Click here to Print
Information About Neutering Your Dog
Neutering your dog is an important step in preventing many problems later on in his life. Older, intact male dogs are at risk of developing prostatic disease (enlargement with bleeding, infections, cysts and abscesses) and skin disease in their tail base area (skin gland enlargement and tumors). Neutering almost completely eliminates the chance of these problems. Older dogs can also develop testicular tumors and neutering eliminates any chance of that as well. Neutering also makes it impossible for your dog to father a litter, thereby helping to reduce the chance of an unwanted pregnancy.
The neutering procedure that will be performed is an orchiectomy, the removal of both testicles. This is done through a small incision in front of the scrotum. The incision is typically closed with buried, dissolvable sutures. The scrotal sac is left intact, but it usually disappears within a few months. After surgery, your dog will be kept overnight to allow him to wake up quietly and completely from anesthesia in a monitored environment. You will be able to pick him up after 10 a.m. the following day. This allows us to check his incision and get his paperwork ready for his discharge.
When You Get Home: We recommend that you withhold food and water for approximately two hours after you return home. When they get home, dogs can often be excited enough to gulp food and/or water causing them to become nauseous and vomit. After your dog has settled in, a normal feeding schedule can be resumed unless otherwise directed.
Wound Care: If your dog will let you, take a look at his incision site the first day he arrives home so that you know how it initially looks. For the next week or so, monitor this area for any discharge, significant redness, swelling or bruising. Since this is a sensitive area, some dogs will start to lick excessively, making it red and moist. It is important to closely watch for this behavior. Too much licking can slow healing and even cause the incision to open up. To prevent this, dogs that lick may need to wear a lampshade-shaped Elizabethan collar over their heads until the incision has healed. If we have shaved an area on a front leg for medication administration, monitor that area for licking as well.
Activity: Rest is critical for normal healing to occur. For at least one week, your dog should be brought outside only when necessary and then only on a leash or under your direct control. Too much activity can slow healing and lead to swelling, bruising, and more discomfort. Leash walks are okay but they should be kept short. Indoors, discourage your dog from jumping and going up and down stairs too frequently. Any bathing and grooming should also be avoided during this time.
Feeding: While neutering is important to your dog's health, the surgery has been shown to decrease the metabolic rate and possibly increase the body's ability to store fat. This means that most dogs will gain weight once they are neutered and have finished growing unless food intake is limited. We recommend that you slowly decrease your dog's caloric intake by up to 25% to 30% over the next few months. This may mean limiting portions and decreasing the size and/or frequency of treats and snacks. Obesity in dogs has been clearly associated with the earlier onset of diseases and a shortened lifespan.