Castration of the dog : should you castrate your dog? Advantages disadvantages

  Castration of the dog: should you castrate your dog? Advantages disadvantages

Castration consists of depriving the dog of its ability to procreate, by removing the testicles. These of course produce sperm, but they also secrete testosterone, the male sex hormone that affects the behavior and metabolism of the animal.

Most often, we resort to the removal of the testicles in dogs but vasectomy is also practiced, which consists of cutting the conduit that carries sperm to the seminal vesicles for fertilization. With this intervention, the dog becomes sterile but retains its sexual activity, which is not the case with the removal of the testicles since testosterone is no longer produced at all.

Finally, chemical castration, contraceptive but totally reversible, works with an implant or by injection. Unfortunately, these contraceptives are expensive and must be renewed regularly.

Why castrate your dog: benefits of castration

Castration obviously has the effect of sterilizing the male dog, so it is a convenient operation, but it has other benefits such as eliminating certain embarrassing behaviors (aggressiveness, running away, urinary marking, hypersexuality) and may be indicated in case of testicular tumor or prostate hypertrophy.

In addition, in a preventive way, castration limits the risk of development of these same conditions in the old dog, as well as other diseases such as prostatitis (inflammation or infection of the prostate), the appearance of cysts, or abscesses, hyperplasia... A neutered dog will therefore have a better chance of living a long life and will age better. From a legal point of view, the castration of category 1 dogs has been compulsory since 2009.

Disadvantages of castration and misconceptions

The real disadvantages of castration are so minimal compared to its advantages, that one quickly falls into received ideas on this subject. In fact, the one and only discomfort of neutering the male dog is the risk of weight gain following the operation.

Indeed, castration modifies the metabolism and lowers the animal's energy needs by 20%, which is why it suffices to reduce the ratio and gradually switch to a light or special food for sterilized dogs. It is also advisable to gradually increase the physical activity of the dog. If we stick to these indications, the neutered dog has no reason to grow! Moreover, the idea according to which castration makes the animal suffer, physically or psychologically by depriving it of sexuality, is completely erroneous: deprived of testosterone, it will no longer have any sexual reflex, and it will not "miss" it.

How is castration done and how much does it cost?

On the day of the procedure, which is done under general anesthesia, you will be asked to bring the dog on an empty stomach. Then, the castration is carried out using a single incision through which the veterinarian will extract the two testicles. The opening will be closed with stitches.

A few hours later, you can pick up your dog once he is fully awake from the anesthesia. Healing lasts 10 to 15 days and, depending on the technique used by the veterinarian, you may or may not have to return to have the sutures removed during this interval.

Other surgical techniques exist, such as the double incision in the event of testicular ectopia (missing testicles in the purse or misplaced) or even the vasectomy mentioned above (ligation of the vas deferens). According to veterinary clinics, the prices for testicle removal can vary between 120 and 200 $ on average.

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