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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spaying and Neutering & Early Spaying and Neutering

Is spaying and neutering being promoted as a replacement for training and responsibility?

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) on its website, says "Spaying or Neutering Is Good for You" (seriously, that's what it says! like adding food color to kibble to make it look pretty to the buyer!) and that "Spaying and neutering makes pets better, more affectionate companions.".
(source: http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/why_you_should_spay_or_neuter_your_pet.html)

Better? Better than what?

"Stepford Wives Pets" anyone? Not Amused

This posting is primarily about dogs, not because I have a problem with cats, but some issues regarding dogs, especially large breed dogs like the Anatolian Shepherd Dog (my breed), are quite a bit different than issues with cats. Believe it or not, dogs can be plenty wonderful and affectionate without undergoing surgical sexual mutilation spay and neuter. The key is responsible care and training!

In a previous posting, I questioned the un/(no, scratch that) misinformed political support of mandatory early spay and neuter because it is clear that there are some serious unresolved issues which are not in the best interests of healthy animals. Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws are wrong. Responsible people should not be penalized for wanting to do what is best for their particular cases. And responsible breeders who look after their own should not be penalized for the behaviors of stupid owners who choose to get animals from commercial or random and irresponsible sources and then fail to train or contain these animals (both cats and dogs). When they just give up and turn them loose or drop them off at a shelter, why should other pet owners be penalized. Where is the logic in that? Just because people have pets, doesn't mean that it is their fault that other people are irresponsible. Is it your fault that drunks get on the road and kill people? Should you be penalized for using public or private transportation because of them? This is what is happening to responsible owners. They are being told that increased fees and penalties need to be charged to them because there are "so many animals being killed in the shelters".

Don't get me wrong. There IS good reason to spay and neuter, but EARLY spay and neuter is not always in the best interests of every single animal that would otherwise be responsibly kept from breeding anyway. There would also be a lot more support and compliance for existing regulations if they were fair. See: A Guide to Constructing Successful Pet Friendly Ordinances- A project of the National Animal Interest Alliance (which needs donations, please!)

So here are a collection of interesting, recent, information links, some with actual data, about the potential problems and considerations of spay/neuter (and early spay/neuter) which may help one make better informed decisions for our pets. When you vote, remember you are voting on behalf of your pets too! Remember too that many professionals including doctors and veterinarians do not keep informed on the important updates in their fields.


Some breed specific behavioral and physical data is presented here. Must see, lots of charts and photographs! This is what you're looking for. Information that is better researched and more up to date than the information found in most places.

Note - Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACC&D) is a nonprofit 501C(3) group involved in attempting to study, define and resolve some of the problems that currently exist internationally, regarding issues of animal population control. They need donations. See their FAQ.

At ACC&D's Third International Symposium, "Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Non-Surgical Contraceptive Methods for Pet Population Control" - November 9-12, 2006 - Alexandria, Virginia (from their website they state): "more than 120 representatives from universities, animal welfare organizations, foundations, companies, and government agencies from 11 countries gathered to share information and plan for the future".
source: http://www.acc-d.org/

Dogged Blog: It's Just That They LIE ABOUT IT by Christie Keith

Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete One Veterinarian's Opinion, at Canine sports - by Chris Zink, DVM, PhD, DACVP

Spay, Neuter, and Cancer: Revisiting an Old Trinity by Myrna Milani, DVM

Castration of Male Dogs, Spaying Female Dogs by Mary C. Wakeman, DVM (added 26 Mar 2007)

The Long-Term Health Effects of Spay / Neuter in Dogs by Laura J. Sanborn Was hosted at English Shepherd Club Registry site - moved to NAIA in April (added 27 Mar 2007)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 3/17/2007 01:57:00 PM | Permanent link | (4) Comments

Blogger yellowdoggranny sent us a woof // March 18, 2007

came her via carina...and you are so right...I have owned pit bull dogs for over 35 years...they were well behaved, gentle, sweet, protective and the best dogs I have ever had...and I see what stupid people have done to ruin the opinion of pits...not all pits are killers or savage...I had a 120 lb pit named Nate..who would sit in your lap and lick you to death...barked like crazy if you were around his yard..but wouldn't even bite you if you got in the yard..he would heard you like cattle back to the gate, nuding and growling all the way..never bit...so for someone to tell me I had to neuter him because he was a pit really pissed me off...so yah for you...and the dog on your side bar has the best sweetest face...   

