Jennifer Mieuli Jameson, founder of Loup Garou, a San Francisco group that rescues black and dark-colored companion animals, went to law school, so she understands that there are always two (and usually more) sides to a story. Jameson respects the validity of the debate over early spay/neuter.
Making a fresh look at the things we take for granted can be wonderfully enlightening. Sometimes, the little light bulb overhead begins to sizzle and sparkle, illuminating a new and better way of doing things. Consider this example: When some savvy veterinarians took a fresh look at performing spays, a surgery we've been doing the exact same way for decades, they came up with a revised technique that accomplishes all of the objectives of the spay surgery with fewer complications. How cool is that?
The female dog’s reproductive system is the “nest” that nurtures a simple union of two single cells into a weave of billions of intercommunicating cells, which then form into organ systems and ultimately unify into the whole organism we call “dog.” We’re talking about the act of creation, the production of entire litters of living, breathing, best friends of mankind. It’s an amazing, powerful, complex system.
The reproductive system has what seems to be a relatively simple task: to provide the mechanisms necessary to maintain survival of the species. However, the mechanisms involved are complex, and maintaining a functional balance of the hormonal, mechanical, and physiological requirements for reproductive success can be difficult at best.
In some dog-related circles, the question of surgical sterilization, otherwise known as spaying (females) and neutering (males), is sure to spark hot debate. Humane associations and shelters are vocal proponents of sterilization for population control, a stand that makes sense considering they're often the ones who deal firsthand with the tragic consequences of unplanned breeding.
using a short leash or tether to prevent the dog from greeting the person unless he's politely sitting down."
Most people respond with a warm fuzzy Awwww" reaction when they see a litter of puppies. After all
Have you hugged your local animal shelter manager lately? He or she could probably use some support about now.This spring, a crisis developed when...
For decades, the standard in the veterinary profession was to spay female dogs and cats at the age of six months, and neuter males at nine months. This standard has contributed significantly to the tragedy of pet overpopulation, since most cats and many dogs have reached physiological sexual maturity by that time. Fortunately, the standard is changing. Female dogs can come in season (and get pregnant) prior to age six months. A dog's estrus cycle can be messy, leaving spots of blood on carpets and furniture, and a dog in heat can be a real nuisance. Every unsterilized male dog for miles around will make supercanine efforts to reach her.
Whole Dog Journal unabashedly supports the positive efforts of animal protection workers around the country to reduce the euthanasia of unwanted animal companions, including the proactive approach of shelters to spay and neuter dogs at a relatively early age, before they have had a chance to make more puppies. However, many holistic veterinary practitioners regard prepubescent spay/neuter surgery as potentially harmful to young pups. We'll describe their concerns but we'll also offer some holistic remedies that can counter the potentially deleterious effects of surgery.