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Feel free to check it out now at I am still working hard to populate all of the pages so don't worry if a link does not work. They should all be active in the near future. In the meantime, this current site will remain on-line until I get all of the bugs worked out.

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Dogtor J

On This Page:

* Early spaying- Good Idea???- This is my first paper on the subject and is in the form of a forum post that I placed on numerous Internet pet forums. I will be adding to this important section as time allows.
* The Negative Aspects of Neutering Your Pet- This is great summary of the currently known medical drawbacks of spaying or neutering our pets that was put together by my good friend, Jeannie Thomason, of Animal Talk Naturally and The Whole Dog. Certainly, we need to control the unwanted pet population but the responsible pet owner needs to understand the ill-effects of dramatically reducing their pet's sex hormones through gonadectomy, especially at the early age that is oftentimes recommended by the staunch advocates of neutering or even their veterinarian. This is very important information that will impact the quality and length your pet's life.
* An Important Email to a Client Concerning Spaying- This is an answer to an Email asking me about the benefits/drawbacks of spaying a 6 year-old Boxer. I took this opportunity to include many important points about the potentially devastating effects of removing the gonads, especially in the wrong individual. 
* An Important Email to a Doctor Concerning Spaying- This is an answer to an Email from a doctor who was asking me about the "partial spay" (hysterectomy alone).


Early spaying- Good Idea???

This is my first paper on the subject and is in the form of a forum post that I placed on numerous Internet pet forums. I will be adding to this important section as time allows.


Hi Everyone,

Here is something I posted on another forum that I thought you might be interested in. This is a hot topic...or at least should be.

Get ready. This is gonna be a bit different. (The only problem is that I concentrated on spaying when the poster was talking about neutering her male. I got confused. BUT, all that I wrote applies to BOTH sexes, as progesterone is produced by the testicles and ovaries.)

I hope it helps,



[I][B]Original Post-[/B]

I *think* E. is finally ready to be neutered. But I admit, I'm very nervous about this and keep putting off the phone call. For those of you that don't know, E. has EPI and food allergies. Both seem to be under control now and have been for a few months. E. went from 74 lbs down to 62 lbs. His last weigh in 2 weeks ago was at 68.6 lbs.My vet thinks that E. being underweight is a non-issue. I know this is probably a good time to do this because everything seems to be under control.

But what if I'm wrong? What if there is an underlying issue that I don't know about and putting him under the knife makes it flair up? What if putting him under the knife causes some kind of distress and I lose him? I don't have humping or wandering issues with E.. He's with us at all times and is not off-leash outside of our yard.

Am I being an over-protective worry-wart? Should I wait until he regains all his weight and really be sure he's stable? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.[/I]


[B]My response-[/B]

Hi T.,

Well, I was just about to hit some golf balls on my day off...'til I saw this post.

Here is the latest news flash for all of you. Get ready 'cause this is going to be a JOLT until you understand it. Then it should make all of the sense in the world to you (except for what you have been told in the past). Ready???

Spaying and neutering can be one of the most detrimental things we can do to the health of the dog (or cat...OR PERSON!!!), especially those who have been fighting chronic illnesses leading up to that surgery. "Say WHAT???" you are all saying.

Let me put it to you this way. When is the biggest (medical)crisis in a woman's life? Menopause, right? Yes, countless women are quiet healthy until they become peri-menopausal or go through menopause, either naturally or surgically. Shortly thereafter, their rate of immune-mediated diseases and cancer skyrocket. It happens all of the time. I hear from MANY of these women because of my Website which covers this VITAL issue. Why does this happen?

Very simply because women have something very special coursing through their veins. It is called [I]progesterone[/I]. (Men do, too, as it is also produced by the testicles!) Progesterone is a POWERFUL anti-inflammatory. It is actually stronger than cortisone, as proven by vets who used Ovaban (progesterone) to treat cats with allergic skin disease when the prednisone stopped working. Hmmmm... Did you get that??? That's VERY important.

