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Castration and sterilization – what you should know about these procedures

Castration and sterilization – what you should know about these procedures

Castration and sterilization are very important not only because they alleviate the problem of animal homelessness but also because they can protect against certain diseases. However, before you decide to have your dog castrated or sterilized you need to find a competent veterinarian and have the dog’s health examined thoroughly.

Definitions

It is generally believed that sterilization applies to female dogs while castration is a procedure done on male ones. Far from the truth.

Sterilization is a surgery intended to cut or tie off the testicular ducts in a male dog or the uterine tubes in a female dog.

Castration is a surgery consisting of excision of the whole reproductive system.

Benefits from the procedure

Castration offers a number of health and behavioral advantages including the following:

– Smaller risk of development of cancer in teats;
– Exclusion of pyometra;
– Elimination of testicular cancer risk;
– Reduction of prostate disease risk;
– Suppression or elimination or undesirable behaviors such as urine marking, coupling or escaping.

Unfortunately, like any intervention into the body, the surgery involves the risk of an adverse outcome such as incontinence, obesity or thyroid insufficiency.

When castrate?

It is believed that the time after the first, but before the next, heat is the best moment. The female dog must not be castrated directly after the heat. You should wait with the procedure approximately two months so that the reproductive organs have time to contract. For male dogs, the castration is done once the dog has reached sexual maturity. Dogs of small and medium-sized breeds mature at an age of approximately 6 months while large and giant breeds at approximately 16 months.

Preparations for the surgery

It is very important to have the dog examined thoroughly before the procedure. Do not forget to order blood tests and echocardiogram as important indicators of the health condition of your beastie. Why are the tests so important? The castration is performed under general anesthesia, which involves a risk of a bad response to the anesthetic agent. This means your dog needs to be perfectly healthy.

Post-surgery care

A good veterinarian will hand you the dog over fully awake, with a discharge note containing recommendations and with prescriptions for analgesics. In no event collect the dog while it is still asleep. It should wake up under the eye of the veterinarian so the doctor can react promptly and help the animal in case of a complication. The typical recommendations on the discharge read as follows:

– Provide the dog with a calm and warm place to rest;
– Do not feed or water the dog until the next day and, then, make the portions small;
– Administer the drugs timely;
– Take the dog for follow-up visits for evaluation of the wound;
– Have the dog wear a post-surgery jacket or collar;
– Restrict the dog’s activity;
– Observe the suture removal visit date.

Your decision to have the dog castrated or sterilized should be considered and consulted with a veterinarian. The procedure should be preceded by thorough health examination an by a behavioral analysis. The surgery is recommended if you wish to protect your pet against certain diseases and to prevent animal homelessness.

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