A new American Veterinary Medical Association report disputes claims that pets should be spayed or neutered for population control reasons, or that spay and neuter is always healthy for pets. The report finds adverse effects from spay and neuter include increased risks of prostate cancer, bone cancer, bladder cancer, hemangiosarcoma, obesity, diabetes, aggression, ligament rupture, and complications from surgery.
After reviewing the risks and benefits associated with spay and neuter of cats and dogs, the report concludes:
Pets should be considered individually, with the understanding that for these pets, population control is a less important concern than is health of each animal….veterinarians and owners must consider the benefits and detriments of gonadectomy for each animal… It behooves us as veterinarians dedicated to the provision of the best possible care for animals to educate clients and evaluate each animal carefully when making recommendations regarding gonadectomy.
That’s the latest word from America’s leading association of veterinarians. The best interests of the individual patient are what should determine when or whether a pet should be spayed or neutered. This is a medical decision, to be decided by a pet owner in consultation with their veterinarian. One size does not fit all, and should not be mandated by the state.