N E B K C
Alternative Spay & Neutering
As a breeder the time will come to retire the dogs which are no longer useful in his program. The question then arises whether to sterilize and if so what is the best option for the dog’s health.
Most veterinarians then propose invasive sterilization which consists of the ablation of the testicles or ovaries or even ovaries & uterus. These procedures are, according to new studies, harmful to the health of the dogs, because the "sexual" hormonal system also has a role in the health of muscles, ligaments, conjunctive tissue, cardiovascular system, bone, coat and much more.
By a hormonal deficit induced by a "classic" sterilization, a dog will age faster, in an accelerated way.
The negative effects of invasive sterilization are:
Decreased muscle mass
More prone to cruciate ligament rupture
Hip dysplasia in neutered / spayed dogs before full growth
Change of personality
Poor coat quality
Alternatives to Traditional Neutering and Spaying of Dogs
Alternatives to neutering or spaying? Isn’t spaying and neutering the ideal approach to sterilization in dogs? Since when do we have a choice?
Well you’ve always had options. After all, you can either choose to sterilize or not. If you do sterilize, you help prevent pet overpopulation - which is the single most important reason to spay and neuter and to protect a dog that has already served in a breeding program. If you don’t, you run the risk of having them produce unwanted litters.
Nowadays, however, we have more alternatives. Here’s a list:
Male Dog Neutering Options Complete Castration "Invasive neutering" Not recommended
The testicles are surgically removed. Aesthetically, a male without a testicle obviously looks amputated. Its benefits? Castration (amputation of the testicles), can have a few health benefits, including no prostatic enlargement, no testicular tumors, and no perineal hernias, but they are rare health problems compared to the harmful effects of a classic sterilization which permanently generates an altered hormonal system and the many health problems mentioned above that this may cause permanently, for the rest of the dog's life.
Chemical Neutering - Temporary sterilization
Yes, it’s entirely possible to temporary neuter a dog using drugs. This approach preserves the reproductive qualities in the future. Chemical sterilization last for about 6 months. This is an option, for example, when sterilization for a dog of a certain breed became mandatory following BSL. This allows the owner to comply with the new law while retaining the market value of the dog. This gives him time to think about whether he wants to permanently sterilize him, sell the dog to another country with no BSL or move with his dog to another country.
Males: Vasectomy (This is the best procedure we recommend)
This procedure is not a traditional “neuter” at all. As with men who undergo this common human procedure, dogs keep all their testicular tissue intact and consequently retain all their sex hormones. The only difference is that the tube that shuttles sperm is disrupted so that all those little guys can’t get to where they need to go. Though not commonly performed in dogs, a vasectomy is an easy procedure, easier than castration, actually.
Its benefits (as compared to the complete castration)? It’s quicker, easier, and less uncomfortable and it allows dogs to keep the health benefits of testosterone (reduced incidence of obesity, improved muscle mass for better geriatric mobility, and reduced incidence of prostate cancer). the only reason you’d choose a vasectomy over complete castration is because you want to keep your dog’s testicles (sex hormones) and because a) you’re worried he might get another dog pregnant or b) you need to prove to some legal or regulatory authority that he’s been sterilized.
Female Dog Spaying Options
Ovariohysterectomy (typical U.S. “spay”) Not recommended invasive Spay
Let’s break it down. This long word can be divided into three parts: “Ovario" (meaning ovary), “hyster” (meaning uterus), and “ectomy” (meaning removal). In other words, we remove both ovaries and the uterus in this super-common procedure. It sterilizes females and removes the risk of health-related issues common in unspayed dogs (primarily mammary tumors and uterine infections) but they are rare health problems compared to the harmful effects of a classic sterilization which permanently generates an altered hormonal system and the many health problems mentioned above that this may cause permanently, for the rest of the dog's life.
Ovariectomy “spay” - Not recommended sterilization
This one involves the removal of the ovaries alone. The female will be sterile and no sex hormone-related diseases possible, but they are rare health problems compared to the harmful effects of a classic sterilization which permanently generates an altered hormonal system and the many health problems mentioned above that this may cause permanently, for the rest of the dog's life.
Tubal Ligation - Recommended sterilization for females
This is sort of akin to a vasectomy in male dogs. All it does is keep the females from getting pregnant. It’s much more commonly performed in Europe. Dogs who undergo tubal ligation can still have the full hormonal system and its natural benefit. They will also come into heat and attract males. They just won’t get pregnant if they do.
Ovary-sparing Spay - Recommended sterilization for females
The so-called ovary-sparing spay is a procedure designed to hedge your bets, as it were. The complete uterus is removed (only part of the cervix remains) but the ovaries are left behind.
Rationale: Since the ovaries are primarily responsible for producing the sex hormones, dogs will attract males and may still get mammary tumors but since they have no uterus they can’t get pregnant and won’t actually bleed when they do come into heat.
Not a lot of studies have been done on this kind of spay, but it’s becoming increasingly popular. Stay tuned for more info on this approach in the future.
In fact, look for more discussion of these possibilities in the years to come. As more studies are performed on dogs to determine the ideal timing of spays and neuters we may find that more and more pet people like you will opt for non-traditional methods of sterilization to preserve the health of your dog.
It only remains to find a competent veterinarian who masters these non-invasive and health conservative techniques.