What to expect when bringing your male dog in for desexing

Neutering a male dog is an excellent step to help your young man grow into a loving, well adapted household citizen. However at Vetmed we understand that making the decision to desex or castrate your male puppy can be a scary one so we have put together some information to help you gain some understanding into both the procedure and the benefits for desexing your young man.

Why do vets recommend desexing?

This is an easy one to answer – basically because there are so many health and behavior benefits for your little puppy. These include

  • Less roaming. Intact adult male dogs tend to be very good escape artists – able to get out of the most secure back yards and wander the streets, searching for females and staking out their territory.
  • Less aggressive behaviour.  Intact male dogs are more likely to show aggressive behavior both towards people and other dogs. Dog fights can lead injury or in the worst case scenario death either due to the actual fight or euthanasia due to the aggressive behaviour.
  • Less health issues. Castrated dogs have less health issues as desexing eliminates the possibility of developing testicular cancer in later life, and decreases likelihood of developing prostate problems, tumours of the anus, and perineal hernias
  • Less sexual behavior. Intact male dogs will show humping behavior to people and other dogs alike. If not desexed prior to sexual maturity humping can become a learnt behavior which even when your young man is desexed can continue
  • Longer life and reduced injuries.  Because they get into fewer fights and do less roaming, neutered dogs live longer than intact male cats do and have less injuries.
  • Population control.  Many puppies are euthanized because they are unwanted.  Preventing unwanted litters of puppies is part of responsible pet ownership.

When is the best time to castrate my puppy?

The best time to neuter your puppy is around six months of age. This is because the puppy is old enough for the body to have matured enough to make the anesthetic low risk but young enough so he hasn’t reached sexual maturity yet.

What does castrating a puppy involve?

In a canine castration, both testicles are removed through a small incision made through the skin just above the scrotum while the puppy is under a general anaesthetic. There will be one suture visible above the skin layer and several more under the skin. It is generally a very quick and very painless procedure which only requires your puppy to be in hospital for the day.

What do I do before the procedure?

At Vetmed, puppy castrations are performed Monday to Friday at all three of our vet hospitals by appointment only. When you ring to book in your young man for castration, our lovely reception staff will answer any questions you may have and reinforce any important details you need to know. It is very important that you puppy has nothing to eat from approximately 8pm the night prior to the surgery to ensure that there is nothing in his stomach which could lead to vomiting during the anaesthetic. It is also vital that your little one is brought into the veterinary hospital between the hours of 7:30 and 9:00 am as this allows our dedicated vets and vet nurses to preform their pre anesthetic health checks and procedures which ensure a painless, stress free procedure and to ensure that the risks involved are mitigated as much as possible.

What does the day of the procedure involve?

After you have dropped off your young man with the vet nurses and you have signed the consent form giving permission for the procedure to take place, there are several procedures which take place prior to the induction of the general anaesthetic:

  • Pre anaesthetic examination: It is important that your puppy is check over by a veterinarian prior to any sedation or pain relief to ensure that he is healthy.
  • Pre anaesthetic blood tests: included in all of our anaesthetics, pre anaesthetic blood tests are preformed in-house and provide the veterinarian with vital information about the internal health of your young man prior to any anaesthetic.
  • Pre medication with sedation and painrelief: once the veterinarian has establised that your puppy is in great health using the physical exam and the blood tests, a sedation and painrelief is given via injection and your young man is moved into a special area within the hospital especially designed for awaiting and recovering from anaesthetics.
  • Induction of anaesthetic: once your puppy is sedated and he has plenty of painrelief provided, a catheter is inserted into his vein and the anaesthetic is inducted using a fast acting anaesthetic agent such as alfaxan. A tube is then placed into their throat to ensure that their airway is protected. He is then place on a mixture of oxygen and an inhalation anaesthetic to maintain his anaesthetic whilst and the procedure is completed
  • Recovery: Once his testicles have been removed he will then be slowly woken up. This takes place in a special area of the hospital where specially designed cages provide plenty of warmth. Further painrelief is then provided to ensure that your young man is relaxed and painfree as he slowly recovers. We allow at least 2 hours from the time he is awake till the time he is allowed to go home to eliminate any complications which can occur during this period

What about after the procedure? What should I expect at home?

The veterinarian or vet nurse will contact you as soon as your little one is in recovery but you must allow at least 2 hours after this call before you will be able to pick your young puppy up from the hospital. Your young man will go home with medication such as painrelief, and you will be provided with a discharge statement which states how to use the medication, what to feed your little one and other important information. A vet nurse or veterinarian will go through this statement and how to give the medication.

Expect your little puppy to be a bit quiet on the night of the procedure but he should return to his normal self by the next morning. He will have sutures which will need to be removed at the hospital in 7 to 10 days after the procedure. It is recommended that you do limit your little man’s exercise with just leash walks for the next 7 days post procedure to give him time to heal. He will also not be able to get wet either due to bathing or swimming until the suture is removed. If you have any further questions we are always here to help. Please contact us at one of our three locations and one of our team members will be able to answer any questions.

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