Spay & Neuter

My Views on Sterilization of Shelter Pets

Dr. Karen Becker

“The subject of spay/neuter is a huge one, and if I were to attempt to cover every aspect of it, this video would be three hours long. Suffice it to say that until we get our nation's shelter systems revamped, animals will continue to be spayed as juveniles. For now, that's that. We won't change anything with this video. Are we pushing for shelter vets to learn ovary-sparing techniques that allow for sterilization without sex hormone obliteration? Yes. But for now, that isn't happening.

I could have made a dozen different choices in my professional career that would have been satisfying, including being a shelter vet. If I were a shelter vet right now, I would be pushing for sterilization techniques that preserve normal endocrine function. I chose the path of a wellness veterinarian because that resonated the most with my personal goals in life. As I've explained, I've made many mistakes. I've apologized directly to the owners and the dogs that I desexed as puppies before I knew any better.

I am as committed as ever to preventing and treating illness in individual family pets. I'm not, however, advocating the adoption of intact animals to people who may or may not be responsible pet owners. Shelter vets don't have the luxury of building relationships with their adoptive families, so all the animals in their care must be sterilized prior to adoption. I totally agree with this. I don't necessarily agree with the method of sterilization being used.”

Why I Believe Sterilization, Not Desexing, Is the Better Option

“As a proactive veterinarian, I have dedicated my life to keeping animals well. I have learned and continue to learn the best ways to help pets stay healthy and the reasons disease occurs. I am also a holistically oriented vet, which means I view animals as a whole – not just a collection of body parts or symptoms.

I believe there is a purpose for each organ we are born with, and that organ systems are interdependent. I believe removing any organ – certainly including all the organs of reproduction – will have health consequences. It's inevitable. It's simply common sense.

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that desexing dogs, especially at an early age, can create health and behavior problems. When I use the term "desexing," I'm referring to the traditional spay and neuter surgery where all the sex hormone-secreting tissues are removed. When I use the term "sterilization," I'm referring to animals that can no longer reproduce, but maintain their sex hormone-secreting tissues. “

https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/09/30/neutering-health-risks.aspx


  Providers of alternatives to traditional spay/neuter

 This list is provided as a service to individuals seeking a veterinarian willing to perform procedures beyond surgical spay or neuter. Veterinarians are added at their request, and Parsemus Foundation does not endorse any veterinarian. If you are a vet who would like to be included, please contact us at info@parsemusfoundation.org.

 https://www.parsemus.org/projects/veterinarian-list/#menuitem6


Health Risks of Spay and Neuter

Aggression toward Familiar People, Strangers, and Conspecifics in Gonadectomized and Intact Dogs

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00018/full

While gonadectomized dogs experience a zero risk of ovarian or testicular cancer and a lowered risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia and anal gland adenocarcinomas, there is mounting evidence that gonadectomy significantly increases the risks of developing many different serious forms of cancer, including hemangiosarcoma, mast cell cancer, prostatic carcinoma, osteosarcoma, and lymphoma/ lymphosarcoma, along with the development of these cancers at earlier ages (44–55). This increased risk of cancer may be related to the long-term effects of elevated blood levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) (56). LH binds to receptors on many tissues throughout the body; this reaction stimulates a number of cellular processes including cell division and nitric oxide release. In addition, gonadectomized dogs have increased risks of a number of orthopedic diseases, including cranial cruciate-ligament insufficiency, hip dysplasia and patellar luxation (44–46, 57–61), and also of numerous autoimmune diseases (62).

Long-Term Health Effects of Neutering Dogs: Comparison of Labrador Retrievers with Golden Retrievers

Behavioral and Physical Effects of Spaying and Neutering Domestic Dogs  (Canis familiaris)

Why I've Had a Change of Heart About Neutering Pets

Neutering Dogs: Effects on Joint Disorders and Cancers in Golden Retrievers

Endogenous Gonadal Hormone Exposure and Bone Sarcoma Risk (Rottweiler)

Gonadectomy effects on the risk of immune disorders in the dog: a retrospective study

Effects of ovariohysterectomy on reactivity in German Shepherd dogs

Determining optimal age for gonadectomy in the dog: a critical review of the literature to guide decision making

Health Risks of Spay and Neuter

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