Spaying and Neutering

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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.



  1. becky says:

    Is there anything like “Salt Peter” for felines during this waiting period of pre-puberty and age 1 or age 2 when considering spaying +/or neutering operations? Would there be anyway to delay “mother nature” in the feline sex drive until a safe operation can be done for them at an appropriate age? And what if the non-rabies vaccine were forced upon the owners for the operations? Could an owner legally refuse such the vaccines and still expect the operation to be performed by vets in NYS?

    • Angry Vet says:

      Most hospitals would probably let you sign a waiver for the vaccinations. In terms of delaying feline spays they do run a real risk for breast cancer. I still believe that one heat cycle is probably your best bet but it will raise your chances of malignant breast cancer by about 8 %. There are NO studies I know of involving benefits of delayed spaying in cats. Doesn’t mean tht there aren’t any benefits. There are benefits in dogs …the research here is limited and we try to post in on the site when we find it.

      • Jennifer Fisk says:

        I am so impressed that you would go against the tide and state the truth about early spaying and neutering. It seems that vets and their staffs can’t differentiate between not spaying and neutering and doing it after maturity.
        I wanted to adopt a kitten from the local shelter however they neuter at 6-7 weeks. I believe that FUS is related to early neutering and I don’t care to deal with that again. I’m still looking for a kitten.

        • Jon Miller Kervin says:

          • Mary Evans says:

            I wish every vets surgery had a specialist canine vet who was conscious of how we keep our breeding, working and showing dogs. Even after showing/working/breeding days are over, we’ve never found a need to spay our females or neuter our males. They stay in better coat and keep their figures.
            I recognize that it may be different with cats who, legally are allowed to roam.

            In dogs, good management (that means that you have to put in some time and effort) should sort out your problems.
            If you are a responsible owner, don’t let your vet talk you into unnecessary surgery.
            My eldest girl (yes, they’re all pets as sell as show and working dogs) will be 15 this year and is slowing badly but she’s still in good coat and lovely conformation.

        • Dami says:

          Dear Jennifer. About your concerns of adopting a shelter pet. A lot of emphasis is put on this by the well intentioned media. Your concerns of taking home an altered kitten is understandable. If this was my situation, go for a drive, looking for free kittens signs, ask your vet if they know of any, check local paper ads etc. By adopting one of these free kittens, it’s health choices will be yours from the beginning. Your new adopted kitten will be no different than one from a shelter. Chances are, the kittens not chosen will end up at the shelter anyway and others will find them.

        • gor says:

          here in england neutering esp for cats is almost an obsession in the pet world. so im glad to see someone has an alternate view. we found our own dear little tom kitten dumped in the local park and we were reluctant to do anyhing which might further upset him settling in. we observe that many cats seem to go missing after surgery, if the ‘lost’ posters are any guide. shortly after we got him he was bitten by the local fox, but the vet insisted it was another cat, because he was unneutered. also, she claimed, perhaps he wandered off in the first place because he was unneutered. [no we found him in a catbox] . he also had a high temperature, because… you guessed it.
          i grew up in a rural area where the farmcats usually made their own arrangements, hardly anyone gave much thought to the idea of neutering them. i concede there might be more of a case in urban areas, but neutering must not be seen as a substitute for caring about one’s pet cat, which i suspect is often the thinking. a sort of panacaea for many of the problems a cat and owner is likely to face.

      • Joe L says:

        While it is true that there are benefits to waiting, often the benefits pale in comparison to the damage:

        -In six years, one un-spayed female dog and her un-spayed offspring can theoretically produce 67,000 dogs.
        -One un-spayed female cat and one un-neutered male cat and their offspring can result in 420,000 kittens in 7 years.
        -A female cat can have 29 litters in 10 years.
        -A male cat can sire as many as 2,500 kittens in a single year, and a male dog can sire almost as many puppies.

        I waited until my dog was a year old to have him neutered but literally kept him on a short leash. If shelters didn’t spay and neuter animals before releasing them for adoption, it would be an unmanageable disaster. Please don’t discount the inevitable spike in animal suffering and euthanasia you are championing with this position.

        • bravogolden says:

          Information like this is for the responsible intelligent people who understand consequences.Everyone I know keeps dogs indoors, on lead and more than capable of preventing litters.The increase in deadly cancers amongst S/N dogs is something people have to weigh.Vets only know this procedure in the US..In europe they often
          leave the uterus to provide some hormones..
          spay incontinence is no light matter nor is having to starve a dog to keep feedlot like pounds creeping up..

          • Laura R says:

            I have to agree.
            We adopted our (now) 6 month old pup from the Seattle Humane Society at 3 months. She had already been spayed, and healed by then.. so we assume she was around 6-10 wks when she was spayed.
            We are now just finding out what the health issues and consequences are for her.
            She had incontinence (even in her sleep!) and insatiable thirst. She also has a severe case of E Coli because her bladder sphincter was never able to mature and close enough to keep out bacteria – missing the necessary hormones – she is on both a sulfa-based antibiotic, and estrogen (which she will have to take for the remainder of her life), and she has a hooded vulva, which may need corrective surgery if she continues to contract infections.
            All of this directly related to the ‘too early’ spay they required.
            Our 3 yr old rescue was from a different organization that allowed us to pay a deposit so that she could be spayed when she was older – she was also 3 months old when we adopted her.

          • Mare says:

            Take the uterus and leave the ovaries is what you meant to say? Hormones come from the ovaries.

        • Morgan says:

          I completely agree! It is absolutely owner responsibility. A mature, responsible owner who is good at taking care of their animal can prevent unwanted pregnancies, injuries or accidents and keep a healthy happy pet! I also agree that irresponsible and immature pet owners have the right to spay/neuter as well. This all breaks down to a lazy pet owner or not lazy pet owner.

          • Morgan says:

            Ugh this was not for you… I do not agree with you.

          • Brenda Ledbetter says:

            We have an adorable mixed breed (poodle/cocker spaniel) rescue female dog that is estimated to be between 8 and 11 years old. We have had her for 1 and 1/2 years and she is absolutely a perfect dog!!!! We found out that she had never been spayed but was concerned about doing that at her age. Recently to our surprise, she started having her period and it has been going on for 12 days but is slowing down. We have gone through a lot of doggy diapers! Pets Mart has them in pink polka dots and pink checkered. Too cute! One vet we went to was saying that if we don’t spay her, she can have a lot of serious and expensive problems later and that could possibly kill her. We do have real concerns about having her spayed because of her age. Would hate for her to die because of her being put to sleep. Not sure if he as just trying to drum up business or if that is true. Any suggestions???

          • Robyn Merry Wilcox says:

            I can’t believe that you even think for one moment have the nerve to say that pet owners who have their animals spayed/ neutered, are irresponsible!! I am far from being irresponsible & being involved in rescue, can see the horrible consequences of this article! Puppies/kittens being dumped at shelters is a horrible thing to see. They will most likely never get to know a loving family, because we are so over run with them that there’s no homes to be had! Disgusting article if you ask me!!

        • mhfurgason says:

          I would counter with – those puppies and kittens are probably coming from irresponsible owners who aren’t going to neuter or spay anyway. I know many, many people who have intact dogs and there are no oops litters. You don’t have keep your dog on a short leash, just be a responsible owner. It’s taking away the choice from people through basically propaganda that is problem.

          • amy says:

            I agree. And as you stated there are far too many irresponsible pet owners that continue to cause the puppy and kitten over population problems. We recently had to have our 15 yr old german shepherd euthanized. She never had puppies and left this earth without ever having been bred. And we also had a registered male cocker that was never neutered and we never had to separate them. The shepherd was only 5 weeks old when I rescued her and was in perfect health with the exception of 1 ear infection her entire life until her last 3 or 4 days before her death. It can be done and it was not a difficult task. One just needs to educate themselves on the proper care of these precious creatures, be well informed and just be responsible, kind and caring parents. They provide us with unconditional love and loyalty and they deserve to be treated with care, love andz compassion.

          • Buster Hymen says:

            Thank you.

        • ang says:

          A responsible owner who manages the animal will not be producing ANY of those thousands of animals you are citing. Point in case, Some countries have banned Spay/Neuter as cruel.

          • Sangreaal says:

            I wholeheartedly agree. My 3 Irish Wolfhound girls are 5 1/2 years old, have never been bred, and have remained in perfect health. All it takes is a good fence and reliable locking gate to keep out the boys, and no running at large. Not hard. Also, I have fostered a colony of cats for 30 years. They DO NOT produce 470,000 kittens over their lifetimes so that theory is false, otherwise my 15 acres would completely covered in cats. Somehow, the colony keeps it number below 40. They seem to know that less is more in a social group. IF a girl comes into heat, it’s usually once in a year, and they usually have 1-4 kittens, with 2-3 being an average. Really tired of the propaganda….

        • Randye says:

          IRRESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP IS the cause of unwanted puppies & kittens. Maybe if we started spaying & neutering people at the age they suggest doing it to cats & dogs, & see the damage that does…the mind set of people might change. …but I doubt it.

          • kirk says:

            well said mate, yes let people get neutered see what that causes,your right its irresponsible dog owners who causes unwanted pregnancies, were in charge of our dogs.

          • Ann says:

            Human beings have been forcibly sterilized in history. There’s already documentation of the effects.

          • Nat says:

            I totally agree with you in spraying and neutering humans to keep our population from raising. I have yet to see that happen

        • Diana says:

          Thank you Joe L for pointing out the problems with not spaying/neutering pets. There are too many irresponsible pet owners who will use this as an excuse to not spay/neuter their pet, then be shocked when they are then presented with an invoice to fix the health problems that come from being unspayed/neutered. I would love to hear what the AngryVet’s have to say about pyometras in unspayed dogs, testicular cancer in unneutered dogs, the homeless cats due to spraying and being in heat. Have they ever practiced in less wealthy areas, where they have to look at crying owners who have little money, and have to put their pet to sleep because of a preventable disease? Have they seen the look on the owners face when they realize they could have spent very little money and kept that pet healthy? Have they ever gone to a shelter, or heard of pet overpopulation?

          • kirk says:

            where do i start!!! angry vet is right about spay and neutering large breed dogs under a year 7year old doberman boy now has osteosarcoma.he was 8 month old when he was neutered.disgusting that vets dont tell you the risks,the dog will get loads of differant cancers,hip displasia,obesity,brittal bones,heart attacks need i go boy at 8 month old wasnt a mature dog,a dog needs testosterone to produce growth hormone without this the bones is weak,resulting in injuries which lead to the health problems as far as testicular cancer [the only cancer the vet tells you neutering will prevent] is not common and can be treated [unlike osteosarcoma]and the aggressive cancers that cant be cured.its all gud and well agreeing with vets,saying its a gud idea,well i would like to see what these people would feel like if they were going through what we are now.!!!!!!!

          • jane says:

            Diana, dogs don’t get pyometra: it is infection of the uterus and so only bitches can get it. How many other diseases can you name that are the product of being entire and that can be prevented byspaying? I have bred dogs, on a small scale, for 35 years and have never had a dog with testicular cancer! I live in Europe and do spay older bitches, about age six or seven, but JUST by removal of the ovaries, because I’ve had two who developed pyometra at ages 9 and 13. They underwent successful surgery, but I decided that a late spay would be preferable. This is often done by a very small laparoscopy operation and studies over the last couple of decades have not shown a bitch develop a pyo despite still having her uterus: they are usually hormone induced. Most vets here will NOT spay or castrate a baby puppy or kitten. I don’t quite understand all the comments about intact dogs producing hundreds of puppies! It only happens when irresponsible owners let them roam unsupervised: I keep dogs and bitches and have the litters I plan, because in-season bitches are locked, literally, away from the dogs. Very few of the people who have bought pet puppies from me have had them neutered and not one has ever had accidental puppies or their dog accidentally father a litter, because they are RESPONSIBLE owners.

          • FormerRescuer says:

            Diana, have you ever paid the bill for a dog’s oncology treatment? How about the owners of altered dogs who are presented with a bill for $10,000 in cancer treatments. What do you say to those who don’t have insurance. 3 victims of pediatric spay/neuter have cost us over $40,000 for oncology treatment.

        • debbie ciolli says:

          I TOTALLY Agree with you!! To say that dogs and cats and kittens and puppies should Not be spayed or neutered is TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE and to ME shows that THIS “ANGRY VET” works More with people who SHOW AND BREED! Everytime an ANIMAL is SOLD or BRED for “SHOW” Thousands DIE..not Euthanized! Murdered! Because they are NOT sick, Not suffering, although they ARE Sad, maybe Depressed, have given up OR they are STILL HOPING for the HUMAN…HUMANE Touch and Love for a HUMAN Touch, a Home, some Love. What they ask for? Not much, a home, some food and a safe place to Live “their” lives without Cruelty, and lack of food, water and some shelter. WOW, that’s asking for a lot? No of course it’s Not! The NUMBERS of Animals KILLED for nothing more than lack of SPACE, a HOME, FOOD or VET CARE or Money for shelters or people to do these very BASIC things to help them Live a Life EVERY Animals SHOULD BE GIVEN THE CHANCE to do doesn’t require much, BUT when we have over 10,ooo BREEDING Mills for PROFIT, in other words Greedy People PIMP THEIR ANIMALS FOR MONEY…everytime ONE animal is SOLD for hundreds or more, THOUSANDS of dogs, cats, kittens and puppies WILL DIE and their ONLY CRIME IS NOT HAVING A HOME or SOMEONE to Care for them or money to do the same. YOU “ANGRY VET” are angry because MOST People cannot AFFORD VET Care anymore, why? Because costs have GONE WAY UP, cannot even buy their heartworm meds anymore without an “APPOINTMENT”..think about this COMMON SENSE APPROACH”…if the Numbers of DISPOSABLE animals, WHICH IS the way people seem to View animals anymore and for TOO long, IF they were NOT as easy to FIND because there are Millions and MILLIONS in NEED of a home or they WILL BE KILLED Not Euthanized, KILLED Every day and Every Night in THIS COUNTRY ALONE….If people had LESS to CHOSE from they’d Appreciate them More for what they are, NOT DISPOSABLE, NOT so Replaceable! They are ALL Feeling of the FULL RANGE of Emotions, pain, sadness, depression, happiness, greatfullness, Love, dedicated,Loyal! The “LIST” goes on and on, they FEEL it ALL! They just cannot scream..”Please don’t Kill me today or tonight, I Promise I’ll do whatever you Want me to do, just let me LIVE!” No, unfortunately for them, they cannot SAY THIS! But if everyone who did KILL one and of course it’s Never ONE, Look into their eyes, look at their either “defeat or Love or Terror, because some know, some THINK wow, I am Finally getting some “attention here!” and yet they are PUT TO DEATH, Dumped, incinerated and bulldozed over to make room for the NEXT LOAD! To even HINT that it is NOT healthy compared to the COMMON PRACTICE and purely Lied about NUMBERS of healthy, Innocent animals KILLED every day and night, is Totally Irresponsible, and can’t think of any other word I want to say right now except…this is by greed, or by “siding” with the BREEDERS/aka ANIMAL PIMPS for MONEY! YOU “ANGRYVET” Are a Big PART of the Problem!!

          • Matisse says:

            And you, Angry Debbie, are also part of the problem. Anyone who will spill your kind of vitriol changes a debate to hysteria. Every time a dog is bred for show, thousands die? So detail how that chain reaction occurs then? I suspect you are just venting emotional blackmail, which isn’t helpful. You won’t like to hear this, but anyone who does not differentiate between responsible breeders and puppy farmers/BYB and support the responsible ones contributes to the whole problem more surely than people buying puppies through the classifieds. You may feel a big person for venting your bile, but your words will only ever hurt – and stop – the breeders who care. Who put love, time, skill into their pups to ensure that dogdom has a future. Who would die rather than see one go into rescue. If you don’t support those breeders, know the difference and speak truthfully, you risk damning dogs to puppy mills forever. Because there is only one thing that will stop puppy farmers – when there is no money in it. When people stop buying from them. When people walk away, and only get a dog from a responsible rescue or a responsible breeder.

          • Cardi?over says:

            Oh for crying out loud – do you really talk in all caps? Educate yourself and quit trying to rule the planet. People who show and breed are the least of your problems.

          • Carol says:

            Wow debbie ciolli, way to be a phsycho.

          • jane says:

            There is a huge difference between puppy mills and responsible breeders.
            I don’t think you read the article properly, as it did not say that dogs and cats should not be neutered at all. Quote: “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.”

          • Alice says:

            You are one angry soul. Animals are not dying because I have a healthy, purebred and intact animal. Animals are dying because irresponsible people are allowing their pets to breed indiscriminately and they are not taking responsibility for finding good loving homes for the resultant kittens and puppies. If all breeders and all pet owners stop producing pets, within 20 years or so at the very most, there will be no more pets at all. Chill out. Your angry rant makes you look ridiculous, and as such, not a person to be taken literally or seriously. Do your research, and come back calmly. We would all appreciate it – and perhaps take you more to heart!

          • Brad says:

            Wow, you are all selfish pieces of something. Let me begin by saying I am a war vet that has killed many people, so I am not some hippy tree hugger. I do want to say though that you trying to justify altering an animal to suit the needs of all the selfish people in the world, that is the only thing that is being “championed” here. If you can not be responsible, do not get a pet. Trying to change the world because we do not hold people responsible for their actions is unacceptable to me. I have two intact German Shepherds, a male and a female that have never conceived because I am….wait for it…..a responsible owner. If my dogs were to have puppies, I would not sell them to the highest bidder either, they would go to good homes that I researched first. All of you that are trying to justify modifying a pet because they breed are just enabling the idiots in this world, or perhaps partaking in their sport. My dogs are well mannered and everyone in the neighborhood loves it when they come outside to play in the front yard. People bring their kids over to play with my intact male all of the time. If you are not an Alpha MALE do not get an alpha male’s dog, it is like buying a Hayabusa and weighing 120 lbs. Act like mature, intelligent people with some semblance of empathy and none of this will be a problem. We will all answer to God one day for our selfish self-centered actions, and on that day I hope I am behind you in line.



          • jmal says:

            in response to your very angry reply, all i can say is that i tried to adopt a dog through labs4rescue, and i was turned down because in the questionaire i stated that i have an outdoor dog run. i also stated that my dog will come to work with me every day so will not be in the dog run. i ended up buying the greatest lab from a very reputable breeder, and they totally agree with not spaying/neutering. i have responsible friends who were also turned down to adopt dogs, so possibly the problem is with these shelters. maybe many more dogs would not be euthanized if the shelters did not have the arrogance that i encountered. by the way, my dog does comes to work with me every day, and the outdoor pen is rarely used. when it is, he likes it out there. i would hope that the beautiful black lab that i tried to adopt was eventually adopted and not euthanized, but i will say that anyone out there who is interested in adopting a lab, DO NOT use labs4rescue.

          • Geoff says:

            I love when people use capital letters when trying to say something intelligent. It really makes you look like you don’t know what your talking about, hence the thousands of animals dying because I bought two healthy pure bred boys, one in which will be bred. Basically brad says that no one should ever breed again until all muts are adopted, so that way we will never have canines again!!! Great job Debi! Obviously, you would not be on the responsible owners list. Instead of bashing us, maybe you should think about what it takes to be responsible and help promote that, but no you would rather tear us down. People like you invest your time beating on the wrong side every time, and you are always dead wrong. Oh also you don’t need an appointment every time you need heartworm medication. People like you spread lies and if enough people believe it, they become the truth.

          • snomaes says:

            It’s very DIFFICULT trying to FOLLOW mails that are RANDOMLY alternating between UPPER and LOWER CASE! It does not make your rant more convincing.

        • Lol says:

          Lol!!! Seriously? This is your justification for neutering? The risk of 420,000 puppies? My dog goes to a dog park every single day with 40 other dogs around. Pretty sure he’s not going to get A single one of them pregnant. Why? Because in reality, versus fantasy land, I’m standing there. Then he comes home with me. Not going to cut off his testicles because I’m afraid of him accidentally having 420,000 grandkids. You just proved to me why neutering has nothing backing it.

        • mavis moog says:

          My 17 complete dogs over my life time have not had any offspring, except for two litters of purposefully bred puppies. Granted one or two of those may have gone on to breed further, but not most of them. We are not talking about stray dogs. As a responsibe and loving dog owner, I do not allow my dogs to roam. They do not impregnate any females because they are kept at home.

        • Louise says:

          I have a 2.5 yr old bitch that is un-neutered.
          She’s never been pregnant, I walk her when she is in season (always on a lead) and she is never allowed to roam. I just have to be careful when she’s fertile and warn other owners that she’s in season.
          If you are a responsible owner there is no need for neutering at all

        • Mark says:

          Promoting this propaganda without thinking is the problem. If a dog can have 2 litters a year and an average of 5 pups. Ability to be bred does not start till 1 year Even with 100% females produced you would be under 10,000. That is if you can get the bitch bred in the available 14 to 21 days. And both young bitches and older bitches have smaller litters. As for stud dogs to produce 2500 puppies they would have to breed 500 bitches in one year more than 1 a day with only one shot. Breeders use all sorts of tests and supplements to optimize the cycle and conception and that is not a guarantee. And you do not have to spay or neuter you could sterilize and keep the organs. Second teaching responsible ownership is the key. Please think before you spout the propaganda.

        • Ziggy says:

          Joe L, except the problem with your argument is that you seem to be assuming anyone with an intact dog is going to be producing puppies. That is false. My dog is intact, for health reasons, and he has not, nor will he ever, father a litter. Balls do more than just make babies. He is intact because its healthier, not because I want him to make puppies. Its not hard for a responsible pet owner to keep an intact animal without causing litters. Every dog owner I know with an intact dog has managed it……

        • Brian Wood says:

          Those comments rank right up there with the stupidest things ever said.

        • Carol says:

          I couldn’t agree more. Your recommendation to wait to spay/neuter until at least one year old is probably valid but unfortunately you can’t depend on humans doing the right thing. Many pets adopted from shelters probably wouldn’t be spayed/neutered unless it happens BEFORE they are adopted out.

        • FormerRescuer says:

          Joe, please stop blathering “statistics” that have zero basis in fact. These number have been debunked over and over and over and over again.

        • Patti Hobbs says:

          Joe L, if one is not responsible enough to keep accidental breedings from happening for 2 years, likely one should not have pets. I grew up having all our dogs and cats altered around age 6 months. While most were pretty healthy, I see a marked difference since I quit altering. I have female dogs and there is no problem with them having their cycles. It is not messy, nor have I had any close calls with accidental breedings. It is important that owners educate themselves concerning the potential health issues of intact animals but having long lived and healthy animals is worth the small effort.

        • Anna says:

          “-In six years, one un-spayed female dog and her un-spayed offspring can theoretically produce 67,000 dogs.”

          That’s a horrendous number. You do realise that female dogs are only in heat twice a year (3 weeks each time, of which the middle week is the primary “danger period) – and that outside of their heat period, they can not get pregnant? (and are not sexually interested).

          I’m from Denmark, where neutering isn’t/wasn’t really a thing, and I can tell you that unwanted litters aren’t the norm. That isn’t necessarily even because people are particularly responsible in Denmark, it is more that dogs don’t usually breed like rabbits just because they can breed.

          I had 2 female dogs in Denmark (one at the time, with some years in between). Both were intact (as almost all dogs I knew). I never gave potential unwanted puppies a thought, so I wasn’t even a responsible owner back then. I had the dogs under different circumstances, here under a city apartment, a suburb, and (mostly) on the countryside. There was no fence. My second dog was living in and out as she pleased, she had a dog house in the yard and the front door was unlocked, people who knew her (like farm hands or the postie) could let her in when I wasn’t home if it was raining, but mostly she would just go about her own business outside whether I was home or not… So she was typically roaming around unsupervised outside (but never left the property), in a flat area with no fences … (albeit I did lock her inside when she was in heat of course)

          She did have a litter of puppies. This is how it happened: a man who was well known in the community with an excellent hunting dog called me; he got my phone number from a dog trainer I knew, and proposed that my dog had a litter with his dog for some particular reasons (long story), and that I paid for the mating with a puppy (his motive = a female puppy for his mate). I’d had a number of expressions of interest for potential puppies over time, and I would like to have a puppy after her myself, so eventually I said yes. He had her home for a holiday with his family to be sure that she was really the right dog for the litter. Then next time she came in heat, I sent her on holiday in his place with his hunting dog for the mating. The first week the man reported that she wasn’t interested, and nothing happened. I started to doubt it would work, but he assured me that often nothing happens until week 2 (the middle week), where the heat peaks. By the end of the second week, it finally happened.

          What came out of that months later: 8 beautiful puppies, which for the most part were sold to acquaintances of the sire’s owner and myself.

          All this is just to remind that dogs don’t breed like rabbits.

          I now live in Australia and we have 2 female dogs that were both neutered as puppies when we got them… as is the norm here, they are both so called “rescue dogs” from different places. I would prefer them to be intact if I’d had the choice. We have a secure yard, and as I said… intact females are only in heat twice a year, it isn’t really hard to avoid unwanted litters.

        • sharina moore says:

          Animal shelters and animal control organizations neuter every animal they release for adoption because most people adopting from them will allow their intact animals to get pregnant or sire offspring before they get around to neutering them. They have 2 goals, finding homes for abandoned dogs and cats and doing their best to prevent more unwanted puppies and kittens from coming back through their doors.

          If an owner acquires a dog or cat elsewhere, s/he will present the pet to a veterinarian and eventually get to what should be a discussion about the benefits and drawbacks to having a neutered and unneutered dog or cat, the potential benefits and drawbacks to the pet to being neutered or left intact, the best time to do the surgery if selected, and make a decision, based on being fully informed on all the health issues, on a case by case basis. These are surgical procedures, and for any surgery, you should have a good reason to do it. What is best for the pet and what is best for the family should be the top concerns.

