Spay or Tubes Tied?
Before risking health problems associated with spaying or neutering, ask your vet about tubal ligation or vasectomy for your dog
New Solution To Spay & Neuter
by Laura Turner, TheDogPlace.org Guest Columnist
Objection to mandatory spaying and neutering or breeder concerns that pet pups may be bred from can be allayed by canine tubal ligation or vasectomy.
There has been a ton of controversy surrounding spaying and neutering. What age is appropriate, along with pros and cons of early spay and neutering. Worries about puppy developing properly both emotionally and physically, is a valid concern for most pet people. For Breeders, the worry is that the pet puppy won’t be spayed or neutered and will instead be used for breeding, contract notwithstanding.
As a result most Breeders relied on a non-breeding contract to protect their pups but most contracts are not legally binding or enforceable, such as and including clauses of repossessing the puppy and fines administered for non-compliance. The burden of proof lies on the breeder, keeping track of puppy buyers is not always easy, to engage in a legal process would be too expensive and most likely yield no results and to do so doesn’t diminish the fact that the damage is already done.
There are many “designer breeds” being marketed now for big bucks and no registration papers. I met a couple in a pet store the other day proud of their mix of Maltese x Pug cross as it would be healthier “because it is not a purebred”. They actually paid $1500.00 for the privilege of owning a mutt. Such cases only affirm that Public Education is not the solution to bad breeding, irresponsible ownership and negated contracts. Vasectomy and tubal ligation is a safe, sure way for a breeder to prevent a pet puppy from being bred.
Many people also think that breeding just 1x is really no big deal and may justify it for a dozen reasons. As reputable Breeders all know, even “just one litter” can escalate into to 10 new backyard breeders who also are just wishing to have “just 1 litter”. Within just a couple years, well you can do the math on how this adversely affects the pet population and the ability to find loving homes for your planned, well bred, healthy pups. So as Breeders who really care and are worried about our pups and our future, isn’t there something more that we can do?
Vasectomy Or Tubal Ligation Is A Safe, Strategic Alternative
The designer breeds originate from purebreds which originated from a Breeder. The one thing that no one can deny is the ONLY way to 100% guarantee that a pet puppy will not be used for breeding purposes, is to have that puppy “sterilized” prior to it leaving the Breeder’s home. No amount of education or contract will offer the same solution. If every Breeder subscribed to the practice of sterilizing all pet pups, the “designer breeds” and pet overpopulation would drastically decrease. The demand for well bred, purebreds would of course eventually increase as a result.
For many Breeders pediatric sterilization is not an option due to the health problems resulting from the lack of hormone production caused by hysterectomy or castration. But now Breeders can have canine vasectomy and tubal ligation done as early as 6-8 weeks of age; before puppies leave for new homes. This is the same procedure that humans have chosen for years to prevent pregnancies. Reproductive organs are left intact, thus hormone production will still function. The minor inconveniences are that the dog will still have all the same urges and drives that intact dogs have and females will still experience their heat cycles but their health and immune system development will also be intact. This procedure will certainly appeal to Breeders for the prevention of unwanted breedings and to insure normal growth and maturity of their pups. Pups can still be spayed and neutered when or if the owner may decide to do so.
It is important to note that pups can return home with the Breeder, the same day. They are up and running around the whelping box as if nothing happened. Incision and scarring is VERY minimal. There is no special Post Operative care required. The puppy is fully recuperated with sutures out in time to go home to their new families 7 days later. Breeder’s contracts and guarantees could still reflect the limits of their guarantee but should the owners decide not to comply with the terms, at least the Breeder would not have the worry of their pets being bred, or trying to pursue a puppy person within the legal system for failure to sterilize the pup.
Is Vasectomy Or Tubal Ligation Readily Available?
At the time of this article Veterinarians are not routinely being taught vasectomy and tubal ligation as pediatric sterilization. However many Veterinarians are choosing to get hands on training by helping with the shelters, that according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) have been doing routine pediatric sterilizations since the 1970’s. Hopefully as the demand for surgeons skilled in the procedure of tubal ligation and vasectomy sterilization increases, Veterinary Colleges will make pediatric sterilization a required component within their training. Eventually tubal ligation and vasectomy might be the norm, rather than the exception.
In 2011 pediatric spay or neuters may cost under $100.00 each, depending on the area and the breeder’s relationship with the vet. Vasectomy and tubal ligation procedures can cost a bit more because of the small additional surgical time required. Breeders can find a Veterinarian experienced in pediatric sterilization by networking with other breeders or by contacting their local Veterinary Medical Associations. The Columbus Dog Connection is a tremendous resource, which also lists Veterinarians who are performing the procedures.
Veterinarians seeking more information have a plethora of information through their Professional Associations as well as instructional videos available such as the one from Human Alliance. It is interesting to note that Veterinarians who perform pediatric surgery insist that it is faster and less stressful to the animal than surgery at the usual age of 4+ months of age. There is less body fat to contend with, bleeding is minimal, less anesthetic is required and the patients are awake within an hour after surgery and go home shortly after, on the same day, without any special Post Operative care or equipment such as the dreaded Elizabethan collars. The one or two external sutures are easily removed 5-7 days later with minimal scaring.
Owners benefit by not having to deal with any guilt over putting puppy through such a procedure later in life, nor will they have to cope with the burden of coming up with funds for a sterilization procedure down the road.
By assuming the cost for pediatric tubal ligation or vasectomy sterilization, Breeders offer a special service to the buyer instead of a financial and surgical concern which too often, is put off until too late. The breeder has the peace of mind that comes from knowing all the pet pups that they have produced are being enjoyed as intended. I believe the majority of Breeders would have to agree that Pediatric sterilization by either Spay/Neuter (reproductive organ removal) or by tubal ligation or vasectomy (reproductive organs remain in place allowing normal hormonal production) is well worth the financial investment into their pup’s welfare, their breed’s future and their kennel’s future and reputation.