Why should I have my dog neutered?
Neutering should be considered if you are keeping any male dog as a pet. Remember that Guide Dogs for the Blind, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, and Dogs for the Disabled are routinely neutered.
What are the advantages of neutering my male dog?
- Reduces the risk of prostate cancer and prostatitis
- Reduces the risk of hormone-related diseases such as perianal adenoma
- Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer, the second most common cancer in intact dogs
- Removal of sexual urges, which usually decreases roaming behaviors
- Reduction of certain types of aggression
- Reduction of the behavior of urine marking
Is neutering performed for any other reason?
The operation may be performed to treat testicular tumors and some prostate gland conditions. It is also used to control hormonal (testosterone) dependent diseases such as anal adenomas.
Neutering may also be used in an attempt to treat certain forms of aggression.
What are the disadvantages?
Most of the perceived disadvantages are false. The most quoted of these are that the dog will become fat, lazy, and useless as a guardian. Obesity is probably the most commonly quoted disadvantage of neutering. Obesity is the result of overfeeding and not exercising enough. By regulating your dog’s diet and caloric intake, you can prevent obesity in neutered or intact males.
Neutering doesn’t cause a change in personality, guarding instincts, intelligence, playfulness and affection.
When should the operation be performed?
Research reveals that neutering a pet at an early age does not cause any increased risk. Most veterinarians recommend neutering between four and six months of age.
Why should I have my cat neutered?
Neutering is very beneficial to the health of the cat, especially if performed at an early age. Following puberty, which occurs at approximately eight to nine months of age, the male cat often develops a number of undesirable behavioral changes. He will become territorial and start to mark areas, even inside the house, by spraying urine. This urine has a particularly offensive odor and is difficult to remove. As the tomcat reaches sexual maturity, he will start to enlarge his territory, straying ever farther from the house, particularly at night. It is for this reason that many of the cats that are hit by automobiles are non-neutered males. By increasing the size of his territory, he increases the likelihood that he will come into contact with other cats and will get into fights for territorial dominance. Inflicted fight wounds can result in severe infections and abscesses. Diseases such as FIV and FeLV, which can cause AIDS-like syndromes and cancers in cats, are spread through cat bites, these cats are most commonly affected by such incurable diseases. Last, but not least, neutering prevents unwanted litters and the needless deaths of tens of millions kittens and cats each year.
The longer a tomcat sprays and fights, the less likely neutering will stop these behaviors.
When should I have my cat neutered?
In most cases, it is recommended to neuter your cat before the onset of puberty. Puberty normally begins between six and ten months of age. The actual age chosen for castration will depend upon the preference of your veterinarian. Many veterinarians recommend castration at around five to seven months of age, although it is becoming more common to perform this procedure at an earlier age, such as two to three months, in an attempt to control overpopulation. Please contact Superior Animal Hospital for further details regarding our specific sterilization policies.
Are there any dangers associated with the operation?
Neutering is considered a major operation and requires general anesthesia. With modern anesthetics and monitoring equipment, the risk of a complication is very low. It has been said that your pet has a greater chance of being injured in a car wreck than having an anesthetic or surgical complication.
What happens when my dog undergoes this procedure?
Your pet will be examined by a veterinarian and pre-anesthetic blood tests will usually be performed. If everything is acceptable, your pet will then be anesthetized. All pets will have an intravenous catheter placed to administer the anesthetic and to provide fluid therapy during the surgery. After your pet is anesthetized, a breathing tube will be placed in his trachea or “windpipe”. This will deliver oxygen and the gas anesthetic, most commonly isoflurane, directly into the lungs. The surgery consists of making a small incision in front of the scrotum and removing the testicles. Many veterinarians use absorbable internal sutures so that you do not have to return your dog to the hospital to have them removed.
Are there any post-operative precautions I should take?
Rest and restriction of activity are the primary post-operative care you should provide. Most dogs can resume normal activity five to ten days after surgery. Until then, leash walks, no swimming, bathing, running or climbing stairs and lots of rest are the rule.