          The veterinary profession has fallen under the undue influence of the animal control groups on this issue, and has been coerced to recommend neutering universally for dogs and cats. There has been evidence in the literature for over 40 years that there may be drawbacks to the animal to being neutered, at all or at a too young age, and this has largely been ignored by the veterinary profession. Well, things are changing, finally. Now more attention is being directed toward treating neutering just like we treat any other health concern, determining all the pros and cons, making determinations after fully educating the client, and making decisions on a case by case basis.

          This being said, I think that it is still going to be found that for most families, neutering dogs and cats of both sexes is going to be the most commonly chosen path. Most people are not willing to put up with typical tomcat behavior and estral female cat behavior. Most families are not willing to put up with female dog estrus periods every 6 months for the life of their dog. Most families prefer to use neutering rather than training to manage undesirable intact male dog behaviors of wandering, urine marking, inter male aggression, and other behaviors (all of which neutered dogs of both sexes may also display). However, for those who are willing to do the necessary training, supervision, and management and choose to keep their dogs intact, especially males who don’t get mammary cancer very often, they should not be criticized, because there is plenty of evidence that, especially for male dogs, intact dogs may have fewer health risks than neutered dogs. And they may be longer lived as well. Veterinarians should also address the appropriate age for neutering if owners choose that path, and they should have strategies to offer for female dogs who will be expected to have an estrus cycle before the right age is reached for the surgery. And we should also emphasize training to all our clients so that their dogs are good citizens out in the world, in dog parks, with kids and the elderly. All dogs should at the very least come when called and stay when told, to ensure their safety out in the world.

      • Kate says:

        Thanks for the info. I would just like to ask whether you think removing the uterus alone would be ok? And if so how I should go about it?

        • Goldi says:

          Kate, I am not a vet at all, but here is a suggestion: If you need to make SURE your female dog cannot reproduce, you can have a tubal ligation done. It is just like when they do a minimally invasive surgery on a human to tie off the fallopian tubes so that reproduction is impossible, but all the reproductive organs continue to work normally. It is a little tricky to find a vet who knows how to do it, but SO much better than the radical, destructive spay surgery.

          • sharina moore says:

            The dog will still have heat periods and male dogs will still want to breed her. It is possible for the uterus to recanulate enough for sperm to pass and pregnancy to occur, but birth may not be possible. The main health reason for spaying female dogs is to prevent mammary cancer. The risk goes up significantly with every estrus cycle, to 30+% after the third cycle. The surgery to try to cure it is massive (look at how long the mammary chain is on both sides, armpits to groin!). It may not work. Chemotherapy is usually recommended as well as surgery. That may not work either. Spaying, especially just removing the ovaries, is much less invasive and it works. (If you use the dorsal midline approach it’s quite easy and tidy) Even the usual approach to do a spay is not “radical or destructive” unless you just want to call it that for drama. This is done in humans, you know. And any veterinarian who knows how to do a spay knows how to do a “tubal ligation” (which in dogs and cats is actually ligation of the uterus), but it is not considered the standard of care at this time, due to the potential for failure.

        • jane says:

          I don’t know if this is done in the USA, but I live in Europe where a spay can be done by removing just the OVARIES and leaving the uterus. Studies have not found a single case of pyometra after this type of minimal surgery.

        • Kath says:


          Canine anatomy is not the same as human. We have a uterus where babies grow. In dogs, there is a wishbone-shaped organ called “horns of the uterus” and puppies are spaced evenly along these horns. To remove the “uterus” in a dog is to remove the entire reproductive organ.

      • nikki says:

        This is what breeders have known for ages, just that vets want money and say give the puppy buyer scare tactics, and say the breeder is wrong.

        • Angry Vet says:

          that is an ignorant comment. Most vets are wonderful caring people

          • Lori Andrews says:

            We have an 8 yr old intact male dane who has recently begun having prostate problems. He has blood dripping from his penis. We have started a trial of antibiotics as a first course therapy. I am now feeling quite guilty for not having him neutered at a younger age. We have had neutering now suggested but I am concerned about putting him through surgery at this age. My priority at this stage is that he not be in pain. His blood work also shows some signs of kidney changes so our vet doesn’t want to use NSAIDS for pain relief. In your opinion, would surgery be warranted at this stage or can we keep him comfortable without resorting to surgical intervention?

      • kelly says:

        Thank you for posting your opinion. I have a Border collie mix and was told to wait until he was 18 months to neuter for proper joint/bone growth. Then my vet (who just retired) said if my dog is not aggressive there was no need to neuter. He is 4 now and intact. My dog is not the problem as he is well behaved. I do find other intact dogs will become aggressive toward him. So there is a bit of a risk from these other dogs. He has been attacked by at large dogs twice so far. It is just another risk people should be aware of…

        I am also concerned with over vaccination. I understand the rabies vaccine last 5 years but we must vaccinate every 3 years in our state to the detriment of our pets…

      • Clair says:

        Hi there,

        I noticed you said that there is a risk for felines regarding delaying spaying re: “malignant breast cancer by about 8 %”. Is this also true for canines?

        • sharina moore says:

          Yes. The risk is about zero if spayed before the first heat cycle, about 8% if spayed after the second cycle, and about 38% if allowed to have a third heat cycle before spaying. It may go up after every cycle. The risk for pyometra goes up after every cycle, in dogs.

      • Juna says:

        I read this wonderful book called Cat Sense by Peter Bradshaw and he pointed out something that I think most people have not given much thought that we are destroying the line of the domesticated cat by nuetering them. By allowing only the feral to breed and nuetering all our domesticated breeds, he predicts that we will cause the eventual extinction of the best of the domesticated lines. It was an eye opener and after a horribly botched nueter where the entire genetelia was removed leaving my cat looking genderless, in severe pain and with now with urinary problems where his penis gets kinked it really made me not such an advocate of nueters in cats, though I realize its hard to keep them because they spray. It makes me wonder if there is something that we could come up with that would keep them from spraying or a way to teach them not to spray. At the moment I am waiting until any of my cats are at least a year old and fully developed before taking them in to be nuetered (by a totally different clinic) I just thought I would point this book out for anyone intrerested in the science and pyschology behind felines.

    • Rebecca Bonam says:

      When my cavalier was a puppy the vets at banfields tried to bully me into neutering him. They tried the cancer scare, even said my pet would be more likely to run away, even get an std from other dogs. I couldnt see altering my dog, I found it cruel. Figured if or when I thought it necessary I could choose to have it done anytime later. Im happy I didnt have it done!

  2. Danielle says:

    Thank you for this. My 3-year-old female Great Dane mix is intact and I want to keep her that way. I receive a lot of criticism and pressure to spay her, but I cannot bring myself to do it. I feel the reproductive organs play a huge role in overall health. If, God forbid, she develops a medical problem due to being intact, I can always have her treated and spayed at a later date. But to spay her when she is perfectly healthy, and risk complications and shorter life span, is not worth it.

    • Philippa says:

      Hi there,
      We have female Bull Mastiff pup and do not wish to spay her(though we do NOT wish to breed her).
      How do you manage the bleeding? Is it really a bigger problem in a large dog?

      • Angry Vet says:

        have a 120 pound presa canario…my wife wants to kill me twice a year!

        • Gina says:

          I have an 8 month old Cain Corso female. She is in her first heat at the moment. I do not want her to have pups, so what is the alternative to spaying to ENSURE she doesn’t . I love to walk her and she loves socialising with other dogs in the park. She has cabin fever over the past few days as I’ve been keeping her in. Also as she’s a very large breed ( over 40kilos at present) and full of energy, how can I manage to keep her ‘quiet’ while in recovery from spaying, if that’s the only answer to prevent puppies . Any suggestions would be appreciated.

          • issy says:

            there is an injection they can have over here in uk that stops season, they don’t bleed, can go out, can’t get pregnant. Not sure what it is called though but i wouldn’t use it more than once. But thats me just don’t like pumping too many chemicals into my dogs.

          • Tenea says:

            As an owner of an intact standard poodle. All I can say is treadmills are a godsend. You can watch videos online about getting you dog used to them. It’s not difficult and it will get you through the heat except for potty runs. Hope that helps.

      • I have a Keeshond, only 30 pounds, and I use toddler panties with a woman’s pantiliner inside. I change it several times a day and, of course, remove the panties when she goes outside. They make women’s underwear in larger sizes than any dog would need, and you might have to use a regular pad, but it’s worth a try. I never have problems with blood in the house.

      • Carol says:

        Bitches britches! I like the denim kind with velcro and elastic (wash be for first use) Petsmart and Petco both carry them

      • jane says:

        I used to have a Mastiff (English) who was neither spayed nor did she ever have puppies. She kept herself remarkably clean when in season, and I had a pale pure wool carpet! She lived to 10 1/2, a good age for a giant breed. Very few bitches, in my experience, make a “mess”‘ and I’ve never used any sort of protective garment for any of mine over 35 years. I breed, so have generally two or three intact bitches in the house, although I do generally spay them once their reproductive life is over at age 6 or 7.

      • Alice says:

        I have a large breed dog and find the bleeding to be at worst a little annoying. Most of the time, my female keeps herself clean. I provide towels as a covering where she sleeps during that time, but I have never had to clean up blood from carpeting or any other place in my home except for a spot or two, easily removed with a little Oxyclean or hydrogen peroxide. It’s not a problem. My girl is 7 years old now.

    • Randye says:

      I have had intact bitches for decades & had ONE with mammary cancer at 8 yrs of age after she had her last litter. FEAR drives over vaccination & IR-responsible pet ownership drives pet over population along with “backyard breeders” & I use the term breeder loosely, who solely produce puppies for the almighty dollar. That, along with the medical carnage that follows due to early spaying & Neutering is nothing short of a tragedy. Then there is PETA, whose goal in reality is to no longer HAVE ANY PETS at all. PEOPLE need to be their pets’ voice. Educate yourselves & EMPOWER yourselves to stand up to your vet and choose to walk OUT of the office if you aren’t sure about something as you can’t take back surgeries or shots.

      • debbie ciolli says:

        You just “said” all you Needed to say…8 years and had her Last Litter..people like you are ALSO PART of the Problem, why did you allow an 8 year old to have “ANOTHER LITTER?”..Animals should be spayed or neutered, or they “END UP” with someone like you, who is CLUELESS….again, why allow HER LAST LITTER AT 8 years of age? How many “litters” did SHE have? and pray tell, if you are a Backyard BREEDER or Not, you still OBVIOUSLY BREED Dogs, or at least that POOR 8 yr old! Mamary cancer at 8? You think that’s a GOOD RECORD? You people make me physically Ill, called the POT CALLING THE ‘KETTLE” Black! I’m out of here, people like you and this “so-called vet” make me sick. I suppose you GAVE YOUR POOR DOGS PUPPIES AWAY?? Surely NOT for the Almighty dollar, because then You’d be an ANIMAL PIMP TOO…hum..

        • Ziggy says:

          “Animals should be spayed or neutered, or they “END UP” with someone like you, who is CLUELESS”

          What idiocy. Many people have intact animals who never ever breed their entire lives. My intact dog will never father a litter, because Im not an idiot. Comments like the above are nothing more than ignorant rage at having your brainwashing questioned. Being intact is healthier for dogs, did you even read the article? Or did you just skim it because it doesn’t fit in with your brain washing by AR extremists who want an ultimate goal of NO PETS. Many of us leave dogs intact PURELY for the good of their health, nothing more. Im sorry you can’t see that.
          Why WOULDN’T I neuter my dog, who is not for breeding, if there weren’t such health problems that come along with it? Would you like your son neutered? After all, it would prevent unwanted children coming into the world, of which there are many every year. I hope any kids you have, or will have in future, are adopted otherwise you’re being a bit of a hypocrite aren’t you? There is as big an ‘unwanted child’ problem as there is an ‘unwanted pet’ problem, but funny how these AR zealots are happy to birth their own kids and ignore the millions of unwanted ones, but get all preachy over what people do with their pets……

        • lauren says:

          well said! this entire feed makes me sick!!!! this is the silliest article i have ever read. seriously lets just have unfixed animals running around.., not breeding and not having any outlet for that pent up frustration, what do they think is going to happen!?!?! aggression and runaways that cause oops litters. ya sure, lets let them “live longer” intact because people wont take proper care or responsibility like over feeding their animals. these so called vets are disgusting spreading this information. as a vet tech who has worked at many many shelters do not listen to this insanity. spaying and neutering saves millions!!!!

        • CRM says:

          My god woman – you are certainly determined to show your ignorance. I’d say your comments are a pretty good argument for spaying and neutering people! Good grief.

      • Cathy says:

        I agree that you can not undo the surgery. I have a 3 year old chocolate lab that was fixed at about 5 months. She will be scheduled to have a TPLO soon. She is very tall and lean, way above the guidelines for a female lab. I had never read about not having your dog fixed early until after she had already went through the procedure. There would have been no need for it as I am a responsible owner only taking her out on a leash and staying outside with her in a fenced in back yard. I now wonder if she would have needed the TPLO if she had stayed intact. I do see a lot of irresponsible owners though as they let their dogs run and do not have them fixed or pit owners that do the back yard breeding with no concern for the pet only the money they hope to make. There is way to much inbreeding going on and this is where the problem of to many animals comes from.

  3. Gregory G Cutler DVM says:

    I found your site this morning and find it intriguing. Also interesting as I’ve been know as the “Angry Man” by my wife and a few others for quite some time as I often am disturbed by studies that try to tie one cause to one effect. As a country Vet I wonder if you’ve experienced the extremely high percentage of HBC’s in intact male dogs that I have, although I have no official data. It’s almost without fail one of the first things I notice when they’re carried in and is certainly a risk factor I discuss with clients in appropriate situations.

    • Angry Vet says:

      I don’t see THAT many HBC’s . Certainly they happen but I would not say that in my experience it is to a larger degree in intact males. That is just my experience…doesn’t mean that it is not true. Thanks for following and contributing…love to have fellow veterinarians following us.

    • M.E. Papin says:

      I don’t think there is any correlation between HBC dogs and intact dogs. The assumption seems to be that if intact, a dog will be more likely to “roam” at-large which naturally places it at great risk to be hit-by-car. ANY DOG WILL ROAM given the opportunity, whether sterilized or intact. A dog that is maintained in securely fenced property and/or leashed will not roam. As a bicyclist I am frequently chased by neutered dogs that are loose on the roads. At the same time my own intact dogs who are secure behind 6-foot fencing with a padlocked gate do not roam and so are at low risk to be hit by car. I would think demographics would be more the issue: is this a rural area where people allow their dogs to roam at large, and where people do not routinely neuter male dogs? Once again the real issue is owner responsibility and management, not intact status of the dog.

      • Donna says:

        I will throw my two cents in. I have raised and bred Yorkies for over 35/yrs..and am now done. I never ever suggested that any new puppy parent have a yorkies spayed or neutered under the age of one. They are babies!!! These pet shops sell them spayed/neutered at 8 weeks of age…I personally think this is terrible. I always told new parents to get themselves a kennel and when your dog comes into heat, put him/her in there to protect them. You don’t want them running out the door. New parents just have to be taught how to protect their babies, and it is not by surgery!

      • Judi Elford says:

        Wonderful, intelligent response M.E. Papin, thank you!

      • j.c. says:

        I So agree. Here In Ohio It Doesn’t Matter Where You Live Dogs are At Large Causing Problems Everywhere. Dropping Pups Out Everywhere. Its Pure Ignorance by Owners.. My Dogs Are Intact My dogs are Also In a 6 Ft high fence. As Owners Its Our Responsibilities to Make sure Our Animals Are Safe, Make sure They Have There Shots and Make Sure There Lives Are The Best That They Can Be.. I do Believe In Spay/Neuter Because of The Stupidity out there. Shelters are So Full. Pit Bulls Are In every Ad you Look At. Its Money & Plane Stupidity. People Just Don’t Get
        Every Single Day Another Dog Is Killed In these Shelters, and There Just Not A Real Mutt There Pit Bull Or Pit Mix. How Do you Weed Out Stupid People From People Who Are Responsible. . You Cant,, So Until Stupid Leaves The Planet Id Rather See Them Fixed

        • Mike says:

          You are a careful and considerate owner, but the many unwanted canine births bear testament to the many ignorant and stupid dog owners out there. One of my neighbours ended up with a pregnant bitch simply because their young kids left the front door open for the dog to escape. She was gone for no more than five minutes.

          • jane says:

            Goodness me, Mike. I’m a breeder and most matings last at least half an hour, so for this bitch to get pregnant in fewer than five minutes is either something of a record or an exaggeration.

        • grammarnazi says:

          If you’re going to refer to “stupid” people (those you disagree with) four times in your rant, you’re really going to have to work on your writing skills. And what led you to capitalize every word? I mean have you ever even seen anyone else do that in your life? That was painful to read on so many levels.

          • corrielavina says:

            Every once in awhile when posting or commenting from my smartphone, the phone will slam me into a default mode where Every First Letter Is Capitalized (and no matter what I do, I cannot get out of it). Add to that the tendency of Autocorrect to automatically change the word toy just typed into an incorrect word (as just happened now while I was typing and I am leaving it anyway as an example), and you have a perfect storm of poor spelling and punctuation in a single message. Even if you tend to be a grammar Nazi like I am, those mistakes can still slip through.

          • Lol says:

            Corra – nothing is stopping you from hitting the backspace button and fixing the auto-correct errors. Except maybe stupidity…

        • SuzyQ says:

          I couldn’t read this format. It made my eyes cross just to look at it. Misspellings kept popping up too. “Plane Stupidity”? Really? Posts like this, no matter their (yes, not there) content do not get the point across. Please consider reading what you write before you hit “post” or “send”.

    • Sandrantry says:

      I live in a very rural area of upstate new york and coming from Germany I have noticed the difference in how people treat their dogs.

      First of all, Spay and Neuter is frowned upon in the sporting community and you only have your pet undergo such an intrusive surgery if there is truly a medical reason for it.

      Secondly, roaming. People open their doors, let their dogs roam on their property without any worry and once the dog is hit by a car, they simply get a new one, either from the pound or craigslist. They simply seem to have a different mindset than people from the City.

      It’s been driving me crazy for a long time because I do not agree without having your dog roam the country without any supervision whatsoever but that is what a lot of people do in the country. Also, people do not like to deal with females in heat so a lot of people just get a dog instead. So I am not very surprised that you see a lot of HBC in the country that involve male dogs. ;)

    • Anna says:

      How is being HBC a medical condition? How would this not be directly related to the owner’s method/s of restriction and confinement for their dog?

      • Michael T says:

        I can answer this question. It’s a lot easiest to call HBC a medical condition. In this country self accountability is going away. Your dog or cat gets HBC. This is the fault of lazy lacked ownership.

        • Dlinds says:

          The original vet isn’t considering it a medical condition. He simply says HBC is a risk with intact dogs. This is because intact dogs have an innate need to breed, and many will scale walls, break through doors, swim rivers and *cross roads* to get to an intact female.

          He is suggesting that the correlation is between a dog needing to breed and HBC because he is roaming.

      • Sangreaal says:

        Seriously? How is being ~Hit By Car~ NOT a medical emergency or death? Sure, it’s not a condition, but the result is.

    • Paula W says:

      Dogs get hit by cars because they are off leash and uncontrolled, period. IF there is a correlation between HBC and unneutered status, it might relate to entirely different criteria. In the end,a dog that is confined by leash or fence or house is a dog safe from automobiles.

      • Kevin says:

        Control and confinement are important to protect your dog from any hazzard. I suggest that training the dog to avoid the situation is much more effective than keeping them on a leash or in a fenced area. Cars, ratIlesnakes and cattle are just a few examples. I walk my dogs along a two lane county road as often as I can. Every time a car approaches I give the command “car” and lead him off to the side of the road, then make him wait until all cars have passed, then let him know it is ok to continue the walk by saying “let`s go.” The goal hear is to get the dog to avoid the cars by moving off to the side of the road.

    • sharina moore says:

      HBC is not a side effect of being intact, it is a side effect of an irresponsible owner who didn’t keep the dog, intact or neutered, on a leash when training would not be effective in controlling the dog! Every dog, intact or not, needs a responsible owner. If you can’t train the dog to stop and come on command, no matter what, then you use a LEASH!

  4. donna says:

    i love this site and reading all the info you guys have wow eye openers.
    i have a couple questions on hemangiosarcoma. i live with australian shepherds and at some point hope to breed. so i am doing alot of geneic testing to help assist in reducing the chances of the diseases and such that are threatening this breed one being hemangio. my girlfriend has lost 3 females all spayed and around 10 years of age at death all related mother,daughter, grandaughter. she is paniced by a pedigree evaluation to give us an ida on my one females risks which she is sitting at around a 6 risk factor. so 60% chances.
    when looking at hemangio should we be looking at it gentically or based on the factors of who was spayed/neutered, age, and so on. im curious to hear you opinion on this as i do not want to endure puppy people with the possibility higher then normal for any of the devastating diseases and dissorders that i can possibly prevent and reduce. i do not want my puppy people to be as devastated as we are after losing the 3 girls within a couple years of eachother.

  5. Allison Oliver says:

    Hi, I am quite interested in your site, and have a few questions for you.
    You make the point that early spay and neutering was bought about as a way of helping to reduce the amount of unwanted animals in shelters. By advocating not spaying and neutering, are you saying that unwanted animals are no longer a problem?
    One of your arguments draws the analogy that it would be similar to removing the reproductive organs of a child. You do realise that humans are a completely different species, don’t you? Are you saying that spaying DOESNT eliminate the risk of uterine cancer, testicular cancer, pyometra? -Oh, sorry, you forgot to mention that one. You skim over the negative effects of leaving animals intact – Unwanted litters of kittens are a MASSSIVE problem. Ever had to euthenase a litter of kittens (or two, or more) JUST because no one wants them? Ever had to deal with a dog who is so aggressive, you have to sedate just so you can have access to a vein to end its life?? I’m not saying you are wrong, just not a very balanced argument. I look forward to your reply.

    • Angry Vet says:

      The reason that I mention the population issue is that I am trying to present spaying and neutering as a balanced argument. There ARE reasons to spay and neuter…they are just not for the health of the animal which is the way that they are presented at the local veterinarian. Uterine cancer is unheard of …EXTREMELY rare. Pyometras do occur and I do mention them when I argue against spaying. For most people we recommend DELAYED spaying until after a couple of heats to allow maturation, closure of growth plates, development of vulva and urinary tract etc. We do have clients (and my female dog is one of them) who are not spayed at all and they simply need to be monitored for pyometra. If it occurs remove the uterus. Testicular tumors certainly occur but they are slow growing and easy to CURE with routine visits to the veterinarian they can be palpated, removed and never heard from again. I don’t know what you are reading but I mention all of these complications on the site. Lastly, don’t be sarcastic please. I have been practicing for over 15 years. I deal with Cane Corsos , Presa Canarios, Pitbull, and working German Shepherds on a regular basis as I protection train all of my dogs and work intimately with local police departments and working dog clubs. I own a 120 pound Presa Canario bitch. I have seen more aggressive dogs than any other veterinarian I know and am usually the go to vet when other vets have given up …and NO I have never not been able to get a vein. If a veterinarian and his staff understand restraint, both chemical and physical, any dog can be worked with. 99% of aggression in a veterinary setting is fear aggression anyway which is present in female dogs and neutered males MORE commonly than in intact males! Neutering dogs to control behavior problems usually doesn’t work and actually creates more problems. This will be a future post.

      • Patrice says:


        As a parent of a growth-hormone deficient child, I can tell you for a fact that the testosterone in males is VITAL to the finishing of proper development. (All of those hormones are necessary to the proper development of bones and organs too.) If the boys don’t go into puberty by a certain age after so many years of growth hormone shots, the Dr’s will “tease” them with small injections of male hormones (likewise for females) to get puberty jump-started.

        Considering the findings concerning the improper bone growth of dogs neutered early, of so many sporting dog associations before now with recent findings only backing up what the sporting groups have been saying for years now (recently updated after Dr. Benjamin L. Hart’s publication), it doesn’t make sense for RESPONSIBLE owners to spay/neuter early.

        Many scream that you can’t compare dogs to humans, but I ask them, why are dogs used for testing human drugs if that is the case? I realize that you and many other vets have had expensive educations. I too had one of those–to the tune of $30,000 a year for 8 years until our son finally hit puberty at the age of sixteen.

        I think that if more veterinary students were given a few classes in human endocrinology instead of veterinary, they might have a better grasp on exactly HOW all hormones have very specific effects on the bodies of all mammals. I know one of our vets didn’t seem to know at all about what I was speaking of when I began listing my objections to neutering our puppies due to the specifics of what each hormone did to the other hormones–but I’d already looked it up, dogs have the same hormones too.

        This is one area where no vet will ever sway me unless one of my dogs develops testicular cancer or prostate issues. It’s kind of like female breast exams, check them every time you bathe them–female canine breasts as well.

        • peter dykstra says:

          Very interesting comment made here-as I am against early neutering of dogs.I breed Malamutes and advise all and sundry against this unnatural practice ,certainly any animal less than 12 months minimum.
          Evidence is now coming forward that canine hip dysplasia doubled (100% increase) in male dogs that were desexed at 6 mths or younger.
          My view is that if one ignores mother nature-you pay the price!

        • kirk says:

          Yes your right what you say, my doberman as osteosarcoma through being neutered at 8months old,the testerone and hormones is vital, wish i looked into this before we did it,its ruined our dog,were heartbroken,would not reccomend neutering or spaying any dog at any age.

