Banes of Castration
Male Specific Issues
- Loss of testosterone; the male sex and growth hormone
- Narrowing of the chest resulting in respiratory disorders
- Failure to extrude the penis
- Loss of testosterone is directly correlated to: heart disease and myocardial infarction, strokes and cardiovascular disease, senile dementia, osteoporosis and hip fracture
- Increases risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma (by a factor of 1.6)
- Increased risk of progressive geriatric cognitive impairment
- Quadruples risk of prostate cancer(prostatic adenocarcinoma)
- Anesthesia shock and surgical complications
- Post operative pain and infection
- Personality changes
- Increased risk of obesity (triple risk in males, double in females)
- Tripled risk of hypothyroidism
- Increased risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in medium/large breeds when neutered before 1 year of age.
- Cerebellar cortical abiotrophy (a neurological problem)
- Doubled risk of urinary tract cancer
- Increased risk of orthopedic disorders and hip dypslasia
- Increased risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations
Female Specific Issues
- Loss of estrogen; the female sex and growth hormone
- Intervertebral disk disease
- Myasthenia Gravis; muscle weakness
- Altered moods leading to nervousness, separation anxiety, and digestive disorders
- Doubled risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma
- Five times the risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma
- Causes urinary "spay incontinence"
- Three to four times the risk of urinary tract infections
- Increased risk of recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, and vaginitis
Complications of Surgery
Surgery poses a risk to an animals health. Surgery is often justified to treat illness, but castrations are generally performed on healthy animals. Risks of surgery include anesthesia shock, internal bleeding (hemorrhage), and inflammation and/or infection of the incision; dogs also have a tendency to chew sutures. Complication rates for castration surgeries have been reported as being 22% for females and 19% for males. Death due to complications from castration surgery is low, with a rate of about 0.11% (1 out of 900).
Increased Risk of Osteosarcoma
There is an increased risk of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in castrated dogs of both genders. In studies the risk increased as the size of the breed increased and showed that dogs castrated before one year of age were 2 to 4 times more likely to get bone cancer. Rottweilers are particularly susceptible to this type of cancer, and studies showed that rottweiler males neutered prior to one year of age were 3.6 times more likely to get bone cancer (a 28.4% chance) and that rottweiler females were 3.1 times more likely (a 25.1% chance).
Increased Risk of Hemangiosarcoma
This is a common cancer in dogs of either gender and is a major cause of death in Salukis, Bulldogs, Irish Water Spaniels, Flat Coated Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Afghan Hounds, English Setters, Scottish Terriers, Boston Terriers, and German Shepherds. In a case controlled study spayed bitches were found to have 2.2 the times higher risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma than intact bitches. A retrospective study showed that there was over five times the incidence of cardiac hemangiosarcoma in spayed bitches and 1.6 times the incidence in gelded dogs.
Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer
Neuter propaganda that says castrated dogs are at a decreased risk of prostate cancer is untrue. Prostate cancer is uncommon in canines to begin with, having an occurrence rate of about 0.6%. In studies performed in Europe and America, that actually used control groups, it was shown that castration increased a dogs risk of prostate cancer by a factor of about four, to an occurrence rate of 2.4%.
Increased Risk of Urinary Tract Cancer
A study found that castrated dogs of both genders were twice as likely to get bladder or urethra tumors as intact dogs. These tumors are nearly always malignant but account for less than 1% of all canine tumors. breeds at elevated risk for this type of cancer are Airedales, Beagles, and Scottish Terriers, while German Shepherds have a lower than average risk.
Testicular Cancer VS A Higher Risk of Other Cancers
Castration of male dogs actually presents a hightened risk of death by cancer. Testicular cancer occurs in about 7% of intact male dogs. However the prognosis for complete recovery is very good, with a cure rate of over 90%. Statistics show, therefore, that less than 1% of intact dogs die from testicular cancer; which is less than half the occurrence rate of prostate cancer and/or osteosarcoma in castrated dogs. It is recommended that testicles that fail to descend be removed as they present 13.6 times the risk of developing testicular tumors.
Increased Risk of Hypothyroidism
Castrated dogs of both genders suffer three times the risk of getting hypothyroidism as intact dogs. This reflects the effects of sex hormones on the immune system. Hypothyroidism leads to lethargy, hair loss, and obesity.
Increased Risk of Obesity and Diabetes
A study found that spayed bitches are at twice the risk of obesity of intact bitches and that gelded dogs have three times the risk for obesity. A study in the UK found that 21% of dogs surveyed were classified as obese.
Some studies found that there was twice the occurrence of diabetes in gelded dogs as in intact dogs. Other studies showed no change either way. None of the studies showed bitches to be at a higher risk, spayed or unsprayed.
Increased Risk of Adverse Vaccine Reactions
In a retrospective study spayed bitches were 30% more likely to suffer adverse effects to vaccination than intact bitches and gelded dogs where 27% more likely to suffer adverse effects.
Increased Risk of Urogenital Disorders
Urinary incontinence is so common in spayed bitches its called "spay incontinence." Studies show that from 4-20% of spayed bitches will get incontinence while only 0.3% of intact bitches suffer this malady." Spayed bitches are 3 to 4 times as likely to develop urinary tract infections as intact bitches with an even higher risk for those spayed before 5 œ months of age. Depending on the age at the time of surgery; the younger the more problematic, spay causes deformation of the external genitalia; including recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, and vaginitis.
Increased Risk of Orthopedic Disorders
Surgical removal of the ovaries can result increased rate of remodeling of the pelvic bone and result in hip dypslasia. Spaying was also found to cause bone loss in the spine. Castration of immature dogs harms the development of bone growth, causing certain bones to grow longer then they normally would. This can result in narrowing of the chest bones putting a strain on the cardiovascular system, and in legs growing out of proportion, causing gait difficulties. Castrated dogs have twice the chance of getting cranial cruciate ligament ruptures; this may be associated to obesity.
"On balance, it appears that no compelling case can be made for neutering most male dogs, especially immature male dogs, in order to prevent future health problems. The number of health problems associated with neutering may exceed the associated health benefits in most cases."
From "Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay/Neuter in Dogs
― Laura J. Sanborn, M.S.