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Neutered female dogs live longer, study finds
Overall, researchers conclude that sex plays only a minor role in longevity and cause of death.
Research explores link between sex and lifespan in dogs 

Neutered female dogs live longer than male dogs or un-neutered females, according to a new study that explores the impact of sex on the longevity of pet dogs.

US and UK scientists looked at two large datasets, comprising records of over 70,000 canine deaths at North American veterinary teaching hospitals, as well as nearly 5,000 death records from primary veterinary clinics in the UK, acquired through the RVC’s VetCompass initiative.

Findings published in the Journal of Gerontology suggest that neutering status has a greater impact on survival than sex. Intact males were found to live slightly longer than females, whilst neutered females ‘clearly live longer’ than any other group.

Death from cancer and diabetes mellitus appeared to be more common in females, whereas trauma was a more frequent cause in males. However, these findings were only significant in the larger North American dataset.

Interestingly, females were more likely to be neutered, according to the data. In the North American dataset, 71 per cent of females and 42 per cent of males were neutered, while in the UK, 58 per cent of females and 47 per cent of males were neutered.

In humans, females live significantly longer than males and there are known to be multiple differences in cause of death between the sexes. Until now, this phenomenon had not been well researched in dogs, but scientists say there appear to be no such consistent differences.

The team acknowledged certain limitations of the study - for example, the North American data did not include exact ages of death and was subject to referral and outcome bias, meaning it is not likely to be an accurate representation of the whole US/Canadian dog population.

Nonetheless, they added, the study is the most complete work to date that explores the sex differences in longevity in pet dogs. Overall, researchers conclude that sex plays only a minor role in longevity and cause of death. The finding poses interesting questions about the potential impact of evolution and domestication on sex-related longevity.

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.