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Karen Becker Dvm Spay Neuter1

Dr. Karen Becker: The Truth About Spaying and Neutering



Once an ardent advocate of spaying or neutering every dog early in life, after being in private practice for a few years, Dr. Karen Becker noticed many of her canine patients were developing endocrine-related disorders. After a conversation with an expert in the field of veterinary endocrinology, Dr. Becker realized her practice of insisting on early spays or neuters for every dog patient had left many of them with serious health problems.

Dr. Becker quickly changed her recommendation for her patients from automatic spays or neuters, and the younger the better, to a more holistic approach in which surgeries, including sterilization and desexing, should only be performed when there’s a medical necessity. She also believes shelter pets should be sterilized rather than desexed (spayed or neutered) in order to preserve their sex hormones.

Scientific evidence is mounting that gonad removal can deliver serious consequences to a dog’s future health. Among those consequences: shortened lifespan, atypical Cushing’s disease, cardiac tumors, bone cancer, abnormal bone growth and development, CCL ruptures, and hip dysplasia.

Options to traditional full spays and neuters are hard to come by both in the U.S. and Canada, because veterinary schools don’t teach alternative sterilization procedures. Fortunately, we’re slowly waking up to the fact that spaying and neutering – especially in very young animals — are creating health problems that are non-existent or significantly less prevalent in intact pets.

Ownership of an intact dog, male or female, is not for everyone. It takes time, effort, vigilance, and often, a thick skin. Dr. Becker discusses the ins and outs of owning an intact male or female dog and the steps necessary to prevent pregnancy.

  1. Holly Novak09-03-2014

    ~ Your awesome ! I have gotten the evil looks when people know both my male & female purebred German Shepherds are not `fixed’. My male is five & my female is four, I have not had any litters. My female wears her panties in her cycle and is not with my male when going bathroom ect. You have to be respondsiable, and it’s not a fun time when my female is in heat, however I have always thought the same as you, they have these parts for a reason. I must say I hate the looks of people when they know my dogs are intact, you feel so judged as a bad owner … and I’m far from that! My dogs are my everything, I love love German Shepherds … they are the best dogs ever! I got my Golden retrievers `fixed’ and both are fat, & have had tryroid issues as you mentioned. I have a hard time to keep them from being too fat, & they get the same food amounts & exercise as my GSD’s, go figure ! Wish you were my Vet ! Your just wonderful. God Bless & thank you for your brave post …. you are brave to put yourself out there. Holly & all my critters, please hop by site and see my dogs & bunnies …. Happy Hops Rabbitry

  2. Jennifer09-21-2015

    Thank you so much Vom Banach K9!

  3. mbp01-21-2016

    I agree 100%. My very large male GS was intact when I got him at 13 mo’s. He’d had a very bad history, & little to no human interaction. Everyone told me to have him cut; said he’d be happier, live longer, be more tame etc. They’d said that I wouldn’t be able to handle or control him if I didn’t.
    At first I didn’t do it because I wanted to breed him to another DDR. But as time went on I realized he was perfectly fine with all his parts. I also believed that doing it too early is damaging. Judging what I know about human development, I know that without the proper sex hormones it can affect height, bone density, muscle & organ development & some mental aspects.
    I never had any problem with him running away other than the usual jumping the fence to chase a rabbit or treeing a bear (no kidding), then he’d jump back in. He didn’t go out attacking everyone & everything like its made to sound.
    It was from him that I learned that I would never do that to an animal again.

  4. Kimberry Smith04-06-2017

    I have a Giant Schnauzer, DDR mix female. 5 months with a German Boxer who has been neutered and is 10 years old. What should I expect when Rubi comes in from Max and I am planning on having her fixed at 12 months.

    What are your thought’s on this.
    I also thought about training her for search and rescue. is this a good direction for Rubi?

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