Spaying/Neutering stops production of vital hormones, shortens life span, and predisposes dogs for cancer, obesity, and orthopedic problems. Get the facts before you decide.
SPAY & NEUTER MEDICAL FACTS
by Barbara (BJ) Andrews, TheDogPlace.org Publisher
Should I spay or neuter my dog? Neutering is castration. Spaying is hysterectomy. "Spay", "neuter", "get her fixed", no matter what you call it, those non-threatening acronyms stop vital hormone production.
The American Veterinary Medical Assoc. (AVMA) official policy says “Mandatory spay/neuter is a bad idea.” If it sounds like AVMA is shooting itself in the foot you have only to note the health problems associated with spay and neuter. Any Bad for dogs, good for vets because the side effects of having reproductive organs removed (cancer, incontinence, dysplasia, etc) increases vet office income. In fact the detrimental results of the "spay and neuter" mantra exceeds what "Animal Rights" veterinarians make from spaying and neutering every pet they can persuade owners to put under the knife.
To its credit, the AVMA minces no words in its straightforward policy statement “potential health problems associated with spaying and neutering have also been identified, including an increased risk of prostatic cancer in males; increased risks of bone cancer and hip dysplasia in large-breed dogs associated with sterilization before maturity; and increased incidences of obesity, diabetes, urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, and hypothyroidism.”
A JAVMA report enumerates even more health risks in spayed and neutered dogs.
"In a study of well over a million dogs, information on breed, sex, and age was collected and reported to the Veterinary Medical Database between 1964 and 2003. Results—Castrated male dogs were significantly more likely than other dogs to have hip dysplasia CHD) than other dogs and spayed females were significantly more likely to have cranial cruciate ligament deficiency (CCLD).
"Dogs up to 4 years old were significantly more likely to have HD whereas dogs over 4 years old were significantly more likely to have CCLD. In general, large- and giant-breed dogs were more likely than other dogs to have HD, CCLD, or both.
"Prevalence of HD and CCLD increased significantly over the 4 decades for which data were examined. There was no data reflecting the decade-by-decade increase but one might suspect that the significantly increased rate of spay and castration procedures may be a factor in the overall forty-year increase." June 15, 2008 Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Spayed/Neutered Dogs May NOT Make The Best Family Pets!
While there are advantages to not having your female dog come into estrus ("season") twice a year, and a male dog that isn't obsessed with the female next door, it is wise to weigh those advantages against the potential suffering and shortened life span of hormone-deprived pets. And of course, the expense of treating medical problems resulting from spay and neuter.
The adverse effects of surgical neutering on puppies, obliquely referred to as “early-age” spay/neuter, pediatric spay/neuter, or juvenile spay/neuter, can be particularly devastating. In addition to common problems associated with adult neutering, puppies may develop noise sensitivities, phobias, and other fear-based behavioral issues. Removal of vital sex hormones through ovariohysterectomy or orchietomy on puppies is particularly egregious!
Another AMVA study noted an “Among male and female dogs with early-age gonadectomy, hip dysplasia, noise phobias, and sexual behaviors were increased" and also linked "...separation anxiety, escaping behaviors, inappropriate elimination when frightened…” to early sterilization.
These are not insignificant problems. Urinary incontinence and uncontrolled elimination will banish a dog to the outdoors and more often than not, to the “shelter.” Hip dysplasia, worsened by obesity, will compromise the value of a previously valued family dog. Dogs with noise phobias, separation anxieties, and embarrassing sexual behaviors, owned by families of lesser means or smaller hearts, will be put to sleep or dumped at the pound.
While all agree that surgical castration and hysterectomy are the only viable options for sterilization, Chris Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP explains risks for the canine athlete, covering the subject in an easy to read format.
If you must spay or neuter your dog...
In summary, knowledgeable breeders agree; pets should not be spayed or neutered before puberty and not until growth plates have closed and then only if their behavior becomes an annoyance to the family. Note that onset of first estrus cycle and male dog puberty depends on the breed's growth rate.
Thanks to the Animal Rights Extremists and the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), none of which rescue, adopt, or shelter unwanted dogs, it is almost impossible to adopt a shelter puppy that isn’t already spayed or castrated. That may have some benefits for adoptive owners but that spay and neuter policy has virtually no benefit to the animal. None whatsoever.
Unwanted pregnancy can be prevented by keeping the animal inside the home or a secure fence. By the way, an electric fence does not prevent other dogs from getting to your female dog!
Whether and When to have surgical sterilization performed should be up to the owner, not the government or local bureaucrats. Who knows more about your dog’s health than your veterinarian? Even though promoting early spay and neuter profits vets in the long run; honest, knowledgeable vets who learn from clinical experience and vet school instead of animal “rights” activists will veto spay/neuter particularly when performed on puppies.
So talk to your vet. Then contact a responsible breeder who is as knowledgeable as your good vet. Breeders have been a little bit brainwashed but if you convince them that you want only to delay premature, risky removal of sex hormone organs, they will listen.
Above all, don't buy into the "adopt from a shelter" brainwashing push. By far, your healthiest, soundest, most reliable and predictable choice is a purebred puppy or retired adult from a knowledgeable breeder.
Your choice should not be limited to a shelter mongrel that may or may not fit your family; that may be in a shelter because of behavior or health problems and certainly not a dog that was subjected to early spay or neuter. You have only to think of the consequences of surgical sterilization in humans to realize why the health is then protected by hormone prescriptions.
The spay/neuter choice should be yours and it should be an informed choice, not an automatic compliance of something you don't understand, the results of which could keep you in and out of the vet's office for the lifetime of your pet!