Canine Sterilization and Castration - Frequently Asked Questions
Most dogs reach sexual maturity at around 6-12 months of age. As a dog owner, you need to think about whether you want your dog to be able to have young puppies and what the consequences could be. Can every puppy find a home?? Are there not enough homeless unhappy dogs in the world anymore??
The procedure to prevent unplanned pregnancies is sterilization. This treatment also reduces the risk of certain diseases and may improve the behavior of the dog.
Our team has answered the most frequently asked questions about sterilization. This way, you will be able to make the decision that will benefit you and your dog the most.
What is sterilization?
Spaying or neutering a dog is a common, routine procedure to remove an animal's reproductive organs. For males, it means removal of the testicles, and for females, removal of the ovaries and sometimes the uterus as well.
With regard to (male) dogs, this process is called castration. It is usually a very simple procedure, but it can be a bit more invasive if the dog's testicles have not yet descended. If this does not happen until the dog is 6-12 months old, it can be excised by abdominal surgery similar to that performed on female dogs.
In the case of bitches (females) we are talking about the sterilization procedure. This procedure is more invasive than male castration and involves making an incision along the abdomen.
This routine treatment helps prevent common canine health problems related to their reproductive system and provides peace of mind for their owners. If you're thinking of sterilizing or neutering your dog, talk to your veterinarian as soon as possible. They will be able to answer all your questions, including those about possible side effects, reducing disease risk and costs associated with sterilization or castration.
Does sterilization hurt?
Sterilization / castration is a routine procedure. Your dog will be anesthetized so that he does not feel any pain during the procedure. Following the procedure, your veterinarian will give your dog a painkiller to help ease your pet's discomfort. The doctor will also provide you with painkillers and anti-inflammatories that you can give your dog when you come home with him.
In males, the castration procedure is less invasive. The animal will only need medical supplies for one day after the procedure. In the case of females, this period is approximately three days. This is the minimum time required for a quick and painless recovery. To prevent the wound from loosening after surgery, your dog will be fitted with a special collar that he will have to wear throughout the recovery period.
Is sterilization / castration of the dog necessary?
It is not necessary to sterilize dogs, but it is worth remembering that it has many benefits. These include, but are not limited to: reduced susceptibility to disease and emotional stabilization, sometimes seen as improved behavior (but not in all cases). The benefits vary depending on the sex of the dog.
Dog Castration Benefits:
- It prevents testicular cancer,
- It reduces the risk of hypertrophy and prostate cancer,
- It reduces the risk of tumors and hernias common in older dogs that have not been neutered,
- It can reduce the emotional instability manifested by aggression so that your dog won't attack other dogs and hurt himself,
- Neutered dogs do not go far from home in search of a bitch to mate and are less prone to vagrancy,
- May reduce unwanted behavior in dogs, e.g. marking your territory and trying to copulate with objects / people (however, if this is already habitual behavior, you need to implement appropriate behavioral work to eliminate this habit).
Benefits of bitch sterilization:
- Early sterilization reduces the risk of mammary gland cancer in females,
- It prevents the occurrence of uterine and ovarian cancer as well as other life-threatening uterine infections (so-called. pyomatous),
- It reduces the strenuous, regular heat in bitches and the associated imaginary pregnancies,
- It also helps prevent the occurrence of unplanned pregnancy.
When to sterilize / castrate your dog?
Dogs and bitches reach sexual maturity around 6-12 months of age. Depending on the breed, there may be slight differences. It's best to sterilize your dog before it reaches sexual maturity if you want to avoid unwanted mating.
In the case of bitches, veterinarians usually recommend this treatment after the first heat. During the first visit, the doctor performs a clinical examination and additional tests, based on which he individually sets the date of the procedure.
The animal should not be fed the evening before anesthesia. You can give water in the evening, but take it from him in the morning. The animal should not drink immediately before the procedure.
Usually, your veterinarian will ask you to bring your dog in for surgery in the morning so it can be picked up later the same day.
What to do if I don't have the money to sterilize / castrate my dog?
If you want to sterilize your dog but cannot afford to cover the costs, apply to your local animal charity or find out in your municipality which clinics provide sterilization funded by the municipality. Many organizations provide financial assistance to finance this procedure in an effort to reduce animal homelessness.
How to take care of a dog after sterilization?
Your dog may feel a bit dull after the procedure, but it should regain its former energy soon. The recovery process, as well as the nature of the surgery, varies according to the sex of the animal. There are a few things you can do to help your dog recover.
- The first night after sterilization, be close to the bitch - just in case.
