Compiled by Laxita Shahid, Head – ABC Program, VOSD

Millions of stray dogs roam the streets of India, their high population causing increased incidences of dog-human conflict. Similarly, the extremely high number of unsterilised pet dogs also contributes to unwanted population – resulting in many dogs being ill-bred, born with genetic anomalies, high risk of abandonment and so on.

The only way to tackle this extremely serious problem is to control dog population. Sterilisation programs in various cities have wielded significant results. At the same time, raising awareness on different types of sterilisation procedures is also of utmost importance so that people can make informed and apt decisions. The following post lists the many differences among the various processes used for neutering male and female dogs along with the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Types of sterilisation in female dogs

WHAT IS IT?a. The fallopian tubes are cut or blocked to prevent pregnancy.
b. Ovaries and uterus remain intact
Only the ovaries are removed, while the uterus is left in the bellyBoth ovaries and the uterus are removed from the body
ADVANTAGESMinimally invasive technique can be used for this procedureLesser invasive procedures (keyhole)  compared to ovariohysterictomya. No heat cycle
b. No attraction from males hence no grouping and no aggressions
c. No uterus = no future disease related to the uterus
a. Dog will still come in heat
b. Males will still be attracted and group around the female, and get aggressive
c. Risks of false pregnancy
d. Risks of deadly uterine infection & tumor
a. Dog CAN still come in heat as a result from remnants of ovarian tissue being left in the abdomen
b. Males will still be attracted and group around the female, and get aggressive
c. If there are remnants of the ovaries, they can get pregnant
d. Risks of false pregnancy
e. Risks of deadly uterine infection & tumor
 a. More invasive than tubal ligation. However, skilled vets can perform laparoscopic ovariohysterectomy
b. Requires post-operative care for at least two days depending on the type of suture and cut
RECOMMENDED FORa. Pets who live in secured (enclosed) environment to decrease agitation and gathering of males
b. Old dogs  
c. Dogs with medical conditions
a. Pets who live in secured (enclosed) environment to decrease agitation and grouping of males  
b. Old dogs  
c. Dogs with medical conditions
a. ALL pets
b. Mandatory for stray dogs to avoid gatherings and aggression of unneutered males

Types of sterilisation in male dogs

WHAT IS IT?The tube that carries sperm from the testicle is removedFull removal of testicles. Removal of both testicles is the best option
ADVANTAGESDog can mate without impregnating the female.a. Males don’t get attracted to females on heat, hence there’s no agitation, no fights with other males, and show decreased aggression 
b. Hyperactive dogs display calmer behaviour   
c. Sutureless scrotal castration is safe, faster and cheaper
a. Males can smell a female on heat at a radius of 5km! Hence, they feel restless, stop eating and run away to find the females on heat  
b. Males fight with other males while trying to mate  
c. Prostatic diseases/cancer in old age
Risk of environmental contamination of the scrotum
b. Not recommended – not commonly done

What you need to do

A. Speak to your veterinary doctor before setting up a surgery appointment:

  1. Relate your pet’s health history to the vet
  2. Ask about the type of surgery suited for your pet, and about the sutures that will be done
  3. Understand, and strictly follow the pre- and post operation care that you need to do
  4. Understand the risks (if any)

B. Advisable to do a blood test, and check vital organs prior to any surgery (especially for older dogs)

C. Ensure to get a certificate stating the type of sterilisation that has been performed on your pet with the surgeon’s signature or stamp of the organisation

D. Permanent, external and visible identification of being sterilised is a MUST for free-roaming dogs to avoid confusion

VOSD supports sterilisation programs in different cities across India with the support of local NGOs. We strongly believe and it is scientifically proven that sterilisation is the only means to prevent unnecessary breeding in dogs thus minimising their population. It also reduces the risk of various diseases in canines such as cancer, womb infection etc as seen in the above tables. This is thus a humane manner to achieve gradual reduction and stabilisation in the population of stray dogs on a long-term basis.

Do you find this information useful? For more medical advice, visit the VOSD website.