You probably heard about the recent study from a group at UC Davis vet school that found some detrimental effects of spaying and neutering in Golden Retrievers and Labradors, specifically in orthopedic disorders and cancer. This is very interesting in itself, but perhaps even more significant is that the effects on the two breeds were not the same. (I have summarized the results as graphs to make them easier to understand here.) In the US, where most pet dogs are spayed or neutered, the fact that there might be adverse health consequences is very troublesome.
Now the UC Davis group is hoping to leverage the huge database from their veterinary clinic to explore possible effects of spay/neuter in mixed breed dogs. And they're hoping to fund it with a crowd-sourced campaign through one of the largest platforms, IndieGogo.
Here's how it works: The research team has prepared a little proposal outlining what they plan to do, who is involved, and how much they need to fund it. Anybody can then contribute to the funding campaign, with various perks available for donations of certain sizes. You can follow the success of the campaign on the project website and encourage your friends to support it as well.
I think this is a great idea, and the amount of money they're trying to raise is modest ($9,000). AND, they are publishing in an open access journal, so the information will be freely available to anybody with an interest.
Check it out!
IndieGogo: When should you spay or neuter your puppy?
You can read their previous studies here:
- de la Riva et al 2013 Neutering dogs- effects on joint disorders and cancers in Golden Retrievers. PLoS ONE, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055937
- Hart et al 2014 Long-term health effects of neutering dogs- comparison of Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. PLoS ONE, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102241