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Problems Spaying and Castrating Dogs

Spaying, Castration (Neutering) Dogs Overview

Research published in late 2016 by BMC Veterinary Research has shown that neutering at any age can cause major health issues, many of these health issues are shortening our dog's lives. Other research has been published using more than 7,500 dogs by the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota that shows that behavioural issues especially aggression and reactive behaviour is often caused by neutering This article offers a viable alternative. that does not require the removal of the vital hormones needed for the body to function correctly. See chart at bottom of page

Spay and Castrate: Neutering is not the answer to all dogs problems. In fact, In many cases, it is the cause. 

It may appear that I am against neutering (the generic term for castration and spaying).

In reality, I am not against neutering as long as it is for the right reasons. for the right dog at the right time 

What I am totally against is neutering dogs for the wrong reason, to the wrong dog, at the wrong age.

The wholesale belief that all dogs will benefit from being spayed or castrated is a dangerous and unscientific lie.

Advice is often given by the very people that make a very fat profit from these procedures. The Vets.

I am often amazed at the ignorance of these veterinary professionals who insist you neuter your dogs as early as possible.

They appear not to understand the importance of the hormones they remove by this procedure and the long-term consequences of their actions.

I believe it is time for a major rethink of this once august institution and what they teach these new veterinarians they also need to retrain and educate the existing ones. But first, they must read an understand the empirical evidence coming from numerous research projects, that point to the fact that traditional spay and castration is wrong on many levels,

The Three Hormones That are Either Reduced or Removed
by Spaying and Castration are:  

OESTROGEN: An extremely powerful female sex hormone that regulates many aspects of our life. This hormone plays a vital role regarding mental and physical health. It is also present to a lesser extent in male dogs. There are oestrogen receptors in bones, brain, blood vessels, and the central nervous system. It affects so many different parts of the body and is also vitally important to mood and well-being. It also keeps bones strong and healthy.

PROGESTERONE:  Is one of the female sex hormones also produced by the ovaries, also in the adrenal glands in male dogs. It aids immunity and can reduce inflammation and swelling; it also helps regulate the thyroid gland and keeps blood-clotting levels at normal value. It has also been linked to forming social bonds in humans and animals.

TESTOSTERONE: This is seen predominately as a male hormone. However,  females produce small amounts of it in their ovaries.  A link between diabetes and low testosterone is well established, as is the onset of obesity and poor muscle tone leading to apathetic behaviour.

Neutering is not the answer to all dogs problems In many cases it is the cause

Paediatric Neutering: This type of neutering is probably the worst procedure for any animal or human.

Neutering dogs before maturity are known to cause life-threatening endocrine (glands) disorders, bone and joint disorders, behavioural problems, cancer, hip and ligament disease.

The endocrine system is a network of glands that produce and release hormones that help control many important body functions, including the body's ability to change calories into energy that powers cells and organs. 

The endocrine system influences how your heart beats, how your bones and tissues grow. 

It plays a vital role in whether or not you develop endocrine problems culminating in diabetes, thyroid disease, cushing's, growth disorders, and a whole host of other hormone-related conditions.

Other problems encountered is a high sensitivity to sound especially when neutered before maturity. This can have a very negative effect on all dogs and can result in aggression and an inability to train with training aids like a whistle, clicker or a jingler. 

Vets are badgering their patients to neuter as early as possible. However, there is an enormous swathe of scientific information that flies in the face of this ridiculous recommendation.

I would not mind if they understood the consequences, but they don’t. They appear ignorant of the impact early neutering is having on millions of our pets.

I would prefer the advice from someone who was not making a fat profit from recommending these often disastrous procedures.  

(1) Read this from a Vet that was convinced early neutering was good for her clients until she realised a few years down the line that many of her clients were becoming very ill.

I would like every vet in the World to listen and understand just what harm you are doing with these procedures, but I will not hold my breath. (2) Read the Angry Vets who are disgusted at the profession they belong too.

(3) University of Minnesota’s research on spaying and castration. Proving that neutering causes various types of aggression and reactivity on neutered dogs.  7600 dogs were involved in this research. half were neutered and half were left intact. The results will shock you.

Hormones are not optional extras, like a satnav in a car. Nature put these hormones there for a very important reason. They are vital to both physical and social maturity. Without them, dogs can get severe behavioural and physical problems later in life. Read my article (4) Neutering in Depth if you want to learn more. 