      • Gay says:

        Hi Angry Vet, new to the site, LOVE it to bits. I work with both spayed and intact dogs all the time. Although aggression can be a trait of the dog it is usually a fault of its enviroment. ALL dogs and cats are born with some inherient trait BUT they are also born with a clean slate. It is the human contact that they encounter, the same as children, that forms the furry people they become. On many occassion I have had to explain to the owners that it is them not the animal that is causing the aggressive problem (not that they like hearing that). More than 90% of the animals at the vets are exhibiting some form of fear, a bit like us at the dentist. And their natural reaction is fear. People need to be more aware of their animals and their behaviour. Neutering the dogs and cats that they can get your hands on at such an early age it denying those poor furry creatures a fullfilling life. It is not the pound dogs and cats that are causing the problems but backyard breeders and irresponsible breeders of which we have a few of here in Australia. They breed for the money and not for the good of the breed. I have newfoundlands and have had for many a year. They cost a bomb and i would never be without one. Having said that we also have Sha Pei’s. Our first Shar Pei came desexed with some serious mental and health problems. It was only recently that we took the course to have her put down because of her aggression. On the other hand we have a male Sha Pei that is to die for. Came with no health problems has assimilated well into a household with many varieties of furry creatures and although it is not proper to say so he is probably one of my favourities.
        Keep up this fantastic work, i will now avidly read this site daily for tips.
        Cheers, Gay

      • Lisa says:

        Thank you for speaking up and helping to present the balance point to the spay and neuter argument. As a dog trainer who sees many “dog reactive” cases, the majority of which are German Shepherd Dogs, I can say with certainty that I see as many spayed and neutered dogs with with reactivity/aggression issues with other dogs as intact dogs. Just today, after a great training session, we took 2 intact 13 month old GSD’s an I tact male Kerry Blue Terrier and two intact male Border Terriers to Pt. Isabel, a 40 plus acre off leash dog run in the Bay Area. Our hour long visit was without incident. Our success however had less to do with the gender status of our dogs than the fact we were all educated owners with well trained dogs. Dogs did on occasion posture at our dogs but the have been trained to turn away from dog interactions both friendly and aggressive when asked. Most of the cases of dog reactivity I see are a matter of failing to train and control the dog not actual aggression. Neutered or not rarely is a factor although I agree I see very few, almost zero, fear issues in intact males.

        Thank you again,

        • Sheryl McKenzie says:

          Thank you so much for the most current information about early spay and neutering. We just had a litter of Dobermans and I made sure to inform all of my fur babies new parents with information about waiting to spay and neuter. One of our puppies was taken to the vet at 14 weeks and they were already pushing to set up a date to spay. From all I have found in research long bone dogs should remain intact as long as possible and I told my new parents to wait until at least 18 months but after reading all of your research I am sending emails to wait until 2 years. Thank you again please keep the information coming.

      • Angie Cooper says:

        Wow. I’m a trainer, (we also breed) with 20 years experience, Police K-9, SchH, civilian OB, Protection,etc… I was shocked with your statement about how neutering for behavior problems don’t work. I totally agree and tell my clients the same. I tell them it’s learned behaviors, that the dog needs trained, it doesn’t have to do with sex. I’m glad to hear a vet say the same. Usually vets just want the money and as fast as they can get it from you. I tell my clients to wait IF they are going to fix their dog. And to do research look at the studies and be informed.
        I’ve never had an unwanted litter, I’ve never let my males or females run loose. I breed for Law Enforcement use and companion. My dogs live healthy long lives. And I do not spay or neuter.
        People need to raise and train their dogs and buy through reputable breeders. I’ve never bred an aggressive dog like Allison above spoke of and we breed for police work they are selectively breed and well trained never neutered.

        People need educated.

        I agree the cat population is bad however again keep them confined until proper time to spay / neuter before letting run loose (if thats what your going to do with it) problem solved.
        It’s not rocket science people.

        • Donna M. says:

          I think it’s great that folks who train their dogs feel so strongly about this issue. But, the fact remains, that most people don’t train their dogs and many dog owners aren’t responsible…
          I just spent a ton of my own personal time and money convincing two families with pit bulls to neuter their animals. I feel like I did the right thing. Too many dying out there…

          • DC says:

            Donna, you may be a victim of propaganda. With 218 million pets in the US, the fact that less than 8 million on the high end of estimates, ever see the inside of a shelter. Those that do are often counted several times in a year because of at large dogs reclaimed by their owners and returned adoptions. So most people DO train and confine and keep their pets.

      • Judi Elford says:

        Thank you for this site – it is refreshing! As a breeder I have been promoting delayed S/N until after 12 months for several years now. I needed to be able to provide links to the actual study results to convince my clients because try as I might to educate them, they turned into butter in the vets office when he/she suggested the 5-6 month S/N. VERY frustrating for me. Why aren’t more veterinarians promoting vasectomy/tubal ligation as a fair compromise to the health/overpopulation issues as it would seem to solve BOTH problems? Particularly as the research is now showing the S/N is not the effective hormonal lobotomy for temperament that was once thought. I shy from cutting down veterinarians as a rule as I’ve had some exceptional ones, and I certainly couldn’t breed dogs without then – BUT, it still strikes me that the fox is guarding the henhouse wrt guiding owners down paths that could lead to health challenges down the road. Challenges that are often blamed on the breed or the breeder. Meanwhile, my intact breeding dogs never experience these issues.

      • KT says:

        Could you please comment on treatment of chryptorchidism as it relates to neutering? Where one testicle gets hung and does not come down. It runs in my line. I wish I would have had the undescended testicle removed and left intact the one that came down… I have regretted that decision for years. The difference between my intact male and neutered male makes me sad: Intact dog has a beautiful male voice, intense musculature. The neutered dog has a bitch voice and is thinly muscled, prone to overweight.

        I am really sick and tired of vets pressuring owners with garbage arguments. I understand that vets don’t like dealing with the issues associated with unwanted puppies and kittens, but forcing everyone else to harm their animals doesn’t solve the root cause of the overpopulation issue: stupid owners.

        I also don’t like blaming animal behavior on presence of reproductive organs when that is, again, an owner issue. Don’t want an aggressive dog? Socialize the dog and obedience train it. Cutting off a dog’s testicles won’t solve either laziness or stupidity.

        Would love it if you cover vaccination hype.

        I am so looking forward to this blog post!

        Future blog post: “Neutering dogs to control behavior problems usually doesn’t work and actually creates more problems. This will be a future post. – See more at:

        • Angry Vet says:

          in general the rule is neuter cryptorchids …there is a supposedly hihger rate of cancer in undescended testicles..
          I have a couple of times removed the undescended one and left the descended one.

          • Marge says:

            I am struggling with having my male with an undescended testicle neutered or just having the undescended testicle removed. I’m leaning towards the second option. What was the long range outcome when you did this. My dog is three and I plan on his surgery for this winter

      • Upset says:

        I don’t have a question. I just wanted to say a few things. I totally agree with spay and neutering, I have been an LVT for 13 years and seen some things especially in an emergency hospital. The information that you mentioned about the pyometras does happen but I don’t think you realize how often it happens. Another thing you do not mention is the fact that it cost a lot more to spay a dog with pyo and more often than not it becomes an emergency because people are not educated enough to recognize the signs. Also a lot of people can’t afford the pyo surgery for the and then end up euthanizing, when the pyo could have been avoided with an early spay. The bottom line is a lot of people are just not responsible enough for their pets and do not take their pets to the vet’s office as often as they should. This is the main problem and until things change I agree with spay and neutering to reduce the suffering of these animals.

        Even if pets live longer intact according to your one study, if you wait one to two years before spaying or neutering a cat or dog, can you imagine how puppies and kittens that could be born into this world during that time. It is a nice thought to wait until the pets mature but first the laws about people taking responsibility for all of their pets need to be changed. People do not keep their pets inside when they come in heat or when a male dog can smell a female in heat for five miles around and waits for the chance to bolt out of the door to seek that female that is in heat. Same with a female they seek out males when they come into heat. There is no way that you’ve been to a humane society that is overrun by dogs and cats because their aren’t enough homes, so they live out their days in a cages with very little attention except for food and water. I volunteer at a humane society that has over 300 cats, and the kittens haven’t even started coming in yet. Most of them are sick because they live in such close quarters it is unavoidable. During the spring kittens are brought in that are not even weaned and the humane society cannot keep up. The humane society tries to find foster homes so they can get these kittens weaned. They even run out of foster homes. I have a neighbor that keep reproducing kittens from their stray cats and do not care if they live or die. The neighbors do not care and if you say something to them they tell you to mind your own business. These cats are going around spreading disease and reproducing. Their people all over the world like this. So what do you do about people like that? I know there are people out there with good intentions and will try to keep their intact animals inside and keep them from reproducing. The only problem is that there are always mistakes and the animals get out and reproduce. Then you have more puppies and/or kittens in the world. I have some friends that had an intact male German shepherd and friend of theirs had to go overseas and asked them if they could take care of his intact female German shepherd while he was gone? My friends said yes if he would get her spayed first. Well the guy did not get her spayed before he left so my friends tried to keep the dogs separated but when the female came into heat she broke a bedroom door down to get to the male and ten puppies were born. Some dogs will do just about anything to get to the opposite sex when they want to reproduce. I would rather have dogs and cats spayed and neutered than to have so many in the humane societies without homes and/or outside suffering.

      • mhfurgason says:

        “Neutering dogs to control behavior problems usually doesn’t work and actually creates more problems. This will be a future post.”

        I’m looking forward to this one. I’m a full-time trainer and I’m amazed at the number of people who do not positively socialize or train their dogs and then expect nuetering to make them “better’.

      • Dublin'sMom says:

        I just wanted to thank AngryVet for providing this forum for the discussion regarding spaying and neutering our pets. Whew, my head is still spinning after reading some of these comments! How about being passionate about researching a decision about our pets health and less judgmental of others? Afterall, we only have control of ourselves and our pets. Even after weighing the pros and cons of neuturing my yellow labrador puppy, I still feel guilty for succumbing to a different type of “angry vets” advice! My pup was only 6 mos old and had a laceration of his cornea. The Dr was trying to examine his eye and he was wriggling around a little. She said, “he needs to be neutered ! he’s very bad! I will do the surgery immediately for you”. After a few deep breaths I replied…” He’s a puppy..and one of the best pups I’ve ever had! If you cannot handle examining his eye for me, can you please advise me who can? Oh, and you will not have to worry about caring for him again because the other Drs at this hospital have no problem examining him….and actually love this puppy! ;)

    • Lindsey says:

      You’re ignoring the fact that properly managed intact dogs contribute just as many unwanted puppies as their altered counterparts :) I had no problem with my intact male, and now he has a much lower risk of developing osteosarcoma and several other complications

      • Randi says:

        You’re pretty funny! My properly managed intact dogs have not contributed a single puppy, wanted or unwanted. My oldest just turned 11. My vet stopped asking about spaying/neutering with my first Rottie. I did have her spayed but she was almost 6. I attribute her long life – she was almost 14 which is excellent for a Rottie – to the fact that wasn’t spayed until later in life, had limited vaccinations and was fed a raw diet.

        I wish more people would research before automatically assuming that vets know best – no offense meant. The Angry Vets are awesome! – anyone who is considering an early spay/neuter please read this first.

      • kirk says:

        Your right, my doberman as osteosarcoma, hes 7yrs old and were heart broken, the pain for us is unbearable he got neutered at 8 months old, wish i did research and could turn back time,because i know this as caused the cancer.

    • Emily says:

      The argument about handling aggressive dogs is just silly! Are you truly suggesting a specific handling issue is related to testicles or ovaries? As someone who works in a kennel and with a groomer, I can tell you we handle plenty of dogs that are extremely difficult to groom or otherwise body-handle, and about 90% are neutered. And as a dog trainer, I can tell you most of the aggression cases I’m approached with are ALTERED dogs.

      I think the issue you’re seeing with restraining/handling intact dogs is that you’re taking one look at the dog’s testicles and deciding that’s the issue.

      Someone with three intact dogs who are all lovely at the vet, LOL

    • Lauren says:

      I would like to point out that despite the fact that we are completely different species from dogs and cats. There is documentation from way back when, when young soprano boys were castrated (called “castrati”) to preserve their high notes and prevent the change that comes with puberty. These boys, though very popular and successful in certain musical circles, were not necessarily healthier. Most were prone to obesity, and not all were musically successful. (

      My dog is spayed but I adopted her that way from a shelter when she was 13mos…I think her previous owners had it done or the shelter did it shortly after she was dropped off. And I can’t say if I would have done anything differently…she’s my first pet after my mom’s dog (also spayed) passed away 5 years ago.

    • Amanda says:

      Even though uncommon … Pyometras can be found in the stumps of the uterus YEARS post a spay … Just saying … Seen it first hand … LVT of 10yrs.

    • Dr. Cynthia Becker says:

      Just a reminder that when researching human medical conditions, canines have been major participants. Human and canine biologic functions and chemistry are very similar. Removing growth and reproductive hormones pre-puberty has similar harmful results. Read research on Pub Med before discounting actual scientific facts. (Not a vet but have Dr. In front of my name.)

  6. Tina says:

    When rescuing a dog from a shelter, being ‘fixed’ is normally a requirement. Our first dog could not go home before he was neutered, and he was under 3 months old.

    So… when dealing with a pet fixed early – what can we do the alleviate as many issues as possible as the pet grows?

    Thank you for your webstie – LOVE the information here!!

  7. Kylie says:

    My husband and I have a 7 year old Staffy cross border collie bitch who is not spayed and was wondering what do we need to keep an eye on health wise? We have no problem with her menstuating as we just follow her around with a mop as we don’t have carpet. When do we expect for her to stop going through these ‘bleeding’ episodes? I find your information facinating as I work in veterinary diagnostics and all the vets support uniform desexing practices. As we only have one dog we didn’t think there was any reason to get her spayed. Was this the right thing to do?

    • Angry Vet says:

      The biggest concern would be pyometra or infection in uterus. This could happen for sure and needs to be monitored for. A lot of the real proven benefits (full urinary tract development, full skeletal development etc. ) have already been realized by 7 years old so if you do decide to spay her it’s ok. There are potential unrealized benefits to keeping her intact. There is a reason that when women go through menopause they rush to get hormone replacement…they don’t feel right! Either if you can deal with the heats you are ok…if you can’t then you did her a lot of good by delaying in my humble opinion

      • lisa says:

        Driving me mad trying to decide whethet to have my labs spayed, 4 and 7. Would rather not but worried about

        • lisa says:

          Damn computer. Am worried about pyometra, cancers etc. They are fed good diet, mainly raw, i use natural worm and flea treatment and do not have their yearly boosters anymore, does this help prevent cancers and pyometra.

  8. LB says:

    Is “juvenile vulva” actually a problem for animals that aren’t going to have intercourse? Or are they? (My spayed dogs didn’t socialize with other dogs, so I have no idea.)

  9. Sheven says:

    I usually try to wait until at least 6 months before fixing pets. But male cats spray to mark their territory if not neutered before they reach sexual maturity. Female cats yowl and make you miserable when they are in heat. Maturity is not some exact date that you can predict and all of a sudden you have a cat that is horny and finds a way to scratch her way through your window screen so she can go out and have fun. Hormones are just like teenagers, make them unpredictable and not great pets, and also makes other animals in your household nervous and then they start spraying and all of a sudden you might as well be living in a barn. More likely to run away, stray far, get hit by cars etc.

    • Angry Vet says:

      yes, our recommendations don’t really apply to cats. They just don’t make great pets when intact

      • Justin says:

        I was going to ask about cats. Our cat was neutered at 6 months (due to being a rescue, and I’d rescue a million more if I could) and he’s as active and healthy and playful at 6 years as he was at 6 months. My question is, how young is too young for cats?

      • Naomi says:

        I’ve just found this site. It’s great to read the lively discussions taking place here. I have always had reservations about neutering/spaying pet animals. Removing the entire reproductive organs, thus removing vital hormones, just doesn’t sound right to me. I’m not an expert, so my question is simple; when even the tiniest daisy flower in my garden needs a complete set of hormones for its healthy growth and for completing its lifecycle properly, why is it acceptable to remove any hormones from pet animals by neutering/spaying? No hormones are unimportant. And on that basis, why is it that you seem to be saying that neutering/spaying cats is somehow acceptable because they don’t make good pets when they are intact? It doesn’t sound like a valid statement to me …

  10. Peg Davidson says:

    This makes senese to me , however my boy has an undescended testicle. What are your feelings on this ?

    • Angry Vet says:

      those should come out

      • Peg Davidson says:

        Thanks ! He is 11 months now and I figured I should get it done before it is an emergency.
        I appreciate your time and thoughts !

        • Marlene says:

          I have a male that had a retained testicle. I requested a vasectomy at the time the retained testicle was removed, he still has the one testicle that made it into the scrotum. I requested a vasectomy because I do have intact females and while I keep him separate from the girls when they are in heat, it’s just less worry that an accident could happen.

          • Mary says:

            Marlene, where did you find someone to do the vasectomy? I am in the same situation with one undescended testicle.

      • Wendy says:

        I have learnded in vetschool that the surgery has a higher risc of complications than a retained testicle of developing a tumor. And if you have an ultrsound you can check the retained testicle very year, as you would the other.
        And also that an OVH is for vets that are oldschool and unwilling to change the way they have “always done things”. The uterus only needs to come out when it is abnormal.
        And after a period of promoting pre first heat spays, my vetschool now promotes spaying between the first an third heat, in anestrus, of course.

  11. Diane says:

    I never intended to spay my 2 female poodles but at 2, the older one had a phantom pregancy and was in real distress. When I adopted her younger sister (same parents) I thought that I better spay her earlier so she was done at just over 6 months. Both have kidney failure. I just lost Taylor on Saturday at 15 from stage IV or V kidney failure. Madison is now in stage I. Has spaying them contributed to this? I tried to do everything to keep them healthy, home cooked human grade food, no toxins in the house or yard, titres instead of too many vaccines (they have not been vaccinated for years and don’t need to be according to their titres). Where did I go wrong. I am heartbroken to have lost my true soulmate at 15 when I expected her to live until 18 or 20.

    • Marion Bye says:

      In U.K. The Kidney problem can be a hereditary problem, I have had a few Breeders and exhibitors at my Ringcraft that have developed a genetic Kidney problem. Sadly there are elements both side of ‘The Pond’ who are reluctant to accept there is a problem.

  12. Lisa Horton says:

    I like the article, but you fail to mention the very viable options of either tubal ligation, removal of the uterus only, or vasectomy.

    • Angry Vet says:

      removing the uterus only is very intriguing to me…I haven’t done it…you would worry somewhat about stump pyometra but it interests me…there is almost nothing written up about this procedure. Interestingly, the other way,…removing the ovaries and leaving the uterus is described and performed but to me is completely senseless.

      Vasectomy I have similarly not done but I do offer zinc neuter to achieve the same thing and have thus far had good results with.

      • Maria says:

        I’ll start by saying that I’m Greek and self-taught, so, please, excuse my mistakes.

        My brother has a cat who only had part of her reproductive organs removed. Not by choice, just because the vet was useless. She was neutered when she was 4. She still gets in heat and it can last up to a month. She is a lot more aggressive towards other cats than she used to be. She gets into fights all the time, so we have to keep her inside now, whereas before we let her out when she wasn’t in heat. We often have male cats climb on our balcony and even enter our house, which never happened before. One of them actually peed in my brother’s bedroom. She’s even aggressive towards my female, neutered cat, whom she used to get along with. She just can’t tolerate other cats.

        As for her behavior when she’s in heat, it hasn’t changed much. It has been toned down, but she still meows and tries to get out and she demands to be petted 24/7. She also gets really distressed by the male cats that show up on the balcony. Then, about two months after the heat is over she gets all weird again. We’ve decided that she behaves like a mother because we don’t get any male cats in the balcony, she doesn’t try to get out and she keeps chasing after my cat. She lies next to her, she washes her and she gets upset when she leaves and follows her. She also wants to be petted all the time and she’s very nice to everyone, but mostly, she’s obsessed with my cat.

        So, all in all, I wouldn’t suggest that, it’s kind of a nightmare and I feel like she’s been tortured. I think that that’s another good reason to spray/neuter, they don’t seem to enjoy it much.

      • Emily says:

        Hi Angry Vet,
        I just wanted to speak up as someone who has had a “hysterectomy only” procedure done on her bitch. This is being referred to as an “ovary-sparing spay.” When done properly, the uterus is removed all the way down to the cervix, so there is no risk of stump pyo. The bitch also will not bleed during her cycles, but still swells and otherwise cycles as an intact bitch would. Here some more information on the procedure as well as a video of it being performed:

        • Kristy says:

          I would love to email with you about how this has worked out in your situation – I did my research and chatted at some length with my vet about it as well as watching the video linked on the Parsemus website with my vet. He felt comfortable doing the procedure, and found it to go smoothly, though he had to extend the incision to ensure removal of the cervix. I’m really curious if your bitch has experienced a heat cycle since her spay… and how that went. How old is she? Mine is 15 mos old, and had the procedure done yesterday… her first heat was in June, so I won’t learn what a heat without a uterus looks looks like until December or January…We have an intact male in the house (sire to our female), so we will still have some management to do, but that is not new to us.

  13. jane says:

    my friend just had her 15 month old golden spayed. her first heat was approximately 6 weeks prior to the surgery. the dog had bleeding from the incision, within 48 hours of the surgery. the vet then informed her that it may be do to the fact that the spaying was done too soon after the heat cycle. should she be concerned about problems in the future due to spaying too close to the heat cycle. needless to say, she is very upset.

    • Angry Vet says:

      If there was bleeding from the incision it could be due to the fact that the dog was in false pregnancy – which causes mammary development – making those tissues more vascular. With these dogs there may be more oozing than normally seen. If it continues she should be seen again by your vet.

  14. Nancy says:

    What causes hepatic lipidosis in cats?

    • Angry Vet says:

      Short answer – NO ONE KNOWS! Longer answer is that it is generally seen in overweight cats that – for whatever reason – stop eating. If seen it needs to be handled very aggressively.

  15. H. Brown says:
    • Linda says:

      What stands out to me is that the main causes of death in altered dogs are diseases like cancer and autoimmune disorders. For intact dogs it is trauma (which is closely related to the quality of husbandry) and infections. Infections are often related to traumas, so I would like to see more detail about these findings.

      I also think altering male dogs has little impact on population. If you want to reduce unwanted litters it is spaying females that really makes the difference.

      A responsible dog owner can control whether or not their dogs reproduce, but I am often appalled by how little knowledge the average pet owner has about canine reproduction. The average owner is probably better off spaying their female dogs.

      I don’t have cats, but I have been told by cat breeders that if a queen is not bred for extended periods, it is very hard on her body. Unlike dogs that come into heat seasonally, a female cat will cycle repeatedly until bred.

    • L Kiaer says:

      I am not the angry vet (but I agree with him). I am, however, a statistician.

      A serious issue with this study is that the population studied was made up of very ill dogs who were referred to a teaching hospital. In the link that you sent, the authors tried to extrapolate from this population to the general pet dog population. It also only looks at the reproductive status of the dog at the time of death, rather than considering the age at which the dog was sterilized.
      The causes of death differ between the two groups as well, with intact dogs most often dying of trauma (hit by car?) and infection – both conditions potentially suggesting poor management – while sterilized dogs died more often of cancer and autoimmune disease – which research shows are often exacerbated by (especially early) neutering. The report does not indicate the number of sterilized or intact dogs in the study. While I am sure that the report is accurate regarding the dogs seen, I am equally confident that extrapolating that result to the general population of pet dogs is unfounded.

    • Alycia says:

      This study fails to look at the other factors of death. In this time, between the 90′s and 2004, most intact dogs were owned by irresponsible owners. Most responsible owners at the time spayed and neutered. So the fact that intact animals have a shorter life span is not surprising. Also the study states the altered pets were more likely to die from cancers and intact from trauma and infections. Trauma and infections are much easier to detect and treat rather than cancer. I think this study makes it look like the only factor of life span is whether a dog is left intact or not. Its just not that clear cut

  16. Ailsa says:

    How refreshing to see such a balanced and reasoned opinion expressed well.

    The number of dog trainers who have had issues with the fact that I have chosen not to neuter my rescued dog without being given a provable medical reason has really annoyed me. They tell me he would be easier to control – I ask them if they plan to neuter their teenage sons >>.<<

    • As a professional dog trainer, I and other good professionals DO NOT recommend spay/neuter for behavior management. Truth is, I have seen dogs become aggressive and the procedure causing the opposite effect. As a rule of thumb, a good professional trainer will actually train your dog and modify its behavior through training NOT by pills or medical procedures.

  17. annie cortelli says:

    We have two dogs. The golden retriever is just over 2 yrs. old and was neutered about a year ago. The Boston Terrier is 8 and intact. We have had a number of episodes in which the retriever suddenly and unexplainably attacks the terrier. Our vet has suggested that we have the small dog neutered to deter the larger dog’s aggressiveness. I would truly appreciate any input because I really do not want to put the terrier through an unnecessary procedure in the hopes that it will change the big dog’s behavior.

    • Angry Vet says:

      doesn’t that seem ridiculous since the neutered dog is the one showing the aggression….hmmm!!!
      Sometimes Golden’s can have aggression issues. Has nothing to do with neutering

      • I have seen dogs (maybe it is coincidence but enough to not ignore) that were calm and confident before the procedure and became fear aggressive after. Is there medical evidence to support this phenomenon along with my observation? I am not saying it happens all the time but I have seen it enough over the 25 years I have been training dogs to question medical evidence to support this.

      • Even a neutered dog can be aggressive to an intact dog, as by the hormones odor it senses the intact dog ca become dominant &/or aggressive , so takes the initiative to put the other male lower in rank & be the alpha. I’ve owned & bred Dobes, Rotts, Spanish Mastiffs, Fila ( TOP quality from Germany), Dachs & Min Pins since 1948. I’ve had two mishling litters, all but one (males) in each litter euthanized. One was by a neighbors stray just after I moved into a new property & had not built a kennel or put up fencing. The other was the fault of kennel help. I’ve owned thousands of dogs. NONE ever had testicular cancer & only one had mammary cancer. I NEVER spayed or neutered any, except 1 at 10 as he had a non malignant external growth on the skin of his anus. ALL dogs were crate trained for travel, possible vet stays & IN SEASON CONFINEMENT. I also shipped for breedings & travel to far away dog shows. No females had pyometria that was not controlled thru medication. Germans do NOT spay their pets, nor allow them to run loose. Shelters are few & far between & I cant ever remember seeing any German in possession of a mischling. They have MANDATORY strict quality control for all breeding partners, inc. temperament. Dogs that exhibit health problems are not given breeding sanction & can get no Registrations on pups from such dogs. Same for big deviations of structure, movement, coloring, coat length & texture, bite occlusion, etc etc . Hence their dogs are of MUCH higher quality than most American purebreds. Their dogs are in demand world wide. The winner at the 2006 BIG club show ( ADRK KSZS) was bought by an American for 100,000 Euros. If people patronized real breeders, who CARE about their breed, instead of producers & back yard breeders who either don’t know and/or don’t care how their pups turn out in the long run, most of the dog problems would not arise. Education is the key & most people only go to school & have too little ability to do critical thinking: ie read some books, go to some dog shows (, peruse web pages of top breeders, contact the AKC for referrals ( to breeders, audit obedience classes before buying a dog, find a mentor, even in another breed, etc etc etc.

