Published: 19 Aug 2019 | Last Updated: 19 Aug 2019 12:23:21

There is sparse published scientific data on the associations between neutering and the severity and survival of dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. This study used VetCompass™ data on 117 Labrador retrievers and 57 Border collies, diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy, to examine the evidence base for these associations. Prior published research has suggested a beneficial effect of neutering in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. However these results do not support a recommendation to neuter dogs with idiopathic epilepsy within an evidence-based treatment plan.

Key findings of this study include:      

  • The majority of neutered epileptic dogs were neutered before the onset of seizures. 
  • Age at onset did not differ between intact and dogs neutered before onset.
  • Cluster seizures did not differ across sex-neuter groups.
  • Intact males had longer median survival times than dogs neutered before onset.
  • Intact females had longer median survival times than dogs neutered before onset  

RVC’s VetCompass™ project analyses anonymised veterinary clinical records from over 1,500 UK vet clinics to enhance understanding and improve the health and welfare of all companion animals.

The study, “Associations between neutering and idiopathic epilepsy in Labrador retrievers and Border collies under primary veterinary care in the UK” is available in The Veterinary Journal. 

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