Speuter Nation: Sterilizing the World

Let me preface this by saying that I am absolutely not opposed in the slightest to spaying and neutering to ensure that owners are held honest and responsible if getting their dog from a shelter.  I am, however, wholly against propaganda being used by those who would prefer that everything with testicles or a uterus and ovaries be ‘sterilized’ for the implied betterment of pet ownership.

Unfortunately, keeping an intact dog has become a social faux pas in today’s society.  It isn’t acceptable for Fido to go walking around with his testicles swingin’ in the breeze or Fifi to be wearing cute panties when it’s that time of the year because those are sure signs that those people are breeders and breeders are the Devil, don’tcha know?  Sadly, I’ve experienced it first hand with comments like, “When are you going to neuter him?  Those danglies are so gross!” in reference to my intact goober boy.  It makes it hard biting my tongue with comments like that but it’s typically better off that I don’t spout off a nasty remark as a retort and focus my time into educating them why I choose to leave my dogs intact as a personal choice – even if I were to never consider breeding him (or any other intact dog that may live in my home in the future).

With the plethora of information available out there that shows the pros and cons of spaying and neutering, J.Q. Public is sadly lacking in the knowledge department.   For many people, the need to actually have that dog go through the surgery is a convenience for their lives because, let’s face it, intact animals can be a pain in the fanny if you don’t have the time or effort to manage potential accidents.  That being said, if you’re planning on spaying or neutering your animals you should at least be informed of the reasons both for and against the argument.  I would highly suggest reading this article, but if you’d rather it not, here are a few pros and cons for you.

The pros of spaying and neutering include some of the following:

  • Eliminating the risk of testicular cancer (which is <1% roughly).
  • Reduces the rate of non-cancerous prostate issues and perianal fistulas.
  • Nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra (which affects approximately 23% of intact female dogs and has a fatality rate of about 1%).
  • Removes the very small risk of uterine, cervical and ovarian tumors in female dogs.
  • Reduces the risk of mammary tumors in female dogs if spayed before 2.5 years of age.

The cons of spaying and neutering include some of the following:

  • Neutering a dog prior to one year of age significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer).  This commonly occurs in medium/large breed dogs and typically has a very poor outcome.
  • Increases the risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma occurrence by 1.6 times.
  • Triples the risk of hypothyroidism.
  • Quadruples the small risk of prostate cancer.
  • Increases the risk of orthopedic disorders (like torn ACLs) and increases the risk of reactions to vaccinations.
  • Can cause “spay incontinence” in 4-20% of female dogs.
  • Increases the risk of vaginal dermatitis, recessed vulva, etc. in female dogs – especially when altered prior to puberty.

Those are just some of the reasons given both for and against the procedure.  We must not discount the risks involved in surgery – no matter how advanced the procedure has become – when involving the life of an animal that we care about.  The risk will always be there when it involves anesthetics and surgery.

With all of that being said, however, it still comes down to a personal decision for the owner of said dog(s) because it is their ultimate responsibility to keep those dogs safe, sound and happy for their lives.  If an owner cannot or will not maintain their pet from wandering the streets looking for bitches in season to breed with, train and manage their pet as to limit any potential occurrences of same sex dog aggression or simply wants to ‘enjoy the miracle of life’ for their children or otherwise looking to make a quick buck off of puppies, I would highly suggest having this elective procedure performed for the benefit of your own personal sanity and the sanity of the rescues and shelters that have to take of the brunt of the ‘problem’ when you can’t find responsible, permanent homes for that dog’s offspring.



6 thoughts on “Speuter Nation: Sterilizing the World

  1. patricia

    most of my dogs are un altered, because i show.. i am also responsible enough that i have had 1 yes 1 unplanned litter in 12 years of raising these dogs, i do own a couple mixes as well and they are altered because they are just pets and i do not want to risk the chance of an accident with one of my show dogs.. also i do rescue.. they are altered as well.. yep only dogs allowed to breed are my show dogs.. and i have only had one litter in 3 years..puppies are expensive and smelly and loud…however as a groomer and person who does rescue… im one of those people who advocate for s/n because i see so many irresponsible owners..

  2. laurie

    I definitely advocate for s/n!! BUT, I will admit that I have an intact pitty. I am fortunate that he was reared in a home with a femaele pitty(spayed) an old female lab, also spayed, and two cats. I also dog sit a very dominant Boston Terrier occasionaly. My dogs have been exposed to other Pits since they were very young pups. I thought it was important to ensure a good temperament. My dogs are in a responsible environment. My only wish is that I had time to foster because I know tyhat my home is perfect for a visiting dog to chill and be safe.

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  4. Sara Lynn Yankowski

    Amanda – have an un-neutered male show dog, I was once told by a “speuter freak” that my unborn child does not deserve to live because my dog still has his testicles. And that I’m basically a murderer. Up until the recent North Meets South ADBA fun show, I believed it and was actually considering snipping my dog and dropping out of the ADBA life altogether. And my ADBA life hadn’t even began.

    1. ShadowWolf Post author

      I’m very glad you didn’t. There is a place for intact dogs and, unfortunately, not everyone cares to realize it or wants to realize it.


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