10 reasons why you should not spay your female dog

10 Reasons You Should Not Spay Your Female Dog

Common practices for adopting dogs include spaying and neutering at a young age. This procedure is justified as a way to decrease animal homelessness from free mating and staving off certain undesirable behaviors. What risks are there to spaying female dogs? 

When should you spay and at what age? Dr. Dee's got the answers.

Common practices for adopting dogs include spaying and neutering at a young age. This procedure is justified as a way to decrease animal homelessness from free mating, decreasing cancer, and staving off certain undesirable behaviors.

In female dogs, the concept of spaying can be confusing as certain health benefits are improved while the risk of complications from the actual surgery itself are frequent.

The following information derives from a meta analysis preformed by Laura J. Sanborn, M.S. in 2007. All reference articles are included in the meta analysis. 

When female dogs are spayed before 2.5 years of age, the risk of mammary tumors, the most common malignant tumors in female dogs [especially if  spayed younger than 30 months old], is greatly reduced. 

It is my professional opinion that hormones don't cause cancer as many studies for human and animals would imply. Cancer is a complex bio mechanism caused from complex factors including the toxicants from vaccinations, pesticides for flea/tick/heart worm, other contaminants such as glyphosate in food, water, air and the environment.

Hormones may potentiate the growth of cancer but it's more likely to be an inciting factor if the internal mechanisms for clearing hormone metabolites (break down products of the hormones) are not operating properly or are overloaded with many of the toxicants mentioned above. These detox mechanisms, primarily in the liver, are critical for helping clear many cancer producing toxicants. This idea is not considered in any of the studies on neutering and cancer. 

Spaying early eliminates the risk of pyometra (because there is no uterus to become infected) which otherwise would affect about 23% of intact female dogs. Pyometra kills about 1% of intact female dogs. The already small risk of developing uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors (≤0.5%) is removed. Lastly, just like with male dogs, the risk of perianal fistulas is reduced.

Recent information has shown the removal of the estrogen producing glands (ovaries) inhibit a feedback loop in the brain (pituitary) to actually increase luteinizing hormone, which has been potentially associated in non-cancerous and cancerous diseases. For our dogs the mechanism for the risk of cancer increasing could be more clearly understood now. 

10 Reasons You Should Not Spay Your FEMALE Dog

#1: Similar to male dogs, female dogs are typically spayed prior to 1 year of age which impacts healthy, regular growth. Spaying young females significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer), a common cancer in larger breeds with a poor prognosis.

#2: When female dogs are spayed before puberty, distinctly female disorders rise. The risk of recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, and vaginitis increases.

#3: Delaying the closure of growth plates after spaying a young female dog causes irregularity in the development of different bones. This hormonal disruption can cause unnatural proportions and proclivity to arthritis. Many bones may continue to grow due to the failure of growth plates to close. Examples include elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia. 

#4: Spaying female dogs increases the risk of splenic and cardiac hemangiosarcoma. The increase of this common cancer rises by a factor of 2.2 for splenic hemangiosarcoma and by a factor of >5 for cardiac hemangiosarcoma. In some breeds, this cancer is among the top causes of death.

#5: The urinary complications in spayed female dogs are greatly increased. The occurrence of "spay incontinence" rises by 4-20% and the risk of persistent or recurring UTIs (urinary tract infections) increases by a factor of 3-4%. Spaying also doubles the small risk (<1%) of developing rare urinary tract tumors.

#6: The risk of obesity in spayed female dogs rises by a factor 1.6-2%. Obesity leads to other common health struggles including diabetes, ruptured cruciate ligament, tumors, urinary disease, and oral disease.

#7: Bone and ligament diseases in spayed female dogs are alarmingly increased. The risk  for hip dysplasia in female dogs spayed or neutered before 5 1/2 months old rises by 70%. Their increased risk for patellar (knee cap) luxation rises by 3.1 fold. Cranial cruciate ligament rupture increases 2 fold.

#8: The risk of loss of pelvic bone mass (hip dysplasia) and spondylosis in the spine of spayed female dogs rises. A remodeling of the pelvis suggests a tendency to hip dysplasia. Spaying was also found to cause a net loss of bone mass in the spine and a 2 fold increase in cranial cruciate rupture. Compared to intact dogs, spayed/neutered dogs were found to have a 3.1 fold higher risk of patellar luxation.

