Posted : 2/20/2007 6:26:57 AM
What's the point;
1. Just like in humans there are other benefits of hormones such that the lack of them cause other physiological issues. For example spay incontinence in female dogs. So dogs do miss their hormones. Hormones are not like an appendix - they affect many aspects of physiology.
2. I do not intend to cut off my breasts to prevent potential future breast cancer so I don't see cutting off a dog's testicles to prevent potential future testicular cancer as reasonable either.
3. Intact dogs look different than castrated dogs in the same way that stallions look different from geldings. I like the look - the thicker muscle, the broader neck, etc.
4. And I woul have to substantiate this for myself, so I think of it only as an observation and not actually yet a basis for not castrating, but Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (Hidden Life of Dogs, Social Lives of Dogs) that intact male dogs are treated differently in encounters with strange dogs than castrated male dogs. So indeed they might actually notice the lack of testicles (or smell; who knows). I think this is worth looking in to.
I thought I'd add in explanation:
The only reason I would have surgery performed on an animal to remove otherwise completely healthy body parts is that it would be a lesser evil than destroying unwanted puppies and kittens. Otherwise I find it no different to 'fix' a dog by cutting off his testicles than it is to 'fix' a cat by cutting off its claws, or 'fix' a barking dog by cuting its vocal cords, or 'fixing' an exotic cat by declawing and defanging. These are not extra bits that we are doing them a favor by getting out of their way, these are parts of their bodies that have purpose that they have been born with.
So I would never justify castration by saying they don't need their balls anyway or I'm saving them from future cancer. For me it is all about preventing unwanted litters, and if I can do that wihout taking away body parts I would be more than thrilled to.