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What are the effects of having your dog neutered?

Updated on April 8, 2012

Neutering is a surgical procedure conducted to de-sex an animal. The procedure that submits the pet under the scalpel of the vet is called spaying in female dogs and castrating in male dogs. Both these surgical procedures are generally known as neutering. Neutering is not an invasive procedure in male dogs as the removal of the testicles does not require the opening of a body cavity. Compared to neutering, spaying is a more complicated procedure as an incision in the abdomen has to be made in order to remove the uterus and the ovaries. These procedures that were once the remedy for the over population of pets have become commonplace as more and more dog owners submit the pets for these surgeries known to effect favorable changes in the behavior of the pet. Neutering also has significant medical benefits for the dog.

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Behavioral changes

Decreased aggression is one of the effects of neutering. In male dogs, all the unwanted behaviors are attributes to testosterone, the male hormone that is produced in the testicles. As the testicles are removed, the dog’s aggression is suppressed. Intact dogs would be very hard to confine when a female dog in heat is sensed. Female dogs in estrus would have pheromones that attract males for miles. Neutered dogs would not respond to these airborne chemical attractants thus the inclination to wander will be suppressed. Owners of neutered dogs have attested to the fact that the pets are easier to train because of increased concentration and longer attention span. Heat periods in female dogs are eliminated. Although not a serious concern, owners will no longer be concerned with the need to protect the couch or the white carpet from the bloody discharge of a dog in heat. The need to confine the cycling female dog to prevent accidental pregnancies will no longer be necessary.

Medical advantages

Spaying a female dog and castrating a male dog prevents a host of medical concerns. Spayed dogs don’t suffer from infections of the uterus. The occurrence of breast cancer is greatly reduced as well. Even with modern veterinary procedures, the life of a pregnant dog will always be at risk. This condition will naturally be prevented if the dog is spayed. Neutering has numerous medical advantages for the dog. Testicular tumors are totally prevented. The development of prostate problems, perianal hernias and tumors are significantly reduced.

Unwanted effects of neutering

Neutering is a surgical procedure. As with any other surgical procedures that necessitate a dog to be under anesthesia, some level of risk will always be involved. Majority of the dogs come through just fine but some may have negative reactions to anesthesia. Neutering alters the production of hormones that are associated with metabolism. Obesity can be an unwanted effect of neutering. Some dog owners have complained about the change in the personality of the pet. Urinary incontinence is common in neutered dogs. Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leaking of urine. This condition is believed to be caused by the decreased level of estrogen in female dogs and testosterone in male dogs. These hormones are responsible for strengthening the muscles at the base of the bladder that serves as the valve that controls the flow of urine.

How to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Post-Spay/Neuter Surgery Information


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    • ramurray3 profile image

      ramurray3 5 years ago from New York City

      Great topic. this is a tough concept that many people dont really think about