bloodhound dog

Canine Neuter FAQ

bloodhound dogNeutering provides several health benefits for dogs. One of the major worries is about the prostate gland. Testosterone can gradually cause the gland to grow bigger during the dog’s lifetime.

As the dog ages, it often becomes uncomfortable and if it grows so big, it may affect your pet’s ability to defecate. Infections can be caused when the prostate’s affected and neutering is the only way to solve this problem.

If your dog is neutered, his prostate may shrink a lot. It also prevents prostatitis and benign hyperplasia (an enlargement), both issues that occur as a dog gets older. There’s also a widely-held belief that if you neuter your dog, it will prevent the onset of prostate cancer. However, this is just a myth.

There are other benefits of having your dog neutered and they include: tumours in the anus and testicles, prevention of some forms of hernias and excessive preputial discharge.

Will a dog have any behavioural changes after he has been neutered?

The only behavioural changes that may happen are those that are affected by changes in hormones. Your dog’s friendliness, playful nature and his social interactions with other people won’t be affected. The behaviours that generally change are the negative ones.

90% of neutered dogs lose their interest in roaming. 70% of neutered dogs will lose their desire to mount other dogs. 60% of dogs who are neutered lose their aggressive behaviour towards other male dogs. 50% of those dogs who are neutered stop urine marking.

How exactly is the surgical procedure carried out?

The vet cuts an incision a little forward of the scrotum. This incision is where the vet pulls the testicles through. Stalks are cut and tied and so castration is now done. If his testicles aren’t removed, the above-mentioned benefits won’t be realised. The vet may or may not use stitches for the incision.

What to expect after the dog is brought home from the hospital?

Your dog’s scrotum are generally swollen for the initial few days. Some owners may think the procedure wasn’t done at all. If it’s an immature dog, his empty scrotum will flatten as he ages. If he’s mature, it will stay as a skin flap. Occasionally the incision is slightly bruised. Most dogs want to play as soon as they get home but, to ensure the incision stays intact, you need to stop him from playing boisterously.

How old can a dog be before he’s fine to neuter?

Provided that both testicles have dropped, a dog can get neutered after the age of eight weeks. If a dog is neutered before he hits puberty (around the six month mark) often grow larger than dogs who have it done after puberty. Testosterone causes bones to stop growing so if the dog doesn’t have testosterone, the point at which the growth is stopped occurs later in his life.

The same health benefits and behaviour of the prostate can happen regardless of your dog’s age. This means no dog is “too old” to gain the benefits. Most vets say the ideal age for neutering is when the dog is six months old.

Will the dog become lethargic or obese?
Your dog’s appetite and level of activity won’t change after the procedure. Nor should he gain weight.

Will he still like females?

His interest will drop but he’ll be aroused if he’s near a female dog in heat. Mounting is sometimes a sign of dominance and a male that has been neutered may mount for many reasons, not all motivated by sex.

What if his testicles haven’t dropped?

Tumours are more common in dogs with undescended testicles. They might get twisted on the stalks and cause potentially life-threatening inflammation. Neutering is strongly recommended for dogs if their testicles haven’t dropped.

However, the procedure is more complicated. The testicle might be under the skin along the path it would have taken to descend to his scrotum or it might be in his abdomen. The vet may need to do some exploring to locate it, so he may have two incisions. The other testicle will be under-developed and sterile. If one has descended, it will be fertile. However, because retaining a testicle is genetic, it’s usually fertile and the dog shouldn’t be bred until after he has been neutered.

Are you legally required to neuter your dog?

Check with your local government office or council as some places do make it illegal not to neuter a dog because they’re trying to control the population of the pets.

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