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The Green Life: Love Sick: How Menopause Can Reheat Your Pets

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October 26, 2010

Love Sick: How Menopause Can Reheat Your Pets

Woman kissing cat Pet owners live for the moment they get home from work or a long trip and their furry friend rushes to the door, unimaginably thrilled by their return. There is jumping. There is petting. There is licking.

But that affection could be responsible for some bewildering changes in your animal; for instance, kicking their hormones into such high gear that it undoes any attempt to restrain their most primal impulses.

The Veterinary Information Network was on fire with reports of animals thought to be spayed or neutered lapsing back into heat. Vets and owners alike were puzzled at the regression, as bloody discharges and enlarged genitals became more common among household critters.

It turns out the answer was simple: menopause.

All owners of the pets in question were women using hormone cream high in estrogen to relieve menopausal symptoms. Animals were accidentally un-spaying/neutering themselves by absorbing the stuff via licks and pets, causing loss of fur and swollen breast tissue.

A similar story developed this past July, when the FDA was forced to warn parents about Evamist, a menopausal spray remedy that was causing early unset puberty and enlarged breasts in human children.

If your pet seems to have reverted back to old behaviorial problems, check for sources of hormones they could be absorbing; spaying and neutering can cost from $45 to $300, not exactly a cost most people want to pay twice.

Estrogen-free, natural progesterone cream does exist, and serves as an alternative to the products causing the bizarre instances. Halting the use of estrogen-rich products has been proven to end the symtpoms in pets.

--Justin Klugh

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