Canine Neuter Information
What can happen if I don’t have my dog neutered?
Hormone-induced behavior problems
· Dominance problems.
· Aggression towards other dogs - especially fighting with other males.
· Roaming – which increases your dog’s risk of injury and disease.
· Urine marking.
· Overt sexual behavior - riding, mounting, sniffing, licking.
Hormone-induced medical conditions:
· Testicular cancer - very common, occasionally malignant, may cause problems by producing female hormones, depressing the bone marrow, and predisposing the prostate to infection.
· Prostatic hyperplasia - present in most older unneutered male dogs, may make defecation difficult, predisposes prostate to infection.
· Prostatitis, prostatic abscesses - common, sometimes life-threatening infections of the prostate.
· Perianal gland adenoma - common, multiple tumors around the anal opening, potentially causing defecation difficulties, including inability to control stool.
· Perineal hernia - abdominal fat and organs bulging out beside rectum, can be life-threatening, requires surgery.
· Orchitis - infection of the testicles.
· Venereal tumors.
· There are simply more puppies born than there are good homes available.
· Over 5000 unwanted dogs are killed at animal shelters every year in Orange County alone.
What is neutering?
Neutering consists of the surgical removal of the testicles. Usually the scrotum is not removed but will shrink over time. Replacement of the testes with testicle-shaped prostheses may be pursued by those owners interested in preserving the appearance of an un-neutered dog. The term vasectomy means to cut or tie the cord leading from the testicles without removal of the testes. This stops reproduction but does not prevent any of the behavioral or hormone-induced diseases or cancers. Vasectomies are not routinely done in dogs.
When should I have my dog neutered?
Your dog can be neutered any time after 2 months of age. The procedure is usually done between 4 and 8 months of age. If your dog is already older, he should be neutered as soon as possible.
He doesn’t have both testicles in the scrotum.
One or both testes may be “retained” in the abdomen or inguinal area instead of descending into the scrotum. If neither testicle is present, your dog may have been previously neutered. Dogs can successfully breed with only one testicle descended; however, because retained testicles are a congenital tendency, affected dogs should not be allowed to reproduce. Retained testicles have a high incidence of developing cancer and other diseases, so it is very important to remove both testicles surgically.
I’m afraid of complications during the neuter.
We use very safe anesthetic agents, monitoring, and surgical procedures. We perform bloodwork before surgery. Fluids are given intravenously during surgery to support blood pressure and kidney function. The risks for your dog not being neutered are much higher than the risks of surgery.
It’s too expensive.
Because of the importance of neutering, both for your dog’s health and the overpopulation problem, veterinarians perform the surgery for a greatly reduced fee, often for less than the procedure costs. There are spay and neuter clinics supported by public or private donations that are very inexpensive; however, most of these clinics cannot afford to provide the same quality of care and service for your dog as can the full service hospitals.
Won’t my dog get fat and lazy?
Your dog’s energy needs will naturally decrease by about 1/3 after the neuter. You should feed your dog less to prevent weight gain. If you keep your dog at his optimum weight and provide him with opportunities to exercise, there is no reason for him to get lazy. There is a gradual decline in activity that is especially noticeable between 1 and 3 years of age - this is due to maturation, not neutering.
But I want him to be a good guard dog.
Protecting your house and yard is a natural territorial instinct of any mature dog, male or female, altered or not. Guarding ability is not affected by neutering.
I have a great dog and want a puppy just like him. Besides, my friends all want puppies. Unfortunately, many puppies do not resemble the father in either appearance or temperament. Remember there are already more puppies than homes available. Even if you do manage to find good homes for your pups, that simply means that some other puppies that might have been taken in may be killed.
I just don’t want him neutered.
Some owners are very uncomfortable with the thought of neutering their dogs. Your dog does not have the same feelings as people may when contemplating loss of the testicles. It is in your dog’s best interest to prevent these diseases and unwanted behaviors with this routine procedure.