Until 10 years ago, the primary incentive to spay and neuter was to prevent uncontrolled numbers of dogs produced and euthanized at shelters across the continent.
However as the primary impetus to breed dogs (for form and function) has considerably changed, the views on spay and neuter are also evolving, especially in light of dog health and social differences observed in other countries (mainly in Europe) which do not endorse surgical sterilization.
PREVENTION OF MAMMARY CANCER
Other than population control, the most important reason to spay dogs is the prevention of mammary tumours, if spaying is done early in life. However this comes at a cost: increased urinary incontinence.
INCREASED RISKS OF CANCER
There is growing evidence which is not conclusive due to the lack of statistically significant controlled studies (as opposed to observational ones) indicating that certain cancers such as osteosarcoma (bone cancer), bladder transitional cell carcinoma, splenic hemangiosarcoma and mast cell tumours may be increased as a result of gonadectomy (removal of gonads, ie ovaries or testicles).
SPAY AND NEUTER IN REMOTE COMMUNITIES
This brings into focus the need to elaborate specific protocols regarding spay and neuter in remote areas such as First Nations communities where the mortality rate of dogs may be relatively high.
Is it done to benefit an individual dog or the community?
If population control is the aim, shouldn’t all available females be spayed first before neutering males?
What about neutering males who do not have clear male-on-male aggression behavioural issues – why spend resources on them before spaying females?
Should breed predisposition to ailments resulting from gonadectomy be considered when spaying or neutering a dog in remote areas?
The Dog Population Management project of James / Hudson Bay area of 2015-16 is helping to bring to light specific needs and solutions for dog populations in remote areas. We would love to hear your thoughts!
Heartfelt gratitude on behalf of all dogs with no names wherever they may be.
DWNN team has been the recipient of amazing donations and we wish to express our heartfelt gratitude. DWNN operates under the non-profit organization FAWI (Foundation for Animal Wellness Initiatives) and is poised to embark on two major projects that will make such a difference for paws and hooves. As soon as the ink is dry on the MOUs /contracts we will announce. In the mean time, back to Tsuu T’ina where we first started.
PS: Contraception programs are not just about contraception, but bringing long-term sustainable solutions to overpopulation of animals. Registries, population dynamics, cohort mortalities…much more than just a poke!