Chances are very good that your first visit with a veterinarian and your new puppy will involve The Discussion. That discussion involves, ” When shall we schedule spaying/neutering your dog?” Very few vets will back off from the issue until you either schedule the procedure, or take a stand. It’s ingrained in their medical school training/indoctrination. You will have to make a decision.
It has been my observation that many dog-owners hesitate at first when asked about this operation. Some express doubt. ALL have questions. What’s the scoop behind spaying/neutering? What are the positives? What are the negatives? What’s True, and what’s blatheringly False from the politically correct? I hope to provide some plain language council here, free of the long-winded and technical. Hopefully I can arm you with the questions you need to answer to make a decision that benefits your dog, not someones opinion.
Up front, I’ll tell you that while I am not a breeder, I am a very determined “Bloodline Preservationist.” My long-range plans are to breed the dogs that I own and care for, and to provide Limited and Selective Stud Work to outcrossed dogs that have passed a veritable minefield of approval in health, temperament, and quality. The bloodline I have chosen, were carefully and thoughtfully developed by a professional breeder at Omorrow German Shepherds by the name of Rhonda Sellers. My research has traced and found this pedigree to be something extraordinary, something to be preserved. But this is not my primary reason for my stand on Spaying/Neutering.
Understand, I will never breed an inferior dog, or one that has nothing to offer the betterment of the breed. Nor will I allow such a dog to be bred. My feelings about spaying/neutering are not really applicable to the dogs of that sort. But when a dog has something to add to the breed, it should be kept intact.
Let me address this issue from the viewpoint of a pet-owner that has a puppy, or has adopted a rescue dog. How do you decide whether or not to Spay or Neuter? Here are some positives and negatives to consider:
When talking to you about the Health impact of Spay/Neuter, Health Risks, are seldom brought up by Veterinarians. These will be central to this post. Note that I am not at this time addressing the “population control” aspects at this time.
There are no truly compelling reasons to neuter a male dog, save those given by activists, or those with monetary gain at risk. The widely varied problems associated with Neutering actually exceed the benefits implied. To be fair, the positives include: It virtually nullifies the risk of testicular cancer. No testicles, no cancer, simple. But what you’re not being told, is that the actual chances of testicular cancer in dogs is only about 1%. (Yes, ONE PERCENT)
It may also reduce chances of some prostate disorders,perianal fistulas, and perhaps even diabetes. But these are rare occurrences on rare ailments, with questionable studies used to fabricate something positive on the side of the Pro-Neuter lobby.
Conversely, some of the proven risks of Neutering are as follows:
Increased risks of Bone Cancer in large and medium size dogs. This is a hormonal causative. Bone cancer has very poor survival rates.
The risk of Hypothyroidism is Tripled in its possibility. Many symptoms can be traced to this problem.
Prostate Cancer is given a X 4 greater chance of developing. Again due to hormonal obstruction or depletion.
Bone density and joint problems are exacerbated by neutering.
Adverse Reaction to certain vaccinations are also worsened by neutering.
As For Spaying in the female, the positives are greatly unbalanced when compared to the negatives. Positives include: Reduced risk of Mammary cancers if performed before 2.5 years of age.
It removes opportunity for uterine, cervical, and ovarian cancers, which only about 5% will ever suffer from in any case.
On the Negative Side: Bone Cancer chances are nearly tripled.
Sarcomas of the heart, lungs, and spleen are greatly increased in chance and severity.
Obesity can become chronic and debilitating.
Recession of gender specific organs is also increased, such as in recessed vulva’s. Vaginitis also becomes more common, as well as Vaginal dermatitis.
Here too, vaccination reactions can be become more frequent and pronounced.
It would seem that many risks are apparent for these surgical procedures. Complications during the surgeries can also be fatal. Anesthesia is rarely found to be a “Good” idea to even the healthiest dogs. Reactions are common. INflammatory complications can also lead to poor health, expensive, long-term medications, and bleeding. However, in light of truth, Death from post-operative complications are very rare.
There are some very extensive studies published academically, and on the internet that reveal the risks. On objective reading of them reveals no real reason medically, to have these performed on your dog. Using a web-browser can reveal these studies under “Complications of Spay/Neutering of Canines”. Read them for yourself, but have your dogs well-being in mind.