#9: Early spaying of female dogs likely causes illnesses sparked by autoimmune thyroiditis. The risk for hypothyroidism triples for spayed female dogs.

#10: Spayed female dogs are susceptible to adverse reactions to vaccinations. Reactions such as anaphylaxis, cardiac arrest and shock, sudden death. Chronic disease from vaccinations is not recognized by conventional medicine, only acute reactions are recognized, but even those reactions were significantly more frequent in neutered animals of either sex. Adverse reactions were 30% more likely in spayed females than intact females, and 27% more likely in neutered males than intact males.    

If you're still confused about whether or not you should spay your female dog, here's what I would suggest you consider before making your choice:

Educate yourself, think about your lifestyle, ask your vet questions and then carefully move forward. Keep your animal intact for as long as possible. Specifically for female dogs, make sure you monitor for pyometra and carefully regulate her heat cycle social life.

If you have access to a vet who will preform a tubal ligation, I suggest you consider this. If you do not, the Parsemus Foundation can help you and your vet get educated.

I also suggest you get adequate training to insure your dog is well socialized - this is a must to give your dog a safe, natural upbringing!

It has been my experience (now over 4 decades) in this profession that dogs and cats spayed and neutered much later in life or not at all, along with natural rearing choices, that your animals can live a much, much healthier, longer life! 

And if you MUST spay your dog -                                                               

Our homeopathic protocol can help! These homeopathic remedies, in a super convenient kit, are tried and true to make a routine, but stressful situation easier, with much less pain, and a much faster recovery

Homeopathic Support For Spaying

If you have to spay your dog or cat homeopathic remedies can help! Our Spay Assist Kit can help for a smooth surgery and recovery.

To learn more about what to do for your male dog, please, read 10 Good Reasons You Should Not Neuter Your Male Dog.

11 comments

Justin A Morey

Justin A Morey

What can be done to reduce the risk of pyometra other than spaying? It’s a huge worry
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Justin,

Why is it a huge worry? Has your vet scared you? Have you read a lot of articles on it?

If you are raising your dog in a natural way then pyometra doesn’t have to happen. So, that answers your question – do everything you can to raise your dog the natural, chemical free, fresh food only, vaccine free, lots of exercise, etc, etc…. and you can have a dog that doesn’t get cancer, outlives all her siblings, and doesn’t have chronic disease for her entire life.

What can be done to reduce the risk of pyometra other than spaying? It’s a huge worry
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Justin,

Why is it a huge worry? Has your vet scared you? Have you read a lot of articles on it?

If you are raising your dog in a natural way then pyometra doesn’t have to happen. So, that answers your question – do everything you can to raise your dog the natural, chemical free, fresh food only, vaccine free, lots of exercise, etc, etc…. and you can have a dog that doesn’t get cancer, outlives all her siblings, and doesn’t have chronic disease for her entire life.

Lucy

Lucy

We have A 5 1/2 month old mini-poodle. We just cancellwd her spay. Something didn’t sit right with me. Just stumbled on this site. So glad I cancelled. When we do a historectomy in humans we do everything possible to at least leave the ovaries because of the hormone issues. Wouldn’t the same apply to dogs??

———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Yes, Lucy! The same exact principals apply to our female mammals of our family! So glad you slowed down everything and can now research ovary sparing spays in more details and hope you find an open minded vet to do the surgery. Or better yet, wait as long as you can, maybe all of her life, and support her overall health with the sorts of things you see in my blogs.

Cheers!

We have A 5 1/2 month old mini-poodle. We just cancellwd her spay. Something didn’t sit right with me. Just stumbled on this site. So glad I cancelled. When we do a historectomy in humans we do everything possible to at least leave the ovaries because of the hormone issues. Wouldn’t the same apply to dogs??

———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Yes, Lucy! The same exact principals apply to our female mammals of our family! So glad you slowed down everything and can now research ovary sparing spays in more details and hope you find an open minded vet to do the surgery. Or better yet, wait as long as you can, maybe all of her life, and support her overall health with the sorts of things you see in my blogs.

Cheers!

