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, and many of these health issues are shortening our dogs’ 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 dog’s problems. In fact, In many cases, it is the cause.
It may appear 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
I am totally against neutering dogs for the wrong reason, to the wrong dog, at the wrong age and at the wrong time
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. Paediatric neutering, which is neutering before both social and physical maturity is the worst offender causing numerous medical and behavioural problems as the dog matures.
They appear not to realise or understand the importance of the hormones they remove by this procedure and the long-term consequences of their actions? Lack of attention, aggression, fear and timidity, and numerous medical problems are just the tip of the iceberg.
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 and understand the empirical evidence coming from numerous research projects, that point to the fact that traditional spay and castration are 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 in mental and physical health. It is also present to a lesser extent in male dogs. There are oestrogen receptors in bones, the 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: 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.
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, and 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, and 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.
Another problem 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. That is why we have research and ongoing knowledge up[dates to make sure we are making the right decisions.
(1) Early Neutering: 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. Every Vet should see this.
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 Read my article. (2) How To Ruin Your Dogs Life.
(3) Frontiers in Veterinary Science. research on spaying and castration. Proving that neutering causes various types of aggression, fear and timidity and reactivity in 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 from 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 vet and rescue centre 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 on the rise. It is the main reason for aggression
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 reasons 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 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. She had turned so aggressive to both dogs and humans within five days of being spayed that they thought she would have to be put down.
She 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. Unfortunately, I have now retired from one-to-one appointments.
What Are The 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. Tubal 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, which 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 stopped these procedures excerpt for medical reasons.
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 just some 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 as young as six weeks. That is just wrong just anyway 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 and most important of all they need those vital hormones for both physical and mental growth and maturity. See the Vet in the video and the chart of ailments spay and castration causes below.
I have also written an article after reading that the Kennel Club had started the largest survey of its kind in 2014 culminating in the release of dog’s lifespan information in the back end of 2016.
It covered 191 breeds and in total 48,891 dogs were involved in the survey. Obviously, they were all pedigree dogs as currently the KC only deals with pedigree certification. Given the level of health screening done by many of the breeders of pedigree dogs,
it is probably prudent to suggest that mongrels and designer crossbreeds may have even worse statistics. What the survey found was that the average lifespan of a dog has come down from 11 years to ten years in just a decade a drop of 11%. So I researched and wrote an article on what I believe are the three main reasons for this shocking statistic (7) Why Are Our Dogs Dying 11% Earlier Than 10 Years Ago
As a postscript, The verb for castration is “to deprive of strength or vigour”.
Ask yourself this. Would we do this to our children? If the answer is no, then why are we doing it to our dogs?
Just some of the diseases neutering increases 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|
|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|
©Stan Rawlinson February 2017
See the video below where Dr Karen Becker describes the horror of what she had done by Paediatric Neutering.
© Stan Rawlinson Dog Behaviourist and Obedience Trainer written July 2015 updated January 2019.
(1) Early Neutering. This Vet now deeply regrets performing and recommending
(2) How To Ruin Your Dogs Life. Another of my articles gives a slightly different perspective.
(3) Frontiers in Veterinary Science More research show Vets are not up to date
(4) Neutering in Depth. My article 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