SO, what happens when a pet is spayed or neutered??? YES, they are literally THROWN into "menopause", with their progesterone levels suddenly plummeting. And what was that progesterone doing? It was keeping certain occult/subclinical inflammatory conditions under control (allergies, asthma, IBS, and immune-mediated diseases like lupus, rheumatoid disease, MS/peripheral neuropathies, and many more) It is JUST like taking a dog with severe allergies that has been controlled with cortisone off of his medication. What happens (if you have not gotten to the root of his allergies beforehand)? BOOM...he is scratching and pulling his hair out.

BUT, it gets MUCH deeper and more serious than this. Recent veterinary studies (especially in Rotties) have shown that dogs that are spayed have a MUCH higher rate of bone cancer than unspayed dogs or those spayed late in life. Wow! Now it would take waaaay too long to explain this completely but this does make total sense once you understand lectins, viruses and their interaction along with the immune systems control of this process. Progesterone is VITAL in moderating this process. BUT, this hormone is basically, simply buying you time. It is helping to keep this process covered-up until you are overwhelmed by it later IF you do not do something about it before hand.

And it is not like we are not getting warning signs, right? The heartburn, IBS, chronic fatigue, joint pain, migraines, ADHD, insomnia, etc etc etc are ALL warning signs, not bona fide diseases. They are screaming at us that we doing something very wrong, with our diets being the biggest wrong. Whodathunk heartburn (or vomiting in the dog) was a warning sign, eh?

This will turn the spay and neuter ideas upside down. It is already happening as we have learned that the ovaries and testicles are not just for breeding. (Man, are we short-sighted). Yes, it is important to control the stray population. I am not suggesting otherwise. BUT, for the responsible owner to spay their dog too early could be cataclysmic to their health, especially is they do not prepare them properly.

And there IS a way to prepare them (and prevent mammary cancer the RIGHT way). Get them off of the "big 4" (gluten, dairy, SOY, and corn). These foods are not only doing the intestinal harm, but they are providing LOADS and LOADS of estrogens to the dog (and people). Progesterone is the antidote to estrogen and when an individual is spayed or goes through menopause, they are left holding the BIG bag of estrogens, which are inflammatory, neurostimulating and immune suppressive by nature. Again, this cane be CATACLYSMIC to the health of the individual, especially women (and female dogs). Anyone who knows anything about women's health can see the truth in this.

Here's the good news. The ovaries do not produce enough estrogen to set the stage for the virus that causes breast cancer. Now that was a loaded statement. Did you get it all? Yes, VIRUSES cause breast cancer just like other cancers. Put "breast cancer, virus" in your search. You will also read about the upcoming breast cancer vaccine (Hey, just like the cervical cancer vaccine. Whadyaknow?)

And, estrogens ARE a major player in the development of breast cancer because they are inflammatory and immune suppressive, a deadly combo when viruses are around. They "LOVE" that kind of stuff.(but see my new section "Viruses- Friend or Foe".) BUT, the ovaries don't produce enough estrogen to do this harm (that is why you give the "anti-inflammatory" progesterone time to make the recovery). It is the estrogens that we are CONSUMING on top of what we make that breaks our (and their) back. See that? (You don't hear much about the 6000 men per year afflicted by breast cancer, do you? I had to put to sleep an old male dog last week that I removed a malignant mammary tumor from 8 months ago. Where are [I]those[/I] estrogens coming from???)

So, when we recommend spaying to prevent breast cancer it is like removing their legs so they don't wander out in the street and get hit by a car. See that? We remove the natural source of estrogen so that they can better tolerate the unnatural sources. Talk about pretzel logic!

And it does help prevent mammary the EXPENSE of every other immune-mediated disease which run rampant in the absence of progesterone. Now you know why hypothyroidism occurs sooooo early in the dog. I have had spayed females develop it by 8 months of age.

Bottom line? Listen to your intuitions. You are RIGHT to be nervous about this. You may ultimately want or need to spay (neuter) her (him) later. BUT, she (he) MUST be prepared properly and be healthy. She (He) will be healthier longer if left un-neutered.

