We need to bring to light the truths behind spaying and neutering your pets. The big push to spay and neuter our pets, in particular before puberty, was brought about as a response to the explosion of stray animals without homes. These strays ultimately have to be euthanized at shelters so it was a valiant effort to address a real problem.
The suggestion that dogs and cats should be spayed and neutered over time has evolved into the suggestion that they should be spayed and neutered because it is healthier. We at Angryvet disagree. There is a lot of evidence to support the logical claim that your pets may actually be healthier if left intact.
Think rationally. How would removing a child’s reproductive organs before puberty affect their growth, maturation, and development? Puberty and sexual maturation is imperative for bone, brain and organ development. The same is true for your dogs and cats.
The go to argument that veterinarians tell their clients is that neutering eliminates testicular cancer and prostatitis. Spaying eliminates breast, ovarian and uterine cancer. What they don’t tell people is that at least one study shows that intact animals live LONGER. Spaying and neutering not only potentially shortens the lifespan but also has been correlated with various illnesses. Obesity (sometimes not even responsive to extreme calorie restriction), osteoarthritis, Anterior Cruciate Rupture, diabetes, hypothyroidism, prostatic cancer, hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infection, juvenile vulva are just a few conditions that are overly represented in spayed and neutered pets. We will discuss some of these correlations and published findings in our blogs.
In our opinion the healthiest pet is one that keeps its reproductive tract. This does pose challenges. Male cats mark and spray. It can be burdensome to have a non-spayed female dog bleeding in the house. Female cats, when they are in heat, will drive you nuts! Male dogs can become dog aggressive and mark their territory or the house.
The best compromise, if any of these things is too much to deal with, would be to spay and neuter at a minimum of one year if not two years of age. Allow your pet to reach full maturation and reach adulthood before considering surgery. We have seen shelters that spay and neuter at 6 weeks of age! Clearly, this aggressive a surgery at such an early stage of development is not warranted.
Understand that there are options. Educate yourself and take the approach that best suits you and your pet. Use this website (and others) as a resource to ask and answer questions.