Castration in dogs

Castration is the removal or destruction of an organ necessary for reproduction. In the male dog, these are the testicles. Castration in dogs

Different types of castrations

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When we speak of castration, we most often refer to surgical castration. It includes anesthesia, the veterinarian proceeds to the surgical removal of the testicles. Castration is usually done from the age of 6 months. In North America, it is even more and more from the age of 3 months. It is a frequent procedure, usually minimally invasive & quick when the testicles are well positioned. However, it involves a minimum of risk, inherent in any general anesthesia. It varies according to the general condition of the animal at the time of the operation. This operation is of course irreversible and the animal will never be able to regain its reproductive capacities.

There is also a so-called “chemical” castration. It consists of administering a drug treatment to suppress the production of sex hormones. These drugs use in the form of implants or injections most often. The advantage is that this mode of castration is reversible. However, like any hormonal treatment, it presents risks of side effects, especially in the long term.

Indications of castration

Several indications can lead to having a dog neutered.

Medical indications

Certain medical problems will lead your veterinarian to recommend the castration. It is most often in surgical time.

  • The presence of one or two ectopic testes: the testes initially form in the dog’s abdomen and then migrate into the bursa. This is normally done during fetal life, or even in the first few weeks of a puppy’s life. It may happen that one or both testes do not migrate properly. We then speak of ectopic testis (s). It monorchid when only one testicle has descended or cryptorchid when no testicle has descended. This is an indication of castration as ectopic testes have an increased risk of developing tumors. It is even recommended to carry out castration from an early age.
  • Certain tumors: a tumor of the testes is of course an indication of castration. Other tumors, under hormonal influence, regress following castration. It particular involves tumors of the anal rim.
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia, which can lead to urinary tract and / or recto-colic problems. And it also regresses following castration.


    Dog castration can recommend in young dogs for prevention. It is great to avoid the risk of developing testicular tumors & prostate pathologies as they age.

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Castration in dogs

Reproduction-related indications

The first indication of castration is to prevent reproduction. Castration can therefore indicate for a dog living in a community. For example, or for a dog carrying a genetic defect, in order to prevent it from reproducing.

Behavioral indications

Certain behavioral problems can be an indication of castration. These include behavioral problems related to sexuality:

  • Hypersexualism or excessive straddling behaviors
  • Urinary marking of sexual origin
  • Runaways, when the origin is the presence of females in heat in the close environment

Castration and other behavioral disorders in dogs

It often happens that owners request the castration of their dog in order to suppress aggressive behavior. However, the interest is often relative, depending on the origin of the aggression.

Castration only has effects on behaviors that have a hormonal and / or sexual component. Few behavioral disorders are ultimately affected by this. Most often, behavioral disorders have another origin. For example, sociopathy, hyperactivity, hyperattachment, separation anxiety. In this case, other treatments are often more useful, at least as a first-line treatment.

Talk to your vet. He will be able to analyze with you the origin of the behavioral disorders as well as the lifestyle of your animal. The dog is a sociable animal with its own communication codes which must take into account in our way of living with them. Some educational advice are useful. Even consultation with a veterinarian specializing in behavior is good.

Consequences and effects of castration

Contrary to popular belief, castration has no impact on growth. A young neutered dog will not be smaller.

On the other hand, the main risk is weight gain, with all the health problems that can link to obesity. Indeed, a castrated animal often becomes more sedentary. In addition, the absence of sex hormones decreases its basal metabolism and it needs less food intake than a whole animal. It is therefore necessary to be more particularly vigilant with its diet. This weight gain is not inevitable, however. A suitable diet and minimal supervision can prevent it.

If you are unsure about neutering your dog, seek advice from your veterinarian. He can analyze the advantages and disadvantages with you and advise you.