Natalie Nichols

Natalie Nichols

1.) can you recommend a vet who does tubal ligation. Vets I have conspired won’t do it and one called it malpractice. Is there any place that promotes or makes it easy to get , or easy and more affordable?
2.) what do you recommend for prevention of heart worms and fleas if you are against the pesticide /heart worm and flea prevention Medications commonly prescribed by vets?
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Natalie,

I don’t know where you are but you can go to this organization to read more and to look for a vet in your area. https://www.parsemus.org/ Just ignore the comments about malpractice. Ignorance is a powerful thing!

The conversation about heart worm is longer than I can do here, but please read my blog <https://drdeeblanco.com/blogs/news/how-do-i-treat-my-pet-for-flea-and-ticks-the-natural-way?pos=1&psq=flea+ti&ss=e&v=1.0> about natural solutions for flea and tick prevention and treatment. If you would like a consult about heart worm I am happy to do so, but I don’t think it’s ethical to advise you about this topic without knowing more about your environment, your lifestyle with your pet, etc.

Thank you!

1.) can you recommend a vet who does tubal ligation. Vets I have conspired won’t do it and one called it malpractice. Is there any place that promotes or makes it easy to get , or easy and more affordable?
2.) what do you recommend for prevention of heart worms and fleas if you are against the pesticide /heart worm and flea prevention Medications commonly prescribed by vets?
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Natalie,

I don’t know where you are but you can go to this organization to read more and to look for a vet in your area. https://www.parsemus.org/ Just ignore the comments about malpractice. Ignorance is a powerful thing!

The conversation about heart worm is longer than I can do here, but please read my blog <https://drdeeblanco.com/blogs/news/how-do-i-treat-my-pet-for-flea-and-ticks-the-natural-way?pos=1&psq=flea+ti&ss=e&v=1.0> about natural solutions for flea and tick prevention and treatment. If you would like a consult about heart worm I am happy to do so, but I don’t think it’s ethical to advise you about this topic without knowing more about your environment, your lifestyle with your pet, etc.

Thank you!

Diane Lenahan

Diane Lenahan

I’m afraid of my dog dying from the anesthesia during the operation. She is a nervious dog and clings to me so I feel the operation would do more harm than good and I don’t want to put her thru it. She 31/2 , I cook her meals chicken, beef, liver once a week, some lamb brown rice peas pumpkin spinach carrots sweet potatoes. And sometimes purina chicken and rice extra if she didn’t eat much that day. My instincts tell me not to spay her.
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Listen to your mommy instincts and don’t feel pressure to do something that really doesn’t need fixing.

I’m afraid of my dog dying from the anesthesia during the operation. She is a nervious dog and clings to me so I feel the operation would do more harm than good and I don’t want to put her thru it. She 31/2 , I cook her meals chicken, beef, liver once a week, some lamb brown rice peas pumpkin spinach carrots sweet potatoes. And sometimes purina chicken and rice extra if she didn’t eat much that day. My instincts tell me not to spay her.
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Listen to your mommy instincts and don’t feel pressure to do something that really doesn’t need fixing.

Joe Gambardella

Joe Gambardella

My female minpin 5mo is strictly indoor dog and on leash if outside. Should I avoid spaying her.
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Hi Joe!

Yes!! You can always do it much, much later on, but don’t even think about it for 3 years! Email me in 3 years and let me know what you have experienced!

Have fun!!

Dr Dee

My female minpin 5mo is strictly indoor dog and on leash if outside. Should I avoid spaying her.
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Hi Joe!

Yes!! You can always do it much, much later on, but don’t even think about it for 3 years! Email me in 3 years and let me know what you have experienced!

Have fun!!

Dr Dee

David Girard Jr

David Girard Jr

I don’t know about the rest of the world but the United States has is turning into a country of followers that can’t think for themselves and do and think as they are told and don’t object to thing’s that are wrong we are becoming true cowards. You hear people say we don’t want any trouble we just want to be left alone there is nothing we can do about it .the people dont hear the truth when told the truth. Get in line don’t think or talk just do as you are told.followers and cowards are what we are becoming.
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
This happens when we are too comfortable, too fearful and too submissive.

