Neutering Your Dog

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Neutering is the term used to describe the surgical removal of the reproductive organs of male and female dogs.

There are many reasons why veterinarians and pet advocacy groups recommend the neutering of dogs, and it is true that neutering does have its benefits. In many cases spaying and castration will both reduce certain health problems in later life, and it can quell the expression of unwanted behaviors, such as marking, mounting, roaming and general aggression.

The main benefits of neutering female dogs is:

  • unwanted pregnancy
  • preventing infection of the uterus
  • preventing ovarian or uterine cancer
  • reducing the likelihood of mammary (breast) cancer

For males, the prevention of unwanted litters and the reduction of stray or feral dogs being born (males have been known to escape even the most secure of forts to answer the call of the wild). Early neutering also prevents male dogs from contracting a range of diseases and disorders including:

  • testicular cancer
  • epididymal cancer
  • testicular inflammation
  • medical conditions directly associated with high blood testosterone levels.

The hormone testosterone itself makes males exhibit the typical male behaviors attributed to its sex:

  • dominance
  • territory marking
  • mounting are a few of a range of behaviors your male dog may start to develop as the hormone testosterone kicks in.

When To Neuter Your Dog

In Australia and New Zealand it is currently recommended that male and female dogs are neutered at around 5-7 months of age and older.

The reason it is recommended that you wait until your dog is 5-7 months of age is that it is much safer for them to wait before undergoing a general anesthetic procedure. The current belief is that very young dogs livers and kidneys are not mature enough to manage the effects of anesthetic drugs, so premature neutering could result in increasing the risk of severe side effects.

Some people find it inconvenient to wait until 5-7 months of age to desex, especially for those people who choose to have their dogs mircochipped during the procedure, but for now this remains the age recommendation by the majority of pet health professionals.

DoggleTV: Dr. Megan Alderson - Desexing Your Pet

The articles attached provide further information if you are interested in learning more about the pro’s and con’s of desexing your dog.

Otherwise visit 'Ask the Vet' if you have something specific you would like to know.

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