Aggression: This is the main reason neutering is recommended. Yet the main cause of aggression is fear based. Neutering will always make it worse, these hormones are serotonin uplifters and testosterone is a confidence booster. Removing them for nervous aggressive dogs can only worsen the problem.

Aggression is one of the main reasons dogs are euthanised. Just understanding the fact that neutering increases aggression should at least set alarm bells ringing in every Vets and rescue centres in the UK. But it won't change what they do, who is going to kill the goose that laid the golden eggs?

Fear and Timidity: Fearful and timid dogs are rife in modern-day It can be caused by a number of factors such as genetics or lack of socialisation during the first weeks of life.

However, one of the main reason for this debilitating problem is neutering.

This is especially the case when you have a fearful or timid dog.  

Spaying or castrating a dog like this can often make the fear behaviour's considerably worse.

The sex hormones and especially testosterone and oestrogen, play a major part in giving dogs an element of calmness, confidence, and well-being. 

I have seen male dogs that have previously been non-aggressive, suddenly start to attack other dogs and people. These attacks are normally aimed at both male and female dogs.

Some male and female dogs become withdrawn and terrified of almost everything. 

Fearful of sounds and movements and sometimes people and dogs they have known and trusted. I treated a female St Bernard. dog,  

It had to be brought out to me on two leads and a muzzle, with two people hanging on.It. She had turned so aggressive to both dogs and humans within five days of being spayed.

It had also started attacking and bullying a Poodle, that it had lived with since it was a pup. Fortunately, I managed to work with the dog and it is far better now. I have also had a lot of success with many other females that have reacted badly to spaying.

Alternatives: Why don't we recommend a Vasectomy for male dogs and either Tubal Ligation or Hysterectomy for female dogs?  Allowing the testicles and the ovaries to remain, thereby retaining these three vital hormones. It is called sterilisation. It is what we do to humans so that they do not get severe medical and psychological problems. That begs the question why are we doing it to our dogs.

This is such a simple procedure, with the required result of removing the ability of females to become pregnant and males to impregnate females. Tubela Ligation does not stop seasons or bleeding, However, with a Hysterectomy, if the cervix is removed at the same time it prevents pyometra, pregnancy, and bleeding during seasons.  

With a Vasectomy male dogs cannot create sperm, that is a far better outcome than the highly invasive operation of Castration and Ovariohysterectomy which reduces or removes these absolutely vital hormones.

Surely this is a no-brainer. So why are Vets and The BVA not recommending these procedures? Given the published results of the intensive study and research using more than 7,500 dogs by the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. You would have thought they would have rethought this outdated and frankly dangerous strategy through and stop it.

This in-depth research showed that in almost every case the neutered dogs were more reactive, moody, hypersensitive, and aggressive than the intact ones. The very opposite of what we are told is the normal outcome. Think long and hard about neutering your dogs at whatever age, but especially until your dogs have reached both physical and psychological maturity.

Research published in 2016 by (6) BMC Veterinary Research has shown scientifically proven health risks. A quick glance at the chart below under the video will give you a quick overview of the medical diseases that are caused by neutering both male and female dogs. It is terrifying. The only positive is the figures for pyometra. As it was published two years ago your Vet should be aware of this

(5) The RSPCA and some breeders are neutering dogs a young as six weeks. That is just wrong any way you think about it. Dogs are still learning vital lessons from their mother at that age and need to stay constantly near the mother at that time. Some are still not fully weaned at that time and most important of all they need those vital hormones for both physical and mental growth and maturity.

As a postscript, The verb for castration is "to deprive of strength or vigour".

© Stan Rawlinson  Dog Behaviourist and Obedience Trainer written July 2015 updated July 2018

(1) Early Neutering.  This Vet now deeply regrets performing and recommending

(2) The Angry Vets.   These Vets are furious about their own profession

(3) College of Veterinary Medicine; University of Minnesota

(4) Neutering in Depth.  My article that gives far more information than this overview.

(5) Neutering at Six Weeks. The RSPCA and some Breeders are neutering at six weeks of age 

(6) BMC Veterinary Research Scientific proof of the harm that neutering is causing to our dogs

See video below where Dr Karen Becker describes the horror of what she had done by Paediatric Neutering.

Just some of the diseases neutering increses sometimes dramatically. Did your Vet warn you of these?