I hope this helps,



PS. Another HUGE source of estrogens are environmental sources, including insecticides. I am sooo glad that we are on the backside of using so many of the old pesticides. We WILL see less breast cancer as a result of eliminating these. Everyone needs to put "environmental estrogens"in their search, especially women at risk to breast cancer, endometriosis/PCOS, and other estrogen-related disorders. YES, pyometra is chronic endometrial hyperplasia and is an ESTROGEN-related disorder, brought on the combination of too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. And like breast cancer, if we eliminate the outside sources of estrogen, we should not see these ugly things happen.

PSS. Here is one of the Rottie/bone cancer studies-

The Negative Aspects of Neutering Your Pet
Written and compiled by Jeannie Thomason of Animal Talk Naturally and The Whole Dog.
I know it is very important for pet owners to spay/neuter their pets, especially if they can not keep them confined to their homes and yard properly (grrrrrrrr) or if they only think in dollar signs (boy are they wrong!)  but I have been doing some research lately and have also come upon the following information that I wanted to share with a few of you that I know are responsible dog owners just as food for thought. 
Here is the information I have gathered on the ill-effects of desexing through direct observation, substantial anecdotal evidence from reliable sources
(breeders/trainers/veterinarians, and affirmed published medical reports.

Altered Females:

- Increased aggression in altered females. (recent study)
- Increased occurrence of urinary calculi.
- Increased difficulty passing urinary calculi.
- Increased likelihood of vulvar pyoderma (urine scald)
- Increased likelihood of urinary incontinence.
- Increased likelihood of adverse reaction to vaccinations (27-38%).
- Notable decrease of activity/drive. (this is important to those whose animals aren't just pets but are trained to do work too)
- Increased chance of "perpetual puppy syndrome" undesirable urination.
- Inhibited social adjustment if spayed prior to complete cognitive development (usually a good time AFTER sexual maturity).
- Substantial likelihood of appreciable demeanor change after spay (menopausal women know about hormone drop.. it's not fun)
- Increased likelihood of cognitive disorders if spayed before sexual maturity.
- Increased likelihood of, or speeded progress of, degenerative osteological disorders.
- Notable decrease in muscle mass (again, not all dogs are lawn ornaments or carpet speedbumps)
- Generally live 2 (or greater) years shorter than unaltered littermates in controlled studies.

Altered males:

- Increased occurrence of urinary calculi.
- Increased difficulty passing urinary calculi.
- Increased chance of urinary obstruction.
- Increased likelihood of urinary incontinence.
- Increased likelihood of adverse reaction to vaccinations (27-38%).
- Notable decrease in activity/drive. (same as above in female list)
- Increased chance of "perpetual puppy syndrome" undesirable urination.
- Inhibited social adjustment if castrated prior to sexual maturity.
- Substantial likelihood of appreciable demeanor change after castration (same concept as above in female list... reproductive hormones affect more than just reproduction).
- Increased likelihood of cognitive disorders if castrated before complete cognitive development (usually a good time AFTER sexual maturity).
- Notable decrease in muscle mass (yep, same as above)
- Generally live 2 (or greater) years shorter than unaltered littermates in controlled studies

Here is a link to an article on the increased likelihood of adverse reactions:

( (Adverse+Event

After reading this, do you feel as though you've been told the whole story about things by your veterinarian? I don't know about you, but to me it certainly doesn't sound as if altered animals are more healthy than their brethren who were left as Nature started them out to be. But that's just me.

Jeannie Thomason

The Whole Dog

The Whole Dog News

My Comment:
Great work, Jeannie! This is an awesome summary of what we have recently come to understand about the drawbacks of neutering, especially when done early (before 14 months). The amazing thing is that the average person, including most breeders and veterinarians, believe just the opposite.
When I was awakened to the importance of this issue (partly driven by studying women's health and the potentially devastating effects of menopause), I started sharing this on Internet pet forums. One woman posted a response asking me what I had been smoking, that "everyone knew neutered pets were healthier".
The sad fact is that is what we think, not what we know. And I used to parrot back this misinformation with the best of them. But the truth here is very different from the common thought, just as the truth concerning the food issues about which I am so passionate is so poorly understood by the masses. But, all of this is changing. Halleluiah!


