The Pros and Cons of Neutering Animals

The Pros and Cons of Neutering Animals

There are advantages and disadvantages to “neutering” animals. I believe that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Firstly regarding “feral” animals (both canine and feline) if a programme is put into place to firstly neuter the females, therefore ensuring that they are spared the trauma of constantly giving birth from a very young age until their bodies give out, ultimately leading to an early,  traumatic, unnecessary death, having had no life of their own, I feel that is a very humane positive step. Furthermore there is then the undisputable fact of there being no unplanned offspring to suffer and die, again unnecessarily, due to the inability of their mother to continue to feed them, and the danger of them being killed and eaten by other hungry feral animals. This progeny has no quality of life, and it is cruel and inhumane to put them in this position. Regarding neutering male ferals, this is a potentially double edged sword, for if the males are left entire they will be unable to breed with neutered females, but they will still, as full blooded males, fight amongst themselves from a survival and territorial point of view, causing themselves and others untold injuries, which are likely to go untreated, sentencing them also to a slow traumatic lingering, unnecessary death. Overall therefore, I feel that to neuter ferals, (male and female) is a positive step to helping our beloved animals to lead better lives, (and surely that is what we all ultimately want, is it not?!).

That is my take on ferals. Moving onto the pet market, I feel that if one does not intend to breed with a female, then speying her would eliminate the risk of her being “caught” and made pregnant by any given male, (un neutered of course!), thereby ensuring her a better more balanced life, within her multi species pack, (family), as well as avoiding trauma for the offspring of any unplanned mating, in the form of the difficulty of finding them good homes. The worst case scenario being the factor of badly bred unhomeable young animals, whose fate will more than likely be euthanasia! Regarding the neutering of male domestic pets, I personally have mixed views on this factor. Yes it is a “belt and braces” situation, whereby the neutering of both males and females, absolutely stops reproduction of any sort, for any reason, BUT, and this is a BIG BUT, from my 40 years+ of experience with animals of all kinds, the stumbling block within the neutering of males, is the canine, for this potentially gives rise to a very serious situation indeed. Numerous neutered canines undergo a personality change, for they become to themselves, and to other canines, an “unknown quantity”; they now are neither “fish nor fowl”. This situation in turn leads to aggression or fear on their part, due to the inability to handle how they are now living and feeling. This factor is huge, and only exists within the canine world; felines do not present with this problem, and therefore neutering a male feline is beneficial both for him, as he subsequently settles into a good life space, and for his humans, as he engages with them in an endearing way, without the male aggression and fights of an entire male, to say nothing of the anti social “spraying” of hormonal pheromones. In conclusion, I always  advise the neutering of both male and female felines, for it gives them nothing but a good quality of life, and the neutering of female canines, but not male canines. If bitches are speyed, then an entire dog will be uninterested in them, and unable to breed with them, but will keep his masculinity and complete male character to the advantage of both animal and human. Moreover, to scotch a frequent perception, neutering male canines does not deal with behavioural problems. As I have stated numerous times to clients, “cutting bits off him will not solve the problem as being entire is not what caused it” Nor has it ever; I can vouch for that; in fact it usually causes more problems!! All any of us want is the best for our animals; this structure achieves that goal. Regarding the subject of animals suffering enormous post operative pain, I can honestly say, that in all my years of working with animals, including veterinary work, I have never seen any untoward trauma and pain from any animal. They are always given sufficient pain relief for two to three days after their operation, but having a higher pain threshold than humans they rarely need it, though It is ALWAYS available! Touching on the subject of weight gain after spaying/neutering, in my experience no weight gain occurs if the humans feed and exercise their bitches correctly, and I have never seen a feral neutered cat overweight! Overall, as previously stated, the advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages of neutering, as long as discernment is used, for it is after all, the key to wisdom! There will of course always be the exceptions to prove the rule, and this is where discernment “enters the ring” for within life there is no absolute answer to all situations.

Port McNeill




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