Neutering has many benefits for both you and your pet. The procedure, which prevents male animals from reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. In addition, this procedure helps with feline and canine population control, genetic disease control, provides medical health benefits, and can lead to behavioral modification. Neutering will not change your pet’s personality although it may make him less aggressive.
By neutering your pet, you’re reducing or eliminating his risk for certain diseases and disorders. Removing the testicles eliminates the possibility of testicular diseases including: testicular cancer, epididymal cancer, orchitis (testicular inflammation), epididymitis, testicular torsion, testicular abscessation and testicular trauma. Dogs and cats can suffer from a range of diseases and medical conditions that are directly associated with high blood testosterone levels. These disease conditions include: benign prostate hyperplasia, prostatitis, prostatic abscess, perianal adenomas, perineal hernias and certain testosterone induced skin disorders (dermatoses). Neutering removes the main source of testosterone in the animal’s body (the testes), which not only prevents the onset of these diseases but can help to control or cure these diseases if they are already present.
Neutering can also reduce or eliminate undesirable and embarrassing testosterone-mediated behaviors, including: roaming, fighting, mounting of females, humping of inanimate objects (including toys, chair-legs and human legs), unwanted masculine territorial behaviors such as the guarding of resources (food, bones, territory, and so on) and urine marking or spraying. In addition, neutering your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.
Neutering, which involves removing the testicles, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under general anesthesia. We follow strict anesthetic and surgical protocols to help ensure his safety and comfort. An important part of our protocol involves preoperative testing of your pet. The tests we recommend depend in part on the age and general health of your dog or cat. In young animals, minimal tests are needed provided the pet has been vaccinated, dewormed and proven healthy based on physical examination. In this case, basic blood tests, including: PCV (packed cell volume), total protein, BUN (kidney enzyme), ALT (liver enzyme) and glucose (blood sugar) will be done prior to anesthesia. In older pets or ones with certain health conditions, we may recommend additional testing such as a CBC (complete blood count), serum biochemical tests, urinalysis and possibly a chest X-ray or EKG prior to anesthesia. These recommendations vary on a case-by-case basis and depend on the overall health of the pet.
No surgical procedure is completely risk-free, however the overall risk of neutering a young, healthy pet is very low. The major risks are those of general anesthesia, bleeding (hemorrhage), post-operative infection and wound breakdown (dehiscence) over the incision. Overall complication rate is low, but serious complications can occur. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.
Your pet’s comfort is very important to us, so we routinely perform laser therapy on the incision line, as well as providing pre and postoperative pain medication. In most cases postoperative pain is judged to be mild to moderate, and can be virtually eliminated with safe and effective analgesics. Generally young animals are acting normally within 24 to 48 hours after surgery. The home care after surgery requires reduced activity for 10 to 14 days.
To set up an appointment to have your pet neutered or to learn more about this procedure, please call or visit our clinic. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to neuter your pet, please call us or stop by so we can discuss your concerns.