* An Important Email to a Client Concerning Spaying


Her Email:


Dear Dr.Symes,


Congratulations on your Webpage.  I live in a different country and my oral language management might not be very practical on the telephone, yet if necessary, I will try this means of communicating with you.


I have only one question:   Early sterilization (ideally before the first heat of a  female dog  is recommended, since it would prevent the dog from developing  breast cancer and other ailments)

My dog is already six years old and so far, very healthy and happy.  Is it still worth it to risk the operation at her age.


Your opinion is very important to me and I thank you in advance for your kind attention.







My Response:


Hi "M",


It was great to hear from you. Yours is a very good question with some surprising answers.


Yes, it is commonly recommended that dogs be spayed early to prevent mammary cancer but it is one of the worst things we can do to the overall health of that dog. Can you imagine removing the ovaries of a 5 year old human child? Why would we ever do such a thing? The answer: Because we have not thought things through, which is quite common in medicine.


Firstly, the ovaries (and testicles) are important and do much more than their role in reproduction. Both sets of gonads are crucial in the production of important hormones, with the main one for the purposes of this discussion being progesterone. Progesterone is a powerful anti-inflammatory substance- one of the most important that out body produces. So, should we be surprised to find that dogs that have been spayed (especially early) have a higher rate of allergies, “autoimmune” diseases (e.g. lupus), and even cancer? Why the cancer? Because cancer usually arises in areas of chronic inflammation and the more inflammation there is, the higher the cancer rate. It is that simple. For instance, recent studies have confirmed that dogs that were spayed early have the highest rates of bone cancer (the Rottweiler studies).


Now that my eyes are open, I have seen numerous cases in which the health of the dog took a dramatic down-turn shortly after being spayed- allergies, immune-mediated disease (e.g. hemolytic anemia, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis), etc.  Should we really be surprised? The exact same thing happens in women every day. Most women know about the potential health crisis that accompanies menopause (which we should be able to prevent, by the way).  

Spaying is “surgical menopause”. Why wouldn’t dogs suddenly suffer from all of the things that women do following the drop in their crucial hormones?


The problem is that we have focused on the estrogen. Don’t get me wrong. Estrogen is an important thing to understand but the true hero in our body is progesterone. Estrogen is inflammatory, neurostimulating, and immune suppressive. Progesterone is anti-inflammatory and calming. That is why your body is only allowed to produce an estrogen spike once a month (twice a year in the dog), causing tenderness, swelling and bleeding. Progesterone then comes in and calms everything back down. During pregnancy, lots of progesterone is produced (by the ovaries and placenta) and the woman and child are pretty much bullet-proof when it comes to inflammation. I get reports of women who can tolerate foods (e.g. dairy and wheat) and other immune challenges when they are pregnant but who are totally intolerant of those things when not pregnant. I write about this in the Appetizers section of my site…VERY important that we understand exactly why this is AND the harm that these women are doing to themselves when they eat these things during pregnancy (“cravings”).


Back to the breast cancer: The main culprit in breast cancer is estrogen. We know this. Excessive estrogens cause inflammation in the breasts (as well as the ovaries and uterus) and set the stage for the viruses that cause breast cancer. Yes, viruses cause breast cancer and if your Google that, you will see some amazing things that researchers already know. So, do your ovaries produce enough estrogen to cause breast cancer??? I think not. Our body does not make that kind of mistake (contrary to what many doctors and the public commonly think). No, the excessive estrogens come from the diet and environmental sources, with the main food sources being dairy products, soy, and the gluten grains. My site has a more detailed list. The environment is loaded with estrogens (plastics, synthetics, pesticides/flea products, etc.) and the key word for all women (and men) to become intimately familiar with is “xenoestrogen”. This is the term for harmful environmental estrogens. We must all check this out. No one wants to talk much about the 7,000+ men a year who succumb to breast cancer.


