Join Date: Sep 2015
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We spayed our dog at I think nearly 2 years old. I'm not sure if I regret that decision or now, because she just turned 4 and has been diagnosed with lymphoma. I'm still hoping they are fat deposits but with 5 lumps and a lethargic dog, the news we are going to get this week on the biopsies are most likely between bad, and very bad. Yes, I am wondering if that decision led to this disastrous outcome and I feel guilty, but it's a senseless exercise in making myself even more miserable than I already am. At the time, our vet presented her health issue and said it was necessary (she had some ovary problems). I would never had done it, if it wasn't for that advice.
It's in the gene, that much is sure. And if the breeding line has a mix of early and late cancer, you can't really tell if your GR is going to be dealt the unlucky gene card and get cancer early (under 6 years old). I read somewhere that spaying "ages" the female dog, and that is possibly why there are higher possibilities of them getting cancer because the body thinks it's old. That's one of the hypotheses from a study I came across while reading up on the golden retriever lifetime study. How logical that argument is -- I don't know. Nobody really knows why this breed is so prone to it. On the other hand, I've been a dog owner of other breeds, and cancer is just as prevalent a reason for their demise as old age is. So, I think whenever you decide to spay your dog doesn't really make much difference as the body reacts the same and will react the same whether you do it this year or next. However, knowing that your dog's breeding line shows susceptability to lymphoma, you may want to adjust your dog's diet (low carb/fresh meals) and give her supplements. And, every year, ask your vet to do a very thorough check for lumps and to teach you how to check yourself.