Blogger Carina sent us a woof // March 19, 2007

Ahh....I hadn't seen Christie Kieth's bit before, that was also excellent! (And the comments on her blog are usually great reading too.)
I linked to you in my latest post. Good one.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // March 19, 2007

Carina, thanks for the comments and links.

I agree Yellowdog Granny that Pit Bulls (Rotties too) are getting a bum rap. Both are very popular dogs and irresponsible breeding and placement among other things are making it tough on the rest of the breed, and their responsible owners.

I have read and think that it is reasonable that Pit Bulls are actually more popular than the AKC labrador in terms of numbers living and bred annually. I'm not sure how the estimate was derived (various pit bull bulletin boards) since the majority are not registered (no official data) and many may not be purebred (not speaking of Staffie mixes but part boxer, part something else, etc). But the numbers of pits that get into trouble given the population density seems to be very low. It's just the unfortunate diverse owner profile in many cases. :(

The numbers AKC uses for its stats are based on the numbers registered. The 2006 stats have been published, dogreg_stats_2006 and the number of registrations/litter is 123,760 / 41,132 = 3.0 --- that is, only about three puppies per litter are registered based on the number of litters that are claimed. Furthermore of those small percentage of puppies per litter that ARE registered, according to stats calculated and published in DOG WORLD in the late 1980's only about 1% of those (registered) ever take part in AKC events.

Even tho owners may be given puppy slips, less than half of them ever pay AKC to register. This also doesn't account for purebred labs (or "almost" labs, sold as labs in the paper) which don't have registrations.

Carina spoke of AKC's attempts to generate more income by including mutts in some performance events. And these registration stats definitely suggest that the average owner *could* stand to benefit from the dog community and organized dog events to the benefit of our dog World.

All that is a way of saying that if more owners became involved and got a clue, maybe this threat of mandatory (and stoopid) legislation would not be so uncontrolled. :(

Yellowdog Granny, the Anatolian in my sidebar is Ruya. I had to make a label just for her! She's very popular with our visitors. And she LOVES getting up on the glider and cuddling & swinging with our guests! :)   

Blogger Joan Sinden sent us a woof // April 09, 2007

This is a very interesting topic, it plays into a lot of different ideas - it's been mentioned to me that mandatory spay and neutering is just a different form of BSL - you only mandatory spay and neuter the animals that you don't want to continue on - ie pit bulls, and then those breeds die. And then rescue people also can't understand what's wrong with mandatory spay and neuter because they see so much death everyday because of the "overpopulation problem" that seems so endemic in the dog world that is also so controversial in some dog circles. But then other people - like you - have a problem with mandatory spay and neuter because control is being taken away from you because your dog is your property and you want to have control over what happens to your dog, and so you should! It doesn't matter that 75-85% of the world isn't responsible about spaying and neutering their dog - and that's who legislation would be for - fighting legislation is for th 15-25% who ARE responsible.

I understand perfectly because I come from the viewpoint of vaccinations. In my city the city legislators are trying to tie being able to use proprosed dog parks to having your dog vaccinated and dewormed - and me and my dog friends are fighting vehemently against that because my dogs have never had worms and I am very anti-vaccination - and I have control over what goes in my dogs' bodies - but I still want them to be able to go to the dog parks! And it is the same thing with mandatory spay neuter.

So it's quite a dilly of a pickle. One that I don't imagine we'll ever stop fighting about. Not until they start breeding a sexless dog - and that'll be a whole new thing to start fighting about! haha!

Joan in Halifax   

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