Castrated bitches have a three times higher chance of becoming incontinent than intact bitches. This appears from research published in England earlier this year. The research, conducted by the VetCompassTM program of the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), also indicates that the females of certain breeds are more sensitive to urinary incontinence than others.
Hungarian vizslas, Dobermans, Weimaraners and Boxers are the most risky varieties, according to the findings. Shih-tzu's, Staffordshire Bulll Terriers and Labradors were less sensitive to continence. A baseline (non-designer-wide) was taken as the baseline. Striking, purebred dogs and even designer breeds (described in this study as dogs born of two purebred dogs, but of different breeds) also proved to be less sensitive than the cross. It should be noted, however, that the designer widths examined were on average younger than the other crossings, and therefore possibly did not incur a UI.
Approximately 3% of the bitches that are castrated become incontinent, according to the veterinary data. These results help owners and veterinarians make fact-based decisions when it comes to castrating bitches.
No clear association was found between age at castration and UI diagnosis. An American study previously reported a higher incidence of UI in bitches castrated before the age of 3 months and this is commonly used as a justification to postpone castration. In the current study, only one animal was neutered before the age of 3 months, while the majority of the early castrations were performed at the age of 5 to 6 months. A more recent study reported that the timing of castration may be of clinical importance in dogs weighing> 25 kg, but not in dogs <15 kg.
Data from 333,910 bitches were analyzed. The data also showed that age and body weight are important contributing factors for bitches that develop incontinence, as well as sterilization and race. Bitches older than nine years are 1.7 times more likely to develop a urinary problem than bitches less than three years old. Bitches weighing more than 10 kg are 1.9 times more likely to develop incontinence than those weighing more than less than 10 kg, while bitches with a weight of more than 30 kg are three times more likely.
Camilla Pegram, principal investigator says: “Veterinarians perform castrices on a daily basis, but so far there is little evidence about the relationship between castration and urinary incontinence. This study provides stronger evidence of an important link between sterilization and urinary incontinence. The decision to castrate a bitch is based on many factors, not just the incontinence risk. However, these results suggest that the decision-making component caused by urinary incontinence can be emphasized for high-risk breeds and bitches with greater body weight. "