To determine the effect of sex and neuter status on trauma survival in dogs.
Multi-institutional prospective case series, September 2013 to March 2019, retrospectively analyzed.
Level I and II Veterinary Trauma Centers.
Consecutive sample of 2649 dogs in the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Veterinary Committee on Trauma patient registry meeting inclusion criteria. For inclusion, dogs had to have complete data entries, be postpubertal (≥7 months age in females and ≥10 months age in males), and have sustained moderate to severe trauma (animal trauma triage [ATT] score ≥5/18). Dogs that were dead upon arrival, euthanized for financial or unknown reasons alone, or that were presented by a Good Samaritan but subsequently humanely euthanized were excluded.
Measurements and Main Results
Data collected included age, sex, neuter status (intact, neutered), trauma type (blunt, penetrating, both), outcome (survived to hospital discharge, died, euthanized), and reason for euthanasia (grave prognosis, financial reasons, or both). Of 2649 eligible dogs, 56% survived to hospital discharge (n = 1469). Neutered females had a significantly higher survival rate (58.3% vs 51.3%; P = 0.03) compared to intact females, and neutered males had a significantly higher survival rate (56.6% vs 50.7%; P = 0.04) compared to intact males. There was no significant difference in survival between intact females and intact males (P = 0.87) or between neutered females and neutered males (P = 0.46). Mean cumulative ATT score was higher in intact groups and was found to be a significant predictor of survival (P < 0.01). Based on logistic models, overall odds of survival were 20.7% greater in neutered dogs.
Gonadectomy is associated with lower ATT scores and improved survival after moderate to severe trauma in both female and male dogs.
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, EarlyView.Wiley: Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care: Table of Contents