Neutering or spaying your pet is an important medical procedure that has numerous benefits.
Spaying or neutering is a surgical procedure to remove the reproductive organs of male and female dogs. It is also known as ‘ABC’ (Animal Birth Control) in the case of Indian Stray Dogs. Surgery can be traditional invasive surgery or it can be laparoscopic (where available).
This term is generally used for females and involves an Ovariohysterectomy – the removal of the uterus and both ovaries.
Neutering or Castration
This is generally used for male dogs and is the procedure to remove both testes and the associated epididymis. The term neutering can be used to describe the surgery of either gender.
When should you neuter your dog?
Both males and females should be neutered between 6 and 9 months of age (that will be before the first heat for the female dog).
Many vets might recommend neutering after the female undergoes her first ‘heat’ or when the male is one or two years old. This is an unfounded idea.
What are the health benefits of neutering a dog?
Spaying/neutering is a beneficial surgery and can prevent and address a host of health conditions in pet dogs.
|Female dogs||Male Dogs|
|No chance of breast cancer/ mammary tumours (the most common form of cancer in female dogs).||No chance of testicular cancer.|
|Prevention of ovarian and uterine cancer.||Prevention of prostate cancer.|
|No Pyometra (infection of the uterus with pus).||No benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).|
|Non-existence of transitional cell carcinoma.||Non-existence of transitional cell carcinoma.|
|Will not go into heat and experience menstruation. Frequency of urination is also reduced.||Reduced aggression- with less testosterone, male dogs show markedly reduced territorial aggression.|
|Reduced ‘marking’ or peeing. Males mark territory by peeing. This can eliminate the urge to continue.|
|Reduced male traits such as roaming, humping and other dominance related behaviour.|
|Reduced or fewer fights with other male dogs.|
Caring for your dog after the operation
- After surgery, provide your dog with a quiet place to recover indoors, away from other animals. Your dog must avoid running and jumping post-surgery.
- Use an Elizabethan collar to prevent your dog from licking the incision site till the stitches are healed and removed. A full body bandage or a Suitical Recovery Suit can also be used.
- Do not bathe your dog till the stitches have been removed.
- Check the incision daily. If you notice any redness, swelling or discharge, please contact your vet.
Myths and misconceptions about neutering your dog
Will my dog become overweight?
Spaying or neutering will not cause your pet to become overweight. Lack of exercise does this, as the natural restlessness and tendency to roam is curbed due to the surgery. Your dog will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor their food.
Will it become more difficult to train my dog?
No, the opposite is true.
Will neutering alter my dog’s behaviour?
Neutering will reduce ‘aggressive’ or ‘dominant’ behaviour as previously described and will reduce the level of testosterone. However, it won’t eliminate the hormone completely so the dog will continue to have all his male traits. Neutering will also not alter behaviours that your dog has learned, or make him unlearn his habits.
VOSD is the biggest online repository of medical and legal information relating to dogs. If you want to understand the legal frameworks around neutering your pet, read about it here.
The information contained in VOSD Expert Vet Advice™ is not intended, nor implied to be, a substitute for professional medical action provided by your vet. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For any emergency situation related to a dog’s health, please visit the nearest veterinary clinic.