So, do we take out the ovaries to prevent breast cancer or do we remove the estrogens from the dogs diet and environment? I think you know the answer to that. In effect, we are taking out the natural source of estrogen (which actually help to protect the female from the unnatural sources) so that we can expose them to unnatural sources (e.g. PESTICIDES and diet) and not have to worry about mammary cancer, which is only one form of cancer. In doing so, we make the dog at MUCH higher risk to developing just about every other medical condition known to mankind. Where is the logic in that? I finally came up with an analogy: Spaying dogs to prevent mammary cancer is like taking their legs off to prevent them from being hit by a car. This would be effective but a horribly wrong approach to the problem. There are much better ways to prevent both.


Besides, the ovaries are part of the body and we are put together perfectly. There are no spare parts. We have simply become confused by how well we can do with certain parts removed (e.g. ovaries, gall bladder, appendix). But, we are much better off intact. There is no question about that. (The gall bladder and appendix are much more important than most understand.)


In today’s polluted environments, there are many challenges, some of which we can control and others of which we cannot…unless we move. Thankfully, there are “antidotes” available in the way of “nutriceuticals”- supplements and foods that can be used to combat these enemies. It is important that we understand the difference between lignans and isoflavones, the two basic forms of phytoestrogens. Lignans (e.g. those found in flax) are weak estrogens that attach to estrogen receptors without stimulating them, thereby blocking the attachment of other estrogens that would stimulate those receptors. That is what isoflavones do: They stimulate estrogen receptors and produce an estrogenic effect (e.g. soy protein). The beneficial parts of soy (lignans) actually come from the green plant portion (the cotyledon) not the soy protein. The other important group of nutriceuticals are antioxidants, which are the antidote to the free radicals in pollutants.


If I was going to do one thing that might prevent problems down the road in the female dog it would be a hysterectomy alone, leaving the ovaries in place. I am doing more and more of these in young dogs as an alternative to spaying. I simply explain this situation to clients and let them choose. 4 out of 6 of my last hysterectomies were done in dogs that belonged to MDs. They (should) understand this issue, as hysterectomy alone was the common procedure in women for years and years…until ovarian cancer skyrocketed in women (also an estrogen-related disorder and viral cancer) due to overwhelming exposures to xenoestrogens in the diet and environment along with carcinogens and the basically horrible American diet. Their solution? “Take out the ovaries while we’re in there dealing with the endometriosis and fibroids”, which sadly results in acute surgical menopause in these women and a rapid decline in their health (fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, strokes/heart attacks and the like). This should all make sense to you and anyone else who reads this Email (I hope you will be forwarding it. J)


Sadly, your Boxer is one of the moist immune-challenged breeds on the planet. They are the glaring example of the concept of DNA that has been horribly infiltrated with viruses that have major potential for disease production, including cancer. Yes, about 40% of the DNA in humans is viral information, which is THE explanation for “genetic disease”. “Boxers are walking tumors” we were told in vet school. Why? Because their DNA is loaded with cancer-causing viruses. The cool thing to see is that these viruses never have to be expressed. These viruses simply react to the things we challenge them with called carcinogens. Carcinogens don’t “cause” cancer, viruses do. Carcinogens cause viruses to cause cancer. That’s the proper perspective. And many of these viruses (including breast cancer viruses in people and dogs) are embedded in the very DNA, being passed down through the generations. I have heard of numerous examples of this over the years in client families and we see certain breeds of dogs experience the same thing. This is no longer a mystery.


How do we prevent these estrogen-related disorders (breast cancer, endometriosis/pyometra, polycystic ovaries, and ovarian cancer)? Eliminate the “xenoestrogens” and as many other carcinogens as possible (e.g. pesticides, including most flea products with the exception of Revolution) while eating properly, exercising and getting proper sunlight (which produces the all important vitamin D3). If we can’t do this, then we must take/use appropriate supplements (D3, C, B complex, omega threes, antioxidants, glucosamine, etc.). Remember: The “solution to pollution”- other than avoidance- is the antioxidant. In the dog (just like in the human), the avoidance of the “big 4”- gluten (wheat, barley, rye), dairy, soy and corn- is crucial. That’s what the site is basically all about. These food proteins (lectins) are doing catastrophic amounts of harm to countless individuals, both two and four-legged. Once we fully grasp the concept of food intolerance and couple this with our knowledge of estrogens/xenoestrogens, free radicals (e.g. pollution), carcinogens, and the critical role that viruses and bacteria play in our body, we should be able to turn this health crisis in people and their pets around.