  18. Siri says:

    Hi Doc,

    My husband and I are set to get our pup neutered tomorrow morning but are having so much guilt. It seems there are yeah’s and neh’s to both sides of the argument and everyone we talk to has a different opinion. He is a German Shepherd (over-sized, and long-haired) and is just the biggest sweetie ever. He does have a slight food aggression issue that we’re working with a trainer on. But anyway, we are getting him neutered tomorrow (6 months) because that’s what both our vet and trainer have told us to do….get him done before the issues start. But we’ve been reading all the bad things too and are just at our wits end trying to decide what to do. How soon would you say to neuter? If we start seeing any issues, should we do it then? Thanks so much. Your advice is much appreciated. :)

  19. Sandy Berlanga says:

    my 8 year old intact golden has a new hobby…marking my dining room table. would neutering help? is he too old?

    • Have a medical check up, clean rug, floor & tables & chairs to illuminate all odor; restrict access to house environs unless he is with you. Put on a long rope, using only a short length from you. Increase length slowly (VERY) watch like a hawk, give him lots of outside exercise time. That is how I cured the only male who ever marked inside the house, on the fridge. He belonged to a friend. The dog learned I was alpha.

  20. candice says:

    You are supposed to spay or neuter to control the population, because there aren’t enough homes. If the animal cannot take the anesthetic, or is “too old” then it’s different. Also, if you rescue or come across a pregnant stray cat, it’s okay to spay as long as the Vet says it is safe. I never heard of Vets saying don’t neuter or don’t spay. A lot of Vets prefer not to declaw, but never met a Vet who didn’t believe in controlling animal population. This is a very unusual website.

    • Erin Campbell DVM says:

      Well I am another. I agree to disagree to your statement about meeting a vet who did not believe in controlling population. That is not the point. Spaying and neutering dogs is not the only way to control the population and in general there is not an over population of dogs in many areas.(not mine- we are importing dogs from out of state out of country, out of county to provide dogs for my area). I think responsible ownership is in play. Regarding cats as intact cats are a pain . You missed the point which is that early spay and neuter is detrimental to dogs.

    • Lynette says:

      You can control the population through responsible pet ownership. You don’t have to do it through spay/neuter, particularly juvenile spay/neuter. Read the current veterinary literature. Spay/neuter is NOT side-effect free. For example, cruciate ligament surgery is now the most common veterinary orthopaedic surgery. Altered dogs have a significantly higher risk of cruciate rupture than intact dogs do.

  21. Colleen says:

    This website is refreshing! I do not have a degree in medicine but I do have a 4 year degree in Science. It makes absolute sense to hold off stopping the production of sex hormones prior to maturation. This is evidence based (freshman level) science and every vet should have a basic understanding of hormones.

    I was shocked when I took my 4.5 month old puppy to the vet & she, an obvious new grad, looked me in the eye and told me to get my cavalier spayed at 6 months. I asked her about the effects on bone and her growth plates, she looked at me like I was from Mars.!!

    I am concerned because my little girl has bilateral luxating patella.

    My “gut” told me to hold off. Now that she is 6 months old, the pressure is on. She medically cannot get pregnant, needs to build good muscle tone, and cannot have obesity issues.

    I will get her spayed after maturation but I am uncertain as to how long to wait, as I need to keep her lean with good muscle tone for as long as possible.

    Thanks for your informative blog!

    • Ramona Stirling says:

      Investigate raw diet and see if it is something that works for you. My dogs have been feed raw for over 15 years now and live long lives and are active performance dogs. I went to raw as I was struggling to keep weight off one of the dogs.. I swear I was starving him and he was chunky. Blood work clean. Went to raw and within a few weeks was shocked at how thin he was. The bulk was just his body’s reaction to the commercial food I guess. My continued experience is raw diet produces a longer, leaner muscle vs a short bulky muscle.. no date just years of observation on several different breeds of dogs. If keeping a dog lean was essential I would look at it. It is much easier now than 15 years ago but is still not for everyone.

  22. sophia says:

    I have a 11 month old Chihuahua, she is now starting her second heat cycle. Should I spay her after the cycle is done?

  23. Alvin says:

    Hi angryvet,

    just wanted to know your recommendation on whether or not to spay my yorkie/pom mix who is just shy of 4 years old and on her 3rd period right now. She has had some issues with dislocating knee caps in her hind legs in the past but it isn’t too bad. only pops sometimes. but doesn’t not stay popped out or anything. I give her glucosamine and vitamins, joint vitamins to prevent osteoporosis and help maintain her joints and cartilage. I was wondering if you would recommend that she be spayed and if she were to be spayed would it negatively impact her joints due to the hormone deficiency affecting her joints or anything else?

  24. Julie says:

    I live in Northern California and have been looking for a vet that will perform a canine vasectomy, do you know of any in this area that would provide that procedure?

    • Angry Vet says:


      No one is performing vasectomies on dogs, there is no benefit to the procedure in them.

      • Julie says:

        There would be a benefit to me, I have a puppy that has to be sterilized per adoption contract that I would rather let grow up whole (Lab /Mastiff but can’t so someone who could perform the simple procedure would make a big difference to me. Oh and I am not the only one looking believe me, many people would go for this IF it was a option

        • Julie says:

          I have found several vets that will do the procedure, from 600 to 2, 200…, your thoughts? I would give you mine but that might get me banned lol

          • Matt says:

            Wow! Not much help to you (In Australia and about 10 years ago) but I got my dog a vasectomy for the same cost as a “regular” castration. I honestly can’t see why a vasectomy needs to be significantly more expensive! My vet at the time indicated that he would need to be pretty careful not to accidentally slice something he shouldn’t…but then…he should ALWAYS be careful to not accidentally slice something he shouldn’t! Either way, most of the cost was the anaesthetic + the regular (minimum) surgery fee.

            My dog came home with a tiny shaved area “down there” (and not exactly where I was expecting), one stitch…and a lifetime of firing blanks.

            Proof was in the pudding to, he enjoyed countless matings after that and sired not one pup…

      • Stephanie says:

        Hmmmm not sure where you are saying no one is performing vasectomies (they are) or that there is no benefit to them (dogs retain all hormones and are essentially intact, yet unable to reproduce, which helps strike a win-win situation in rescue, shelter, and other “spay/neuter required” animals). In fact more and more are performing Ovary Sparing Spays (ie removal of uterus but leaving ovaries intact) and Canine Vasectomies. We recently had a shelter do this for a Malinois’ that we were getting out but wanted to remain intact with hormones due to the likelihood it would end up working and the fact it was only 9 months old. The shelter of course would not release the dog intact, so we compromised. Dog can’t reproduce so the shelter is happy, but still retains the hormones and so we are happy.
        Side not, above you mentioned stump pyo, in a dog with and OSS this is a concern IF the vet isn’t careful to remove ALL of the uterus, which often isn’t so much a concern when doing a traditional spay. It takes only a few minutes longer believe it or not. For a video check out Parsemus Foundation:

      • Emily says:

        What? Why would you say no one is? There are plenty of vets that are. I appreciate your honesty about the spay/neuter issues but I don’t think you’re quite up to date on alternate procedures. They’re becoming more popular and more widely performed.

  25. Heather says:

    I’ve recently adopted an adult (3-ish) female dog (shep/sheltie cross) who was thought to be spayed but then went into heat. I’m supposed to have her spayed according to the contract with the rescue agency. My concern is that she seems to be a bit fear aggressive – it’s not extreme but it’s definitely there, and I want to improve it, not make it worse.

    Do you have any knowledge of this issue worsening (or improving) in bitches who are spayed when fully mature? I’ve found research that suggests that spaying can worsen aggression but it’s more likely when spaying happens too soon. Thanks in advance for your input!

  26. Heather says:

    I should add, the dog also has some possessiveness – of us, of food, sticks etc. Again not terribly serious but not to be ignored. We’re working on it of course. However I’ve read that spaying can actually ease possessiveness. I just wanted to add this detail in case it adds context. Thanks again :-)

  27. Chrissy B. says:

    Thank you for wriritng this, I wish I could find a local vet who feels this way so I wont be made to feel like the worst person in the world for not spaying my 1 year old american bulldog. I am so tired of people saying just do it, it is the “right” thing when intuitively I feel and know that it just is not right, and at such a young age I just cannot co-sign and feel okay to letting them do it to my buddy. Thank you for validating everything I felt about this issue, it is reassuring and empowering to hear it from a professional bc as a dog lover I just want my pup to be as healthy as she can and with me for as long as possible. I am not interested in breeding her or anything, I just come from a very hollistic way of thinking, from vaccines to surgery (heck, I still have my tonsils) lol So happy to of found the site. Thanks

  28. Petchiro says:

    Thank you for stepping up and speaking out about the negative impact of spay/neuter and vaccines. As a Chiropractor our profession is against those too. Just curious what your thoughts are on chemical neutering? I have heard that it reduces testosterone by 50% which to me would be better than 0%. But my vet says that there have been some negative side affects with the original product used and it was pulled from the market. but she was invited to a CE seminar about chemical neutering and supposedly the company has come out with a new product. Your thoughts?

    • angela says:

      Finally a animal Chiropractor…I am not sure if there was a response to this question but I would love to know if there was one. I have a 12 month old Cane Corso that I have not spayed yet. I have chosen not to until 3 months after her first cycle, most people don’t understand the large bone development and why this is important but Im sticking to my choice. I would however prefer something that is a better spay choice..Please tell me about what you have found.

  29. pam snyder says:

    hi at what age should I have my German Shepherd dogs retained testicle removed? I plan on him keeping the one that came down, as I’ll be doing SchH with him and don’t what him to loses his drives and want him to mature and fill out normally which with a male intact GSD is around 3- 4 years old, also what are the cancer risk factor if I don’t have the testicle that did not drop remove? also what are the chances of him only have one testicle, I plan on him having a ultrasound before the surgery to make sure there is one up in his abdomen and so the vet knows were it is so he won’t be cut from bum to chest. thanks

  30. Lorie says:

    I have had a few experiences involving spaying 2 of my dogs and was wondering if either of the issues could be related to the spay. The first was a giant schnauzer that was spayed at 5 months and had continuously leaked urine, the second was a 13 month old Doberman that became afraid of loud noises and got extremely timid when dealing with new people about 9 weeks after her spay. Could either of these situations have been caused by their spays?

  31. Joe says:

    I am also curious if there anything like “Salt Peter” for felines especially our male sphynx he can be heard 1/2 way down the block, if the windows are open! I would love to keep him intact but honestly it is very loud & no one in the house gets good rest if there is a female cats anywhere near our house.

  32. Wendy-Lee Coetzee says:

    Hi there,
    I wonder if you can help me – I have 2 little 13 week old kittens, a brother and a sister. Can you please advise me when they should be spayed and neutered – there are so many conflicting reports on the internet? My local vet says 6 months but then I’m reading 4 months in other blogs. I want to do what is best for my little ones and also don’t want early unwanted pregnancies for the little girl.

    Many thanks in advance

  33. I’ve been breeding Pyrs for over 30 years, and was told about your site by a former veterinarian (now neurosurgeon) who I was fortunate enought to have sold a pup to last March. He and I have had several conversations about early spay/neuter, longevity, and osteosarcoma which is a big problem in this breed across all breeding lines. Our Parent Club just pblished a brief artcile in out Bulletin taken from the AKC CHF about this issue.

    Now the question, I have 2 8 month-old males anda 5 month old bitch living together in a pet home with a small kennel set-up. The bitch wil eventually be bred. One of the boys is 1 point shy of his championship and will be used at stud in the future. The littermate who was destined for export to China, did not clear PennHIP, and will be kept with his brother. My instinct was to neuter him young for the sake of harmony between the boys as normally we do not house male Pyrs together, although I have done it several times in the past. However, I can “control” the situation if need be since I do have a full kennel facility. I was also able to pick and choose which boys I thought would be able to co-exist. That is not the present situation.

    I would love to see both these boys live a long life, hopefully avoiding osteo/hemangio, but I would also like to see them continue to co-exist in harmony. Your thoughts?

    Your site is phenomenal and I have passed it along to many of my fellow breeders.

    • Angry Vet says:

      hahahah Glen!

      Certainly two male intact dogs can be raised to live together in harmony. You are an experienced dog owner and will be fine. You certainly may have to watch the males around bitches in heat and other silly things like feeding, From a health perspective males in particular are healthier…period, the end. If you want to do an experiment for yourself neuter one and leave the other intact. In two years send me a picture of the two dogs and I will post on angryvet! The picture will speak louder than words

  34. celeste says:

    I have 13 month old female cat. She got out of her first heat yesterday. I wanted to raise her naturally without spaying her but also concerned about pyometra and mammary cancer. Its really hard for me to make the best decision for her. She is 100% indoor cat. I would appreciate it if you can offer any recommendation.
    Thank you

  35. celeste says:

    oh…and I am not planning on breeding her in the future.

  36. Monica says:

    (Sorry in advance for any mistakes, english is not my first language)

    I’ll talk specifically about cats. I agree with what you say, spaying and neutering does not represent any real health benefits for the animal, it’s not logical to assume that nature gave them organs that will harm them, and clearly that’s just something vets and people at shelters tell you in order to convince you, BUT what about behavioral issues? I’m not talking about how difficult it is to deal with an intact adult cat (if someone neuters/ spays for that reason then they’re doing it for them, not for the cat) I can deal with spraying and loud meowing, I’m talking about the fact an intact cat or a cat that has been spayed/ neutered after the first heat cycle develops the habit/need of roaming around, they find a way of going out, even if the windows are protected, even if you’re careful, they’ll just find the way… and neutering does not take away the habit, once it’s there it will stay there forever, and this is very dangerous for the cats; you say that an intact cat will live longer and I’m sure this is true in a perfectly safe environment, but in reality an intact cat will go out, will get killed by other animals, attacked by dogs, he will fight other cats and get infected with FELV, FIV, FIP, etc, he will eat poisoned things, he can get hit by a car… I’ve experienced this. I have now 3 cats, 2 males and one female, 2 of them were neutered/spayed at 5 months of age and don’t even try to go out, the other one is intact, he has a weird digestive disorder that they haven’t been able to diagnose, they think is IBD, anyway he’s never been healthy enough to go through surgery, at least that’s what I think, they tell me there would be no problems but I’m afraid; he has gotten out 2 times, he found a way of jumping up a very tall fence… this scares the hell out of me

  37. smh says:

    I think if one takes into account quality of life, s/n is the way to go ASAP.

    By how much does it really decrease life span?

    As a scientist, I love to know statistical significances as well and other possible contributing factors that are/are not accounted for.

  38. smh says:

    This study directly contradicts your conclusion.

    • Angry Vet says:


      There was no numbers of animals listed in this study. In addition the group is also attempting to draw conclusions about animals that reproduce, not just those that are intact. For every study that comes up with one conclusion there are others that come up with another. This is commonplace in our profession. All we can do is decipher them as best we can and come up with our own judgements. We are looking at the elective procedures that we, as a profession recommend, and not just simply accepting that they are either “all good” or “all bad”, but there are good AND bad consequences that occur with their use. If one were to cherry pick from that article that sterilized animals live longer (a notion that is in dispute), and that is a good thing, then ALL animals should be sterilized…..then of course each species would be wiped out in a generation!

      • smh says:

        There were over 40,000 animals in the study.

        • Angry Vet says:

          My bad!! First sentence – but again, it is stated in that study that the question is “why would you die younger if you have offspring?” not “why would you die younger if you are intact?” In addition there are a variety of other variables that are not mentioned including whether or not animals that were intact vs s/n were provided the same quality of medical care.

          • smh says:

            I can’t see the original article – only the summary.
            Can you answer the same questions regarding the study/studies you reference, but do not cite?

    • Linda says:

      In this study the most common cause of death in altered dogs was diseases like cancer and autoimmune disorders. The intact animals died most often of traumas (probably because they are more likely to roam and are more physically active) and infections. What it says to me is that the earlier deaths in intact dogs are likely the result of poor husbandry (a large percent of average pet owners are well-meaning but pretty clueless, in my experience.)

    • Erin Campbell DVM says:

      Read it.. it does not. Just the title.

    • John says:

      “Intact dogs are still dying from cancer; it is just a more common cause of death for those that are sterilized,” said Jessica Hoffman, a UGA doctoral candidate in the Franklin College of Arts of Sciences who co-authored the study.”

      Of course cancer is a more common cause of death for sterilized pets, they have a higher, more predictable standard of living. Move to a third world country and you’ll have almost no chance of dying of cancer (dysentary, however, may certainly take your life.)

      Bottom Line: The exception (a relatively small number of people who are willing to responsibly provide for and safeguard their unaltered pets) does not disprove the rule – that most such animals have no advocate.

      Also: “Health” as used in justification for spay, neuter, is a relatively broad term. The rationale for interpreting it otherwise is just and excuse for finding a way to undermine people’s confidence in the procedure.

      And frankly if you are one of those very responsible pet owner’s who have decided to keep your pets intact, give yourself some credit and realize that most (and I mean most) people aren’t up to the task.

  39. Betsie says:

    Thank you for this post. I have always been amazed by the growth spurt my bitches experience after a heat cycle and tried to encourage my responsible friends to wait at least one heat cycle before spaying. My two retired bitches are both spayed, mostly to make life easier with boys and avoid any accidents. (Don’t want a bitch pregnant for the first time at 6). Intact animals are inconvenient but well worth the trouble.

  40. Kimberly Laurie-angryrescuelady says:

    Dear Angry Vet,

    I am making an assumption here…but you don’t work with Rescue Groups, do you? Pfftt…
    This is is a great idea for the Lucky Class of Dogs out there that are wanted & loved. What about all of the senseless AND GREEDY over breeding of dogs over the last fifty years? So… Are you saying that if I rescue a litter of pups, I should foster them for a year and NOT sterilize them? Putting science about health & wellness aside here…what are you saying??? I’m dumbfounded at the thought that dog owners be encouraged to Not ensure the animal does not reproduce until they are over a year old. I know I don’t have to tell you how many animals are slaughtered EVERYDAY in this country. Of Course..vets are telling their patients owners to sterilize ASAP. I really Do understand how barbaric it is to remove a dogs reproductive hormone producing organs at such a young age…in fact i lobbied to have my First dog’s ovaries left intact rather than a radical hysterectomy. I get it. I am in the human healthcare field. But seriously? Think Social & Moral consequences. Think about the number of euthanized dogs in a day in this country. I am sorry. I don’t think you care about the 2nd class dogs that need help the most. Just the lucky ones and the inbreed pedigree dogs. Shame.

    • don’t put the onus on the dogs & cats by neutering them. Make the irrespobsible & greedy people responsible for EVERY dog or cat that their animals produce. Mandatory chipping & genetic profiling MUST be done. The owner of the sre & dam equally responsible : fine the begeebers out of the, then make them keep the animals, or pay to board them fin them homes, take them back if the owners don’t keep them & lastly make them euthanize what they cant/wont keep by their own hands. Keep upping the fine, put them in jail, make it illegal to have mischlings & other unwanted pups :whatever to get them to stop their immoral behavior. Many people only learn the hard way.

      • SuzyQ says:

        Felicia Luburich,

        You sure have a lot to say as though you are an expert. And several of your posts have come across as rather rude. In the US, we do not have the resources to fine people and making microchipping and genetic testing mandatory. We don’t have the ability to even make sure animals are treated HUMANELY, including being fed and housed appropriately, let alone find the owner of the stray that just impregnated your female (which flies in the face of those who claim it it only the females that need to be altered).
        I live in the southern US, which has many unwanted, stray, feral pets. There is no one to fine for these. “Mischlings” are probably THE most common breed here. Some of the local shelters here work with groups to re-home adoptable pets to northern states that are short on pets. Since Angry Vets seems to be located in the north US, I wonder if that is why they do not see some of the problems we deal with

        Owner education is very much needed, but there are many people in just my area who have NEVER taken their pets to a veterinarian to get this education. How would you propose we track these people? Would you make them fear going to the veterinarian because they may get fined or, as you mentioned, jailed? And our jails are over-crowded, so where would we jail mis-mating owners? There is no license to own or breed a pet. There is no required training to own a pet. Jim’s dog had a litter and gave some puppies to his neighbors. Now you have owners who may or may not know what they are doing. Who may or may not ever see a veterinarian. There is no animal census done to even know these animals exist!

        I happy for those of you that live in countries where that isn’t a problem. Especially love hearing how you like to tell us, Americans, how under-educated we are. We are a very large country, with a lot of people spread out and it is strategically very difficult to create the uniformity in education, policing our people, behavior, and well, pretty much anything. We don’t even necessarily speak the same throughout the country!

        Your answers to other posts have been as equally closed-minded as this one was. I think that you do not either understand the situation, have no experience with pet-population and ownership in the US, or like to randomly spew unrelated answers. Answers like, “No reliable breeder uses dogs for breeding that whelp oversized or long haired German Shepherds.” or “dogs don’t have “periods”. They have seasons. The two are absolute opposites.” were, of course, super helpful to the questions being asked of Angry Vet (not you).

        I invite you AND the doctors at Angry Vets to work at a shelter in an overpopulated southern US area for a month.

        There are many people that could be responsible pet owners with intact pets, but there are so many that aren’t. It’s harder to pick between the two and easier to advocate sterility. Although sterility through non-major surgery would be nice to see on the rise here in the US.

    • Shawna McAlearney says:

      I agree Joe. And the shelters should continue to do their jobs by spaying and neutering because, unfortunately, “good decisions” about keeping your dogs under control and not reproducing are not made by the masses. We continue to have a huge pet overpopulation problem and need to continue to address it in any way we can.

  41. Do you know in Denmark and Sweden its considered cruel to neuter and spay dogs? Interestingly, they do not have a pet overpopulation problem either. Its inconceivable to them someone would allow their dog to have an unplanned pregnancy. Pet owners are expected to train and secure their pets. They also allow people to bring their pets along to pubs, curbside restaurants, and other public places. Refreshing isn’t it?

    • Northern Europeans are much more sophisticated & educated ( not only schooled) than almost all Americans.

      • SuzyQ says:

        Yes, us Americans are so backwards. Thank you for pointing that out so eloquently. It’s so refreshing that in your country, everyone has the opportunity to be taught to be responsible pet owners. We are still working on getting our population just educated, since there are areas where you do not have to attend school past grade 8.

  42. John Wade says:

    Great article. I’m sticking a link to it on my website and in my next newsletter.


  43. mike stellas says:

    Pets are healther? tell that to those on death row.

  44. Melisa Smith says:

    I have an article published by UCDavis that supports what you are saying. How can I mean it to you for you to post here?? Melisa

  45. kitty says:

    Since its so refreshing to hear a Vet speak truthfully about what many animal owners have known ( or at least questioned) as regards to theentire spay/neuter issue, I am curious if you would be willing to address the concern of what a new wave of critics and statisticians have deemed the “Billion Dollar Heartworm Hoax”. I have a sneaking suspicion ( have not yet delved into the numbers) that reported cases of Heartworm do not support the aggressive and expensive Heartworm prevention campaigns that EVERY Vet pushes. From personal experience, I have felt a lot of scare tactics have been utilized and it would only seem obvious that annual heartworm testing and prescription preventatives would generate a ton of guaranteed revenue within the Veterinary community . I’ll hang up and listen!!!!!

  46. Diane Paster, DVM says:

    I’ve found that I sometimes confuse clients when I give them option to spay or neuter later in life–they have become so used to the social/governmental pressure to spay or neuter early.
    I was wondering if you had gathered up all the papers that are in support of not spaying and neutering at an early age. I know there is a cruciate ligament/tibial plateau angle study out there. I would like to get this info gathered for my clients so they don’t think I’m a quack for suggesting that they don’t have to spay or neuter at a young age. Just wondering if you could save me some time doing the literature search :)

  47. joan says:

    I totally agree with angry vet. every female ive had that was spayed before 1 year has leaked urine as they got older. I have an intact male now that has never bred. he doesn’t even know how to fight and loves other dogs. I have a dog and a cat now that are not spayed and I have absolutely no health issues or any other issues related to breeding. its about time someone told the truth about spaying and neutering animals at too young an age. how can I find the angry vet blog?

  48. Linda says:

    I have a 4 month old female, rescue with a hernia. The vet wants to spay her at 6 mos and repair the hernia at the same time. What are your thoughts? Shouldn’t the hernia be repaired?

  49. Ann Knickerbocker says:

    Interesting article, but I would learn more if the acronyms were explained. For example, what are HBCs, FUS & NYS? I recently got a stray (I have just adopted her) spayed because she has had three litters and she is such a little thing. I have not only spayed my other female dog (also a rescue), but have neutered my male pit mix. Luckily they were all older when I had them done. In the city I live in, they require pits & pit mixes to be spayed and neutered. They confiscated my beautiful pit bull mama (also a rescue) because she wasn’t spayed. She was by far the most sweet-tempered dog I ever had. My city also charges $75 a year for a license for a non-spayed or neutered dog as opposed to $10 for those who have been fixed. Obviously, my city sucks if it encourages people to spay neuter their pets at a young age. I can see your logic about fixing the pets too young, but I do believe it is far better to spay a female than to have her produce litter after litter.

