|Barked: Mon Feb 7, '11 7:57pm PST |
|Ping, with the exception of disproportionate skeletal growth/narrowed chest cavity/head, etc, things like that - almost all of the benefits/detriments of spaying/neutering are the same, regardless of size.
Small breeds don't have as much of an issue with disproportionate growth because they simply aren't as a big - any "defect" resulting from the lack of sexual hormones during growth isn't as noticeable, and does not have as strong of an effect on the dog's body as it would a larger breed.
Think about a tiny ball bearing. It looks perfectly smooth, but if you blew it up several times over (or looked at it very closely under a microscope) the surface would be pitted and cracked everywhere. It might look like the moon. The concept here is similar.
But, other issues - cancer risks, etc, things like that, are still improved or worsened by spaying/neutering in any size of dog. The only real difference comes with the time frames - since several issues are relative to physical or sexual maturity, and small dogs reach this much more quickly than large breeds, your risk factors might change at a different age than, say, a Mastiff.
I want to point out too that the study involving longevity in Rottweilers (30% less lifespan for female rottweilers spayed before 4 years of age) is related to osteocarcinomas - which are highly prevalent in rottweilers to begin with. Progesterone is a notable anti-inflammatory, and cancer risks are higher in inflamed areas. Remove the hormone, increase inflammation, and cancer risks are increased - not a good thing in a breed that is already highly predisposed toward cancer. This is somewhat true for the males, but especially the females.
In a breed that has an exceptionally low rate of osteocarcinomas (bone cancer risk is increased by spaying/neutering), you'd see less of a difference in lifespan, if any at all.
I don't know too much about health risks related to pugs but on that count I don't think you have much to worry.
Edited by author Mon Feb 7, '11 8:02pm PST
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