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What are we, you and I doing wrong?
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What are we, you and I doing wrong?

I have heard this before 

People come to me and say, "I have given my dog the best food, the best supplements, go for regular walks, take them to chiro, physio, and acupuncture, and despite all this, my dog got sick!" What am I doing wrong?

It may surprise you, but even I sometimes ask the same question. But what if there is nothing we were doing wrong? What if it was more about what we were missing?!

Let me explain

When we adopted my dog Pax in 2019, I thought I knew what he needed to grow into a healthy and strong dog. In the first 1.5 years of his life, I was thrilled to see him growing into a happy dog, full of energy and enjoying his life. 

He got raw and cooked foods, FAB4 supplements, and regular detox, and all was well.

But then, I had to make a tough decision

Pax was in training to become a certified service dog for my sleepwalking. I have a history of sleepwalking and almost died walking through a glass door by cutting a branch of an artery on my leg.For Pax to receive his final certification, the rules were firm, and he had to be neutered.

I tried to delay the surgery, but then it had to be done. About six months later, I started to notice that Pax would occasionally limp, getting progressively worse. Lyme disease tests, X-rays, and other exams came back negative, and I used all my tools in the toolkit but repeated injuries and stiffness continued, and we could no longer enjoy the beach and swimming - our favourite.

My heart broke

Spay, Neuter, Pax Story, Hormone Sparing Sterilization


It was even worse because I am a vet, and I should know what the problem was, right?!  I was at my wits' end. But I also knew that dogs come into our lives to teach us and help us learn what we are missing, and Pax is no different.

His challenges prompted me to search for answers to his unexplained lameness and eventually, I came across the research of two of my colleagues. Dr. Michelle Kutzler and Dr. Linda Brent.

In their scientific studies [1][2][3] they confirmed what I was suspecting and what my friend, Dr. Becker has been pointing to. Spaying and neutering our dogs the old traditional way causes inflammation, lameness, organ disease and cancer!

The culprit in all this is a severe elevation of luteinizing hormone (LH) that regulates the production of testosterone and estrogen in intact dogs.  However when ovaries and testicles are removed, the luteinizing hormone production rises, and levels go through the roof which can cause severe inflammation in genetically predisposed dogs.

It took me some time to decide if I should put Pax on treatment with Suprelorin, which Dr. Kutzler and Dr. Brent confirmed reduces the LH levels, but I eventually started him on the treatment. Now a month later I am about to start Pax on a physiological dose of testosterone.

The change in Pax’s mobility after starting Suprelorin was almost immediate and striking!  The only side-effect I noticed is that he is a little itchy from time to time.

I have also started Pax on JointButter, my new joint and mobility formula that has supported the recovery. 

The question I am now asking is: How many dogs are suffering from this spay and neuter syndrome and how can we spread the word as fast as possible?! 

For dogs and puppies that are still intact, the solution is simple. To prevent dog homelessness, hormone-sparing vasectomy and hysterectomy without removing testicles and ovaries are the way to go. The other option is to leave dogs intact but most rescue organizations and shelters would not be willing to do so.

The solution for dogs who have already been spayed and neutered, for example Pax, is a little more complex and I will give you more details in the next blog.



(1) Animals (Basel). 2020 Apr 1;10(4):599. doi: 10.3390/ani10040599. Possible Relationship between Long-Term Adverse Health Effects of Gonad-Removing Surgical Sterilization and Luteinizing Hormone in Dogs. Michelle A Kutzler

(2) Volume 261: Issue 3. Vasectomy and ovary-sparing spay in dogs: comparison of health and behavior outcomes with gonadectomized and sexually intact dogsDVM, PhD, DACVSMR, PhD and Judith L. Stella PhD

(3) Top Companion Anim Med2021 Nov:45:100565. doi:10.1016/j.tcam.2021. 100565. Epub 2021 Jul 28. Restoration of Reproductive Hormone Concentrations in a Male Neutered Dog Improves Health: A Case Study Linda BrentElaine A LissnerMichelle A Kutzler 


About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

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