As responsible Coton de Tulear breeders, we are constantly seeking the best ways to ensure the health and well-being of our beloved companions. In recent years, a growing body of evidence and the guidance of respected integrative veterinarians, such as Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Judy Morgan, have shed light on the potential health issues associated with early spaying or neutering. In this article, we'll explore why these experts recommend waiting until a dog is done growing before considering such procedures and discuss the health implications for our precious Cotons.
Understanding the Traditional Approach:
Traditionally, many pet owners have followed the standard practice of spaying or neutering their dogs at an early age, often before they reach sexual maturity. While this approach has been widely accepted, integrative veterinarians are now advocating for a more nuanced perspective, emphasizing the importance of timing in these procedures.
The Growth and Development Factor:
One of the key reasons behind the recommendation to wait until a dog is done growing before spaying or neutering lies in the impact on the dog's growth and development. Research suggests that the removal of sex hormones through early spaying or neutering can potentially interfere with the closure of growth plates, leading to altered bone development and an increased risk of certain orthopedic issues.
Hormonal Influence on Health:
Dr. Karen Becker, a well-known integrative veterinarian, has highlighted the role of sex hormones in overall health. These hormones play a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions beyond reproduction, including bone density, muscle mass, and joint health. Removing these hormones prematurely may disrupt the delicate balance and contribute to long-term health issues.
Urinary Incontinence and Joint Problems:
Studies have shown a correlation between early spaying and an increased risk of urinary incontinence in female dogs. Additionally, both male and female dogs spayed or neutered before maturity may face a higher likelihood of developing joint problems, such as hip dysplasia and arthritis. Integrative veterinarians like Dr. Judy Morgan stress the importance of preserving the natural hormonal cycle to support musculoskeletal health.
Beyond physical health, early spaying or neutering can also impact behavior. Integrative veterinarians argue that allowing a dog to reach maturity before considering these procedures may help in the prevention of certain behavioral issues, such as aggression and anxiety, which can be influenced by the natural hormonal balance.