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Should You Have Your Dog Neutered?

There are many reasons that you should strongly consider having your dog neutered and very few reasons not to. Actually, there may be only one reason not to and that is if you are planning on breeding your dog. The word “neuter” actually applies to both sexes, but it is used most commonly to refer to the surgical sterilization of male dogs. This is probably because people don’t like to hear the term “castrate”. The actual procedure is a castration, or removal of the testicles.

There is no reason not to have the procedure performed just because it is a surgical procedure. With a pre-surgical examination, including blood testing, and newer anesthetic medications, surgery is much safer now than ever before. Most veterinarians include anesthetic monitoring as part of their surgical protocol. This includes EKG (heart monitoring), pulse oximetry (measure of oxygen in the blood), and even blood pressure. Often, a veterinary technician monitors the breathing and heart rate and rhythm throughout the procedure. The procedure itself is not very lengthy, so your dog will not be anesthetized for very long.

The surgical procedure involves making an incision in front of the scrotum and pushing each testicle through this incision. The ligament that holds the testicle in the scrotum is broken and the blood vessels and muscle are tied off with suture material so that bleeding does not occur. The incision is closed with sutures under the skin and sometimes outside the skin as well.

Removing the testicles will prevent your dog from ever suffering from testicular cancer because he no longer has testicles. It also prevents him from developing conditions such as benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlargement of the prostate because of the circulating testosterone), testicular torsion, and injury to the testicles. Behavioral issues such as roaming, territorial marking, and aggression, can all be prevented by having your dog neutered.

Many people worry about their dog getting fat after the neutering procedure. This is not the case. It is true that the daily energy requirement drops slightly after neutering, but the only thing that makes your dog fat is taking in more calories than he burns off (just like us!). If he is gaining weight, decrease his intake and start a mild exercise program. Exercise is good for him and for you and develops a bonding time that you can have with your dog.

If you are unsure about the procedure, ask your veterinarian to explain the type of anesthesia that will be used and maybe even tour the surgery suite. Many dogs are neutered every day.

Dogs not neutered often are not able to control their instincts if a female dog in the area is in heat and this can lead to them getting hit by a car, picked up by animal control, injured by the angry owner of the female dog, or producing an unwanted litter of puppies. So many puppies are euthanized on a daily basis in the United States, help control the problem and have your dog neutered.

Posted in: Dog Care