Castrate the dog: Procedure, advantages and risks
Many owners ask themselves whether they should castrate their dog. A general answer to this question is hardly possible. Because the intervention has both advantages and disadvantages for the four-legged friend. In order to help you with your decision, we will go into more detail on the subject of neutering in dogs in this article.
We will explain the differences in neutering between females and males, the health benefits of neutering and what you should pay attention to when feeding your neutered dog.
Castrate your dog: Differences between bitches and males
The goal of the castration is naturally the same with bitches and males. The animal should no longer be able to reproduce. However, the intervention differs quite clearly between the two sexes. The testicles of the male are removed, while the ovaries of the bitch are removed.
Before the castration, the veterinarian makes sure that there are no health reasons against the operation. In addition, the dog must not eat anything 12 hours before castration. The actual operation is then performed for both sexes under general anaesthesia with an individually adjusted dosage.
Castration in males
The castration of a male dog is (similar to the sterilization of humans) comparatively uncomplicated, since only the testicles have to be removed, in order to deprive him of his reproductive ability.
For this purpose, the area of the procedure is first shaved and disinfected. The scrotum is then cut open, the vas deferens pinched and the testicles removed before the incision can be closed again.
The actual operation takes about half an hour. It takes about one to two hours for the dog to wake up after neutering. The stitches can be removed after about 10 days.
The costs for the castration of a male dog are quite manageable and are only about 150 to 200 Euros.
The castration of bitches
If a bitch is to be neutered, the cutting area must first also be shaved and disinfected. Once this is done, the abdomen can be opened and the uterus and ovaries can be placed in front. Now the ovaries are tied and removed before the uterus can be returned to its correct position.
The bitch's abdominal wall must be closed in several layers after castration. Self-dissolving sutures are used for the inner sutures, while the outer sutures are sewn with normal sutures, which can be removed again after about 10 days, as in a male.
Sometimes not only the ovaries but also the uterus are removed when a bitch is neutered. This is necessary, for example, in the case of castration due to a disease of the uterus. In addition, it is often at least useful for older and sick animals.
In bitches the castration is more complex than in males. The procedure can take up to an hour. This is also noticeable with higher costs of about 300 to 400 Euros.
Why a castration with dogs can be meaningful
Although the main aim of neutering dogs is to prevent unwanted reproduction, there are a number of other arguments for the intervention. These include the health benefits of castration for both sexes.
Advantages of castration in bitches:
- Castrated bitches no longer become in heat (no bleeding or behavioural changes).
- Castration can prevent pyometra (uterine suppuration).
- A correspondingly early operation serves to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Castration helps to reduce the risk of tumours on the milk line in bitches.
Advantages of castration in males:
- Castrated males have significantly less interest in the opposite sex.
- The four-legged friend becomes calmer and the excessive marking diminishes.
- The castration serves the prevention of testicular cancer.
- The risk of diseases of the prostate is reduced.
- Encounters with females in heat are more relaxed.
The right time to castrate a dog
Actually, it is always possible to neuter a dog. If the four-legged friend is already quite old, the OP holds however more risks. However, even with very young dogs, the operation should only be carried out in exceptional cases.
Because a too early castration restricts the development of the animal. This can disturb the physical and mental development of the dog. Males that have been castrated too early often tend to aggressive behaviour.
In general, bitches should have been in heat at least once before neutering. This is the case between six months and one year, depending on the breed. In males, the castration should be waited approximately until the completion of the first year of life.
Possible risks of castration for the dog
Castration in dogs is routine in itself. Especially with males it is anyway only a small intervention. Nevertheless, you should be aware that an operation under general anaesthesia always involves a certain risk.
In addition, incontinence often occurs in bitches as a result of castration. This is also possible with males. However, this is only comparatively rarely the case.
Chemical castration as an alternative to surgery
So-called hormone chips are a possible alternative for castrating males. They contain the active ingredient deslorelin and are placed under the skin of the quadruped, making it temporarily infertile.
Since the hormone chip results in a reduction of testosterone production, chemically castrated males also have a lower sex drive and usually become noticeably calmer. The hormone chip takes effect after a few weeks and usually lasts between six and twelve months.
The chemical castration can save the dog the normally necessary operation. However, it can last longer than intended, especially in small dogs, and in some cases even lead to permanent infertility. In addition, it does not, of course, prevent testicular cancer.
Special features of the diet of neutered dogs
Many owners are not aware that the castration of their dog may require a change in diet. This is because the animal's sex hormones also regulate metabolism and appetite.
In neutered dogs, appetite often increases significantly while energy consumption decreases. As the owner, you should therefore take special care after neutering that your dog does not get too fat.
However, it will probably not go down well with the animal to simply give it less food in the future. Instead, it is important to choose the right food and adapt the diet to the needs of the four-legged friend.
Castrating your dog - the most important things at a glance
Castration has many advantages for the health and behaviour of dogs. At the same time, the risks of the surgical intervention are relatively low and most four-legged friends should not reproduce anyway.
In most cases, neutering in dogs is therefore undoubtedly useful and should definitely be considered.