Disease

Intact females

Neutered females

Intact males

Neutered males

Percent in study population

Atopic Dermatitis (ATOP)

83

745

169

641

1.82

Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA)

38

256

38

176

0.56

Canine Myasthenia Gravis (CMG)

11

49

6

38

0.12

Colitis (COL)

61

267

109

256

0.77

Hypoadrenocorticism (ADD)

25

147

20

113

0.34

Hypothyroidism (HYPO)

62

750

210

678

1.89

Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis (IMPA)

24

170

56

141

0.43

Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia (ITP)

21

262

29

151

0.51

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

20

189

46

167

0.47

Lupus Erythematosus (LUP)

6

74

30

47

0.17

Pemphigus Complex (PEMC)

13

71

11

55

0.17

Pyometra (PYO)

176

27

NA

NA

0.44

©Stan Rawlinson January 2015 
Updated regularly last update August 2018

Comments

Kristysawmy@gmail.com's picture

I have a 3.5 year old Caverahon, (mother cavershon, father springer spaniel). He was a friendly pup, right up until we had his microchip. The vet held him and he screamed/yelped like I'd never heard before. The vet instantly said 'not sure I should have done that' since that day, he not go near another human, he backs off, hides, runs away. He only allows myself & my husband to touch him. We have worked with a dog whisperer, dog phycologist & dog trainer to try and help. A small fortune of nearly £3,500 hasn't worked and we are stuck!!

The only time he has been aggressive is when our usual vet was away and we had to see someone else, she didn't read his notes and wasn't listening to what I was telling her. She thought she could over rule him. She approached him from over his head and it frightened him, she went to touch him and he growled. She made me muzzle him, well he wet himself, his glands burst and she was abrupt with him. i had to tell her twice to leave him before I had to shout at her to move away from him.

Sorry for the long explanation, what I'd like to know is, do you think chemical castration to see how he gets on is an option or we just leave it?

Thank you for reading.
Kris :)

Stan Rawlinson's picture

I think you are wasting your time and money on a chemical castration. You are aware that this dog is very fearful removing vital hormones will only make it far worse. As i state in the article the main cause of aggression is fear based. Neutering will always make it worse, these hormones are serotonin uplifters and testosterone is a confidence booster. Removing them for nervous aggressive dogs can only worsen the problem.

I am not sure the total problem was the microchipping. If it is then you should be able to gradually desensitise your dog to contact to humans. However, if this dog was not handled or met a 100 people including children and old people then he may feel threatened by strangers and that is far more difficult to put right. 0 to 12 weeks is the human socialisation period ignore that at your peril. Read Puppy Socialisation

smarston@aol.com's picture

I don't like anything that is invasive. Vaccines are poison. I have done a lot of research on that. Implantation of rfid's? Don't get me started. I don't like spaying and neutering, except my previous experiences keep gnawing at me.

My first dog was not neutered, and he was a slave to his sexual urges. He would try to find a way to escape from the house when he smelled a female in heat. He got out quite a few times, and once tore open a screen door to get into someone else's house to reach the female. It also resulted in his death, after he escaped and we later found him, transported him to a vet, and he died of a ruptured diaphragm.

I resisted neutering my second male dog, even though I was onboard for spaying the females (a more invasive surgery). He was fine until 13 years old, and I was told that the tumors he developed were because he wasn't neutered. I don't know about that.

I rescued some others in between, but the third un-neutered male dog that I rescued, I tried to keep him intact, but when I rescued a female, and she came into heat, he became impossible. He was over-the-top territorial, and when he couldn't reach the female, he was climbing my legs, and humping, and out of control with it. I couldn't walk down the hallway without being accosted and humped, and trying to scrape him off.

And then there is the fact that puppies and kittens are being born, with no place for them, except some kind of hell, and then execution.

What is the answer?

Stan Rawlinson's picture

The article explains the alternatives. I do not understand this whole dogs escaping bit and humping why does it never happen to me as all my dogs are intact. I have 3 females and 2 males it was three males but one does recently.

If you own dogs then you must make sure they are in a safe escape-proof area. Over a period of nearly fifty years, I have owned dozens of unneutered dogs and never had these problems. Not once, If he is humping then he does not respect you. He knows you are not a dog, therefore, the humping is controlled complex behaviour not a sexual act. His hormones did not result in his death the fact he was able to escape did.

There is enough scientific information out there that says neutering causes tumours and lots of other things. The person that told you the tumours were caused by him being intact was either ignorant or a liar unless the tumours were on his testicles.

This is a chart that shows what neutering can do and this is just some of the medical problems and does not touch the behavioural complications. What is wrong with a hysterectomy or tubal ligation in female dogs and a Vasectomy in male dogs? It is called sterilisation.

