How serious an operation is neutering?

A dog owner may prevaricate about neutering the pet as this surgical procedure that renders the dog incapable of reproduction is surrounded by myths. Remove the balls and you will have a fearful and coward dog. It is believed that once testosterone is removed, the dog would have no inclination to protect to the family. The dog would be less a “man” because it can no longer have any sexual encounter with female dogs. Neutering makes a dog fat and lazy. Apart from these myths, the procedure can be quite expensive. A dog owner would fear for the life of the pet. Although neutering is a simple surgical operation, some serious complications cannot be totally prevented. Of course dog owners have differing opinions regarding neutering the pet. What are your views? Would you prefer to have an intact pet or would you choose to neuter the pet?

Neutering in male dogs is commonly called castration and in female dogs, spaying. This surgical procedure removes the testicles on males and the ovaries and the uterus in females. Dog owners that have no plans on breeding the dog would take the option neutering the pet because of its benefits. Having the pet neutered will prevent accidental breeding. Dog lovers are aware of the sad fate of dogs that have to be put to sleep because no homes were found for them. But aside from this fact, neutering allows for a healthier and longer life for the pet because a number of canine diseases are prevented. As the surgical procedure removes the testicles incidence of prostate enlargement are reduced. Tumor of the testicles is a common ailment of dog. The risk of tumors is significantly reduced if the pet is neutered. As spaying removes the ovaries and the uterus, the incidence of uterine, ovarian and mammary cancers are significantly reduced. Pyometria, a serious infection of the uterus is prevented as well. It was proven that neutered dogs are less likely to develop unwanted behaviors especially if the procedure is done before the dog turns two years of age. Neutered dogs are less likely to exhibit urine marking and territorial aggression.

Some dog owners would hesitate to have the dog neutered. This surgical procedure requires the dog to be under general anesthesia. Neutering is not a major surgery but as with any other surgical procedure, complications can put the life of the pet at risk. Moreover, anesthesia’s effects can be even more dangerous than the surgery itself. Bleeding, wound infections after the surgery are some of the complications. Neutering though is generally well tolerated by the dog. It would take about 20 to 30 minutes to finish the procedure. A few hours after the surgery, the pet will be up and about. Neutering is a more serious in female dogs as an incision has to be made in the abdomen to remove the uterus and the ovaries. In male dogs, neutering is a non-invasive procedure. There is no need to open body cavities as the incision will be made only on the scrotum. This surgical procedure has a very low risk on healthy dogs.

Dog owners should not fear for the life of the pet. Before the neutering procedure is done, the dog has to undergo preoperative tests. Minimal tests are necessary for generally healthy pets. Older dogs would have to go through blood tests, urinalysis, EKG or chest x-ray. To prevent complications arising from the administration of anesthesia the vet may require the dog to undergo pre-anesthesia screening to choose the best anesthesia protocol for the pet. Pain control medications are routinely given. After a day in the hospital the pet would be its usual energetic self.

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