Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dr Karen Becker on Spay/Neuter

Veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker formerly worked as a euthanasia technician in an animal shelter before she began her private practice. Dr. Becker was adamant about spaying and neutering all pets, preferably before their first heat cycle. Until she saw first-hand the damage that was causing to the health and welfare of her patients.

This is a video that you MUST watch. Grab a cuppa, silence your phone and settle in for a presentation filled with compelling facts and figures.



    1. Hi "Anonymous", .....I was also told the same thing but it appears this too is simply an old wives tale.

      A review of the available science was done in 2012 with this result:

      J Small Anim Pract. 2012 Jun;53(6):314-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2011.01220.x.

      The effect of neutering on the risk of mammary tumours in dogs–a systematic review.

      Beauvais W, Cardwell JM, Brodbelt DC.


      A commonly-stated advantage of neutering bitches is a significant reduction in the risk of mammary tumours, however the evidence for this has not previously been assessed by systematic review. The objectives of this study were to estimate the magnitude and strength of evidence for any effect of neutering, or age of neutering, on the risk of mammary tumours in bitches. A systematic review was conducted based on Cochrane guidelines. Peer-reviewed analytic journal articles in English were eligible and were assessed for risk of bias by two reviewers independently. Of 11,149 search results, 13 reports in English-language peer-reviewed journals addressed the association between neutering/age at neutering and mammary tumours. Nine were judged to have a high risk of bias. The remaining four were classified as having a moderate risk of bias. One study found an association between neutering and a reduced risk of mammary tumours. Two studies found no evidence of an association. One reported “some protective effect” of neutering on the risk of mammary tumours, but no numbers were presented. Due to the limited evidence available and the risk of bias in the published results, the evidence that neutering reduces the risk of mammary neoplasia, and the evidence that age at neutering has an effect, are judged to be weak and are not a sound basis for firm recommendations.

      2012 British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

      PMID: 22647210 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

  2. I have 5 male dogs in my home. Cannot imagine what it would be like if they were not neutered!.....(2 of them cannot be together off leash w/o going after each other.) I always wait until growth plates are closed (around a year old) because they are agility dogs. Australian Cattle Dogs (and a Chihuahua---who was a terrible leg lifter until fixed) My 2 oldest lived to be 15 + 17.....two oldest now are male and female....both 14 yrs...the male is still doing agility. I am having trouble right now w/ one of my 7 yr old males having erections several times a WEEK.....he was fixed at around a yr intact males/females anywhere around.....has had a prostrate check and blood work done and everything seems fine.....could this be an over active adrenal gland problem?

  3. Lovely, but as a breeder I can never be 100% sure my clients will end up at your clinic and will be perfect owners. We have seen of many owners not following contracts, sending the dog back to its breeder if they could no longer take care of it. I breed to keep 1 for me, the rest are 'collateral damage' for my hobby and they only deserve the BEST life ever, and falling in the wrong hands for one reason or an other and ending up producing poor puppies is not something I am willing to risk.

    1. "Lovely"? Good health is more than just "lovely", it should be your number one priority as a breeder. If you truly want your dogs to have the best life ever as you claim, you will NOT spay and neuter them unnecessarily. "Producing poor puppies"? They are not going to be YOUR puppies, so it's really none of your business what sort of puppies are produced. The spay-neuter contract is typical propaganda from control freaks.
      Don't kid yourself about giving your dogs the best life ever, because you are not. Spay/neuter dramatically reduces their chances for good health and a longer life. But then, that's obviously not something you really care about.

  4. Story at-a-glance
    Once a huge advocate of spaying or neutering every dog early in life, after being in private practice for a few years, Dr. 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.

  5. Doctor Becker and her expereince on spaying and neutering are certainly a great help for many pets out there. Why to take the risk and end up euthanizing your pet. Simply follow the rules and get them spayed and neutered.

    1. What sort of illiterate moron are you? Did you watch the video? By what sort of twisted logic do you believe that you must kill your pet if it is not castrated? "The rules"? Whose rules? The rules of people with no brains like you?