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30 May 2006

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CE Petro

Christy, maybe I should have posted on the original thread, but your words were not for naught. All of my dogs had come to me already spayed/neutered. With Merlin, (he's 20 weeks old today) this is the first time I've had to make the decision of whether to neuter him or not. I'm undecided, now, on what to do, because as you said, I only had half the story. Since I never had to think about it, I never paid attention or bothered to look to see if I was being told the entire truth.

So, let me put forth the idea that there are a lot of people that want a companion pup and that's all they want to think about. These people are very happy to go about their lives being told they should do this or that for their pets, and are then relieved of having to do the research on whether or not this is the best thing for their pet and them.

Like so many other issue, being told "this way is best" is just much easier, and less time consumming.

Crystal

I read your blog from bloglines and never comment... I was thrilled to see your post the other day (many kudos for the citations!) but today I saw this post and figured I needed to visit and actually voice my support of your original plea ("Stop Lying, people").

Very well said - I couldn't agree more (with all of it)!

Leigh-Ann

I responded to your original entry with a comment about spaying/neutering reducing the pet population. It's not that I failed to understand the point you were making, it was that I still felt the value of spaying and neutering in general far out-weighed any arguments to the contrary. Everything I've ever read suggests the making spay and neuter clinics available at a low cost does reduce the number of animals euthanized in shelters, and that's very important to me.

My response was also based on the fact I've never seen a pro-spay/neuter article which claimed there were no side-effects. The issue of side-effects is not always addressed, but I think that's different than making an actual claim of no side-effects. I'd assume it would be up to a person's veterinarian to discuss side-effects with an owner -- mine does.

I think both sides of the argument still have grey areas. You mentioned a higher incidence of TCC bladder cancer in neutered dogs, which might be true, but I've also read that the surging number of dogs with bladder cancer can be traced to increased use of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides (like flea powders). Some breeds have a genetic predisposition for bladder cancer. The cancer has also been linked to second-hand smoke. The cancer is still more prevalent in female dogs than in males, and it still only accounts for 1% of all cancers. I don't think anyone has been able to prove an actual physiological link between neutering and bladder cancer, just a statistical link, and I think statistics can be skewed so many ways. If I'm wrong, and research has shown physiological changes in the bladder associated with neutering which lead to cancer, then please correct me. I tried to read some of the articles you cited but couldn't find them all.

I don't know if I agree with your comparison of this situation to abstinence-only education. Abstinence-only education does not make teenagers less sexually active, and lack of sex ed does not stop teenagers from getting sexually-transmitted diseases. On the other hand, spaying and neutering does cut down on the numbers of unwanted pets in shelters, whether or not owners are aware of all the facts. Maybe you aren't putting pets there, but thousands of other irreponsible people are. Because of that, I'm quite willing to keep making those irresponsible people think that spaying and neutering is a good thing, period. When they're ready to know both sides of the story of their own volition, they can seek the information.

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