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The Benefits for Neutering

There are numerous benefits to neutering male cats and dogs. In addition to helping control the pet population, there are many health benefits to giving your pet the snip!


Small dog walking in grass

 

The health benefits of neutering:


In addition to preventing unwanted litters, neutering your dog eliminates the risk of testicular cancer later in life, and can also be helpful in preventing prostate disease. Intact males have a higher risk of prostate disease in which the prostate becomes enlarged as they get older, which can compress a dog’s urethra making it difficult to urinate normally. Thankfully, neutering can prevent these medical complications.


Non-neutered pets love to roam.


Pets who are intact possess a strong biological urge to find a mate. This desire may sometimes result in your pet wandering away from home in pursuit of this. Intact pets are far more likely to escape their house or yard in search of a partner. Escaped pets are at risk of facing dangers such as cars, wildlife, other stray pets, or even being picked up by strangers. Getting your pets fixed can greatly curb their escapist tendencies.


They also like to mark their territory…


Intact pets like to make their presence known to other males by marking their territory through urine-marking or spraying. Intact males may do this while on walks or at the dog park, but sometimes pets will mark or spray inside of the house. This can be a difficult habit to break, but not impossible - neutering your cat or dog will greatly reduce the sense of urgency to mark.


…and mount things.


One of the most troublesome habits associated with unneutered dogs is mounting, whether that be people, other pets, or objects such as toys, bedding, furniture, etc. While this is not a behavior exclusively tied to being fixed or intact, pets who are not fixed are far more likely to mount. People are not the only ones who find this behavior offensive: mounting in public places like dog parks or doggy daycares can create altercations with other pets who don’t want to be mounted..


Intact males are more likely to be aggressive.


Testosterone levels are higher in unneutered pets, which can lead to aggressive or protective behaviors. These pets may be more territorial of their home, family, or resources such as their food and water bowls, bedding, toys, etc. Intact pets may not play well with others, particularly in large group settings or around other intact males.


Intact males may not be allowed to board.


Doggie daycares and dog boarding facilities are often pretty strict about not allowing intact pets to come and board. In addition to the risks associated with pregnancy when intact animals are around other intact animals, the excessive marking, mounting, or aggression is undesirable for large group play.


What does a neuter involve?


Simply put, a neuter is the surgical removal of the testicles. This is usually a quick surgical procedure for both dogs and cats. The veterinarian makes an incision to remove both testicles. This procedure can be performed any time after the testicles descend but is recommended to be performed around the age of 6 to 12 months. Your pet will leave their procedure with a small incision, a cone to prevent them from licking and irritating the area, and pain medications for their first few days after surgery.


What is a cryptorchid?


Sometimes, as a young dog or cat is developing, one or both testicles do not descend and remain in the abdominal cavity. The testicles may descend at a later time than normal, or they may not descend at all. If they do not descend by 6 months of age, your pet can still be neutered, however, the surgical procedure for removing the testicles is a little more involved as your veterinarian will need to make an incision in the abdomen. Cryptorchid testicles should be removed as they are at a higher risk for cancer and testicular torsion. Cryptorchidism is a heritable trait and cryptorchid males should not be breed.


For more information on the benefits of spaying your female dog, check out this blog. 


Please contact your veterinarian with any additional questions.

Please contact us at 972-347-6100.


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