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  • Author or Editor: Katharine R. Salmeri x
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In a 15-month study, the effects of prepubertal gonadectomy on skeletal growth, weight gain, food intake, body fat, secondary sex characteristics, and behavioral development were investigated in 32 mixed-breed dogs. Male and female pups from 5 litters were randomly allotted to 3 groups: group 1, neuter at 7 weeks (n = 14); group II, neuter at 7 months (n = 8); and group III, sexually intact dogs (n = 10).

Growth plate closure was delayed (group 1 vs group III; P < 0.000001; group II vs group III, P < 0.000001) in all neutered dogs, as compared with sexually intact dogs. Growth plate closure was delayed longer (group I vs group II, P < 0.000045) in dogs neutered at 7 weeks old, compared with dogs neutered at 7 months old. The rate of growth was unaffected by gonadectomy, but the extended growth period resulted in greater final radial/ulnar length in all male dogs and bitches neutered at 7 weeks. Gonadectomy did not influence food intake, weight gain, or back-fat depth. Penile development was immature in the adult group- I males (Mean ± sem diameter of pars glandis = 11.1 ± 1.0 mm), compared with adult group-II (16.3 ± 0.5 mm) and group-III (21.0 ± 2.2 mm) males. Subjectively, the prepuce and os penis of the group-I males were immature, compared with those of group-II and group-III males. Vulvar development in group-I and group-II bitches was less mature than vulvar development in the sexually intact bitches. Of 7 behavioral characteristics assessed, only general activity and excitability rated differently among treatment groups. All neutered dogs were judged to be more active (group I, P < 0.004) than sexually intact dogs. Group-I males were judged to be more excitable (P < 0.02) than group-III males. It was concluded that with respect to skeletal, physical, and behavioral development, the effect of neutering pups at 7 weeks old was similar to that of neutering pups at 7 months old.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the prevalence of urinary incontinence in spayed female dogs and categorize affected dogs by age at time of ovariohysterectomy, number of litters prior to ovariohysterectomy, body weight, treatment of affected dogs, and severity of incontinence and to determine associations among these variables.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—566 ovariohysterectomized dogs.

Procedures—An attempt was made to contact owners of 912 dogs ovariohysterectomized between January 2003 and January 2008 to discuss presence or absence of urinary incontinence. The actual number of responders was 566. Those owners with incontinent pets received a questionnaire further assessing degree of incontinence, diagnostic testing, treatment, and history.

Results—The prevalence of acquired urinary incontinence was determined to be 5.12% (29/566 dogs) on the basis of results of phone surveys and questionnaires. There was no significant difference in the age at time of ovariohysterectomy between incontinent and continent groups. A significant association was found between body weight and incontinence, with incontinence rates higher among larger (≥ 15 kg [33.1 lb]) dogs. Larger dogs were approximately 7 times as likely (OR, 7.2 [95% confidence interval, 2.5 to 21.1]) to develop acquired urinary incontinence, compared with small dogs (< 15 kg).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although acquired urinary incontinence in female dogs is known to be associated with ovariohysterectomy, the prevalence in this study was low.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association