- The anesthetic used during the procedure can make the bitch slightly confused and make her whine or bark. Don't worry about it, but if it takes longer, see your vet.
- The first meals after the treatment should be easy to digest, and the daily portion should be divided into at least 4 smaller meals (which can be diluted with warm water). Your dog's stomach may be slightly more sensitive than usual. We recommend that you give a special diet for convalescents in cans for use in the perioperative period Purina® ProPlan® Veterinary Diets CN Convalescence (on the first day after the procedure, at least 1/3 1/2 of the daily dose).
- The vet will give you medications to help your bitch recover from the procedure. These can include painkillers, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Follow the feeding instructions.
- Usually, three and ten days after the procedure, you should come to a veterinary clinic for a control visit.
- Check regularly that the incision is healing properly. The bitch should have the postoperative wound covered with clothes after the procedure - she should not lick it.
- Contact your veterinarian if you notice that the wound has worsened in any way.
- The bitch will have to wear a collar that will prevent her from licking the stitches, biting them or scratching them. There are different types of collars, if the classic one turns out to be too cumbersome, you can choose inflatable collars and cover the wound with clothing after the procedure.
- The healing process takes time. Until visiting the vet, 10 days after sterilization, the bitch should not jump and must be led on a leash.
- If your veterinarian has used non-dissolving sutures, he or she will set a date on which they will be removed. This usually happens 7-10 days after the sterilization procedure is performed.
- On the first night after castration, stay with your dog just in case.
- When the anesthetics wear off, the dog may start to bark or whine. Don't worry - maybe he's just confused. However, if it continues, contact your veterinarian.
- Stomach problems can be a side effect of administering anesthesia to your dog. To avoid them, the first meals after the treatment should be easy to digest, and the daily portion should be divided into at least 4 smaller meals (which can be diluted with warm water). Your pet's stomach may be slightly more sensitive than usual. We recommend that you give a special diet for convalescents in cans for use in the perioperative period Purina® ProPlan® Veterinary Diets CN Convalescence (on the first day after the procedure, at least 1/3 1/2 of the daily dose).
- Give your pet the medications that your veterinarian gives you. These can include painkillers, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Your veterinarian will schedule a follow-up visit - 3 and 10 days after castration.
- The day after the procedure, the dog can leave the house, but by the time of the second control visit (after 10 days), it should be led on a leash.
- To prevent the dog from licking and scratching the wound, it should wear a collar for 10 days.
Effect of sterilization on dog behavior
Sterilization is sometimes associated with weight gain, but it is not directly related to the procedure. Hormonal changes in the dog resulting from sterilization may lead to the animal losing the desire to seek a partner and having a different hormonal balance. This will result in less movement and a greater appetite, which will increase your tendency to gain weight.
In order to prevent obesity in a dog, it is necessary to provide the dog with the opportunity to move regularly and give him smaller portions of food (on average by 15-20%) or a special food recommended for dogs after sterilization, e.g. Purina® Pro Plan® Adult Light Optiweight Sterilized, rich in chicken.
Resignation from sterilization / castration of the dog - consequences
The resignation from sterilization / castration is associated with several potential inconveniences, depending on the sex of the animal. Think about them carefully before you decide to quit the procedure.
Disadvantages of an uncastrated dog:
- May be more prone to vagrancy and may easily move away from home in search of a bitch to mate.
- He is more conflicting and fights other dogs.
- He may try to copulate with objects and urinate on them to mark his territory.
- He is at high risk of developing cancer of the testicles and prostate, which may shorten his life.
Disadvantages of an unsterilized bitch:
- Every eight months the bitch will be in heat for up to three weeks. During this time, you need to watch out for dogs nearby.
- During heat, the bitch will bleed from the genital tract and emit a very unpleasant odor.
- She has a higher risk of developing cancer.
- A bitch can get pregnant. Caring for puppies can be very expensive. Even if you sell them, you are unlikely to make money on it. Maintaining a puppy breeding should be well thought out and planned. The registration of purebred dogs that are healthy and allowed for reproduction is supervised by the Polish Kennel Club FCI.
Pregnant bitch and sterilization
Bitches often do not show physical signs of pregnancy in the early stages of pregnancy. If you suspect your bitch is pregnant, check with your vet. It is worth knowing that the female can also be sterilized until a certain stage of pregnancy. This will lead to the termination of the dog's current pregnancy and prevent further pregnancies in the future.
Your veterinarian will give you more information so that you can decide whether to sterilize a pregnant bitch. It is solely your decision which must be based on what is best for you and your dog. If you have questions about sterilization, please contact your veterinarian.