In America most of us believe that one of the best things we can do for our animals is to spay or neuter them. We've been told that in addition to preventing unwanted puppies and kittens, we're insuring their long-term health. We're told by vets to spay/neuter them around four-six months of age to avoid any accidental pregnancies and to prevent mammary and testicular cancers.
However, there are holistic vets and breeders who have made the argument for delaying or even forgoing spaying and neutering. They've cited that spaying/neutering may increase the likelihood of some diseases and the surgery can cause myriad problems from hormonal imbalances which can happen when neutering animals too young, to incontinence later in life in female dogs, to weight gain, prostate cancer in male dogs and other issues. There's new evidence that leaving large breed male and female dogs intact lead to fewer health risks!
So how do we balance being a "responsible" pet owner by insuring that our dogs and cats do not make more unwanted litters, develop behavior problems like roaming, marking, "humping," aggression, AND make sure they stay healthy and grow with their normal hormones? Learn about your spay/neuter options.
How We Spay/Neuter in the US
American veterinary colleges typically teach their students how to perform a spay, an ovariohysterectomy, where both uterus and ovaries are removed. Neutering a male dog is castration. Both testicles and their associated structures are removed.
Did you know that there are safe, less invasive procedures that leave the hormones flowing normally while preventing pregnancies? I just learned of some myself today while researching for this article.
1) Ovariectomy, where only ovaries are removed. An ovariechtomy is quicker, and has fewer long-term health issues.
2) An Ovarie-Sparing spay or OSS, is a removal of the uterus and cervix, leaving the ovaries intact.
3) Vasectomy. The vas deferens is cut, clamped or sealed preventing the sperm from getting ejaculated.
4) Calcium Chloride. In the hands of a vet trained in the precise delivery procedure, Calcium chloride disrupts sperm production without disturbing hormones. It has to be done correctly or there can be complications.
For more information on cutting-edge science on dog and cat spaying and neutering, visit the Parsemus Foundation here.
AND, I was excited to learn that the foundation has a directory of vets, state by state, who offer alternative spays and neutering procedures. Click here.
As your go-to-gal for ways to keep your beloveds safe, healthy and happy, it is my great pleasure to share this info with you so you can make the best choice for your dogs and cats! To allow your dog or cat to weigh in on the decision, let's ask them! Set up a session with me here or here.
With Love, Your Voice of Animals,