Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets.

Taco Bell dog dies; spaying and neutering

Here’s a sad bit of news today.  Gidget, the talking Chihuahua from the Taco Bell commercials a few years ago, has died at the age of 15.  People Magazine reports that Gidget had a stroke Tuesday.  Her “Yo Quiero Taco Bell” ad campaign was very popular with viewers, although it apparently didn’t sell enough tacos.

Gidget replaced the original Taco Bell Chihuahua, Dinky, soon after the commercials began.

Taco Bell dumped the Chihuahua in the ads in 2000 but she remains popularly associated with the restaurant chain.

“It was all about the Chihuahua and you can’t have that. It’s got to be all about the brand,” Taco Bell president Emil Brolick told the Detroit Free Press in 2006.

According to People, the mostly retired actor lived out her days sunbathing and accompanying her trainer to photo shoots. “Gidget always knew where the camera was,” her trainer, Sue Chipperton, told People.

We’re very sorry to hear that Gidget has passed on.

Yesterday I was working on some dog articles and one of the topics I was asked to write about was whether or not spaying or neutering your dog would make him fat.  There is some common wisdom, based on a lot of people’s experiences with their spayed and neutered dogs, that says that spaying and neutering does tend to make them gain weight.  I started searching the Internet to see if I could find a definitive, veterinary-based answer to this question.  It was more than a little frustrating.  I found dozens of sites that practically yelled at me (in writing) for daring to ask such a question.  How dare I suggest that there could be any drawbacks to spaying or neutering a pet!  Well-meaning spay-neuter advocates screamed that of course no dog could gain weight when you spayed or neutered them!  But, there was no proof for their answers.  I kept looking.

Finally, I came across the site for the American College of Theriogenologists.  These are the veterinarians that specialize in reproductive matters.  They probably know more about the pros and cons of spaying and neutering than anyone else.  And I found this statement listed among one of the advantages of keeping your pet intact:

“There is a decreased incidence of obesity in intact male and female dogs and cats, which may be due at least partly to increased metabolic rate.”

So, that means that, yes, if you spay or neuter your pet that she or he is likely to gain weight.  This may be due to a decreased metabolic rate.  This does seem to agree with what many pet owners notice about their pets after they have been spayed or neutered.

When you have your pet spayed or neutered you are stopping the production of sexual hormones in their body.  It’s not surprising that this will have an effect on their bodies.

I am very sorry to rain on anyone’s parade about the joys of spaying and neutering, but this is just a veterinary fact.  It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have your pet spayed or neutered.  In fact, for most pet owners spaying and neutering is a good choice.  If you don’t intend to breed your dog then, for most people, spaying and neutering makes sense.

Spaying and neutering is always a personal decision that an owner should make in consultation with their vet.  Each dog is different.  Spaying and neutering can prevent some kinds of cancer later in life.  However, intact dogs also have a lower incidence of other kinds of cancer.  They also have a lower incidence of autoimmune disorders and fewer problems with hip dysplasia.

Before you make decisions about spaying or neutering your dog you should consider your dog’s age, his breed, the possible health problems in the breed, the health problems in his parents and other relatives, your lifestyle and other factors that spaying and neutering could affect.

Spaying and neutering is never an automatic decision.  Take the most responsible approach to spaying and neutering and consider all of its possible health affects.

July 23, 2009 Posted by | dogs, Pets | , , , , | Leave a comment