  50. tree says:

    I personally only spay or neuter when there is a health issue, having had a hysterectomy at older age and knowing others i know it is hard, on then with hormones etc.. if you neuter a dog just because why not yourself or your kids? same difference.. I do get upset with vets that constantly push it even when they are told no.. I feel either they have bought into correctness in spit of the animals well being or just want the extra money, neither case endears them to me..

  51. sara says:

    I agree on spaying to early. My vet also agrees people should wait. But they recommend spaying around 6 months (depending on dog) and neutering around 8 months to a year. I have four dogs all altered. My family has always had altered animals because we do not want puppies or bleeding females running around the house. I volunteer for shelters and rescues and deal first hand with pet overpopulation in dogs and cats. I do wish people would stop pushing for early spay/neuter but I also wish more people that wait until after that first heat would also not let their dogs reproduce in that time. Our shelters are filled with puppies and kittens because many people around here think their dog will be healthier if they have one litter.. what they don’t know is when those puppies come to the shelter for eating a shoe or something they get killed…

    There are risks with spaying/neutering but if it means keeping thousands of unwanted animals out of shelters I’ll take that risk.

  52. Cindy F. says:

    What a pleasure to know of a vet that agrees with waiting to spay/neuter. I am not vet, but have done much research over the years. I am certified in wildlife rehabilitation, have had many farm animals, do rescues, adopted dogs, currently have 6 dogs, and the most education I’ve gotten was the two years I had a GSD with Degenerative Myelopathy. I lost him in November. He was diagnosed with HD early on, and he was neutered after 2 years only so it wouldn’t be passed on..just in case. Vaccines..well, I think they can contribute to neurological issues similar to DM. Flea meds..same thing. Many kill fleas it out. Food..well, let’s not go there. I have had many in tack dogs..still do. My back yard is fenced, as well as my front yard. I’ve had a couple that stayed outside, and they were neutered after 2 years of age. I have done the research too, and choose to wait..IF I need to spay/neuter. I keep my animals from roaming, and away from each other during cycles. Since I lost Axle, I have adopted 3 dogs. Two are seniors, and one was an 8 week old pup that was going to be put down “for space”. I begged them not to spay her, that I would my expense, via contract if needed..but, I was mortified as they wouldn’t budge on it. Sad.. I was also denied an adoption because I have a senior un-spayed dog. To old to spay now. I even told them why she wasn’t spayed, sent validating documents..but..nope. He couldn’t have gotten a more responsible, loving owner.. Point is..I am not dumb about animals, statistics, etc., and I’m glad to find someone in Veterinary medicine that agrees. Thank you..

  53. Dr. Powell says:

    Though I “do” agree with you that shelters are too quick to spay and neuter their pets, I would also like to share a little information regarding my own pets. I had four dogs. The first was a 120-lb loveable White Shepherd/Retriever mix, the second was an English Terrier, my third was a Border Collie and my fourth is a Border Collie. All four of my kids were adopted at local shelters and all four were neutered and spayed at the age of six months. My dogs lived to be 14, 18, and 12.5 respectively. My fourth Border is 10 and I just adopted another puppy. None of them had behavioral issues and were all great dogs. Three of the four have died due to old age. I do not have an “issue” with them being spayed and neutered at 6 months, but I am seeing a trend with shelters to get them fixed at younger ages. My puppy is only 4 months and the shelter is bugging me to get him fixed next week.

  54. Christine Monroe, DVM says:

    As a veterinarian my recommendations have evolved with the research. I now recommend waiting until a year before spay/neuter. I have also spent a portion of career involved with “shelters” and have been witness to MANY/ALOT/NUMEROUS animal surrenders due to behaviors directly linked to being left intact. The key in my opinion is “responsibility” which is a challenge where people are concerned. I try to educate along with providing my recommendations ~ BUT I still recommend spay/neuter. Please don’t “lump” the veterinary profession into “one” entity ~ It is a profession comprised of many doctors ~ all of which, have an opinion. As a side note, all who would question the irresponsibility of people pertaining to animals PLEASE take time and volunteer in a local shelter for at least 6 months. Also, I believe ALL veterinarians should have to work in a shelter for at least 6 months too ~ In my opinion, it would make us all better veterinarians!

  55. Michele says:

    I just want to THANK YOU for stepping up and out and saying what you believe. I have been so frustrated with ‘todays vet’. ‘Todays’s Vet’ from my perspective are trained to empty your wallet each time they see you-and my animal lover friends agree. Until recently, I can not tell you how long had it been that I didn’t walk out of a vets office under $350.00 for 1 dog and usually much more for simple things-(as they always find something more and guilt you into it for the dogs welfare) Yip, I didn’t studder. I just found a vet who is so caring and isn’t trying to retire his practice on my dogs (5) health care regiment. I do believe this is why county shelters all over this country plus the private no kill/kill shelters are jam-packed, no one can afford to have a dog anymore,. Its too sad. I have had dogs nearly all my life. I can only guess what ‘todays vets’ are taught in their conventions – but they need to reverse it ($$$$$) This has been a pet peeve of mine since the 90s when things started going crazy.

    I went to a breeder for my shih tzu male. He was 4m old and of course adorable. When it was time for his last, the vet was on me like white on rice. I hadn’t decided if I wanted to breed yet, so I pushed them off. (Since then the county pushed thru an ordinance that if you breed you must have a license or else. AND to get their shots (through the county) if not neutered/spayed are like $120 per dog vs $10 + tags costs if fixed.) Then I got a female about 9 months later, Neither were fixed yet and vet was making me crazy to the point I quit going after the baby shots were taken care of. Well, my dogs don’t go outside my property and I waited to get rabies etc – until I decided if I wanted to breed or not. I got her thru one heat w/o any trouble but didn’t know she was in heat on the 2nd go round and he got her. So they made the decision for me. I ended up with 4 adorable pups. Donated one to a charitable org in which she brought in over $6K (and I hear she’s living in the mansion I know I was born to live in-LOL) and I kept the rest of the dogs. Between the parents who were fixed much later and the puppies who were fixed at 8-9 months – there is a marked difference in their bodies. Prices from the vet would have cost me $375 per dog in ’05; County I got them all neutered/spayed AND chipped AND 3 year shots including the tags, AND the other yearly shots AND flea drops at $60 per dog. HUGE difference.

    My new vet said what I’ve been saying for eons about all these new treatments todays vets are pushing.. No, we don’t need to do this/that – if they were in the wild it wouldn’t be done, right? I am actually paying less than 1/3 the price to see him & meds aren’t costing me a 2nd mortgage either. The county doesn’t handle illnesses/issues. Just what I noted above. But now 2 of my dogs (of the pups, now adults) are coming up with allergies and its a mess-and what struck me odd was he asked what age I had them fixed but I never asked why he wanted to know. I think I do now. Hmmmm? (sorry for being long winded-but could not be happier I found your site. THANK YOU AGAIN)

  56. Erin says:

    I run a small, but growing, fb group on ovary sparing spays and vasectomy (with discussions of all options) and several people have brought up the idea of tubal ligation – does anyone know why one might do this vs. ovary sparing spay? I would think that the benefits of significantly reduced pyo risk would be key in choosing OSS over TL, but apparently one person’s vet prefers TL because it’s less invasive? Any insight?

  57. RC says:

    I look forward to seeing your article you mentioned you would be writing on behavior issues and spay and neuter and about the lack of benefits. When I rescued one of my dogs at around 8 months, his original vet (who saw him when he had been found as a stray 2 months prior to me bringing him home) said he showed signs of possible abuse. He had bruising around his face, his hair was falling out, and he violently flinched to a raised hand. Despite all his troubles and shyness, he settled in quite quickly and did well in obedience training. We held off on neutering for many of the reasons in this article, also because he wasn’t in the best physical shape. He gained a lot of confidence, but that confidence vanished at 18 months. He began to hide behind me and snap at people’s hands (not mine or anyone he knew, just new people who extended their hand towards him) rather than flinch. I believe this was his second fear period, but I wonder if neutering him would have softened this at all? Anyways, it culminated with him biting my coworker, not bad, but bad enough they blamed the fact he wasn’t neutered. He was in obedience training at the time but we switched to a trainer more experienced with fear issues. He was neutered 2 months after the bite occurred. I did notice a change in his behavior about a month later, he is not as reactive and is much less distracted. It may have been the increased training, it may have been the neuter, but I don’t regret having him done. I beat myself up alot, thinking it was something I did by delaying his neuter, but glad to hear from a vet’s perspective that it hopefully was not.

  58. Sharon says:

    When I purchased my puppy from a breeder on a neuter contract, she asked that I wait he was around 13 months old. I was willing to wait until then to neuter him despite his intense interest in knowing what girls were before the age of 6 months old. However, there should be agreement that there are times when a dog should be neutered early. My dog’s future health was on the line. By the age of nine months old, one of his testicles regressed into the abdominal wall and was 90% impacted already. That was a situation where waiting was going to cause more medical problems. Even the breeder agreed that it was better to neuter him at 9 months rather than expose him to certain health issues down the road from the testicle staying in the abdominal cavity too long.

  59. Nicole says:

    Another risk of neutering male cats early is proximal femoral metaphyseal osteopathy, which I’d never heard of until my cat was diagnosed. I had Sheldon fixed at barely 8 weeks, because that was what I was supposed to do. As Sheldon aged, I thought it was cute that he’d lay on his stomach with his hind legs sprawled out behind him. But I had no idea what was going on!

    By a year and a half, both of Sheldon’s femoral necks & heads were crumbling & necrotic. My poor baby had two broken hips and I had no idea! He had two ostectomies, spaced 8 weeks apart. It was a terrible, painful ordeal for him, and set me back about $4,000. My vet said this is a rare side effect of neutering before 6 months – the growth plate at the femoral neck doesn’t develop properly.

    I beg my friends to wait until their cats are 6 months old, but you can’t adopt an unaltered cat or dog from a shelter! I recently got 2 kittens from a friend, and had them neutered last week, at 6 months old. I wish I’d seen your article sooner; I would’ve waited longer!

  60. Janis says:


    I have an 8 month old Boston Terrier and he is scheduled to get neutered in a few days. I have been doing a little research as I am worried about him being put under for the surgery. The only problem we have is he marks everything when we go out for his walks. He does not mark in our house . Plus he mounts a few things his bed, family male dog , arms, legs , stuffed animals. He has no aggression but when he is try to mount a family member he seems a little crazed. Please tell me what would be a good age for him to be neutered should I wait?
    Thank You

  61. Ann-Marie says:

    As a responsible breeder I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is an issue I work hard to explain and advocate, no matter whose puppy the person I’m discussing this with has. I have bookmarked your article and shared it in my kennel group. Keep fighting to good fight for pets, Vets like those here are few and far between.

  62. MaDukes says:

    Out of the 4 female and 3 male dogs, all of which were spayed and neutered, I’ve had in my lifetime none has had a maturity issue or
    most of the other things you say are related to spaying and neutering.
    Two had cancer, one had a heart problem and the others either died
    from old age or had to be euthanized due to their long ages. They all
    lived to be 12-14 years old, and they were not small dogs, they were
    from 35-80 pounds, and the one I still have will be 14 years old in
    October. And, yes, she has health issues but doesn’t that come with old age just like people? I could be wrong but I think your theory
    may be incorrect. I did wait until they were at least 6 mths. Who is
    going to take care of all the strays that are produced from parents
    who are not spayed or neutered?

  63. Meg says:

    I have 2 Brittanys who are both female from the same litter. They are now 7. We had one spayed (can’t remember age but I could look that up) and the other is intact. We bred her once.

    The one who is intact is slim (about 36 lbs.) and the one who is spayed is chunky (about 45 lbs.). They have the exact same access to food and exercise. In fact, they both are VERY active.

    Interestingly, we live in a city neighborhood, and I have NEVER seen a male dog hang around when Kona is in heat. She seems hormonal before she goes into heat, but less during. The other thing I would point out is that people in general have NO CLUE about how dogs go into heat or when they are fertile. If you are knowledgeable, it is not that hard to manage.

    Anyway, if you would like more info, or I could get you a picture of the two of them. Feel free to email me.


  64. Jackie C says:

    What about pyometra? I had a Giant Schnauzer unspayed bitch who developed pyometra at 11. If a bitch isn’t having puppies is it unhealthy for her not to be spayed. My understanding is it’s an unnatural condition for females not to have puppies and that causes problems.

  65. Teddy's Mom says:

    This is making me wish I had waited to have my dog neutered. I was so certain that having it done at 6 months of age was the right thing to do for his own good.

  66. Maxine W. says:

    I have a hard time thinking that the merit of leaving a dog intact is because you think it’s better for their growth and development! I guess none of you have ever run a large boarding kennel? We try never to take intact dogs and after this weekend I will be more diligant than ever. The smell that exudes from male urine being sprayed all over is overwhelming! I have had some males that aren’t too offensive and then I have had others, that can make your eyes water! We just had a female that was in heat (owner’s didn’t know what was wrong with her!) and she stood in her kennel (indoors and outdoors) and sprayed urine behind her as if she was a male cat marking his territory! I have had the same dog in my kennel as a young adult without being in heat and she was a perfect girl. The interesting part of this is that I am the only kennel within a 100 km. of here that will even consider taking intact animals at all…and that’s only if I know them. I can’t and won’t consider taking unaltered cats of either sex, after breeding Siamese for 15 years, you really don’t want to be in a room with a screaming female in heat! Or a male that is trying to get to her! Don’t forget the smell of the catboxes…..and the sprayers that can hit a wall 10′ away!
    On a personal note, I have only owned three female dogs that were never spayed and all died of pyometra anytime after the age of 10.
    I am also a trainer with 20 years experience and the majority of people just want a nice pet, so what if it doesn’t get as big as it might have, I totally disagree with that theory and have plenty of clients to disprove it. Most people aren’t ready to handle the smell and mess of intact dogs or their altered behaviour when their brains are gone with the wind! Perfectly well-behaved dogs can turn into complete idiots when the scent of a female in heat is around…go to any dog show and see what their policy of females in heat is…..! And then there are several types of aggressions that I see enhanced by leaving dogs intact, territorial,and dominance, to name a couple and it seems to increase food and object guarding from what I have seen in 20 years.
    All I see this new trend of vets recommending late spaying and neutering is a new way to get more money when they have to put the larger animal under and then do a “mature” spay or neuter. I have yet had a person complain that their dog remains quite puppyish if they are spayed or neutered before they are mature, most people complain when their “cute” puppy starts to grow up so I see it as a win-win if you don’t have the mess and you have a playful puppy for a longer period of time! And let’s not forget the main reason for spays and neuters….to reduce the population of unwanted animals in our shelters and rescues!

    • keesgrrl says:

      I don’t know what dog shows you go to, but I’ve been showing in AKC shows for more than 20 years, and female dogs in heat are absolutely allowed to compete. And the males (all intact) are sufficiently well-trained and managed that it’s not a problem. If being around a bitch in heat was the problem you seem to think it is, all the males would be out of control and you’d have a gang rape of the poor bitch. The boys may be a bit less attentive to their handlers, but they are definitely under control. BTW — neutered males still lift their leg to pee, unless they were neutered before they learned this behavior. And if you’d actually read any of the studies on the effects of early S/N, you’d know that the early S/N aren’t stunted in growth — they actually get TALLER because the growth plates don’t close properly and the long bones keep growing past the time when they would normally stop.

  67. Greg says:

    Could you please provide links to the studies and evidence you suggest? Or are these just your opinions as stated? I think you suggest this, so the overpopulated pet population grows, and you make more money. $$$ Shelters are receiving discarded dogs at the rate of up to 100 per week. Per Week. Sad that you would give advice that would increase these numbers.

  68. Anneke says:

    I agree and we are curious about the reference of the research for this text. Thank you.

  69. pk says:

    I believe Vets may have started heralding the positive side of spay neuter just to cut down on the massive amounts of”surprise” litters. Especially in cats as there are fewer control laws (leash, license etc.) in most states.

    As someone who has done fotster, shelter and rescue work for thirty years I speak from direct experience when I say a lot of animal owners clearly do not attend to their responsibilities as a care taker for a real life form.

    Can not count the number of times I’ve heard “oh well she/he’s an indoor cat, she/he will never get out” only to have the female cat (or neighbors of the intact male) come back pregnant.

    “Well she only got our one time”.

    Owners need to also think about their community not just their one little darling.

  70. Kelsi says:

    Would you consider doing some research on the possibilities of vasectomies in dogs? For example: I have a young male dog that is a mutt. It is my preference to leave my male dogs intact as I’ve never had behavioral problems, etc. However, because my youngest dog is a mutt, the AKC mandates that he be neutered in order to compete in agility, rally, etc. However, I don’t want to neuter, especially early neuter, a dog that will be used in sport. I have researched the Zeuterin option, but they are not approved for dogs over 70lbs. This, of course, leaves out a huge population of dogs and puts those with large dogs who want to wait to neuter in a quandary.

    So, the AKC will accept a vasectomy as being neutered for competition reasons and will retain the dogs exposure to hormones, etc., for orthopedic and growth reasons.

    This may be reason enough to research the matter further and suggest that vets may consider this as another option for (male) dog owners?

  71. Sthomas says:

    Thrilled to have found this site! Will be sharing it with everyone I come across!! Thank you!!!!!!

  72. Ivo Capor says:

    It’s nice to hear the other side of the mainstream story. But from my point of view we are actually having even bigger problems then animal health related.
    It’s the issue about overall nature of the animal and our commodity. Let’s be realistic, we are spaying/neutering animals because we are not happy the way they behave and because we are not capable of dealing with their offspring. So to the point: what most of people want from let’s say a cat is to be nice, cuddly, stay at home, sleep all days and fill our emotional needs which we are not getting from humans. So to cut it short, we as humans don’t want a real dog or a cat but instead an imaginative “ideal” pet, created and tailored to our needs. So at the end of a line I believe it says a lot about person’s character, how it goes with the flow, doesn’t respect cat/dog or nature overall. I mean for myself one of the most admiring behavioural characteristics about cats it’s their strong territoriality, independence, the way they defend and fight for their territory, the way how they ignore you if they are not interested at the moment and overall rich character, that if you don’t like you shouldn’t get a cat. Yes ok,I like their looks, but that should be the last thing when getting a pet. It’s one of the most cynical things to say that animal is happier, more family oriented, less aggressive after spaying/neutering what you can usually hear from spaying/neutering lobby. I mean, how the hell did you ask the dog/cat a question, someone speaks dog/cat language?! I mean people if someone cut your testicles or pulled out your ovaries, without hormone therapy you would get more prone to fall into depression state, become less active, wouldn’t be interested in opposite sex. I mean there are human/animal studies; whole science of biology/psychology says that the driving force of life is reproduction! Most, although not all of our ambitions are deep in our subconscious motivated to prove ourselves as representative male/female and of course find ourselves better partner and reproduce. I am not saying there are no exceptions between people, but overall that’s reality. Again what AngryVet said if spaying/neutering is so good why don’t we do it to ourselves?!!! We have overpopulated the planet, compromised ecosystems, we are aggressive, gready, etc. I could go on… So spaying/neutering humans would actually solve world’s problems.
    But no,if a men doesn’t want to have kids it makes vasectomy, so he only contracepts himself but keeps his organs for biological functions, it’s the same with ladies.

  73. Sherri Guedea says:

    I have a beautiful sweet full breed himi cat and she is 9 1/2 months old. Her personality is like no other! She is so loving and so sweet she actually hugs me with her paws. I have read so many things about early S/N and I just keep canceling her appointments to be spayed for some reason. I have had cats all my 30 years and have had them spayed at 6 months or earlier and everyone mostly female have had bad attitudes and not loving. I don’t want my himilayan baby to lose her lovinness and after finding this website, I feel that waiting is best for her health as well as her disposition. I just love her so much I can’t fantom the fact of her gone from me for one second yet give her to my vet to be put under for surgery. She is a 100% indoor cat. Is it ok to wait until she is one year or even 1 1/2 year to have her neutered and have her remain healthy and loving? Thank you for your awesome website. I’m so glad I found it at the right time!! And thank you in advance for answering my question.

  74. Simeon Pritchard says:

    Hi Angry Vet – I live in Australia where it is common to spay and neuter dogs. My bitch is currently 6 months old.

    Please tell me what you make of the stats regarding mammary cancer in intact bitches? I am quite anxious about risking my dog’s health by leaving her to have at least one heat as apparently the risk goes up to 8% after the first heat and exponentially after this, but I also don’t want to stunt her growth by getting her spayed early, and I am considering not spaying at all.

    Also, what are the treatment options/success rates for dogs that develop mammary tumors? Also, do you now if spaying young can affect skull formation in Cavaliers and lead to the brain defect they have (I forgot the name)?

    Thank you.

  75. DogLover says:

    We have a female golden retriever not spayed 11 months old and in her first heat. She seems to take it in stride and having no problems. Enter a stray miniature poodle, intact 3 year male who we have kept when owner never came after signs in neighborhood and no chip. We keep them apart but sometimes they are both on leashes with us. Of course they are interested in each other. They didn’t play well at all at first, but after she came in heat they will play and the male will try to hump her on any part of her body it seems. She is wearing a dog diaper that takes care of the catching the blood but I ‘m sure the male would find his way around the diaper if we let him hump that end. He really gets turned on around her. My question: Is it hurting him to do all that humping on her legs and not have any release. He may have release and he has so little that we’re not sure the wet spots are just saliva or his release. The female is a willing partner and they are getting along much better and playing together. My question is: Are we starting bad behavior that will continue after she comes out of her heat? I am hoping they will still play without all the humping. Is this a bad idea to let the male hump the female on other parts of her body while we are supervising? We would get the male a vasectomy if a vet around here would do that. We won’t spay the female. Thank you.

  76. Eileen says:

    I have a been doing lots of research and I am thrilled to have found your page. I am the proud owner of a Boston Terrier (small in size) who is just under 10 lbs. and she will be 6 months old on November 21st however our vet has us scheduled for her to be sprayed at the end of this week!!! I just feel that she is so young and she has not had a chance to develop. When speaking to the veternarian’s office they are very insistent that she be sprayed prior to her first heat and that at 6 months is the time for spraying. When I voiced my concerns though I felt as though this was the way to go. I am a first time pet owner and I need to make an educated decision on what is best for my Boston rather than be told what to do because it is the norm!!!!

    The vet has also advised that since she does have an umbilical hernia that her hernia will need repaired at the same time of spraying. I am greatly concerned and would appreciate your opinion on whether it is best to just repair the hernia or wait?

    Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated!!!

    • Angry Vet says:

      hernias are not emergencies unless they entrap something and you will notice that they become hard, painful . If they remain soft and reduceable don’t panic

  77. kirsten says:

    I have enjoyed reading these posts, great site, i like the honesty that has come forth, big change then what I’m used to now that my previous vet retired, she was only honest vet i met. actually told me it was not necessary to get a yearly booster for my dog.

    anyway i have a question. i have two bull mastiff mix puppies, brother and sister. they are 3 1/2 months old and i would like to keep them intact to a year or two. wish i had with my 8 yr old german sheppard. anyway, my boys balls have dropped, not sure if that means he can create puppies yet but i am not sure what to do as i have always neutered at six months. i do not want brother and sister to mate. i guess my question is. what can i do to stop that or which should i fix first because it seems i may have no choice but to do atleast one of them. they both ‘hump’ eachother incessantly despite my efforts to stop it. i know it is a dominant thing but i am nervous what will happen when they learn how to do it right.
    Is there anyway to know if this growth palate is closed. not sure if i should just do both early or what. not really an easy way.for me to seperate them as they have free range of fenced yard when i work. please help with any advice you.could give.
    thanks a bunch!!

  78. RJ says:

    I’m getting a LOT of pressure from my current vet to spay my 6 month old bulldog puppy. After reading this site and talking to other English bulldog owners, I feel best about waiting longer. I’ve reached the compromise in my mind of waiting until she’s a year old, but do you think that is long enough or is there some special consideration that needs to be made for her breed? Thanks!

  79. F Ward says:

    l have read, with interest, all the comments on the pro’s and con’s of neutering our pets. ln 60yrs of owning many dogs/cat/horses/ferrets -l have always had them neutered. But never at a very young age. Bitches l wait until they have had their first season – then usually three months after that l have them spayed. And if they have particulary hanging dew-claws – l have these removed at the same time. Many of my dogs – male and female -have lived a healthy long life. Rough Collie bitch spayed lived until she was 19. Lhasa Apso dog neutered 17 1/2 yrs. Many Rotties and GSD ‘s have been fit and active – never over weight until nearly 15yrs. My last ferret was 12 – and l have had an lrish Draught Horse live until 41. And now we have a New Forest Pony – still galloping around the fields and he is 43. All neutered. Next week, l am adopting a puppy from a rescue in Romania – she will be 16 weeks when she arrives – and l shall have her spayed – but not until she has had a season. So probably when she is 12months. l know some of the animal rescue do spay/neuter at a very young age. This is because of the amount of unwanted dogs in the world. This puppy was one of a litter found in the mountains. Out of 4 pups – 3 had short tails. Many pups are just thrown out – left in rubbish bins/shopping malls – or left beside the roads. And it is not unusual for drivers to purposely aim and drive over them. There should be laws preventing people from breeding from their dogs. Only dogs of who are exceptionally fit and of excellent character – should be licensed to breed from. And then, only if owners are found for all puppies before the mating. An ideal world l know – And stop breeders of dogs with genetic/composition faults. These are the ‘show dog’ breeders.

  80. Himanshu Mehta says:

    Dear Angry Vet,

    Is it alright to get our female rottweiler, aged 4 years, spayed? We have never bred her so far.



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  82. Mark S says:

    Is there hormone replacement therapy for females that have been spayed at 6 months? Would that reduce the chance of osteosarcoma?

  83. Jeff says:

    I have 2 female Great Dane puppies (sisters). They are currently 3 months old. Our vet says he would like to spay them at 4 months. I have read nothing suggesting this is a good idea. He says it will prevent breast cancer. He also says it will be easier to do because they will be smaller. Should I allow this or put my foot down and say we are going to wait til they are older? Are there any questions I can ask my vet to get more clarification or to see if he has had experience with giant breed dogs?

