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Dogs Neutering







What is neutering and when should it be done?

Neutering is the surgical removal of the testicles of the male dog, thus making him sterile. Other terms used are "castration" or "fixing" or "altering". We recommend neutering your puppy between 3 and 8 months of age (although it can be done at any age), when sexual development is about complete but the undesirable habits have not been started. Studies on neutering as early as 8 weeks of age ("early-age neuter") indicate it to be safe and to not cause any behavioral or physical problems.


Why are male puppies neutered?

We recommend neutering to prevent cancer, prostate problems, and behavioral problems.


Neutering prevents testicular cancer. Neutering also prevents perianal adenomas (tumors near the anus) and perineal hernias (hernias near the anus).


Neutering prevents prostatic cancer and other prostatic diseases. Most intact male dogs will have enlarged prostates as they age. As the prostate enlarges, a male experiences pain and difficulty to urinate, blood in the urine, constipation, and difficulty walking. Prostatic cancer usually carries a very poor prognosis.


With his highly developed sense of smell, a male dog can detect a female in heat from great distances. Nervousness and irritability are common. He may become aggressive or he may become less responsive to his guardian. If possible he will try to follow his sexual instincts and roam. Thus the chance of car accidents and fights with other males increases. He will urinate on every object to mark his territory. He may even begin urinating inside the house despite adequate training.


What are the effects of neutering?

The level of the male hormone testosterone, which produces masculine characteristics, declines rapidly after neutering. Aggressiveness towards other dogs should decrease, attention to guardian should increase.


Neutered male dogs stay closer to home, they do not seek out females in heat. Roaming and fighting decline, thus there will be fewer injuries.


A neutered dog has fewer medical problems, lives longer on the average, does not add to the pet overpopulation problem, and makes a more loving and rewarding pet.


I have heard that....

Neutered dogs become fat and lazy.

False. Too much food and lack of exercise leads to obesity. You must be willing to control the dog's food.


Neutered dogs are more susceptible to cystitis (bladder infections) and bladder stones.

False. Medical evidence has disproved these ideas.





What is involved in neutering my puppy?

This elective surgery should be performed when the puppy is healthy and has finished his puppy vaccines. The earlier in the puppy's life this is done, the easier it is on the puppy and the quicker the recovery time.


Anesthesia is required to perform this operation. Although anesthesia always carries a degree of risk, the modern anesthetics and monitoring equipment used in modern hospitals and clinics minimizes this risk.


This surgery is performed aseptically after the scrotal area has been shaved and surgically scrubbed. One skin incision is made in front of the scrotum. Each testicle is removed through this incision, and the spermatic cord is tied off to prevent bleeding. The skin is sutured.


An analgesic is given to prevent discomfort and the puppy is monitored during recovery from anesthesia.


It will be necessary to withhold food after 6 PM the night before, and to withhold water after midnight the night before.


Your dog should be admitted to the hospital in the morning and will generally be ready for discharge that same day in the late afternoon, or possibly the next day.


Please withhold food and water for one hour after returning home. The dog should be given a small amount of food and water that evening and returned to normal feeding the next morning, at which time he should be completely recovered from the anesthetic.


Confinement indoors for one week with restricted activity and hand walking will provide the dog rest and you the opportunity to watch for swelling or bleeding. Adult large breed dogs or very active dogs are prone to scrotal swelling. It is very important that you keep these dogs quiet and not allow the dog to lick at his incision.


What is a cryptorchid and how is this treated differently?

A cryptorchid is a male dog with one or both undescended testicles (sometimes called retained testicles). Normally both testicles migrate during the puppy's development down into the scrotum. An undescended testicle may be located anywhere near the kidney, inside the abdominal cavity, at the inguinal ring or outside the ring underneath the skin.


The undescended testicle or testicles are predisposed to cancer in later years. This condition is genetic. Therefore we strongly recommend never using these dogs as stud dogs and to have them neutered to prevent cancer.


The surgery to neuter this dog takes longer, is more extensive and thus more expensive, and may include exploratory abdominal surgery to locate a testicle.