Tag Archives: University of Georgia

Do sterilized dogs live longer?

New research from the University of Georgia suggests that neutering procedures could add to the length of a dog’s life and alter the risk of specific causes of death.

Looking at a sample of 40,139 death records from the Veterinary Medical Database from 1984-2004, researchers determined the average age at death for intact dogs—dogs that had not been spayed or neutered—was 7.9 years versus 9.4 years for sterilized dogs.

These figures may seem low considering how many pets live much longer, but the researchers noted that the life spans would be lower than those seen more widely because their sample was taken from dogs seen at teaching hospitals (so other things would have been going on and the study population would have had more sick animals).

The researchers stand behind their results – that the difference between neutered and intact is real.

Dr. Kate Creevy, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine. “The question that raises is why would you die younger if you have offspring?”

For the first time, researchers have been able to measure costs of reproduction in terms of the actual causes of death, finding that the causes of death differed between sterilized and intact dogs. Dogs who had undergone a gonadectomy (a spay or castration) were more likely to die from cancer or autoimmune diseases. Those in the sample who still had functional reproduction systems at death were more likely to die from infectious disease and trauma.

“Intact dogs are still dying from cancer; it is just a more common cause of death for those that are sterilized,” said Jessica Hoffman, a UGA doctoral candidate in the Franklin College of Arts of Sciences who co-authored the study.

Some of the reproductive hormones, particularly progesterone and testosterone, she said, could suppress the immune system, explaining why there is an increased risk of infection among dogs that have been sterilized.

The full journal article, published in PLoS One, can be viewed here.

Source:  University of Georgia media statement

Alma mater dogs – The University of Georgia Bulldog

In this, the 2nd in my ongoing series about canine university mascots, I cover the University of Georgia Bulldog.

Official bulldogs have been given the name Uga (derived from the University of GeorgiA)  and their lineage is traced like royalty (imagine the Bulldog equivalent of Queen Elizabeth II).  In fact, the Seiler family has, through its breeding programme, supplied every University of Georgia bulldog for the last 56 years.

Russ, the current ‘temporary’ University of Georgia bulldog mascot will be promoted to the official title of Uga IX on September 15, 2012.

Later this month, Uga IX will officially take up his reign as the University’s mascot.  He is currently known as Russ and he’s the half-brother of Uga VII, who died in 2009.  Russ has served as an interim mascot for 23 football games and has worked hard enough to officially be promoted into the role of the University’s mascot.

The Bulldog is the icon of the University and appears on other parts of the campus beyond athletics.

Fans of the University can join the Bulldog Club for special promotions and ticket discounts.  Students can deposit into their Bulldog Bucks accounts and use their funds to purchase meals and other merchandise from shops and dining halls at the campus.  The alumni association also recognises the top 100 Bulldog Businesses – that’s the top 100 businesses created by University of Georgia graduates.