I don’t know about the rest of the world but the United States has is turning into a country of followers that can’t think for themselves and do and think as they are told and don’t object to thing’s that are wrong we are becoming true cowards. You hear people say we don’t want any trouble we just want to be left alone there is nothing we can do about it .the people dont hear the truth when told the truth. Get in line don’t think or talk just do as you are told.followers and cowards are what we are becoming.
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
This happens when we are too comfortable, too fearful and too submissive.

Simonoe

Simonoe

I’m very confused by the way you’ve set up your article. Are these ’pro’s’ for spaying?? My dog is about to go into her third heat and i don’t know what to do. all the vets around me are saying to spay. Can you help shed some light on this mammoory cancer issue? i just want to do what’s right for my best friend.

From your article: When female dogs are spayed before 2.5 years of age, the risk of mammary tumors, the most common malignant tumors in female dogs [especially if spayed younger than 30 months old], is greatly reduced.

Spaying nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra which otherwise would affect about 23% of intact female dogs; pyometra kills about 1% of intact female dogs. The already small risk of developing uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors (≤0.5%) is removed. Lastly, just like with male dogs, the risk of perianal fistulas is reduced.
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Thank you so much for your questions Simonoe!

The knee-jerk reaction IN THIS COUNTRY, not in other countries, even in places like all of Europe, is to spay and neuter without thinking about it.

This mindset says any dog with their gonads in tact are very likely to develop cancer, pyometra, hypertrophy of the prostate, etc. But they never tell you these animals are typically on horrible toxic foods, given more toxicants (pesticides) for flea/tick/ heart worm ‘prevention’. They never tell you all the other things dogs are exposed to that can cause cancer. This is not only a very narrow cause-effect view that is harming many animals.

If we want simple solutions to complex situations then we will always defer to the solution that eliminates our fears. And fear is the powerful motivator that has tunnel vision.

I am not in favor of spaying any animal, especially early in their lives. There are a few situations where I would recommend it, but those would be rare and certainly not as some sort of ‘preventative’ medicine protocol.

I’m very confused by the way you’ve set up your article. Are these ’pro’s’ for spaying?? My dog is about to go into her third heat and i don’t know what to do. all the vets around me are saying to spay. Can you help shed some light on this mammoory cancer issue? i just want to do what’s right for my best friend.

From your article: When female dogs are spayed before 2.5 years of age, the risk of mammary tumors, the most common malignant tumors in female dogs [especially if spayed younger than 30 months old], is greatly reduced.

Spaying nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra which otherwise would affect about 23% of intact female dogs; pyometra kills about 1% of intact female dogs. The already small risk of developing uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors (≤0.5%) is removed. Lastly, just like with male dogs, the risk of perianal fistulas is reduced.
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Thank you so much for your questions Simonoe!

The knee-jerk reaction IN THIS COUNTRY, not in other countries, even in places like all of Europe, is to spay and neuter without thinking about it.

This mindset says any dog with their gonads in tact are very likely to develop cancer, pyometra, hypertrophy of the prostate, etc. But they never tell you these animals are typically on horrible toxic foods, given more toxicants (pesticides) for flea/tick/ heart worm ‘prevention’. They never tell you all the other things dogs are exposed to that can cause cancer. This is not only a very narrow cause-effect view that is harming many animals.

If we want simple solutions to complex situations then we will always defer to the solution that eliminates our fears. And fear is the powerful motivator that has tunnel vision.

I am not in favor of spaying any animal, especially early in their lives. There are a few situations where I would recommend it, but those would be rare and certainly not as some sort of ‘preventative’ medicine protocol.

Cupcake

Cupcake

Hello should I spay my 7 year old female dog!
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
No necessarily! If you are not having any issues with your dog and her heat process, then don’t spay her. Especially, if she is eating fresh food, rarely vaccinated, not using pesticides for flea/tick/heart worm. In other words, if your dog is living a ‘clean’ life (due to your efforts) then your dog will be healthier overall, live longer and her uterus should not cause he any issues – ever.

Hello should I spay my 7 year old female dog!
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
No necessarily! If you are not having any issues with your dog and her heat process, then don’t spay her. Especially, if she is eating fresh food, rarely vaccinated, not using pesticides for flea/tick/heart worm. In other words, if your dog is living a ‘clean’ life (due to your efforts) then your dog will be healthier overall, live longer and her uterus should not cause he any issues – ever.