  84. Robin says:

    Hey I know I’m late to the party, but I just love your article. I appreciate hearing both sides of an issue. I know it was about dogs, which I have 2. The male is a year and intact, which worried me cause of the humping, and the dreaded “red rocket” ; but the 1st week I corrected him by saying no & discontinued affection. This stopped, have not had an issue since. My female is fixed from the shelter, but has had liters, so it was later in life. I really wanted to comment about the cats, even though it didn’t pertain to them. My male cat was never fixed, and never sprayed. My female was spayed at 1.5 years & never exhibited signs of being in heat. I have seen females in heat and it’s terrible. Never happened though. I’m in favor of waiting, & as far as cats, it’s not a guarantee they will act out, so if you can wait, then why not?

  85. kelly says:

    We are buying a male presa in 5 weeks. We have a male boxer who is 10. The boxer has his “stuff”. We also have two kids. I stay at home while my husband works. I am nervous that if we dont “clip” the presa it will hurt my very sweet old boxer. My husband has concidered “clipping” the presa, but I want some really good, real life advice. Please.

    • Angry Vet says:

      you may have some time depending on how old the presa is but trouble can be on the way….an intact presa can be a handful

  86. Monica Avila says:

    I need help!

    I have a female cat that was spayed for the first time at about 7 months old. She never went into heat so when the vet came back & said that he only found 1 uterine horn, Though I never heard of this (I worked at a vet fir 5 years so I know what a spay is and how they are performed) I thought it may have explained why she hadn’t gone into heat yet.

    Well here we are another 6 months later and she has gone into a full blown heat. Enough to have intact male cats spraying outside around my home, to make my other spayed female spray inside my house AND have my neutered male cat fully mate with her. (Yes, I was an unfortunate witness to this. I DID NOT think they actually would mate).

    The original vet took her in again this past wednesday to explore and hopefully get out the missing horn or the original ovarian tissue that appears to be left in.

    The results: they found nothing. No second horn and no ovarian tissue left in error.

    Ever since the very next morning she is AGAIN in this full blown heat. She is driving me and my other 6 cats nuts.

    Is there any hormones or something that I can give her to either get her through her heat or stop the heat cycles all together?

    I REALLY do not want to put her through yet another surgery but her heat “personality” is crazy. (Let alone making my other cats display new unfavorable behavior like urinating outside the litter boxes multiple times now…YUK).

    ANY help you can provide would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Thank you!

  87. Christopher M. Vanderwall-Brown says:

    Angry Vet,

    You mention in your Spraying and Neutering page thatother studies show numerous other problems (insert list). To combat the current rhetoric I experience by members of my community, vets, and local law enforcement who practically demand that I neuter my late father’s beautiful 3-year old Vizsla, Topher, having citations for these studies or lists of them would greatly help me.

    Is it possible to see posted or get a link of general literature that I may use to provide counterpoint to the arguments of these people?

    My dad’s dog, aside from mounting, is wonderfully calm and peaceful. As a guy, I find the idea bothersome and if research shows my natural resistance to be beneficial to the longevity of the animal, then I’d really appreciate access to these resources. One person, a friend, is so adamant about it that she is willing to have him neutered and I have consistently abstained.

    Angry Vet, could you provide me with a list of articles or resources that discuss this matter in depth so that I could share the issue with my vet and friend in a civil and informed manner?

    Thank you.

    Most sincerely,

    Christopher Brown

  88. A.S. says:

    That was a rather refreshing and interesting article, mostly because it came from a vet, expressing a rather unpopular opinion.

    I’m one of the small minority of people who keeps my cats intact (when I can anyways) and doesn’t have any issues. I’ve lived with a fair number of cats over the years, intact and non intact, male and female and interestingly enough when given the same level of care the intact ones always seemed more energetic and fitter, and the vet always praises me on their body condition and behavior during visits.
    The sample size in this case is indeed small, and I will admit most people probably don’t have the amount of time or patience to deal with intact cats and remain sane, and prevent them from breeding irresponsibly. My cats have always been indoors, fed species appropriate diets and we chase each other regularly to ensure EVERYONE (including me XD) gets enough exercise so there are a lot of different factors at play here – and things like spaying or neutering are rather complex issues, which anyone with a basic grasp of biology should be able to figure out are not so black and white. I’m not against either, and if someone has an outdoor cat I’d probably be the first person to recommend sterilizing them. At the same time though experience has taught me that for myself and my own little assortment of cats leaving them intact has worked very well.
    Oh and on the spraying, yes intact male cats do it a lot, but not always either – my big boy doesn’t do it at all and the small one does it rarely. Female cats I’ve had vary a fair bit on their level of loudness and irritation during heats, but staying close to them and giving them lots of attention has done wonders for that situation in my case. I’ve probably been pretty lucky in that regard though. Not saying that all cats can be as easy to live with as mine are, just saying that in rare cases it CAN work. Just I think it should be tailored to both the people (both furry and less furry) in question. One size doesn’t fit all :-) .

  89. Diane says:

    Hello, I am hoping that you can help me a bit. I really appreciate the fact that you have this blog and was so grateful to come across it. Now, I have just adopted a female Belgian tervuren from a breeder, that is extremely soft in temperment. She is a sweetie. This dog, Bailee really needed a home, so I took her. She is 7 years and 8months old and not spayed. She had her last litter of pups about 4 or 5 months ago. So she was well over 7 years when she had this litter. She was bred one other time in her life. So a total of two pregnancies in her life. I have never had an unspayed dog or cat. I always was just thought altering was a responsible thing to do. I was planning on getting Bailee spayed, as I would not know how to handle a dog that was in heat, as I have just never had one before. So I started to research this subject, because I was worried about Bailee’s age and having the surgery done. I have really discovered that there is a huge controversy about this. It seems like there may be more pros then cons to NOT having her spayed, but I do go back and forth, with it, and it is causing me so much stress. I am now in charge of this dogs’ life, and I take it seriously, so I am trying hard to make the very best and, most informed discision I can for my dog. I am just so overwhelmed with all of the info. out there. So, I have 4 questions which I hope you can shed some light on for me. Thank you so much. Here are the questions:
    -1. Pyometra How likely is it really that my dog will get this in her
    lifetime? Are there stats. on how many unspayed females actually
    get it. I was reading that this is most common in unspayed
    dogs that have NOT been pregnant ever. So now, with my dog
    having the two pregnancies during her life, does that make her less
    likely to get Pyometra? Would there be a test after each heat cycle
    that I could have done on her to make sure she didn’t get it?

    -2. Hemangiosarcoma: My last beautiful dog died at 14.5 years from
    this, and now I have been reading that it is from having the dog
    spayed too young. She did not have her reproductive organs long
    enough to give her any protection. I was uninformed, but I do
    blame myself. With my present dog Bailee; if I do get her
    spayed would she have had her reproductive organs long enough
    that this would not be an issue now for her anyways?

    3. Heat cycles: Is it hard to learn to handle a dog in heat? Would a
    soft tempered dog like Bailee change during these times. Is it hard
    on the dog to go through these cycles over and over without a

    4. Longevity: Because dogs live longer these days, and a wolf in the
    wild would only live to be 8 or so; what I am wondering is, in your
    opinion is it the fact that it is unnatural for the heat periods to go on for so long. I mean into senior years. I mean do we have to spay or neuter just for that fact? That maybe in a wild state the animal is not made to have as many years of having heat cycles as the domestic dog. I hope I asked this clearly and you can understand what I am saying. I guess I am just asking if you think that it is natural and the animal can stay healthy and not necessarily get any cancers that is left intact for the 16 or maybe 18 years that she may live.

    I really appreciate your time in reading through this. I thank you so so much, and I will look forward to your response at my email address.


  90. maria says:

    Have a 7 month male Maltese, vet wants to neutered him. I have read so much about it and still don’t know what to do please help me, what should I do.

  91. Christine says:

    I just got a male and female kitten (a little over 7 months old I’m pretty sure) they are brother and sister so clearly I don’t want breeding! They are completely indoor cats as we live in an apartment! Do I have to fix them both? Or can I just do one of them? I agree with you and if pets are not in a situation where they can multiply I don’t see getting them fixed as smart! I was hoping maybe I could just fix the male as it is less intrusive, but wanted to know if the female would bleed all over my house? What’s the best choice and when do I have get it done so as not to have then breeding!

  92. Connie says:

    I have a 3 year old Great Dane. Every heat cycle she becomes incontinent. Any idea as to why this would happen? Could this be from hormones fluctuating?

  93. Ashley Callin says:

    I am so happy to hear a vet agree with the argument I have been having with them for YEARS!! I have walked out of countless vet offices, because they were pressuring me to do what I instinctively felt was wrong for my pets. They’re born the way they are for a reason, it just didn’t seem right to remove something that is so vital to their development. I have two chihuahuas one is 3lbs and 3 years , and my other is 6lbs and 2 years old. My littlest girl is fixed, but I waited until she was 2 to do it. The only reason I did it at all was, was because she was going after the new puppy very aggressively during her heat cycle, and I was afraid of something happening and her getting pregnant. But I’ve always regretted it. My other dog is still completely intact. It took me a really long time to find a vet that wouldn’t lecture me about it and that would change the vaccines doses based off of their weight. My 2 year old chi is having what I feel is a false pregnancy, this would be her second one. Is there any chance of this damaging, or hurting her in any way?

  94. MittelspitzInTheHouse says:

    Hey, Angry Vet.

    Our Mittelspitz just got Castrated/neutered(They cut off his testicles) at the age of 11 due to enlargened prostate caused by too high testosterone. He should be fine now, but are there any complications to be expected when neutering an “old” dog?

    Also, my sister just got a new Mittelspitz Puppy, that is now 5 months old. The puppy has harrassed the older dog when it has been visiting, sometimes the older dog might Bark a little at the puppy to keep him in check. Is there a behavioural change to be expected in the older dog towards the puppy, and vice versa?

    Would be nice if you could answer, I might be first commenter of this site from Finland.

    • Angry Vet says:

      since you are from Finland here we go! We had a receptionist from Finland …sounds like a great place
      Neutering old dog fine…usually the pup and the older dog will work it out and it’s more of a dominance struggle than a neutering issue

  95. Diane says:

    Hello, I hope you will answer me this time. I will try to be brief.
    I have adopted a 10 year old belgian tervuren. She is not spayed. Now I am scared to death to have her spay at this age, because of the recovery etc; and O would just like to leave her alone, as she is so healthy. But I am equally as scared to death that she will get pyometra. This is a huge stress to me huge. I keep going back and forth on it. There just does not seem to be a perfect answer. Is it really as common as 1 in 4 intact females. Is there anything beside spaying that I can do to try to keep her from ever getting pyo.? I am at a complete standstill. Can you offer an opinion, please. Thank you so much

  96. Laura Tessier says:

    I have a 5 year old male pit who is neutered. Trust me it doesn’t stop him from humping (not the reason why we chose to neuter him). Anyways my question is are there any problems that I should anticipate by having one dog who is neutered and one dog that is not as we recently added another dog to our home. We do not plan on getting him neutered. Right now our puppy is only 7 wks old, but I was just wondering if their maybe problems down the road.

  97. Mateo says:

    I have a boston terrier, he recently started escaping a lot. He just 5 years old and is getting neutered, I’ve heard that at his age, it will not change his addiction to roaming. Is their anyway I can stop him from sexually roaming? He has escaped 4 times today, thank you

  98. Cori says:

    My sister took in a stray cat that stays outside, and we believe she is in heat but don’t know that for sure. We want to get her spayed, and have an appointment tomorrow to have it done. What are the increased risks if she is indeed in heat, and how much more do vets typically charge if she is? Also, my niece said that she saw a male cat on top of her.. So if he did breed her, how long will it be before she is showing signs of being pregnant? And if she is newly pregnant, will they still spay her? How long after a cat is bred does it take before the kittens begin to start forming?

  99. Alix says:

    I am so happy to have come across your site. I have two Persian kittens indoor only not from the same litter two months apart. Feeling guilt ridden because I had to neuter my little boy at 8 months…was too worried about spraying and he was starting sexual behavior with our female kitten and I did not want kittens. Do you think I neutered him too early. Also planning to leave my female kitten intact. Our breeder says leave her be my vet says neuter her because of breast cancer risk. Honestly I feel she should stay as is. The thought of putting my tiny little child through such a big surgery feels wrong but if better for her health I will do. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  100. Laura says:

    I have a weird question…..

    If my female dog is not around any male dogs while in heat, will it affect her heat in any way? i.e. shorten the cycle?

    We used to have a male dog but no longer do. Now she is the only dog in our house or outside. I am just curious if that has any affect on her cycles.

    Thanks, Laura

  101. Maggie says:

    I just got my puppy neutered due to one of his testes being retained. I’ve noticed that the upper part of his penis near the opening is now off to the side of his body where they went through his abdomen. It doesn’t seem to be as far over as it was since the swelling went down some. Is this normal or did my vet mess up when they stitched him back up?

  102. Danielle says:

    Dear Angry Vet,

    My female cat is a 6 years old Norwegian Forest Cat. She is coming into her first heat since the birth of a male 8 months ago. Both are indoor cats. My concern is the well being of my pets and am trying to figure out the best solution to make sure he does not impregnate her. I am searching for the best alternative to neutering him, while also dealing with the spraying and marking. What are you thoughts about a vasectomy/tubal litigation, contraceptive for the female or anyother viable alternative.

    Thank you for your assistance.

  103. Eric says:

    My 9 month old female cat recently, and quickly, started having lumps on her belly. She was a “barn cat” rescue that we got when she was about 8 weeks old. As soon as I could get her in to the vet I did, but by that time the 2 lumps closest to her hind legs were huge and she started showing 2 more! The vet did blood work, everything was fine there, but the lumps were so hard and big that the vet feared the worst. I had her spayed that day and I have an appointment in less than 2 weeks to take her back. I’m traumatized that this perfect little girl is going to die of cancer. What would you suggest as the best course of action? Or any advice for how to combat this and make her life easier… Please help…

  104. L Miller says:

    What about spaying and neutering in rabbits? The popular statistic is that around 80% of unaltered doe rabbits will have some form of reproductive cancer by age 5, and spaying is the only way to prevent this. Also, rabbits seem to do much better with a friend, but it is infinitely easier to bond them when they’ve been altered. It seems almost cruel to me to force an animal to feel the influence of their hormones if you don’t plan to breed. Like those mentioning intact male dogs being kept behind secure fences so that they don’t wander and calling it responsible pet ownership — wouldn’t it be kinder to remove the urge than to frustrate the dog that feels so desperately compelled to get to the in-heat female? I’m not talking about health, I’m talking about allowing an animal to enjoy life in a much more care-free way than an intact animal not allowed to fulfill its biologically urges ever could. Would love to hear your response.

    • keesgrrl says:

      Keeping dogs securely fenced in IS responsible pet ownership — because intact or not, dogs running loose are at risk of being hit by cars, attacked by other dogs, being exposed to disease, or being picked up by Animal Control. As the owner of an intact female and two intact males, I can assure you that my boys aren’t bothered by being kept away from the girl when she’s in season, and their happiness is much more related to who’s getting the most attention from me. I’ve kept mixed-sex packs for 15 years, and have never had an unplanned breeding. It just takes a little bit of caution and planning.

  105. Kathy says:

    We have a 3 year old female rottweiler. She is not spayed. We live in Los Angeles County and there is a mandatory spay/neuter law. We do not want to spay her. We looked into a breeder’s permit, but because of where we live in LA county, we cannot get one. (If we lived in the city of LA, you just fill out a form and pay a big fee.) Do you know of any vets in LA county that are against spaying and would consider signing the medical exemption form? We are seriously debating moving and cannot believe that the county can force us to spay our dog.

  106. CaioTrev says:

    Absolutely horrified that a vet would tell someone to not neuter or spay their pet. This guy needs his license revoked.

  107. Carolyn says:

    Our 14 month old female doberman has had two heats and after each one she has a false pregnancy, milk production. We have read about pyometra and our vet says it is dangerous to her. Since this is an infection of the uterus, can we have that removed and keep her ovaries for her growth and development. We don’t want to do any of this but afraid we will lose her if we do nothing.

  108. Jennifer says:

    i have a young female cat shes one years old her name is sally . I got her at the shelter in july she was allready fixed. now she wont let me pick her up or she wont play why

  109. Amal Anderson says:

    my 8 months old male boxer’s testicles are not yet descended, and it is not barking at strangers also ,i want to know will it guard my home? will it become a ferrosious dog without descending of these testicles? plz reply me

    • Tracey says:

      There are many reasons to alter/not alter dogs. I would alter a male who’s testicles have not fallen at year old before I would a male who’s testicles have fallen AND are normal. Retained testicles cause health problems that need to be addressed. As for females, you need to worry about pyometra. Having lost my heart dog to a closed case of pyo that took less than 8 hrs to kill her. Showed NO symptoms till 11 pm and that was just not eating all of her supper-but ate her cow ear and stole one from another dog so I thought not hungry-and died in my arms at 6:30 the next morning. It’s devastating. I do recommend spaying your female after growth plates have closed and they reach maturity which is at a minimum of 18 months but recommend they wait until 24 months. Also spaying can cause personality changes. Had a puppy buyer spay at 18 months due to bitch being dominant/alpha-which runs strong in the females of that lines-and she became aggressive. Turns out she had to much testosterone and being intact curbed that gene. Now she is on hormones, still and alpha but easier to live with. People need to weigh the pro’s and cons and do what is best for them and their household. I don’t believe all dogs should be kept intact-for health reason but I also don’t believe all intact dogs need to be bred. I have 3 that will never be bred (as they are not breeding quality IMO) but I won’t alter them either. Education is the best thing we can do for the general public/pet owner.

  110. Gabriekke says:

    What are your thoughts on the new sterilization injection Zeuterin?

  111. Terri Gutierrez says:

    Thank you so much! I worked with a veterinarian for many years and it was a common practice to spay and neuter kittens at a very young age, female canines at 6 months of age and male canines at a minimum 1 year of age. The kitten sterilization was part of a campaign by well-meaning organizations to stop the explosion of unwanted kittens. My own family’s cats were neutered at a very young age and have now realized that many of their health problems and subsequently, early passing, stem from early sterilization. I now have a 7 month old male kitten that was born in my backyard and abandoned by it’s mother and siblings. I plan to neuter him when he matures or starts to wreak havoc on my hardwood floors…whichever comes first. I brought him indoors before the weather turned cold and he has not gone outdoors again. I have always felt that their urethra needed to develop so as to avoid frequent urinary problems. Thanks again!

  112. Morgan says:

    I have a puppy that was spayed at 6 months old. Since then, she has become extreamly territorial, aggressive with the other dog she grew up with, and completely disregards me and my boyfriend. She has become practically feral. The only difference between her and true feral dogs, is she loves my boyfriend but still disregards anything he asks her to do or won’t come when called when she is outside. Is this something that is common for dogs spayed at a young age?

  113. Larissa says:

    hi, i have 2 english cockers, the older one is agressive with the younger since the younger was about 4 to 5 months old, now he’s 7 months old. I’d like to know your opinion if neuter the older would help with this agression with the younger. PS: sorry for my english, I’m brazilian and i’m not that good speaking english.

  114. Helen Corlew says:

    There are other options than doing full spay or neutering such as ovary sparing spay and vasectomies for the males. Hormones are there for the dog but no worry on unwanted litters

  115. Steve says:

    This is the most irresponsible blog I have ever read. If anyone who supports this had ever worked in Animal Welfare they would know the consequences of not sterilising as soon as possible. Whilst I agree that 6-8 weeks is far too young there is nothing wrong with sterilising at 6 months. Both cats and dogs are quite capable of reproducing at that age and I have seen it many many times. Not only that the consequences of uncontrolled breeding and the mess left behind by irresponsible breeders (supported by irresponsible vets perhaps because of the money they can make) has to be cleared up by the animal lovers that work in Animal Welfare. Most breeders care about money, hence the sky high prices they charge. they have no control of where that animal goes as they do not do home checks nor do they follow up to see if the animal is still in that home in say a years time or if they are breeding. Do you have any idea the amount of animals PTS because of uncontrolled breeding? During kitten season we were putting down 100 kittens per day. I keep seeing here the same statement “responsible pet owners” well unfortunately most people are not responsible but down right stupid when it comes to cats and dogs, believe old wife’s tale, buy unsuitable dogs for their circumstances. As for breeders, who was it who thought docking tails and cropping ears was a good idea, or breeding in hip dysplasia to German Shepherds or squashing the snout of bulldogs so they can hardly breath or elongating the body of a daschund so they can hardly walk? Breeders!!!!! Ably assisted by unscrupulous vets!!!! If you love your pets and care about animals you should sterilise at 6 months and do not breed. Adopt from animal welfare and stay away from breeders!

    • Brian says:

      Wow, ok so your solution is neuter all animals so that none can reproduce, put all breeders out of business until all animals are adopted, oh wait, no animals left. Wow you are about as dumb as they come. Oh wow, high prices that breeders charge? do you even know what it costs to raise a good litter of puppies? Of course you don’t thats why you think its high prices. Do you know the time and effort it went into making your dog into something valuable to everyone else, apparantly not. The last thing I want to do is adopt from an animal welfare person like you, who really doesn’t have clue about animals other than how to put them down.
      Oh really, you’ve seen 6 month old dogs reproduce? Thats really interesting.
      Maybe instead of bashing everyone and grouping us all together, maybe you should help educate people. Because breeders like myself do take care of our animals and make sure they do not end up in the clutches of people like you.

  116. Brianne says:

    I myself also agree with the downfalls and dangers or early spay/neuter. I am always trying to inform my customers (I own a pet store) about the wonders of vasectomy and tubal ligation. Do you perform these surgeries?? Also, I have had people worry about Pyometra with females… what would your response be to that concern? Pyometra in itself does not make sense to me as I dont understand how an animal can get sick from keeping its body at its natural state! I know that its stems from the E.coli virus but that again just doesn’t make sense… how does that get in the uterus in the first place?!? I would love your insight :) Thank you!!

  117. Ingrid Bock says:

    Thank you for this. I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on chemical castration for males. Is there a similar procedure for females–tubal ligation, maybe? Also, I read an article in Bark magazine sometime in the last three years which said–hope I’m remembering correctly–that a small research project was done (one breed only–I believe it was on Goldens, or anyway one of the retrievers) and showed that the optimum age for spay/neuter was seven years old. I have started to think that animals really need their hormones and shouldn’t be deprived of them, and I wonder if there are other options. I have a friendly bet going with my vet that, two years from now, there will be much more conversation about chemical castration, and it’ll be easier to find a vet to do it. I’m expecting I’ll owe my vet a fruit basket, but I’d really like it to be the other way around, and not because of the fruit.

  118. Sharon says:

    Wow — you are the first veterinarians to speak out on this topic with honesty! I have been saying this for years — spaying & neutering is harming our dogs, not helping them. I’m a breeder, and my contract asks the new owner NOT to spay/neuter under one year — yet every vet talks the new owner into the surgery at 4 to 6 months. My unneutered Whippets live to 18 — their neutered and spayed siblings contract bone cancer around age 6 to 8. Congratulations to you for your honesty. I am sending you new clients to your practice!

  119. Jenifer Funk says:

    I appreciate you writing about this subject. My first vizsla was neutered at 6 months of age (2002) and he grew very tall, was incontinent, marked everything in sight inside and outside (which he hadn’t done before being neutered), never matured physically resulting in such a small penis he could never fully empty his bladder, had systemic inflammatory problems his whole life, and died of cancer at age 13. My fourth vizsla (second male) I have chosen to keep intact. This dog is physically mature (now at age 2), doesn’t mark except outside occasionally, has a wonderful temperament, and looks and sounds like a male dog. My vet and all of his staff have questioned my decision. I also get many looks of disdain and judgement from strangers when we are out in public together. I utilize my dogs in my business to help people learn canine massage and he is the most loving, sweet dog who loves massage! I also have a female vizsla who was spayed at just under a year of age. She suffers incontinence, fear aggression, hypothyroidism, and was unfortunately in a fear stage when she was spayed. I often wonder if she would be different if I hadn’t had her spayed so young. I spoke with a surgeon about performing a vasectomy on my current male and, while he was intrigued, he asked me if the only reason I wanted it done was so he couldn’t reproduce. He told me I seemed like a very responsible pet owner, which I am, and simply suggested to keep doing what I’m doing. I truly appreciated that voice of reason!

  120. Laura says:

    Please cite the source of this study you mention that says intact animals live longer.

  121. Sofia and Rascal says:

    I got my kitty neutered. I am soon going to get my dog fully spayed. I can not find a vet to do a partial spay in my area. I want to keep them healthy and happy as possible with these surgeries getting done. Can you suggest supplements that I can give them to help keep their hormones balanced?

  122. Stephanie says:

    The main reason animals are altered before being adopted out of shelters is because the majority of people who love animals also seem to be the ones who can least afford to provide for proper medical care. Especially in my state. Factor in as well how difficult and messy it can be to deal with a female in heat or a male on the prowl. Since the goal is to find forever homes for these animals, giving them away intact would increase the odds that they would be dumped somewhere out of frustration or brought back to the shelter where they would be euthanized. I agree that it’s better to wait until maturity before altering; however in certain circumstances it’s far better to risk a shorter life span and possible health issues than the much greater risk of certain death, abandonment or genetic abnormalities due to over breeding and/or inexperienced/irresponsible pet parents. Each case should be carefully considered based on individual circumstances. It is my understanding that a method of birth control actually exists for pets-a monthly injection if I’m not mistaken but I haven’t done any research. Has anyone else heard of this or perhaps tried it?

  123. Helga Becker says:

    I am interested in a modified spay unfortunately I can’t seem to find any vets that offer this procedure, at least not on the east coast. There is a doctor that is doing this procedure and is offering much information to vets that are interested in it. Her name is Dr. Michelle Kutzler. I think I will keep my girl (German Shepherd) intact until I can find a more acceptable solution to this dilemma of to spay or not to spay.

