🇫🇷 Lire en Français | 🇪🇸 Leer en Español | 🇧🇷 Leia em português
In the world of veterinary medicine, there have recently been discussions around the impact of luteinizing hormone (LH) levels post-neutering on the health of dogs. But what about our feline friends? Earlier this year, I stumbled upon a fascinating scientific paper that sparked my curiosity about this very topic in cats. This is typically not something we discuss today, as cat professionals. And yet- it might hold significant health implications, and I believe this is something we need to know about… So in this blog post, let’s look into this under-discussed area, shedding light on the questions I believe every veterinarian and cat breeder should be asking about this intriguing subject – and the key practical aspects you should keep in mind!
Long-Term Effect of Neutering on LH Concentration
Neutering has been found to cause a significant and enduring increase in plasma LH concentrations in cats. This effect is observed in both senior and geriatric neutered cats, who have notably higher LH levels compared to intact cats of the same age.
Contrary to previous beliefs, this increase is not transient, but rather a persistent change in LH concentrations.
Interestingly, older neutered cats show a higher likelihood of detectable LH concentrations compared to adult neutered cats.
Additionally, LH concentrations in neutered cats exhibit more variability across different visits than in intact cats.
Key Practical Takeaways:
1. Neutering has long-term hormonal effects: Neutering leads to a significant and enduring increase in LH concentrations, which should be considered when discussing the effects of neutering with cat owners.
2. Age influences LH concentrations: Older neutered cats are more likely to have detectable LH concentrations, suggesting that the age at which a cat is neutered might impact its long-term hormonal balance.
3. Variability in LH concentrations: LH concentrations in neutered cats exhibit greater fluctuations than in intact cats, potentially affecting a cat’s health and behavior. However, further research is needed to fully understand these effects.
4. Informing cat owners: Cat owners should be made aware that neutering has long-term hormonal effects that could potentially impact their cat’s health.
Influence of Age and Health on Neutering Effects
The age and health status of a cat can influence the impact of neutering on LH concentrations.
Older neutered cats are more likely to have detectable LH concentrations compared to adult neutered cats, suggesting that the age at which a cat is neutered influences its long-term hormonal balance.
However, the study found no difference in LH concentrations between cats neutered before 4 months, between 4 and 6 months, and cats neutered after 6 months of age.
Key Practical Takeaways:
1. Age at neutering matters: The age at which a cat is neutered can influence its long-term hormonal balance, highlighting the importance of considering this factor when discussing neutering with cat owners.
2. Early neutering is not necessarily detrimental: Neutering cats before 4 months of age does not lead to higher LH concentrations in the long term.
Implications for the Health and Wellbeing of Cats
The study does not directly address the implications of increased LH concentrations for the health and wellbeing of cats.
However, it highlights the need for further research to determine the consequences of these changes.
Increased LH concentrations have been associated with various health conditions in post-menopausal women, and this is something that has also been discussed in canines, but additional studies are required to confirm if similar mechanisms exist in cats.
Key Practical Takeaways:
1. Long-term hormonal effects: Neutering leads to a significant and persistent increase in LH concentrations, potentially impacting the health and wellbeing of cats.
2. Potential health implications: Further research is needed to understand the specific health conditions associated with increased LH concentrations, such as chronic kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and hypertension.
Understanding the long-term effects of neutering on LH concentrations in cats is important for veterinarians and cat owners. Neutering has been shown to cause a significant and enduring increase in LH concentrations, particularly in older cats. However, the timing of neutering, calendar seasons, and overall health status appear to have minimal effects on LH concentrations. While the study does not directly link increased LH concentrations to specific health conditions, further research is required to explore potential implications on feline health. By staying informed about ongoing research, cat professionals can provide the best care and advice to cat owners regarding the long-term effects of neutering on LH levels.
3 thoughts on “LH Chronicles: Exploring the Long-Term Effects of Spaying & Neutering in Cats (2023)”