Lisa

Lisa

I think the Pro’s of spaying your dog or cat versus leaving them intact far outweigh the cons. I believe all non Champion horses, cats and dogs should be gelded, spayed and neutered. Only the best of the best genetics should be reproduced . It is beyond heartbreaking watching a healthy pup, kitten, cat or dog being euthanized or a healthy horse go to slaughter because there aren’t enough good homes for millions of them. Geld, spay & neuter!!!
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Yes, I totally understand. After being in private practice and being the one who euthanized hundreds of animals at a local rural shelter years ago, I certainly have felt that way. But, after studying extensively the role of hormones in overall health (most mentioned in the blog) and then treating animals with poor quality health that were spayed/neutered early (including my own animals), I cannot ever agree to that mindset any longer. If we continue to throw the animals under the bus because of our arrogant view that we are entitled to have any animal we want, with little responsibility to keep them safe, housed, fed, and good citizens, then really it is all our fault, not theirs. The proof is in the pudding – in many other countries, including all of Europe, a very Westernized union, the knee-jerk practices we impose on these creatures are not a part of their lives. Yet, animals are not running amok, over population is not an issue, aggression or poor socialization is not seen. It’s a different world outside the US. Might be a good idea to research that.

I think the Pro’s of spaying your dog or cat versus leaving them intact far outweigh the cons. I believe all non Champion horses, cats and dogs should be gelded, spayed and neutered. Only the best of the best genetics should be reproduced . It is beyond heartbreaking watching a healthy pup, kitten, cat or dog being euthanized or a healthy horse go to slaughter because there aren’t enough good homes for millions of them. Geld, spay & neuter!!!
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Yes, I totally understand. After being in private practice and being the one who euthanized hundreds of animals at a local rural shelter years ago, I certainly have felt that way. But, after studying extensively the role of hormones in overall health (most mentioned in the blog) and then treating animals with poor quality health that were spayed/neutered early (including my own animals), I cannot ever agree to that mindset any longer. If we continue to throw the animals under the bus because of our arrogant view that we are entitled to have any animal we want, with little responsibility to keep them safe, housed, fed, and good citizens, then really it is all our fault, not theirs. The proof is in the pudding – in many other countries, including all of Europe, a very Westernized union, the knee-jerk practices we impose on these creatures are not a part of their lives. Yet, animals are not running amok, over population is not an issue, aggression or poor socialization is not seen. It’s a different world outside the US. Might be a good idea to research that.

Walter D Vega

Walter D Vega

Thank you for the advice.
I have a 10 old Siberian husky who just went into heat. I do plan spaying her once she’s fully grown. Also she has been on anti-seizure meds since she was 5 months of age. The vet suggested to wait until she’s older.
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Walter, so glad you are not planning to spay her now. Do wait at least 2 years and even consider not spaying her. Those hormones do help to some degree to protect the brain. With her brain already having symptoms, most likely from the vaccinations, she will need all the help she can get from a completely intact body. If you were my client I would absolutely and strongly suggest you do NOT spay this dog and do NOT vaccinate her again. Discuss this with your regular vet, do antibody titers and/or get a waiver to provide any documentation she needs but do NOT vaccinate!

Thank you for the advice.
I have a 10 old Siberian husky who just went into heat. I do plan spaying her once she’s fully grown. Also she has been on anti-seizure meds since she was 5 months of age. The vet suggested to wait until she’s older.
———
Dr Dee Blanco replied:
Walter, so glad you are not planning to spay her now. Do wait at least 2 years and even consider not spaying her. Those hormones do help to some degree to protect the brain. With her brain already having symptoms, most likely from the vaccinations, she will need all the help she can get from a completely intact body. If you were my client I would absolutely and strongly suggest you do NOT spay this dog and do NOT vaccinate her again. Discuss this with your regular vet, do antibody titers and/or get a waiver to provide any documentation she needs but do NOT vaccinate!

Kathryn Drinkard

Kathryn Drinkard

thank you. I was going to have my puppy fixed at 6 months old. Had no idea the side effects this could/would cause her. I will not be doing it now. It is my job to do what is best for her not what is easy for me.

thank you. I was going to have my puppy fixed at 6 months old. Had no idea the side effects this could/would cause her. I will not be doing it now. It is my job to do what is best for her not what is easy for me.

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