  124. Fred B. says:

    I have a 7 yr. old female non spayed Yorkie that is 7 lbs. She recently has developed pea sized cyst on 2 of her breasts close to the nipple but not attached to the nipple. Our vet said that these are most likely pre-cancerous and should be removed and she should have a complete hysterectomy (ovaries, tubes, and uterus) to prevent further cysts or tumors. She has never had a litter and I was thinking of breeding her but am not sure if that’s a good idea at her age even if lumpectomies were performed prior to breathing. I would like to know whether you think that she should have the hysterectomy along with the lumpectomies or should she just have the lumpectomies. She will be having a chest xray prior to the procedure to rule out any lung tumors. Because if she has any lung tumors there is probably not much sense on having the other procedure done. She has not had any other medical issues. Do you think that she is too old to have a (first) litter. This procedure is schedule for Wednesday, March 12 so I need a reply as soon as possible. Thank You.

    • debbie ciolli says:

      You know “FRED” it’s Exactly why people like you should Never have the GIFT of the Love an animal gives us as a PART of OUR FAMILY. Would YOU want your “daughter” who IS having MEDICAL PROBLEMS…aka the CYSTS you mentioned…to Have 3 to 6 BABIES NOW at say…in her 40′s?? and for “what” reason?? Are you Planning on Keeping her PUPPIES or SELLING them?? There are plenty of PUPPIES cute and small and all “that” JUST DYING FOR A HOME in over 3500 SHELTERS and 10,000 MILLS…I will Never Waste my time on this site again, between the “Angry Vet” and the Greedy Breeders, and the totally NON COMMON SENSE that is BRED here, no wonder Millions of Helpless, Defenseless, Loving and HEALTHY Animals Don’t have a Chance of being Loved, Hugged or…. Saved..

  125. Fred B. says:

    Contrary to what I just said about my 7 yr. old female Yorkie not having any other medical problems, she currently has lyme and is on a 30 day regimen of doxepin (she has 14 days left on that medication). I did not intentionally mean to leave that out. I just didn’t remember until after my first post.

  126. alfie says:

    i have a 8 month old female jack russell and love her to bits.I have read so many different stories about spraying after or before her first heat .she is now in her first stage of heat and will be geting her sprayed when she is finished her cycle have i done the right thing ,

  127. Lynda says:

    As a vet you must agree that spaying and neutering is very important in countries like Greece and Romania, where puppies are discarded in rubbish bags, or left to run the streets only to get poisoned by locals, or killed by cars, or, if lucky enough to grow to adulthood, die from a range of diseases like heartworm, leishmania etc? As a vet isnt there some pressure that vets as an international fraternity could not put on these countries and the EU to compel people to prevent their dogs from breeding? Millions of dogs and cats die miserable deaths each year because they are the product of intact dogs and cats left to roam around.

  128. Juna says:

    Actually mine is more of a comment. I totally agree especially for cats. By spaying and neutering we are actually decimating the gene pool of the really good domesticated cats who should be passing their traits to the next generation and instead we are actually deevolving them by only allowing Ferals to really have a chance to pass on their genes. Perhaps 50 years from now we’ll look back after the true domesticated cats are gone and wish that we hadn’t been so hasty to jump onto the spay and neutering boat so quickly. We’ll realize this when our laser loving, ball fetching, snoozing in the sun furry feline companions are gone and all we have left are feral species who could care less about the human touch

    • robin says:

      Thats a very interesting opinion and one I share though I’ve never put it into words, in my area cats are fairly rare kittens are sold quickly for large amounts testifying to this. Its a shame people cannot be sensible about breeding house cats to be healthy and friendly without ferals or money grabbing coming into the equation

  129. Laurie says:

    I was always worried about having my female dog spayed. By the time she was about 12 tens years of age, I was given no choice. My female had an open Pyometra, that required emergency surgery to save her life. My vet said it was all because she was never spayed. Is that true?

  130. C. Morgan McNeil says:

    What about tubal ligation? I’ve had females altered by having their tubes tied. Less invasive. Easy recovery. 100% effective towards population control. Normal development and life long hormonal balance. I’ve opted not to neuter a male dog. Being a malamute mix he weighed 140 lbs. Life offered him very few disappointments. Gentleness and lots of exercise makes a good dog.

  131. Karen says:

    I want my puppy to grow as big as he can and be healthy. Will having him neutered effect his final growth? I would assume if may prevent him from growing to his full potential but would like a vet’s opinion.
    Thank you

    • Alexandra Rae says:

      No, it won’t affect his final growth. We neutered our German Shepherd pup at 6 months and he’s had no issues at all.

      The only difference is having a dog whom is 2-3 years old and still not fixed, he’ll have more bulkiness and look bigger, but once neutered, he’ll lose most of that because of the testosterone not being in the body, if it is. It’d be minimal after being neutered.

      It won’t affect his final growth, he’ll still grow the same. We neutered our previous GSD at 1 year and our current Great Dane at 1 year just because our old vet recommended we wait until at least a year. Both grew to their expected normal size in both weight and height.

      Our current GSD pup who is now almost 14 months, is at his full and expected height and at 83 pounds. He’ll start to fill out throughout the next year or so and come to his expected weight of about 89-94.

  132. Brittany says:

    I have a 7 month oldfemale mini aussie/ border collie mix. She went into heat today. the majority of research/ my sometimes less then competent vet tends to agree with the positive association between spaying her and reducing the risk of cancer.

    I held off till now to give her hormones as much time to do their intended work as possible. But the risk of cancer scares me considering i obviously love my baby but done foresee having money for such an extensive treatment. Can dogs survive cancer if it does incur and your treat them?

    After reading your page I am intrigued to inquire….
    Do you think the risk of cancer increases after the first term of heat, second term, and then stops thereafter?

    Also, are there any natural remedies I can give her between now and her spay to minimize the risks associated with cancer?

    Lastly, it is not safe to spay during heat correct?

    I appreciate you devotion to providing information that is normally ignored. Thank you!

  133. Francisco Cervi says:

    We got Manolo, our 20 months old pure breed Golden Retriever (the pure breed remark is not a snobbism but a point since pure breed dogs seems to be the ones with more genetics problems) from a Friend who neither owns a puppy mill nor is a breeder. She owns a beautiful female GR, and both when she got it and at the time to have her have a litter (only litter, after that she spayed her dog) took the time and responsibility to research about breeders, about chain of reproduction, overlap of genes and to interview the owners of the possible studs. After checking every single paper and make sure together with her Vet. assistance that there was not going to be any possibility the dogs were genetically related (she found a Stud that was brought to Argentina from Italy when the stud was a puppy) she decided to go ahead and have her 4 years old dog to get pregnant. The arrangement was the stud’s owner will keep 2 puppies and she will get the rest to GIVE TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY. Manolo and one of his brothers were the pick of the litter (Manolo being the #1 and Bear #2), BECAUSE of that my friend decided it was not going to give Manolo nor Bear to the stud’s owner. She felt by doing that the breeder as responsible as he might be or seems to be at some point was going to run into the chances of “inner breed” them. Instead the owner took another two males.
    Knowing how much research and how responsible my friend was at the time to have a litter we have decided that we were a) not to neuter our dog (since chances of genetic problems were null) and b) that we were going to proceed with the exact same responsibility towards our dog’s health, towards monitoring his behavior and interaction with other dogs, mostly with female dogs and un-neuter male dogs. We brought Manolo all the way from Argentina and we have been asked several times by both, vets and breeders about his health and looks. Manolo is a British (also known as European) Golden Retriever so in a way he stands out when one or more GRs are around (the European GR are bigger, slenderer and taller than American GRs and lighter in color). We are asked about his great coat, his behavior, his health and we know (Our original Vet. in Argentina – Manolo flew with us when he was almost 5 months up until that time Manolo was always with its mom and 2 siblings out of the 11 on the litter – still sees him when we flight there or when she comes over to NYC) that part of his almost perfect health and look is related to the fact we haven’t neuter him. I said almost because as most GRs. Manolo has a very sensitive stomach and any minimum change on his food will trigger a diarrhea palooza.

    One of our MAIN CONCERNS when it came to decide not neuter him was THE FACT that there is an elevated number of cases of GRs suffering of Hip Dysplasia, Ligaments issues and lymphosarcoma when NEUTERED due to hormonal production deficiency.
    But of course our Vet in NYC pesters us every single time we take him to the her about neuter him. To the extend we had to ask her point blank to stop pushing.

    Manolo not only is un-neuter but also from the day one showed signs to be an alpha male and we knew the whole “Pick of the litter” story. Manolo was given to us with the ONLY AND MANDATORY rule that IF we decided to breed him we were going to assume the same amount of responsibility that our friend assumed.
    Being a responsible owner it is not only a hard job but also requires to have some extra money, time and being willing to assume such responsibility.
    We take Manolo to the vet for check ups every 6 months. Which means around $500 every time. We feed him balanced food (not dry nor raw), he has his own health insurance that help us with the financial side of being responsible owners of an un-neuter dog. But WE KNEW FROM THE “Get-Go” WHAT WAS THAT WE WERE FACING when we decided NOT ONLY keep him intact but also WHEN WE DECIDED TO ACCEPT OUR FRIEND’S AMAZING GIFT.
    The SAME EXACT responsibilities and investment of time and money any other couple SHOULD evaluate before they decide to have a BABY.

    Being an un-neuter dog, Manolo has the natural tendency to be daring (not aggressive) and show dominance at the time to face other un-neuter male dogs. Even when he was 4 months he showed signs of protection (again not aggression) when an older Golden Retriever got on his two legs and jumped on top of my husband. Having experienced that first “red flag” (for a lack of a better word) Manolo was slowly introduced to other dogs (both males and females, neuter and un-neuter) and was socialized. Today he enjoy playdates with his Pack of friends (Males and Females Neuter) and has a happy life.
    Our trainer explained to us that it is NOT a matter of BALLS OR NO BALLS but a matter of being an Alpha Male and that even by neuter him that was not going to change, so We trained him for us to be able to call him when a un-neuter male walks into the park or when we read his signals.
    It took us time to understand what a certain wag of his tail mean in comparison with other tail posture, or the way he stands, or his ears go up or down.

    If you have read this whole LOOONG post you will noticed I have mentioned the word RESPONSIBILITY several times. Neuter a dog it does not mean to be responsible. It means the work SOMETIMES is easier. But it still work. People tend to think that having a dog is just a matter of food, walks, pamper and love. Well it is all that plus RESPONSIBILITY. We have seen several “responsible” (so they say about themselves) owners at the dog run just releasing their dogs and sit on the corner to text or go over the phone and let their dogs unattended. We have seen neuter dogs get into vicious fights that could have been avoided if the owner would have been paying attention to their dogs.
    Actually Manolo was attacked by an neuter dog and we asume the responsibility of our dog reacting to that attack by attacking back and injuring the other dog and covered the expenses of have the other dog and Manolo cured. Yes the bill was big and we are still paying for it. But when we asked both the trainer and the vet if that wouldn’t have happened if Manolo would have been neutered both, and without a shadow of a doubt said NO. Manolo and the other dog are DOGS and to expect they make a rational decision about responding to an attack or not, and weight size of the other dog, neuter situation or not, etc it is not only unrealistic but also stupid.

    Neuter a dog at an early stage in its life just because there is a chance that he/she will develop cancer and the vet bill will end up being astronomical is exactly the same as having a baby and ask your doctor to remove their reproductive organs because they might or might not develop cancer, varicoceles, breast cancer, uterus cancer, etc.

    The chances of a dog developing cancer, behavioral issues, aggression or submission are almost the same as the chances of people developing cancer, abuse drugs and/or alcohol or being aggressive or crazy.

    I am not going to recommend one or the other decision. I made the decision of keeping him intact based on pros and cons about health, chances and how willing I was to be a responsible owner. Today and after having him checked for Health problems in general I am proud of that decision. If (knock on wood) something happen to Manolo’s health that will pushes us to neuter him we will do it. But that also requires for us to understand that it is a possibility and in order to catch it on time for him not to die or suffer we have to assume the responsibility to keep him controlled and under health supervision.

    Which ever your decision is about neuter or not neuter a dog or a cat please THINK VERY CAREFULLY about the pros and cons but most of all PLEASE THINK VERY CAREFULLY IF YOU ARE READY TO BE A PET OWNER AND ASSUME THE RESPONSIBILITY WITH IT.

  134. sandra says:

    Thank you for writing this. I just got a female dog and don’t want her fixed but I rent and management requires the dog to be “fixed”. Do you have any resources that would help me find a vet in Minnesota that would do a tubal ligation? I have called all over and have not been able to find one. I can’t move, my son is in a wheel chair so we live in a wheel chair accessible place which is hard to find. Can you help? I want to do as little harm to my dog as possible.

  135. Mary Murphy says:

    I don’t have much experience with dogs other than always having had at least one for companionship through my life. It was always my understanding that it was valuable to the animal to have at least one season (or the male equivalent)before neutering or spaying. We take so much away from our dogs in imposing on them our idea of a good life, we only approximate their natural tendencies-and physical maturation is surely essential to every animal ( including humans). However, while I respect the cost and great effort involved in a veternary education, it is expensive for many people who are otherwise good owners, to come up with the funds for surgery. They often have to choose between their pet and their own survival needs. It seems to me that we would do better to help pet owners with the cost of neutering their animals rather than than fine or punish them!
    In my experience, the staff at animal control facilities are often so punitive and judgmental that many people who need assistance to take care of their animal do not ask for fear of being “marked” and attracting unwelcome attention from the control officer . More people would come forward for the preferable later surgery if it were less expensive ,more accessible and not a likely risk for getting blamed for lacking a license or choosing not to use a flea collar.

  136. Hayley Lloyd says:

    I have a bitch who is 2 and has not been spayed and I have a male 6 months younger who has been neutered. I have never had any problems with my dogs and other dogs until an incident last year where my boy started on another dog in the park, 2 days later my bitch started her season. Could her season be the reason for this incident and the radical change in his behaviour that day? It’s made me pretty paranoid about him with other dogs, I don’t let them off lead and use muzzles or halti head collars. I am trying to keep up their socialization together & separately but with a court case looming more information would help. The other owner is claiming my dog caused him injury which he didn’t, the man was very aggressive and even after his dog had been taken in he kept kicking and attacking my boy who didn’t react once to this violence. He made it clear he would do his up most to have my dog destroyed, his injury was a straight scratch on his palm below his thumb an inch long, no puncture marks or bite wounds!!!! I have no idea if a neutered male will try to defend his bitch or see off other dogs????

  137. PAT FISH says:

    In the Irish Wolfhound world it is advised to wait until they get their log bone growth at 18 months before spay/neutering. I had one dog that came to me having been spayed at 8 weeks and she had lifelong physical issues. It is easy to correlate with the eunuchs in harems, they were castrated young and were exceedingly tall soft men. My early-spayed female grew to be one of the tallest Irish Wolfhounds on the West Coast, but awkward in her movement. Now I wait 18-24 months.

  138. Julie says:

    It is a fact that there are hundreds of thousands of good dogs and cats are being euthanized because there are not enough homes/care for them. This is definitely due to not spaying/neutering pets and does not necessarily fall on irresponsible pet owners.

    Today, everyone and their mother is trying to “create” a new breed and you hear of these new, ridiculous mixes all the time. Most recently, people online are trying to find a stuff to create a “Pomsky”, a mix between a Pomeranian and a Husky—are you serious?? There is so much wrong with this I won’t even get started. People that you would normally classify as a “good, responsible pet owner” are being enticed to breed their dogs to create new and exciting, AND VERY EXPENSIVE breeds, thus making a lot of money for themselves. By telling people to NOT spay/neuter their pets, you are leaving room for them to be enticed, sucked in, or even tricked into studding out or using their dog for new litters, which in turn creates more puppies and so the cycle continues.

    If you want your dog to live long, just like people, you need to provide them with proper nutrition, lots of exercise and lots of love.

  139. Are there statistics on doing an ovariectomy on a bitch verses a hysterectomy? Your opinions on this surgery?
    I have had way too many problems with so many issues you say are related to spaying. My soon to be two year old dog is staying intact until I can come up with the right decision for her. So many vets disagree with your assessment but I am wishing I could go back in time and never spay my girls.

  140. Amy says:

    I just had my 15 month old siberian husky spayed because she has juvenile cataracts. Since her surgery she has been very dog aggressive. Her behavior is much more problematic, it’s only been 15 days but she now hates her 4 other pack members & is trying to fight them. Is this typical with spaying at an age when dominance issues tend to surface & will it improve. I wish I never would have fixed her

  141. Nick Woolls says:

    As the owner of a cage free daycare that promotes proper social behavior with an average of 100 dogs a day (go to the website and look at the pictures): explain to me how you put all these animals together without humping or fighting???? You should qualify your statement with a warning that unaltered pets require more effort on the owners part to have ANY social interaction. This is especially problematic when most of the animal problems we see comes from lack of understanding of the owner. If you want to keep the dogs in the house away from the world… follow your advice.

  142. Kellie says:

    My vet said she can do an ovary sparing procedure on my border collie. Do you recommend that? Maybe even leaving just one ovary.

  143. Christina Blom says:

    I have multiple unspayed bitches and I have also had intact males in the same household. I have NEVER had an unplanned litter. With crates in the house, good fences/gates in the yard, and vigilance by the owner, there is no reason you are going to have puppies just because your dogs are intact.
    My doctor does not recommend hysterectomies for his women patients, after all.

  144. Gail says:

    We own four intact dogs and five intact bitches. I just wanted to say that all our dogs (including a couple of old spayed girls) run together in and out of our house, except when girls are in season. Even then, we continue to run our boys together. They are not aggressive with each other, and they have all been used at stud. Nor do they mark in the house. A couple of times I have caught a boy marking when a bitch is in season, and a very loud roar and chasing them outside has done the trick. Nobody marks in my house! We do spay our girls when their reproductive lives are over, as that might slow down any mammary cancer and because unnecessary seasons mean they aren’t isolated.

  145. Carol says:

    I have a litter of puppies at the moment and had a phone call from a vet who was interested in buying a bitch puppy from me. Whilst it sounded like he would give my puppy a good home during our conversations on the phone he said he would be spaying at 6 months. His thinking was it was best for her long term health and avoid mammary tumours. As far as I am concerned this changed everything. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against neutering but for goodness sake let the dog grow up and mature physically! I have kept my particular breed for over 40 years and mammary cancer has not been a problem. I am just relieved than this was ironed out before he came to view the puppy as then I would have felt guilty I had wasted his time.

  146. Hello
    I’m having a lot of trouble trying to find a vet to give my dog a vasectomy I know the popular veiw is a full gonadectomy but I feel I would rather try a vasectomy first.
    Alfie is 8 months old and a very placid well behaved dog I don’t want to mess with his personality but also don’t want him to breed.
    people seem to be obsessed with neutering as though it’s the answer to all dog problems ie he might get aggressive badly behaved ect but I feel training him well would be a better idea it seems with the neutering rational I might as well remove his teeth and amputate his legs just in case( this retort doesn’t go down a storm :) ).
    Anyway could someone please help me in finding a vet that will perform a vasectomy as I feel I should have a choice and so should Alfie .

  147. Andrea says:

    Hello, I am hoping you may be able to provide some insight on spay reccomendations and alternative protocols for spaying small breed dogs. I have been having a hard time finding existing research or recommendations specifically for small breeds nor much in regards to different ‘sterilization’ procedures (ovary sparing, uterine spaying, tubal ligation, birth control pills/shots, etc.).

    Backstory: I agreed to foster a young small stray dog who ended up having five female puppies weeks later. All six managed to survive after the mom had subinvolution of the placental sites, a blood transfusion, and an “emergency” spay, and one of the puppies having megaesophagus. All are doing great now. They are on a raw diet and given that I was able to socialize them safely in the home, after reading a lot of the Schultz and Dodds research, I decided to wait until the puppies were 12 weeks and 16 weeks to get their distemper and parvo vaccines. They are very healthy and well-mannered puppies, but are just about six months old and now I need to make the spay decision. One of them has been adopted and is only unsupervised for short periods of time indoors—never unsupervised outdoors. The remaining four puppies have regular outdoor access through a dog door and although I have a newer fence, I have a small neighborhood dog that is not neutered and runs loose on a regular basis (I have already spoken to his owners many times). I am not confident in my ability to 100% guarantee he would not get in my yard nor would the puppies get out if they went into heat and need to make this decision soon. The puppies appear to be Min Pin/Chihuahua mixes and maybe even a little spaniel, so I don’t think they are already predisposed to some of the cancers that larger breeds are more prone to after being spayed.

  148. robin says:

    Hi I tried discussing this with a vet but lets just say our opinions differed and I was ready to slap him. I’m looking for information on season management in felines, I don’t want to use the tablets because of the side effects but a cat breeder friend mentioned an implant can you tell me what its called or elaborate on this? Also is there some way to reversably castrate males as this may be an easier option? Thanks for your time

    Ps before I get any hate/spam replys if pedigree cat breeders can avoid unwanted litters I’m sure if I can

  149. Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening.

    I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this short article together.
    I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

  150. a says:

    Keep on working, great job!

  151. Danny Granberry says:

    I have had several dogs all male that were intact. I have had very good luck with the life span. I had more than one dog live to be over 15 years old. I have never had a dog that bred. For those that think this is only show dogs let me make it clear that my wife and I are teachers. I have rescued most of my dogs including two black labs and an Australian Shepherd. First lab died at 15 and Shepherd at 15 and lived very long healthy lives. I refuse to have them fixed since I do not believe for one minuet that it helps the quality of life. Yes I know all the statistics about how many dogs they can reproduce but that is not what we are talking about here. If you do not keep your dogs in a fence or indoors then shame on you.

    • Martha says:

      I’m so grateful to have found this! My beloved 2 x rescued spayed GSD who I had for 8 way too short years died from the horrible, heartbreaking NIGHTMARE of hemangiosarcoma this past February. She was barely 9.

      Recently, I’ve been reading more and more about potential health problems related to spaying and neutering. She had many health problems since I got her at 15 months. She was spayed at 4 months. Now, I’m learning that all of them may have been related to an early spay. Low quality food, stress and being overly vaccinated prior to coming to me probably didn’t help either.

      Thank you, Angry Vet and everyone who’s posted about your intact dogs. You’ve helped me see that keeping a dog intact can be very workable. I’ve learned that it’s feasible and have been encouraged by you. Although I’ve been tempted several times to adopt another rescued GSD, I haven’t. Of course, it very likely would be spayed/neutered. After what I’ve recently learned I’m inclined to get a puppy that I will keep intact and of course watch closely, keep close and love. Thanks everyone!

  152. Angie says:

    I do not understand why Smitten with Kittens from Petco would have given me an option to have my kitten neutered at for but as im signing adoption paper I am told that I have to neuter him by next week and he is 4 months . But I want to wait until he is 1 year. They called me today saying that I will be sued if I do not take him in get neutered. Also my kitty already has a colon problem which I am given him natural remedies I have studied for 5 yrs now , south american natural remedies I know of/ have. I do not agree to the medication they have given me for the kitty. Im angry that I have been given a kitten thats now under my supervision , but they want to sue me for a mistake they made. Which in fact im saving the kitties life. I’ve been reading, have been told by a Vet friend that I should wait to a year of age…what can I do ? Id like to hear what you think? Please and thank you

    • Gina says:

      sorry i just now saw your post. Tell them to go take a hike. They are simply bullying you because that is how these animal saviors work. Change your address to a PO box and move if you have to. They’ll never find you ;) IF they can’t serve you in person, their lawsuit is useless.

  153. I every time used to study piece of writing in news papers but now as I am a
    user of web so from now I am using net for articles, thanks to

  154. Rachel says:

    I have a question. My 2 year old male siamese cat has not been neutered. He does not spray. In fact he show no interest in sex. He licks himself sometimes, like for 4 or 5 seconds then moves to a different body part. He stays indoors, except on my balcony (2nd floor). He heard cats in heat outside, listened to it, went on the balcony but came back pretty much immediately. My cat is extremely affectionate, he loves being in my arms, sleeps with me almost spooning lol but no humping. I have an older cat too which is neutered. They get along well and play together. No sex. When my other cats comes sleep on my bed, my siamese places himself between him and me. As if to say she’s mine but without any fighting. Is my cat normal? I do not see the point in having him neutered.

  155. Roe says:

    If someone accidentally completely severed a kittens ureter during neutering a retained testicle would you notice during surgery? Would there not be urine that would make it noticable? Is it normal to follow neutering of this kind with Metacam NSAID knowing that a different NSAID injection was given during the surgery? I am trying to decide whether this warrants a complaint in my country.

    • Gina says:

      It is my opinion as a former breeder to leave the retained testicle(s) alone all together. And to have a kitten in surgery is very tricky due to the small size of the cat. So yes, that could have happened and you should investigate. Not all vets are created equal.

  156. Joel says:

    Perhaps my story is a single data point, but we had an 11 year old neutered Labrador Retriever that died from osteosarcoma. The cancer started as a single lytic lesion on the vertical part of his jaw bone. We had that small piece of bone removed, but apparently there was another spot somewhere in his body that went undetected.

    After his passing my wife and I researched osteosarcoma and found information regarding postponing neutering until they were fully developed. We now have a 2 year old Lab that is still intact. Because of the nightmarish experience with cancer I’m really hesitant to ever neuter him if keeping him intact lowers the risk. Do you think keeping him intact will truly lower the cancer risk.

    P.S. – Oddly our previous Lab (neutered) was very much an escape artist and roamer even though he didn’t seem to have the ‘drive’. Our intact Lab presently never leaves our side even when other dogs are present. I think it’s largely a personality thing.

