Puppy Castration or “Neutering”

Castration is a topic that all pet owners will eventually come to discuss regarding their male puppy. It involves the surgical removal of both the testicles. There are certainly advantages to consider with neutering as well as disadvantages. It is a decision that hopefully we can help you make. The advantages of neutering will very effectively remove the possibility of fertility and hence undesired offspring. It also will greatly help reduce the chances of prostate diseases, such as prostatitis, and benign hyperplasia. Since the testes are removed, the possibility testicular cancer is eliminated. Studies also indicate a reduced incidence of specific types of hernias around the anus. You will also notice less undesired discharge from the penis. Aside from some health benefits, there are also behavioural benefits. Here are a few statistics you may be interested to know. There is a 90% likelihood that roaming behaviour will be reduced in neutered dogs. Approximately 60% of neutered dogs also show less aggression towards other male dogs. 50% of neuter dogs are less likely to urine marking and 70% show less inappropriate mounting behaviour. The major disadvantage of castration is the procedure itself. So hopefully we can guide you along to make it as simple and comfortable for you and your puppy as possible.

When to consider castration? Certainly there are benefits to delaying neutering, for instance, reduced orthopedic problems, even potentially lower cancer rates but earlier neutering is sometimes required depending on the situation. Generally we recommend castration at 6-8 months of age but this is something to discuss with your veterinarian.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”question” wrap=”i”] So what is involved from start to finish?

At Apple Creek Animal Hospital, we perform a pre-surgical examination 1 week prior to your scheduled surgery date. We will assess for things such as congenital hernias, and retained puppy teeth, and also discuss pre-anesthetic blood work with you. Castration surgeries are a day procedure, no need for overnight stay. However, because we do perform a full general anesthetic, we take every precaution to make it as safe as possible and comfortable for your puppy. We give a sedative, pain medication and we always place all patients on intravenous fluids prior to the anesthetic. We always have a veterinarian watching the anesthetic along with state of the art technology to monitor vital signs. The castration surgery is done in a sterile manner and involves a small 1-2.5 cm incision just in front of the scrotum. From this incision the major blood vessels are clamped off from the testes and the testes removed. The incision is then closed with absorbable suture material under the skin, such that there are no exposed sutures. Once out of surgery and in recovery additional pain medication is given to keep him comfortable, and pain medication is also sent home for 5 days. At home you may notice some swelling, bruising, and redness of the incision and the scrotum. He may be interested in licking the incision.  Licking will lead to an infected incision, so we typically will send home an Elizabethan collar from him to wear.  He may also be somewhat quiet for the evening of the surgery, but will likely bounce back the next day as if nothing happened.