Disease

Intact females

Neutered females

Intact males

Neutered males

Percent in study population

Atopic Dermatitis (ATOP)

83

745

169

641

1.82

Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA)

38

256

38

176

0.56

Canine Myasthenia Gravis (CMG)

11

49

6

38

0.12

Colitis (COL)

61

267

109

256

0.77

Hypoadrenocorticism (ADD)

25

147

20

113

0.34

Hypothyroidism (HYPO)

62

750

210

678

1.89

Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis (IMPA)

24

170

56

141

0.43

Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia (ITP)

21

262

29

151

0.51

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

20

189

46

167

0.47

Lupus Erythematosus (LUP)

6

74

30

47

0.17

Pemphigus Complex (PEMC)

13

71

11

55

0.17

Pyometra (PYO)

176

27

NA

NA

0.44

 

Hi Stan, really interesting article. We were holding off from castrating our Border collie until he started getting attacked; it was almost as if every male dog knew he was in tact and attacked him. It was only because of this and the fact that he started to chase female dogs on heat, that we took the decision following the vets recommendation to castrate him he was about 4 1/2 years old. Sadly, we lost him earlier this year at 14. And we now have a wiggly little puppy of nine weeks. Question : what if a similar situation arises? The castration in our old collie did work in that he was no longer attacked and he stopped chasing females. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Stan Rawlinson's picture

Every male dog did know he was intact, his scent and urine would make that abundantly clear. One of the main reason male dogs are bothered by other male dogs is paediatric neutering. It can make the dog smell like a bitch in heat.

In your case, it was because he was intact and he must have given other signals as well either aggressive or faulty body language, the fact he was intact and perhaps giving off the wrong signals may have been the trigger. Neutering would have taken one aspect away and it sorted it out. 

Make sure your puppy is mixed with as many other puppies before he is 16 weeks of age. 16 weeks is the Canine Socialisation Period. Puppies do not learn canine communication from adult dogs only from the rough and tumble play that puppies do, this is where many owners make the mistake that they only need to socialise with adult dogs. Pups learn bite inhibition and body language from this play and are able to communicate their feeling and manner far easier with these skills.

Appy, an abandoned Spitz breed was adopted at a age of 6-7 years. At the time of adoption it had a deep maggot infested wound around the base of its tail. Due medical procedures were followed by us and duly cleaned daily until it healed. However, a year later it was diagnosed with BPH and vet suggested neutering. I suggested vasectomy as I was also concerned as right above the BPH area was the base of the tail where it had a maggot infested wound a year earlier. I have not come across any vet practicing homeopathy here or in my home city, Delhi. However, the vets stuck to their guns and my beloved Appy had to undergo neutering. As I worried a month or two later it could not walk without rear sling support and soon crossed The Rainbow Bridge. Of course the veterinary fraternity covered their arses by stating that neutering was not the cause of its death, but rather its age which was 12 years and not 7.

Stan Rawlinson's picture

Why does this not surprise me? The ignorance and lack of professional knowledge by veterinary experts regarding this procedure are absolutely shocking.

My Toy Poodle bitch was spayed a couple of days ago at the age of 21 months and after two seasons ... I decided to get her spayed as she was suffering from Phantom Pregnancies which were making her miserable for a few weeks, and I wanted to protect her from Pyometra and Mammary Cancer. After reading your article I am now concerned, mainly about her Thyroid Gland and Heart Tumours ... Is the risk of these two serious ailments much higher for Paedriatric Neutering, or is the same for any age? Also, can the risk be made higher if you regularly vaccinate, apply flea treatment, and give worm medication .. Thereby weakening the dog's natural defences even further. My dog will only ever receive her puppy vaccinations, I do not apply flea treatments, and I used Worm Count to see if she needs treatment. And sorry, but one last question .. Is there anyway supplementation that could possibly help keeping her Thyroid Gland healthy. Thankyou :)

Stan Rawlinson's picture

Hi Jacklyn. Unfortunately, the thyroid and heart conditions are related to neutering at any age. Vaccinating annually if a real no-no and the Vets are effectively ignoring the WSAVA, BVA and Vaccine Manufacturing guidelines. They are doing this for profit and are ignoring the fact that they all swore an oath to " First Do No Harm" therefore vaccinating you dog as prescribed by many vets is effectively destroying their immune system making it far more likely that they will succumb to many more ailments and diseases. There are no supplements I know of that will keep the thyroid gland healthy but lifelong use of thyroxin will help those affected.

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