    • Gina says:

      yes, my then 9 yrs. 10months old Zuess was neutered at age 6. He was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma THREE months AFTER a RAbies vaccination at age 9. I too was looking for info as he was NEVER sick a day in his life until then. His leg was amputated and he lived another 4 months after that. I will never give a dog a rabies shot again. Come and get me as far as I’m concerned. I titered a now 12 yr old Chi which had been vaccinated in 06 for Rabies. (she was sick for days of it) Her titer came back as VERY HIGH and that is EIGHT years later! The neutering of your dog affected his health just as it did my Zuess. But perhaps you can look back on his vaccination protocol and avoid re vaccinating him . Titer him instead, ask your vet, they ought to know how to, (university of Kansas Vet School and Jean Dodd, but hold your ground as most vets are not going to like to ‘be wrong’.

    • Michelle Maine DVM says:

      At this point it is hard to say whether this dog will develop cancer or not at some point in his future. I have seen plenty in intact animals. The only thing castration will protect him against is benign prostatic hypertrophy, testicular cancer, perianal adenomas and perineal hernias. Most of these could be addressed at the time they develop, although the hernias can be pretty tough to deal with. I think it is fine to keep your dog intact (eek, did a vet just say that?). Some of the healthiest and longest lived dogs I have seen have been intact males, somewhat less for females. (Have seen a number of tragic mammary cancers and pyometras. There are some vets in the US starting to do ovariectomies, can’t say I have yet…old habits. I am not a fan of very early juvenile spay and neuter. I actually prefer the appearance of an intact male animal and have advised owners to wait on neutering until around 2 for male dogs if they like that look. I do prefer to spay cats by 6 months, way too many unwanted cats around. I see unwanted, diseased, parasitized kittens on a daily basis.) Sorry for the side track.

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  158. elaine says:

    i have intact dogs,they are both happy,fit and rarely visit the vet beautiful glossy coats and still chase hard and fast aged 11 and 4
    the male (11) walks off lead as he has perfect recall and manners the female (4)has a lead on 80% of the time when out as she was rescued (not from a centre someone asked if i could take her in as i already had a border collie) and has a few problems mostly fearful (nasty little man bred,beat,sometimes forgot food and water, tied her to another dog and kept them in an abandoned car in all weathers),she too has good recall and its work in progress on her other the u.k. you cannot adopt a dog without getting it neutered/spayed, nor can you foster if your own have not been ‘doctored’,if i am responsible and accept any consequences that non-neuturing brings that is my choice i would not bring pups into the world as i know they are really hard work and there are more than enough pets up for adoption already(if only they would let people adopt them without the neutering)
    i recognise that there are some people who just let their pets breed and dont bother about anything which is wrong, but i would like to enjoy my dogs and let them live as natural a life as possible
    and everybody animals and humans all have health problems as we get older some serious or life threatning its called life and we deal with it as it comes.

  159. Shaman says:

    Give thanks for the votes of confidence from Veterinary professionals. I’ve been raising animals for 50 years; teaching workshops about feed and care and I always promote that early sterlization is *not* a healthy choice.

    I also subscribe to a species appropriate diet and more natural products for my companions: we don’t ‘own’ them, nor, do I subscribe to the “Master” archaism.

    Anyway, appreciate the help!


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  161. Gina says:

    absolutely true! I have two INTACT females and TWO spayed from my former breeding program. The intact females ARE more healthy. One is almost 12 yrs old, the other 6. The spayed females, one is 10, half sister to the 12 year old (same Sire) and the 12 year old has never had the issues the 10 year old has. The spayed 4.5 yr old daughter to the 10 year old Dam has already contracted Pannus, that was when she was 2.5 yrs old. None of these were spayed early. The 4.5 yr old was spayed 2 years ago. I’ve seen early spayed siblings of my littermates I kept and they all looked “non show quality” because of the early spay or neuter. I made it a point to have it in the contract to NOT allow spay or neuter until 14 months of age.
    Now I have Manx cats (not for breeding) but I m unsure when to spay the females and neuter the male. I know all hell is going to break loose soon. I do also know that in dogs their immune system reaches maturity when they’ve changed their teeth to adult teeth from 6 to 7 months of age. I’m hoping that is the case with cats. My Manx are not vaccinated, their breeder doesn’t believe it that either, thus they come from strong healthy stock and sofar they are thriving. So my only worry is to not get them pregnant, and in dogs when in heat, it is not safe to spay them. Once a cat goes in heat, she stays in heat (from what I understand) so IS it safe to spay a cat when in heat? or does their uterus / hormones not affect them as they do in dogs when in heat?
    thank you in advance for your website!

  162. jmal says:

    do you have any experience with zueterin? its a non surgical, injectible method of sterilization. i read about it, but my vet is unfamiliar with it. the only reason i even ask is because i am having trouble finding a boarder who will take an un neutered male.

  163. Shayne says:

    I would recommend you spend a few days in the life of a shelter manager…and your opinions might just change a little in the real world. Not this bubble of breeders, pure breeds and google obsessed owners. We get around 30 calls a week for lost dogs…and around 28 of those calls are unsterilised animals…but according to angry vet this has nothing to do with them going missing. And I wont even begin to go into the behavioral traits of intact males…who end up being put down in most cases. But please enjoy your little dream bubble and your intact males that pee everywhere, your females that bleed everywhere. My dogs, my parents, my grandparents and the hundreds that go through our shelter have all been sterilised and live, long full and happy lives and I am yet to see any of the above problems you have mentioned because they have been sterilised between 4 – 6 months. (Have you seen an actual trend in all breeds of dogs and cats or have you based your opinion on one or two select cases you came across in one of our many pure breeds that we have royally screwed up in terms of health problems because they were bred for looks, just a question?) BE WISE AND STERILISE, ADOPT DONT SHOP!

  164. Iveta says:

    Finally!! A voice of reason! You have no idea how many times have different strangers approached me and my non-neutered sweet mannered dog lecturing me on how irresponsible of me not to neuter him. Meanwhile, I am just following my common sense. In Europe, I do not remember dogs being neutered unless it was necessary to keep them healthy (e.g. cancers of reproductive organs) and there was no overpopulation in central Europe, there were no more incidents of dog aggression than there are here, and the incidence of reproductive organ cancers was minimal. On the other hand, nowhere did I hear of so many dogs getting ACL tears as in North America. The dogs in Europe generally had healthy physiques – only indulgent dog owners ended up with overweight dogs – and they generally lived long and mostly healthy lives. But, there is no reasoning with these “spay/neuter as soon as possible” dogmatics who often think that they are helping animals and are animal lovers. Clearly, we can look at how humans are affected by removal of their reproductive organs and see that it is not healthy or improving their lives. Why do we think that dogs would react any differently? The more we open the discussion on this topic and educate ourselves, the better. Thank you for finally, finally talking about this objectively and without the almost religious zealousness that obliterates peoples thinking.

  165. Old and Grumpy says:

    I have to agree with the Angry Vet.

    Early Spay/Neuter is simply not a good idea. I have been a hobby breeder now for nearly four decades. It is blatently clear in the dogs we’ve produced that intact dogs and bitches as well as those that were altered later in life live longer, healthier lives than those that were altered prior to maturity. Pyometras can and do happen from time to time in intact females but it certainly isn’t somethine that every intact female will develop early in life.

    Spaying an adult female is more expensive. However the cost is worth it if your dogs overall health and well being is better over the entire course of its’ life.

    Each owner needs to make their own choices for THEIR dogs. Some will want to alter their pets because they prefer to not have to deal with the normal cycles that intac pets go through. But they should be making those decisions from an informed perspective, especially when we know now that the old mantra of “It’s healthier” to be spayed or neutered isn’t true. There are also variations due to breed of dog involved. It is a complicated issue that requires quite a bit of study and thought before deciding a course of action.

    The most ignorant thing you can do is advocate the politically correct “Spay/Neuter everything with four legs, as early as you possibly can” approach. You are your pets advocate. It’s your job to make decisions on what is best and heathiest for THEM.

    There are a lot of cynical people who hold the belief that there is no such thing as a RESPONSIBLE pet owner or Breeder. (A few of them have posted here on this blog. ) Unfortunately the policies they advocate usually enable those who are not responsible to continue in their ways.

  166. DIane says:

    The key words are ‘responsible owners’. Many many people don’t even have control of their S/N dogs in a social situation, how are these people going to control a unspayed and especially unneutered dog?
    I have had both but I like to think I’m a responsible owner. Most folks don’t care to be.
    I don’t think it is a black or white situation.

    BTW my unneutered Malamute died of cancer at 7 years old.

  167. Patti Tate says:

    I have five male dogs. Two are neutered and came here as adults, three are intact and have lived here since puppyhood. None of my dogs mark, mount, wander or behave aggressively towards either people or other dogs. All of them live peacefully together, inside my house, and are in fact sleeping together in a big pile on the sofa as I’m typing this. The oldest is 13, the youngest is 1. None have ever reproduced, and none ever will. I find that a six foot leash works well for that, and that basic training in manners achieves all of the other “benefits” that are ascribed to a surgical procedure.

  168. FormerRescuer says:

    I owned 2 pure bred dogs that I purchased from a reputable breeder. Both of those dogs survived until 15 years old, very old for their breed. They had few minor medical issues and were active to nearly the end of their lives. I then owned 4 rescued dogs that were victims of pediatric spay/neuter. (1) suffered ACL tears in both legs and died at 6 years old of osteosarcoma. (2) fought osteosarcoma from 4-5 and died suddenly of hemangiosarcoma. (3) fought multiple auto-immune diseases (likely from significant over vaccination) and died suddenly of hemangiosarcoma at 7. Both of these cancers are related to early spay/neuter and I am on a first name basis with the oncology team at the local specialty veterinary practice. (4) our current rescue is healthy so far, but I keep my fingers crossed every day and have purchased pet insurance for the inevitable. Because state law does not allow shelters and rescues to adopt out any animal unless they’ve been altered, I’m already looking at breeders for our next dog. I have zero interest in bringing home a dog that is already “broken” medically and likely over vaccinated.

  169. Kathy says:

    I’ve often wondered why vets don’t do a vasectomy instead of castration for male dogs, and tie the fallopian tubes of female dogs, or just remove the uterus. Same result – sterilization – without the negative hormonal consequences for the dogs that lead to other health problems.

  170. Shelley says:

    It should also be noted that many female dogs become incontinent when spayed too early.

    I have a four year old Doberman who has not yet been spayed; the only reason I am even considering it is because of the fear of pyometra. What are your thoughts about that?

    Thank you.

  171. Susanne says:

    While people are very divided on the Spay/Neuter subject, I am also a responsible dog owner and have adopted/rescued dogs and cats all my life. Until recently I have never questioned the early S/N way of thinking. This is because of recent research and also becoming involved in training my dogs in Obedience, Rally Obedience and Nose Work. I am also interested in Agility. For the overall health of my future dogs and cats, I will look into the possibility of spaying or neutering after maturity. I know I don’t want the additional responsibility of working around a bitch in heat or a dog around bitches in heat but I want to do what is best for my pets.

    Many people are NOT this responsible and I think this is why the early S/N programs came about. Animal Shelters can’t just look at someone and say “oh you look responsible and you don’t”, so across the board all animals have been S/N. Is it worth the higher risk of cancer vs. hundreds of thousands of animals being euthanized? In my humble opinion, yes, it is.

    For breeders of purebred dogs, cats, horses, etc; these people are stewards of their breeds and it is up to the ‘professionals’ (I use the term loosely as many breeders are not responsible breeders) to pick and choose how they will run their business, for this is a business.

    I want a purebred dog for my next pet and will work diligently to not spay or neuter until after the dog has reached maturity. For me, this is the best answer and I hope people will look for their best answers as well.

  172. Janice says:

    Why can’t the vet schools teach the students to do vasectomies and tube tying? It CAN be done.

  173. D.s. says:

    Could you give me your references ie the studies you are using to draw your conclusions. My vet would be very interested to know EXACTLY where you are getting your information!

  174. Misty says:

    I have to partially disagree with the article. I agree that spaying before 5-6 months is NOT healthy for dogs and cats, but after that point, I have not heard of many issues. I have personally owned as many as 10 cats and 3 dogs at once, with all of them being neutered. My one male cat who was neutered before I adopted him at 3 months developed kidney issues and died at 9 years old. However, all of my other cats and dogs have lived well beyond 12 years. One of my dogs is 16 years old, and she’s a medium-large breed 50 pound dog. I have 4 cats live to 19. All died of natural causes. It is a fact that male dogs who are not castrated are more aggressive than their castrated counterparts. My one male who was castrated used to be extremely over protective and died at 8, my youngest. So, say what you want, neutering is important and necessary unless you are a responsible breeder.

  175. Laura3gsd says:

    I’m happy to see this article; and share it. I agree. The problem is that rescues and shelters will spay/neuter before an animal leaves them, no matter the age. But, if someone gets a puppy from a breeder (backyard or otherwise) and has the option, it’s healthier to leave them intact for at least awhile. Other issue to consider besides cancer is Pyometra. The first dog I had left intact had a horribly advanced case of Pyo around the age of 9. I decided after that I would spay my other two girls around that age, and I did. They both now have hard lumps in the mammary areas of their belly (some were removed during their spays, but the lumps come back) which I’m assuming is cancer, but am reluctant to put them through surgery just yet. I’ll try some natural remedies first. They are getting old now and the lumps are not growing fast; one of my girls had an extremely difficult time handling the toxic effects from anesthesia when she was spayed (and had a bad rabies vax reaction too; plus food allergies and other issues) so if possible I will avoid any surgeries. Cancer happens… but so do other illnesses. It doesn’t negate the fact that their hormones help them develop properly and live healthier lives in general.

  176. Cora says:


    I was recently given an 8-year-old retired Persian show cat. She has not been spayed. The breeder told me she has poly-cystic kidney disease. I really don’t want to spay her. What do you think? Thanks, Cora

  177. Shari Leann Nolen says:

    If a female cat is not spayed, they often times will get pyometra and end up spayed, or if not caught in time, dead. What are the risks of a cat getting pyometra if not spayed and not bred in percentages? What is the cost to shelters on unborn and unwanted kittens if cats are not fixed? How will this affect the feral population problem? I understand your physiological rationale, but on the other hand is the reality of the situation of back yard breeders cropping up, overpopulation of cats, and that is already a problem. Shelters are killing unwanted dogs and cats everyday, imagine how this is going to increase should people be encouraged not to spay and neuter their animals. One of the biggest problems with breeding is the back yard breeders who do not care about breeding animals responsibly and are just breeding for the money. They do not do the required testing, HCM $250-$500 per cat per year, PK def $40 per cat, FeLV, FIP, or vaccinations, and vet health checks on their kittens before going to new homes. They do not study feline nutrition or truly care about bettering the breed. Breeding cats is not cheap when it is done the right way, and it is irresponsible to not have them spayed or neutered. Is this really the best thing for the cat or dog population in the long run, because most of them will be euthanized?

  178. Keri says:

    Very glad I found this blog, especially being written by Long Islanders (miss it greatly). I had only owned a female mixed breed dog with whom I followed all recommended treatments. She lived a wonderfully long life of 16.5 years but the last two she suffered with dementia which was difficult to witness. I recently came upon a male mixed corgie. He was purchased by someone off Craig’s list for $50 in June and I met him as I assisted the family. He is between 3-4 years old and very well behaved. He has now lived with me since August. He is intact, very loving, listens great even off leash. I see no aggression with other dogs although he does show more interest in females. My only concern is after I work a long day he is very attached to me when I return and that has lead him to try mounting my arm and licking my arms for extended periods of time. The mounting I discourage while receiving hurt looks. I’d rather work with him on this behavior then risk changing any of his other wonderful temperament traits. It seems anxiety based.
    (I am also quite liberal with “people” food, was with my girl as well). Am I making good choices?

  179. Tina Bayer says:

    Reading the blog, I noticed a discussion about removing ovaries and leaving the uterus to prevent pyo. I was wondering if there are any animal studies that keep the ovaries (to keep the hormones balanced) and remove the uterus. Partial hysterectomy for pre-menopause human females (like young female dogs/cats) removes the uterus keeps the ovaries. Please comment. Thanks !

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  181. Chris Knight says:

    I have had cats for nearly 40 years, always neutered toms and both spayed and unspayed Queens. The toms have usually been neutered before full maturity, after about 6 months, which seems to be the usual veterinary preferred practice in the UK, the females a little later as they approached sexual maturity, or at least at a suitable time after their ultimate confinement.

    The reason is that with the high population density in British cities and towns (cats as well as humans), full toms would stray, encounter other toms around calling queens, and either end up as roadkill, injured in fights, or at least, a few pounds lighter and dirtier. Some become career travellers, and never return to a permanent home.

    The queens are vulnerable to injury and infection too, as anxious and possibly inexperienced toms desperately try to mate in unfamiliar territory, with potentially dangerous competitors nearby.

    The fewer the number of entire cats, the safer for all. In rural situations, especially with farm cats, then the area can support more unneutered animals since the farm cat colonies are very different from urban pet cats in their homes, and populations are regulated by the availability of prey, as opposed to demand for pets or availability of kittens.

    Domestic animals have generally been selected for neotenous characteristics – in cats, the kittenish qualities – vocalisation with humans, playfulness, and charming nuttiness – early neutering probably encourages these traits. None of the mature cat characteristics are necessary for domestic town cats, including changes to physique and behaviour.

    As far as obese cats go, they are either overfed in one home, or overfed in more than one home they choose to eat in! I’ve never had a fat cat, but I have known a few people with fat cats, and overfeeding was evident: feeding on demand. All but a small proportion of cats seem to maintain excellent body tone into middle age and end life in the mid to late teens.

    Our experience with dogs has generally been with unneutered animals, until our current dogs which were castrated by the rehoming agency we obtained them from. All of the dogs and bitches had expected life spans, our old collie bitch at about 13, and our current collie is 12, and losing a little of his earlier form month by month, e.g. inability to get into the car unassisted a few months ago, and now has to be helped down too, to avoid injury.

    Our other dog, a Siberian Husky, is 8 and pretty healthy. We had him at 13 months, neutered at 12 months. Lots of social problems, though -we couldn’t get him house-clean until we had had him for 3 years – and then only with me going to bed late and waking very early to accommodate his bowel and bladder habits. I believe that he was kept indoors, and became very shy of performing in the sight of humans, because of the bad reaction he probably experienced. It is still exceptionally rare for him to defecate whilst on the lead.

    In fact, all our pets have been pretty healthy, and I have never had any vaccinated beyond the first series and booster to see them out of infancy – it is unneccesary for town cats and dogs that are never kenneled and do not contact wildlife on a regular basis. I certainly know that I have never paid out as much in vet fees than I would have paid in pet insurance.

    One other belief that I have is that our persistence in eradicating helminths from our pets as well as ourselves had led to an increase in allergy and autoimmune conditions for us both.

    Dogs habitually will devour cat faeces and roll to anoint themselves in fox turds, but most dogs rarely seem to want to coat themselves in, or eat, other dog droppings. This is instinctive differential behaviour which I think prevents dogs from inoculating themselves with an overload of dog adapted gut parasites, but favours self inoculation with parasites from less closely related carnivores, which will compete with dog specific worms in the gut, but will not establish a high fox or cat parasite load in the dog gut. Maybe it is like attenuating a virus by passaging through different, non-native hosts.

    Helminthic therapy is being used with some success in the human world for allergic conditions such as asthma, and problems like Crohn’s disease. Some patients report total remission of symptoms with a controlled helminthic load. Some people report a transient period of feeling almost euphoric following reinfection with hookworms.

    Itchy dogs roll on the grass to scratch their backs. Rolling in stinky fox poo is an evolutionary embedded behaviour trait, abhorrent to humans, but irresistable to dogs who may never have encountered it before. Generally the dogs appear to extremely happy with themselves just after doing it, despite the negative reaction of their owners.

    Most varieties of dogs have a natural process that is associated with itchiness – moulting, the loss of undercoat may facilitate transdermal autoinfection with threadworm or hookworm larvae. A dog with an allergy may be even more itchy, and may roll more often.

  182. Andrea Vaughn says:

    We have an indoor male cat, 8 months old. He is a Maine Coon (not sure breed makes a difference). He is our only indoor animal. We do have an outdoor dog but no cats that frequent our yard. We adopted him from the Humane Society with the agreement that we would have him neutered. I never gave it any thought until they set the appointment and then I started worrying about the affects this would have on his health. I was so glad to come across your information! He has recently started crying loudly, especially at night, while he roams the house and will occasionally “hump” soft blankets. I am worried that he might start spraying. I’ve read all the opinions about neutering to prevent spraying but have noticed they say that even cats that are neutered, when under stress or if they see other cats, they have started spraying anyway! Do you think the chances are lower that our cat will start spraying based on the fact that he isn’t stimulated by other cats being around? If he does start spraying, would letting him outside during the day possibly keep him from spraying indoors? I am so conflicted about this issue and would love some insight! Thank you!

  183. hh says:

    I am a vet and only become an ‘angry vet’ when confronted with a caesarian late at night by an owner who has elected not to neutered her pet , wants to sell the offsping, but has no money to cover the treatment required. I also see a similar number of emergency pyometra, again owned by people without funds to cover emergency treatment. The RSPCA ends up funding a substantial amount of these costs – wouldn’t the money be better spent on neutering??

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    • Teresa says:

      I have before now only had one dog fixed she had puppies and kept trying to expell her insides. I usually only bought females all lived to be 12 and. 13 years old. My last baby was a doxie who lived to be 17 years old but i believe she developed that uterous desease which she was to old for surgery. Until then i had never heard of. I just had my yorky male (my first boy) fixed and my papilon female fixed. I cant say im happy. Just hate doing that to them but as a senior it was rough keeping them apart. Ihad to have my boy done as per contract. I think breeders are wrong forcing you to neuter just because they want more money for a none neutered dog. I think that is greed and trying to eliminate the compitition, But i did not plan on breeding. Its been horrible trying to keep my babies from playing, jumping, running since their surgery. My girl had a rough time and the clinic (humaine society) gave me no pain meds. I mean if your so concerned about animals dont make them suffer, would i do it again no. But I also wouldnt have a girl and boy in the same house at my age either. Now im worried about things they will get from having surgery.

  187. Sheryle L Lyman says:

    Regarding Reproduction – - –
    Definition of a Responsible Pet Owner: One who keeps a dog/cat under their protection or supervision AT ALL TIMES, preventing unwanted/unplanned/unintended reproduction, allowing the animal to go out from the world with all the equipment s/he was sent into the world with, for her/his health.
    Definition of an Irresponsible Pet Owner: One who removes 1/4 of their animal’s endocrine system because s/he doubts their capacity to safeguard their animal by keeping it under their protection of supervision at all time.
    Gosh, it isn’t rocket science. We keep our toddlers and pre-schoolers under our watchful eyes because we know they need our protection and guidance – despite their inherent desire to run and explore. When we accept responsibility for a canine or feline companion, we have the same job. Just – - – do it.

  188. Nicole Binns says:

    Not a question, just a comment. I believe that we in the United States need to get rid of the taboo on eating cats and dogs. I’m not joking, I’m serious. Cats and dogs are not a liability, they are an asset. It is possible to be extremely loving, kind, and gentle to animals during their lifetimes, and then, later on, to kill them as humanely and quickly as possible and use them for food. This is what farmers do with every other animal (good farmers, that is, not horrible factory farms). The ‘overpopulation’ of animals is not a problem, it’s an opportunity. Yes, I tend to have extreme opinions on a lot of things, but I feel that our whole approach to this ‘problem’ is totally insane, misguided, and delusional. It’s like a religion. You just simply are not allowed to even consider anything else but spaying and neutering everything that moves, because, woe is me, the world would be utterly flooded with cats and dogs if we didn’t. We might as well go into the forest and sterilize all the birds and squirrels and raccoons and deer too, because they will overrun the cities and it will be standing room only for all of us.

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  190. Pat says:

    Hello Dr. Robert and Dr. Michael,

    I got a 2-month old kitten last June from a friend of a friend. I looked for information online about the “right” age to neuter, and found your site. After reading through your arguments, I decided to wait. In the meantime, Jinn has not been allowed outside. I had hoped to make it to a year, but about three weeks ago, he started whining and howling until it became 24/7. I live on an island near Seattle, where we have only one veterinary clinic. There is a low-cost spay/neuter center that makes scheduled pick-ups, and they bring the pets back the next day. I work at home all day, so Jinn and I have something like a Vulcan mind meld, and he has had no contact with other animals. I was afraid that being taken overnight in a van with other animals would be way too traumatic for him. As it turned out, the island veterinary clinic was running a spay/neuter special in February, and Jinn had been there once before. I was impressed by the gentle manner in which the vet treated him, so I considered that he would be in better hands there. I made an appointment and took him in on Wednesday, two days ago.

    It is hard for me to imagine how Jinn could have been any more traumatized with the van service than he was with this clinic. I am so furious I could … well, better not to say in print, because I could get arrested. The clinic had just gone to a computerized record system, so the tech was totally focused on her electronic device, which was malfunctioning. Meanwhile Jinn was going from frantic to outright panic, and there was nothing I could do to calm him. But that’s nothing compared to how he was when he came back. The tech told me he had urinated on himself and that she had “wiped his bottom.” With what, it’s hard to say, because his entire hindquarters and tail were soaked in urine (he’s a medium-hair cat). There is no way it happened on the way home; there would have been at least a few drops in the cat carrier. I did my best to wipe him with a warm washcloth, but he was in so much pain that I didn’t dare move him too much. Worse still, his hind legs were so shaky that he couldn’t walk without falling down.

    He started eating, using his litter box, and cleaning himself early yesterday, and he got his voice back a few hours ago. But he still can’t jump onto even a low chair without falling back down on the floor. Is this normal? On top of being angry that they sent him home in such a state, I’m afraid that maybe they did some permanent damage. I don’t want to call them — in part because I’ve already written a letter to the clinic owner describing his treatment and telling her I would never come back (they weren’t all that kind to me, either, but I don’t care about that). Beyond that, though, I really DON’T want to take him back there ever again. So, first of all, I want to know whether you’ve seen cats lose hind leg function for a few days after neutering and whether it just takes a few days to heal. Second, am I just being an over-protective cat mommy and maybe too hard on the clinic?


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