Neutering is one of the most common pet surgeries worldwide. And although it is a common surgery, complications can still occur. It usually takes a couple of weeks for your pet to recover fully, and complications can happen anytime. Besides helping control the pet population, neutering provides other health benefits for your pet.
Neutering is the common term for the surgical process of removing a dog’s testicles from the scrotum. A licensed veterinarian carries out the surgery on male dogs at least six months old. The surgery is much simpler than spaying, which involves the removal of the female reproductive organs.
A veterinarian puts your pet under anesthesia, makes an incision into the scrotum, and removes the testicles through the incision. The vet will suture the incision, and Most dogs will need an Elizabethan collar to prevent them from licking the area.
When reviewing online resources, you will find mixed information about neutering. You should thoroughly research the topic before neutering your dog.
Benefits of Neutering
The primary benefit of neutering is preventing your pet from contributing to pet overpopulation. According to VCA Hospitals, there are multiple benefits of neutering your pet:
As male dogs age, they can develop a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate). While this condition is harmless, it can cause your pet discomfort and increase the probability of developing prostatitis (prostate infection). Neutering your dog can prevent this.
Neutering also reduces the risk of perianal adenoma, a hormone-related disease in which a benign tumor can develop around the anal region.
Testicular cancer is the second most common cancer in unneutered dogs. Neutering your pet can significantly reduce the risk of developing testicular cancer.
Since neutering your pet reduces the amount of testosterone they produce, it reduces undesirable behaviors such as roaming and certain types of aggression. Neutered males are calmer, engage less in dominance-related behaviors, and mark less.
Neutered dogs are generally much more well-behaved than their unneutered counterparts. Due to a decrease in testosterone, your dog can focus more on playing and other stimulating activities instead of fighting with other dogs.
Males dogs who are always on the lookout to breed can be very challenging. They constantly whine, are more aggressive, and frequently become agitated. If you don’t want your dog to father puppies, there is no reason not to neuter them. It is not only difficult to manage your unaltered male, but it is troublesome for him as well. If you have a female dog at home, it is best to have both your pets neutered and spayed,
The Age For Neutering
While you can neuter a male dog after eight weeks, many vets recommend waiting until your pet is at least six months old. Consult your vet about the right age to neuter your pet.
It is best to neuter your as they reach sexual maturity. Most male dogs sexually mature by the age of five to six months. Keep in that mind that male dogs will do anything to find a mate, including aggressive behaviors and finding ways to escape from home. Having your pet neutered as soon as these behaviors start can save you a lot of trouble.
As your pet grows and matures sexually, his testicles should descend. If they don’t, you should still neuter him. This condition, called Chyrptorchidism, can put your pet at risk of developing testicular tumors. If your pet suffers from Chryptorchidism, it is even more important to have him neutered.
It is better to have your dog neutered while he is young. Adult dogs can experience more complications when fixed, such as swelling after neutering. However, the benefits certainly outweigh the risks. Consult your veterinarian about what to expect.
What To Expect After Neutering Your Dog
Your veterinarian provides detailed information about post-neuter care and what to expect. Generally speaking, your pet will probably experience the following after a neuter surgery:
Due to anesthesia, your pet will probably be woozy and slightly fussy after the surgery.
It’s normal for your pet to refuse to eat for the first 24 hours after surgery, after which its appetite will return to normal.
Your pet will instinctively try to lick or chew on his wound. You should be prepared for this beforehand. Keep an Elizabethan collar on hand.
After the neuter surgery, you will notice some swelling in the scrotal area. The scrotal sack may look swollen as if it still contains the testicles. The sack is the small, muscular structure that holds and protects the testes. Typically, your dog’s scrotum will appear swollen for 24 to 48 hours after surgery. As it heals, it will shrink and become less noticeable. It is important to prevent your pet from licking or chewing the area post-surgery.
Abnormal Swelling After Neutering
While swelling after neutering is normal, keep an eye out for abnormal swelling. If the swelling persists after 24 to 48 hours post-surgery, it could be a worrying sign. Abnormal swelling after the neuter surgery could be due to various reasons, including infection, bruising, bleeding, scrotal hematoma, or the incision opening. A scrotal hematoma is a condition where blood or fluids collect within the scrotum. Dogs that weigh above 50 pounds are more likely to develop scrotal hematoma.
While complications from neutering surgeries are rare, they can occur. Most complications arise post-surgery due to the dog agitating the dog by chewing, licking, or scratching it. Ensure your dog has an E-collar or other protective clothing to prevent this.
Bruising After Neutering
Although rare, sometimes pets may experience bruising in the scrotal region. Since blood seeps out of the tiny capillaries in the scrotum, it may appear bruised and is more noticeable in pets with light skin or large-breed dogs. Don’t be alarmed since this is common. While it looks painful, it is not very painful and resolves during a week. Your vet can prescribe painkillers and antibiotics if your pet needs them.
What You Can Do
After your pet has undergone neuter surgery, you should use the following guidelines to care for him:
Make sure you get an Elizabethan collar before your pet’s surgery. It is common for pets to try to lick or scratch the surgical incision. If you don’t want to get your pet an uncomfortable, rigid plastic e-collar, there are softer inflatable options.
Ensure your pet does not engage in demanding physical activities, which can cause the surgical incision to open up and delay the healing process.
Your pet should not bathe or swim for at least ten days following surgery. Keeping the wound dry is essential for a fast recovery. If the incision gets wet, it will encourage bacterial growth and could lead to an infection.
Provide your dog access to clean, fresh water and feed them 24 hours after the surgery. Their appetite will take a day to return to normal.
If your pet has any swelling after neutering, you can use a cold or ice compress for 24 hours following surgery.
If your pet shows any of the following symptoms after neutering, consult your veterinarian immediately:
- Vomiting 24 hours post-surgery
- Signs of severe discomfort. Some amount of pain and discomfort is normal following surgery. If your dog appears to be in a lot of pain, consult your vet.
- Bleeding or discharge from the surgical incision
- No appetite 24 hours post-surgery