Why shouldn't you neuter your dog?

Gießen / Berlin (dpa / tmn) - With drooping ears, Podenco-Mix bitch sock taps across the meadow. A protective collar is around her neck. Sock was neutered a few days ago. The collar is supposed to prevent her from getting to the wound.

Sock comes from Spain. The bitch was neutered before the flight to Germany through the Spanish animal welfare service.

If Socke had been born in Germany and not been brokered through animal welfare, castration would not have been so easy. Because according to German law, the medical intervention contradicts the German animal protection law. "Nobody is allowed to inflict pain, suffering or harm on an animal without a reasonable reason," says Paragraph 1, Clause 2, among other things.

Spaying and neutering street cats is legitimate

"But there are exceptions," says biologist Ursula Bauer from the animal protection association Aktion Tier. "Dogs and cats, for example, may be neutered in Germany if uncontrolled reproduction is to be prevented and the animal is to be made sterile for further keeping. This is the case, for example, with stray cats."

In addition, the veterinarian may use the scalpel if the dog's health is at risk. "If the bitch were diagnosed with a tumor on the uterus or ovaries, we would be castrated. The same applies to the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus," says Prof. Axel Wehrend. He is a specialist veterinarian for reproductive medicine in the Clinic for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Andrology in Giessen.

Castration can also be justified for so-called working dogs such as guide dogs, so that the animals are not distracted by their natural sex drive.

A castration costs - depending on the effort - between 150 and 250 euros.

Neutered dogs are no easier to get along with

Veterinarian Ronald Lindner vehemently contradicts that neutered dogs are generally more sociable and uncomplicated to keep. Among other things, he gives tips as a TV veterinarian at the MDR.

The opposite is often the case. "Castrated males and bitches smell different because of their changed hormone production and are not recognized as complete by their conspecifics. This can lead to tension and, in the worst case, to conflicts," says Lindner.

Chemical castration can be an alternative

If in doubt, the vet will first suggest chemical castration by injecting a chip enriched with hormones. This can be reversed. The dog can still be surgically castrated in justified individual cases.

Owners often put forward arguments that castrated bitches have no or significantly fewer mammary tumors on the milk bar. But they are not enough as an argument for the intervention: No healthy organ may be removed preventively just because the animal owner is afraid that the organ will later become tumorous.

Pro-arguments for castration are often not enough

The so-called riding of young dogs is often misunderstood by owners. In most cases, the behavior is not sexually motivated. "It is often used to" wrestle "a conspecific or to reduce stress in conflict situations," explains Wehrend.

Also, to counteract a pseudopregnancy, nowadays it is usually no longer neutered. "Bitches who tend to be pregnant should be kept busy," advises Lindner. In addition, owners should put away any toys they may have accumulated as substitutes for puppies to prevent nesting.

"Today we know that neutered dogs tend to develop certain tumors that otherwise rarely occur," says Axel Wehrend. According to new studies, neutered dogs are eight times more likely to develop, for example, a tumor on the heart or an overactive thyroid.

The experts agree: If you want to spend your life with a dog, you have to live with the consequence that males naturally mark their territory, are interested in females and that females come into heat twice a year.

For your information: In contrast to sterilization, in which the fallopian tubes are cut in female animals and the spermatic cords in male animals, all hormone-producing gonads are removed during castration. In the bitch these are the ovaries and in the male the testicles.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210318-99-877711 / 2