(Warning: This is an extremely controversial topic that is heavily debated and more studies are on the way. This is simply the other side that is being presented. By no means is
anyone advocating for irresponsible pet ownership or non-sterilization. Please read the entire blog, and follow the links, to get the full details and to really understand what the article is about.)
Yet another study confirming the link between spaying/neutering and the increase of cancer rates in pets!
Last June, we posted a study conducted
on the increased rates of cancer in desexed Vizslas and methods of sterilization that help decrease the rates. The post almost broke the internet with comments. (http://ow.ly/E0OTe)
What we the pet owners, and the veterinarians
of the medical profession, have been taught about spaying and neutering our pets early (6 months) to prevent mammary and testicular cancer seems to be all wrong, according to all the new research that is being spit out!
“… maybe what I learned in vet school about early spay/neuter was not so straightforward after all!” - Dr
Sue Cancer Vet, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology)
“Sterilization increases the risk of joint disease and cancer in both golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers.”
“The removal of hormone-producing organs during the first year of a dog’s life leaves the animal vulnerable to the delayed closure of long-bone
growth plates,” said Dr. Benjamin Hart of the UC
Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
This was in reference to the latest study conducted on spaying and neutering by the researchers at the University of California,
Davis (published in the journal PLOS ONE). (http://ow.ly/E0uMT)
The UC Davis researchers further confirmed
what previous studies have shown - intact dogs of both breeds have lower rates of joint disorders and cancer than desexed dogs.
A study conducted at the Gerald P. Murphy
Cancer Foundation found: “Taking away ovaries during the first four years of life completely erased the female survival advantage. We found that female rottweilers that kept their ovaries for at least six years were four times more likely to reach exceptional
longevity compared to females who had the shortest lifetime ovary exposure." (http://ow.ly/E15GU)
So what other methods are there instead
of desexing our pets? Research is now pointing to another direction: the possibility of sterilization.
“To sterilize without desexing. This means performing a procedure
that will prevent pregnancy while sparing the testes or ovaries so that they continue to produce hormones essential for the dog's health and well-being. This typically involves a vasectomy for male dogs, and either a tubal ligation or modified spay for females.
The modified spay removes the uterus while preserving the hormone-producing ovaries,” explains Doctor
Dr. Becker continues: “Whenever possible, I prefer to leave dogs intact. However, this approach requires a highly responsible pet guardian. […]
My second choice is to sterilize without desexing.” (http://ow.ly/E1oqb)
By spaying and neutering our pets, we are
ripping out their parts, including their hormones, (complete removal of the ovaries and uterus in female dogs, and the testes in males) to prevent over population and behavioral problems from developing. By desexing our pets, some argue that they are no longer
male nor female, as we have altered their sex. However, research is showing that our pets drastically need these hormones in order to prevent the most aggressive cancers (osteosarcoma, bladder transitional cell carcinoma, prostate cancer, lymphoma, and mast
cell tumors) and other diseases from developing.
The problem is that most veterinarians do not have the proper training to conduct this not-so-new technique of sterilization
and often opt for the desexing methods as demanded by pet owners. So, if this option is not available to you, what else can you do?
Quoting the world’s top veterinarian
Cancer Doctor, Dr. Damian Dressler (dogcancerblog.com): “Most dogs reach sexual maturity at about 24 months approximately at the fourth heat in females at this point in their development
dogs have received the protective benefit of adult sexual hormones and are at a decreased risk for cancers mentioned above.
If you choose to spay or neuter your dog my general
recommendation is to spay females sometime between the third and fourth heats which will have the added benefit of reducing the risk of mammary cancer and neuter males sometime between the ages of 18 and 24 months.” (http://ow.ly/E15MC)
I write this blog for one reason and one
reason only. I do not want to promote irresponsible pet ownership and overpopulation. I do, however, want to encourage you, the pet owner, to make the right decision for you and your pet. In order to do so, you need to know all the facts! Today, the cancer
rate is 1 in 2 dogs and 1 in 3 cats. It’s time we better ourselves.
Pet Nutrition Blogger - Rodney