I hope this helps,  





John B. Symes, D.V.M.  (aka "Dogtor J")





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* An Important Email to a Doctor Concerning Spaying

Subject: partial spay


Hi there Dogtorj,


I have a 6 month old cocker spaniel and am considering the benefits of partial spay (only hysterectomy - as opposed to ovariohysterectomy) so as to preserve hormone function for health. She is on a raw-meaty bone diet.


Do you have an opinion about this or know anyone who performs it?  See attached article.


Thank you,


Dr. M.




Hi Dr. M.,


It’s great to hear from you. Perfect timing. J


What a GREAT question! I am a big fan and major proponent of partial spaying (hysterectomy alone). I now give all of my clients the option. Not surprisingly, of the last 4 or 5 I’ve done, most have belonged to MDs. When I explain things to them, they go “Well, that makes perfect sense!” One was even shocked to hear what a conventional spay actually was. “You mean you take out the ovaries, too?”


This is one of those things that is horribly upside-down. And we now know the negative health consequences of spaying, especially before full maturity (about 14 months on average for dogs). But there is really no good time to take out the ovaries (or testicles), is there? It is “surgical menopause”  and I have done more than my share of studying women’s health and the vital role of hormones, as well as the devastating effects of menopause in today’s estrogen dominated women. The same things…if not worse in many case...are happening in our pets.


The procedure itself is rather simple and just like a regular spay except that you place your clamps on the uterine side of the ovaries rather than on the ovarian pedicle (vessels arising from the region of the kidney) side, leaving the ovaries in place. It takes the exact same amount of time and the approach and closure is identical. In the case of males, I am also doing more vasectomies, which is a little more involved than the typical orchiectomy/castration but still a rather uncomplicated procedure.


You will probably have to look far and wide for someone who will do this…or even look at you without laughing or breaking into a lecture about the health benefits of removing the ovaries, breast cancer prevention being the biggee. But I now tell people that removing the ovaries to prevent breast cancer in the dog is like removing their legs so that they won’t wander in to the street and get hit by a car. There are better ways. The legs are kind of nice to have around. J


For those who opt for the hysterectomy alone, the things I insist upon are: The pet be fed a low-estrogen diet* (which the GARD is naturally) and the pet NOT be exposed to insecticides, all of which are carcinogens and also have estrogenic activity. Pfizer’s Revolution is the only exception and the only flea product that I recommend, especially to those pets that still have their ovaries. It is also advisable to get a good water filter- one that removes fluoride and chemical residues. I have read some scary things about the estrogens in our water, including bottled water. The filter in my new Recommended Products section is great. (*When feeding commercial diets, use rice or potato-base foods that avoid wheat, dairy, soy or corn. They are listed here:


Here is an article from the early 1970’s written by a man who was waaaaay ahead of his time- Dr. Wendell Belfield. He also knew the truth about vitamin C in dogs.


It was great to hear from you. You are definitely on the right track. J


I hope this helps,





John B. Symes, D.V.M.  (aka "Dogtor J")





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I hope you enjoyed your time here and got something important from your stay. It is my goal to help all of mankind navigate through the jungle of medical information now available on the Internet and find the truth about the origins of what we call "disease" as well as discover the natural solutions for these conditions.
We do have our health's destiny in our own hands more than we've ever imagined, certainly more than most have ever been told. Think naturally and the answer will come.
Dogtor J
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You can now go to the new site!
The New is done! Yes, the time has finally come for this homemade Website to go the way of the buffalo. I know that you all join me in looking forward to using a site that is better organized and more accessible....prettier, too! I've even corrected most of those annoying typos (I hope).

Feel free to check it out now at I am still working hard to populate all of the pages so don't worry if a link does not work. They should all be active in the near future. In the meantime, this current site will remain on-line until I get all of the bugs worked out.

Let me know what you think! It's not too late to make some changes.
Dogtor J

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