At What Age Should a Dachshund Pup be Neutered ?
Since all the dachshund pups which are not sold to show homes are sold as pets under a spay/neuter contract, a common question is: At what age should they be spayed or neutered? In the past, our usual answer would have been at about six months of age. The primary reason we require the spaying of a female is to prevent unwanted or unplanned pregnancies and with the neutering of the males the possibility that it may alter some male behavior patterns associated with urination. There are always possible detrimental outcomes associated with this process. We generally discourage neutering or spaying at a very young age (less than 4 months) because of our belief that it may inhibit proper skeletal development. This was only based on our observations and not actual data.
However, a recent study conducted in England and published in the Canine Genetics and Epidemiology Journal found a significant correlation between early neutering (before 12 months of age) and a increased incidence of IVDH (intervertebral disc herniation) in both male and female dachshunds. IVDH is a genetic disease commonly associated with the dachshund breed which can cause paralysis or difficulty in walking when either a vertebral disc bulges or ruptures damaging the spinal cord. It most commonly occurs between the ages of three and eight, peaking at about five years. Data from this study found that males neutered prior to 12 months of age had a 1.5 times greater chance of developing this disease and similarly early spayed females a 2.12 times greater chance. Unfortunately, a female spayed at any age had a greater chance of developing IVDH, although those spayed after 12 months of age had a lower incidence than those spayed before 12 months of age.
As breeders of this breed, we are always trying to reduce the incidence of any genetic based disease. We careful select those dachshunds we feel will produce the best dogs hopefully free of genetic problems. We also advise new owners to always feed high quality food and keep their weight at optimum levels plus minimize jumping off of higher objects. But with this new information, we are also advising new owners to wait until they are at least one year old before spaying or neutering.