Our perspective on responsible whippet sterilization
The public's lack of appreciation and respect for the various roles hormones play in the human and canine body is likely the result of successful advertising as well as campaigns encouraging an early spay or neuter. Hormones are often blamed for ruling behaviours on sitcoms, teen shows and the like, but those of us with a better understanding of biology appreciate that a hormone is simply a messenger. Hormones regardless of what their target effect is/end organ are important in regulating our daily lives. They signal things like thirst, hunger, sleep and other basic needs. Hormones are imperative not only in regulating our body but play a similar role in our dog's lives.
When public advocacy groups started pushing for early spay and neuter campaigns, it was decades ago when responsible animal husbandry looked a lot different. Additionally and even more importantly, it was before we fully understood the implications and health outcomes pediatric spay and neuter campaigns had on our dogs. It's understandable that decades ago vets were dealing with issues regarding over-population and in an effort to help the public manage their pets were educated to encourage pediatric sterilization. This is still a somewhat controversial discussion many pet owners have with their vets to this day.
Research has demonstrated that in many large and medium breed dogs, pediatric sterilization can be associated with worse health outcomes including but not limited to: hip or elbow dysplasia, cranial cruciate rupture or tear, cancers such as lymphoma, mast cell tumor, hemangiosarcoma and osteosarcoma.
Sex hormones play a vital role in the closure of long bone's growth plates, development of muscle and metabolism. When a dog is denied the opportunity to fully mature before being sterilized the owner runs the risk of many adverse long term outcomes on their dog's overall health.
At Aureate we always prioritize the health of our dogs. We approach sterilization with an evidence based approach. We require all our dogs not to be spayed or neutered before the age of 18 months. We are happy to discuss this further with our puppy people and provide relevant research to help them appreciate what informed our perspective.