We say "neuter" for castrate and "spay" for hysterectomy, but both surgeries stop production of vital sex hormones and increase health risks.
Barbara J. Andrews, Publisher, AKC Master Breeder
Castration and hysterectomy have costly health consequences. Ask your vet to explain the health risks vs. any benefit to "neutering" or "spaying" your dog.
The good veterinarian will tell you, spaying or neutering has only one health benefit. He can't get testicular cancer and she can't get uterine or ovarian cancer. Very few dogs get either one and that's like saying cut off your leg so you can never break it.
The simple truth is there is no medical reason to remove reproductive organs from healthy animals; not in veterinary medicine nor in human medicine!
That’s why humans receive hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to counteract the loss of vital sex hormones when women undergo hysterectomy or men are accidentally castrated.
Underproduction of estrogen and testosterone causes debilitating disease and premature aging in humans. In the "dark ages" of medicine, doctors routinely (and profitably) ripped out reproductive organs. Today we know the truth and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy as a proven anti-aging therapeutic treatment for senior citizens has exploded. Hold that thought. You are one day older today than yesterday.
Are there health risks in neutering your dog?
Absolutely. Can you look your dog in the eye and explain that slicing away what makes him a him is good for him? Castration is directly linked to heart disease, myocardial infarction, strokes and cardiovascular disease, senile dementia, osteoporosis and hip fracture.
Hysterectomy risks in female dogs are intervertebral disk disease, Myasthenia Gravis, muscle weakness, a doubled risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma, and bladder and urinary tract infections are so common they are called “spay incontinence”. And as in male dogs, females have five times the risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma Ref #1 & #2 and both sexes suffer from lethargy, exercise intolerance, and obesity. That’s not all. Neutered dogs of either sex are at double the risk for osteosarcoma and increased incidence of urinary tract cancersRef #3.
Facts. The deadliest cancers and the most annoying problem for house dogs is at the top of the list for castrated dogs. Urinary incontinence. Spaying or neutering also significantly increases the odds of adverse reactions to vaccines and inclines both sexes to alopecia, hip dysplasia, and cruciate ligament rupture. You can cope with heat seasons easier than urinary incontinence, orthopedic problems, lameness, and cancer in your old dog.
The real reasons for castration and hysterectomy are not so obvious.
Is the “right thing to do” painfully mutilating your dog or cat in order to prevent “overpopulation”? No. That is just a profitable myth. There is no overpopulation problem. Hasn't been since the turn of the century. Shelters actually import strays from offshore in order to sell them to unsuspecting families. There's a $billion business in trucking dogs across country to supply the shelter demand generated by the "feel good" marketing that cleverly promotes "adoption" and "saving an animal." The "right thing to do" is fence your pet or be willing to walk him at least three times a day. Sad but true: castrated and spayed dogs still stray, annoy neighbors, or get hit by cars.
OK, so is there any upside to slicing out the testicles of male animals? You don't have to be a vet to answer that question. In all livestock, females are bred but 99% of males are castrated. Early castration promotes docility and weight gain. There's the standby pitch about testicular cancer but the canine testicular cancer rate is so low that there are not even any statistics on it!
Castration to prevent testicular (or ovarian) cancer makes as much sense as removing the heart to prevent heart disease!
Animal Rights activists such as HSUS (Humane Society of The U.S. which does not rescue, adopt, or shelter dogs) vow to stop all animal breeding. These politically subversive groups use mandatory spay/neuter law as a means of diminishing citizen’s rights, including your property rights. Yes, dogs and cats are legal property.
Vets have to make a living but the ugly truth is that spay/neuter is as profitable as treating the health problems castrated and spayed dogs develop. Is that why so many vets avoid informed consent? The answer coincides with how many vets caution owners about the inevitable health risks. Is profit the reason so many veterinarians welcome mandatory spay/neuter laws? No vet will deny that hysterectomy and castration pump up the profit margin but how many will admit that they also expect to profit from treating the myriad of health problems that follow?
And breeders are not blameless. They buy into the castration complex because A) they want to maintain control over their bloodline or B) to eliminate competition from “back yard breeders.” Sensible monetary reasons but shameful from a health perspective. And requiring all pups to be spayed and neutered certainly makes no sense to the frightened, legs-crossed pet determined to remain as nature intended!
Is there an alternative to castrating or spaying my pet?
Yes. If you are lucky enough to find a vet who will do tubal ligation or vasectomy, ref #4. As owners step away from the bonds of politically correct serfdom and demand ligation and vasectomy, safe sterilization cost will go down as more veterinarians offer healthy, hormone preserving sterilization. Owners will no longer be forced to pay ever-increasing health costs due to the adverse effects of spay and neuter. Vets will still make a living, even though owners and dogs will be set free from the cruelty of surgical sexual neutering.
If you are lucky enough to have acquired a well bred purebred, please make an informed and loving decision. If you are still looking for a family pet and breeders are demanding you spay or neuter, offer to pay extra to reserve the right to allow the dog to remain intact and undamaged. It will be cheaper in the long run because you will avoid the expenses associated with castration health problems.
Ref #1 (offsite opens in window) http://www.neutering.org/banes.html
Ref #2 (offsite) Long Term Health Effects of Spay-Neuter
Ref #3 (offsite) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutering