To Spay Or Not

     So you think your dog is cute and your friends wish they had one just like yours? Or you think it would be good for your children to witness a live birth? Or you paid money for a dog “with papers” and now it’s time to recoup the investment? You can breed it yourself and make a fortune (no fortune, of course, if the bitch requires a C-Section to deliver, or if you have the puppies examined and vaccinated, or heaven forbid they don’t sell quickly and you have to start feeding them). Yes, mutt or purebred, you have talked yourself into breeding your pet.

     Wait a minute. Please. Just because your pet is cute doesn’t mean its progeny will be equally attractive in looks or temperament (do you follow Hollywood?). And those friends who were just WAITING to get a dog often find it inconvenient when the time comes and decide to “wait till the next litter”. And why is it that you want your kids to experience the birth, but you fail to include them in the rest of the story – the ultimate Reality Show where you find out that half of the litter is not expected to stay in its original home? Should you tell your children to choose their favorite, then “kiss the rest goodbye”? Do you know that 25 % of the dogs turned in to Animal Shelters are purebred? That you can spay or neuter your dog for less than it costs to raise a litter of puppies? That HUNDREDS of dogs are euthanized every month, not just here in Merced County, but every city and county in the United States, because we would be over-run with stray and unwanted pets if we didn’t?


Start with one female dog and let’s do the math (as the Arizona Humane Society did years ago):

In her first year she produces 4 pups, 2 of them females (4 total)

Second year production of first and second generation females is 12 pups, 6 female (12)

Third year production of 3 generations of females is 36 pups, 18 females (36)

Fourth year production of four generations of females is 108 pups, 54 females (108)

Fifth year production of five generations of females is 324 pups, 162 females (324)

Sixth year production of 6 generations of females is 972 pups, 486 females (972)

Seventh year production is 2,916 puppies…..


If you think there is a population problem in the world, it does not even compare to the population explosion in the pet world!


Christine McFadden, DVM

Valley Animal Hospital, Merced

The NUTS Syndrome

Yesterday, a local psychologist called me to discuss some unusual cases in her clinic.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of men with abnormal behavior,” she said.

“Sorry, I only treat animal’s with behavior problems,” I replied.

“But that is exactly why I called you. It seems that these men all have one thing in common—their dogs need surgery.”

“Aha, I think I’ve seen this before.  What exactly are these men doing?”

“Fainting.  They can’t seem to discuss their dog’s operation without getting light-headed and passing out.”

“Wow, that sounds pretty serious.”

“Yes, the good news is that they’re only unconscious for a few minutes, and then they wake right back up.”

“They must really be worried about their dog’s surgery.”

“So it would seem.  With careful questioning, I have been able to learn some things about the operation—until they pass out again.”

“Terrific!  Tell me what you’ve learned, and hopefully I’ll be able to help you figure out why these men are getting so light-headed.”

“In most cases, it’s practically an ‘outpatient’ surgery— the dogs don’t even need to spend the night.”

“Hmm. That doesn’t sound very risky. What else can they tell you?”

“After the operation, dogs are more likely to live longer and less likely to develop several kinds of cancer.”

“Wow, I’m sure the men want their dogs to live a longer, healthier life. What else do they say?”

“The procedure reduces a dog’s tendency to run away or roam by ninety percent!  Since they aren’t running away or roaming, it also lowers their chances of getting lost or hit by a car.

“A surgery that helps to prevent dogs from getting lost or hit by a car.  The answer is becoming clearer. . . .”

“I don’t understand why these guys are so apprehensive.  They also say that after the operation, canine behavior problems are reduced and dogs are 60% less aggressive!”

“For guys who keep passing out, they sure remember a lot of details.  Did they say anything else?”

“The operation reduces a dog’s temptation to urine mark his territory by fifty percent, and it even decreases that embarrassing leg mounting behavior by seventy percent.”

“I wonder who did that study?!”

“Seriously, I’m really worried about these guys. I can’t have them fainting in my office all day long.”

“So let me get this straight. This surgery is minor enough that dogs don’t even have to spend one night in the hospital, yet it will help them to live longer, have a lower risk of cancer, less roaming and fewer behavior or aggression problems.  Are there any downsides to the operation?”

“There is a chance that some dogs might gain a little weight.”

“That’s it?”

“Yup, just weight gain, that’s the only potential downside.”

“Well, that’s easy to deal with—if a dog is gaining weight, an owner just needs to feed him less food.”

“A solution so simple that it’s brilliant!  So, what’s the deal with this surgery?”

“Well, this is actually a common problem in men.  It’s referred to as being NUTS.”

NUTS!? That’s not a term we like to use in my business.”

“You’re misunderstanding me—NUTS is an acronym. It stands for Neuter Unease Transference Syndrome.

“Which is?”

“The irrational fear that having a dog neutered will somehow have an effect on the male owner.”

“How do I treat it?”

“I’m not sure that you can. For some men it looks like being NUTS is a lifelong condition.”


Please feel free to distribute this article (at no charge) via all media— all I ask is that you give the author and Valley Animal Hospital credit.  You will find Dr. Jon Klingborg at the best veterinary animal hospital in Merced, California– Valley Animal Hospital.  Copyright 2015 by Jon Klingborg.