This section is one of the newest and certainly one of the most important on DogtorJ.com when it comes to the overall health of our pets. The vast majority of information available on the Internet at this time is written in favor of sterilization of dogs and cats at the earliest possible age. Now, I am as much for controlling the stray population as any one else but it is completely false to look someone in the eye and tell them that their pets will be healthier if they are spayed or neutered. However, I cannot judge those who think this too harshly as I used to tell my clients the very same thing.
The fact is the gonads- the testicles and ovaries- produce very important hormones that are involved in much more than reproduction. Progesterone, for example, is a very powerful anti-inflammatory agent, as the papers below explain. The principle source of this crucial hormone is the gonads, with the adrenal glands being a back-up supplier. However, many individuals are suffering from adrenal insufficiency for the same reason that other organs and enzyme systems are failing, namely malnutrition- much of which is resulting from the malabsorption of nutrients caused by food intolerance.
As you will read below, studies have now shown that those pets neutered early in life had much higher rates of allergies, vaccine reactions, “autoimmune diseases” and cancer, particularly bone cancer. Why? When it comes down to it, it’s all about inflammation. And when we reduce our body’s ability to control inflammation by removing the sources of its natural anti-inflammatory agents or damage the other sources (adrenals) through malnutrition and excessive stress on those glands, bad things will happen. This is spelled out rather clearly in the papers of this section.
In this section…
Early spaying- Good Idea??? – This is my first paper on the subject and is in the form of a forum post that I placed on numerous Internet pet forums. I will be adding to this important section as time allows.
The Negative Aspects of Neutering Your Pet – This is great summary of the currently known medical drawbacks of spaying or neutering our pets that was put together by my good friend, Jeannie Thomason, of Animal Talk Naturally and The Whole Dog. Certainly, we need to control the unwanted pet population but the responsible pet owner needs to understand the ill-effects of dramatically reducing their pet’s sex hormones through gonadectomy, especially at the early age that is oftentimes recommended by the staunch advocates of neutering or even their veterinarian. This is very important information that will impact the quality and length your pet’s life
The Truth About Gonadectomy – This is a very important paper written by soon-to-be Dr. Connie Lawless, a junior veterinary student at Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine (Class of 2011). She wrote this for her Canine Theriogenology (study of reproduction) class and did a great job of covering the important medical drawbacks of spaying and neutering dogs. Before the animal welfare groups get all up in arms, there are good alternatives to removing the gonads. Vasectomy (males) and hysterectomy (females) can be done just as easily by a veterinary surgeon and will render the patient incapable of reproduction while preserving the vital hormones that the gonads produce. The importance of the ovaries and testicles is not restricted to reproduction.
An Important Email to a Client Concerning Spaying – This is an answer to an Email asking me about the benefits/drawbacks of spaying a 6 year-old Boxer. I took this opportunity to include many important points about the potentially devastating effects of removing the gonads, especially in the wrong individual.
An Important Email to a Doctor Concerning Spaying – This is an answer to an Email from a doctor who was asking me about the “partial spay” (hysterectomy alone).