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Should You Spay Your Dog? By Al Magaw

Should you Spay Your Dog?

By Al Magaw

There are problems associated with spaying your female that every dog owner should be aware of – there is no apparent or well known harmful effect involved in neutering male dogs, but there is a potential and common serious harm associated with spaying the females. The lack of estrogen production brought about by spaying FREQUENTLY (“commonly” is the word used in the veterinarian community) brings on the loss of bladder control in older females and frequently, uncomfortable skin problems.  Earlier than normal death can also occur. It is such a simple thing to confine a female twice a year to prevent pregnancy that the risky alternative of spaying is not one I would recommend – one of the reasons given for spaying, beyond birth control, is the prevention of breast cancer.  Breast cancer in un-spayed dogs is a rarity compared to the commonality of  problems caused by spaying and the resulting hormonal imbalance. There are drugs that Veterinarians will prescribe to treat the hormone imbalance, but the drugs pass into the environment and are environmentally damaging, staying in the environment for many years, ( DES (diethylstilbestrol) exposure is often viewed as a health issue unique to those exposed to the drug and an issue that is no longer relevant. This is far from the truth. DES exposure and long-term exposure to any synthetic hormone concerns a much broader population than those directly exposed to DES. In fact, the entire population is exposed to synthetic hormones like DES from sources such as chemical pollution, medicines, plastics, paints and pesticides on food. Many synthetic chemicals in the environment are harmful to our health. Some are so-called “hormone disrupters” like DES”) ( “There is some evidence that DES-exposed sons may have  testicular abnormalities, such as undescended testicles or abnormally small testicles.” “Professor Niels Skakkeback, a Danish scientist, first alerted the world to the possibility of a substantial fall in male fertility levels in 1992. He did this by showing that sperm counts in healthy men appeared to have dropped by more than half in 50 years” “Subsequent studies have confirmed and strengthened Skakkebaek’s findings) These hormones can and do upset and delay the development of prepubescent males and bring on early sexual development in females – be responsible with your dogs, don’t bring unwanted puppies into the world and don’t be so foolish to believe that having “just one” litter will improve your dog –  think twice about the long term health of your female and the long term effect to the environment. You can be a responsible dog owner without resorting to spaying and the use of environmentally damaging drugs.


Al Magaw is a musher from Salmo, BC. Al keeps a medium sized kennel of 20 – 45 alaskan huskies as well as several pet dogs of various breeds. Al has been training and racing for the last 33 years. Before becoming involved with sled dogs, Al, along with his family, kept and competed with horses for many years. Al can be reached through his website at Al is a guest blogger for Denver Dog Works and can be reached through our website at

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