Dog owners often have questions about dog neutering and what to expect after neutering a dog. First, let’s define the words Neuter and Spay. Neuter, from the Latin word neuter, means the removal of an animal’s reproductive organ. The term neuter is often used incorrectly when it is used to refer to male animals when the term neuter correctly refers to both males and females. The correct term for males is “Castration” while the correct term used for females is “Spay” or “Spaying”.
For this purpose of this article, we will refer to neutering in regards to the male dog. For details about how to prepare for neutering and what happens the day of neutering – please read: What Happens When You Neuter a Dog? If you have a female dog, learn more about What Happens When a Dog Gets Spayed.
For those of that are still planning your dog neuter, this article may help you understand the cost and why the cost can vary. Go to: How Much Does Dog Spaying or Dog Neutering Cost?
The risks associated with castration in a healthy young dog is very low. While there are no published statistics, it is estimated that the risk of death is probably less than 1 in 500. The major risks are those of general anesthesia, bleeding, post-operative infection, and wound breakdown over the incision. Overall the complication rate is very low, but serious complications can result in death or the need for additional surgery.
How Your Dog Will Start Recovery After Being Neutered
Most dogs are released the same day or occasionally the day following surgery. After being neutered, your dog may feel tired or groggy. He may want to sleep more for the first day or two. Occasionally, some dogs may feel nauseated and not eat his full meal or on rare occasions even vomit. Generally, young dogs begin to act normally within 24 to 48 hours.
Additional recommendations for care post neuter surgery include:
- Post-operative medication should be given to relieve pain, which is judged in most cases to be mild to moderate.
- Keep your dog quiet for approximately two weeks after he returns home from the hospital to allow him to heal. Some dogs may be prescribed sedative medications to help keep him calm.
- Two commonly prescribed medications include Acepromazine and Trazodone.
- Do not allow him to be excessively active and prevent him from “rough-housing.”
- Skin sutures, if present, will be removed in 10 to 14 days. Most often the sutures are absorbable. Many veterinarians may want to check the incision one-week post-surgery to ensure he is healing normally.
- If the castration was performed for reasons other than to prevent reproduction, further treatment and/or monitoring may be necessary.
- You should inspect the incision line daily for signs of redness, discharge, swelling, or pain.
- Do not allow your dog to lick or chew at the incision. If your pet licks the incision line, prevent your pet from licking by placing an e-collar.
Other Changes: What to Expect After Neutering a Dog
You may notice that your dog is calmer and more relaxed. Neutered dogs no longer have the intense drive to mate, roam, and seek out females. This change is not immediate as it may take weeks after castration for the hormones to gradually dissipate from their system. Other changes you may expect after neutering is that dogs will roam less, stay closer to home, do less urine marking, fight less, be less hyper, and become more affectionate and gentle. Some pets may gain weight after neutering and as they get older. Cutting back on food intake or increasing your pet’s activity will help reduce weight gain.
What You Should Plan On, How To Notice If Something Is Wrong
The best way to determine if something is wrong is to monitor your dog’s incision. If you notice any redness, swelling or discharge from the incision, you should call your veterinarian immediately.
If our dog is lethargic, won’t eat, has vomited more than once, diarrhea, or you have any other concerns, please call your veterinarian.
How Your Pet Insurance Can Help
Clients often ask for suggestions to help with dog neuter costs. There are low-cost neuter clinics available in most areas. Learn more about the pros and cons with this article: Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinics vs. Your Local Vet.
If you haven’t scheduled the procedure yet, there are pet insurance policies that will help pay for “wellness” costs which include the neuter procedure. If your dog already had the neuter procedure, pet insurance can help you pay for other wellness costs such as vaccinations, deworming, dental cleanings, and parasite prevention. In addition to wellness care coverage, the main benefit to pet insurance is how they can help pay for up to 90% of unexpected of your veterinary bills. Learn more from Pets Best here.