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Dog neutering is an operation performed to de-sex the male dog by removal of the testicles and associated reproductive structures contained in the scrotal sack. Male dogs attain sexual maturity from approximately 9 months of age although neutering can be undertaken anytime from around 5-6 months of age.
Testosterone driven behaviours such as leg mounting, barking, aggressiveness, roaming and urine-marking are unlikely to become a major problem if neutering is performed before puberty. If neutering was done after these undesirable traits have developed it will often reduce their intensity. Neutering is also beneficial in that de-sexed dogs will be unable to father unwanted litters. It also prevents “old dog” disorders such as developing prostate problems and there is no chance at all of developing testicular cancer later in life.
Common Concerns Relating to Neutering
- Neutering will not alter a dogs personality except for those traits developed under the influence of testosterone. The perceived change in personality post neutering is more likely to be the decreased drive to do the undesirable hormonal driven behaviours such as leg mounting.
- It should be noted that although neutering is often the best first step in managing these undesirable behaviours they may persist post neutering as they become learned traits intensified by, but no longer solely driven by testosterone alone.
- Neutering results in a lowered metabolism so whilst neutering itself does not cause the dog to become overweight, over feeding (which often is the same amount fed pre neuter) post neutering will. You could even look on it as a cost saving exercise as they often need 10% less food over their life to maintain their weight at a healthy level.
The operation is performed under general anaesthetic. A small incision is made just in front of the scrotum and both testicles and associated structures removed leaving an empty scrotal sack. After a mild amount of swelling post operatively the empty sack will eventually shrivel up. The penis is not altered in any way by the surgery.
You will be given detailed instructions pertaining to home care at the time of discharge from the hospital. In general, post-surgery the dog must be kept sheltered and warm the first night and exercise should be restricted to short lead walks only for 10days days to avoid complications such as wound break down and swelling of the scrotum. Offer a small meal and although refusal to eat the night of the operation is common, dogs should be eating again by the next day and may be fed their usual diet. Check the wound regularly, if the dog will allow, and notify the clinic if there is undue swelling or discharge from the wound.
Post-op Checks and Stitches
Please make arrangements for a post-op check 2days after surgery, and to have your pets stitches removed in 10-14 days after the surgery.