020). Possible Relationship between Long-Term Adverse Health Effects of Gonad-Removing Surgical Sterilization and Luteinizing Hormone in Dogs. Animals: An Open Access Journal from MDPI, 10(4). https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040599