Why is neutering necessary for dogs

Spaying and neutering males - should dogs be neutered at all?

The castration of a male dog may be necessary for medical reasons. Beyond that, however, neutering should be carefully considered.

Advantages of neutering in males

Some males have a tendency to have a strong sex drive (medical: hypersexuality) and as a result may be prone to behavior changes in the presence of bitches in heat, especially to be aggressive towards other males. A castration can turn this behavior off very successfully. Such males are usually difficult to train, which sometimes makes neutering necessary.

In males, neutering prevents tumors on the testicles and anus very reliably.

In castrated male dogs, prostate enlargement is very rare. Perianal hernias (medically: perianal hernia) are also very rare as a result.

Also with males, the life expectancy is increased by a castration.

After neutering, males are no longer able to produce offspring. However, fertility remains for a few weeks after the operation. A loss of fertility can only be assumed after six weeks after the operation.


Disadvantages of neutering a male dog

The potential disadvantages should always be weighed critically against the advantages. Not all of the disadvantages listed here affect every breed of dog to the same extent. Only a vet who knows you and your dog and who has examined you can give a well-founded professional assessment.

The possible disadvantages are briefly listed below.


Neutered males increase the risk of developing tumors.

In large breeds, castration doubles the risk of malignant bone tumors. (1)

Golden Retriever males castrated before the age of one are three times more likely to develop lymphomas (malignant tumors of the lymphatic system). (2)

Bone growth

Neutered dogs grow larger than their intact siblings. This is a consequence of a delayed closure of the growth plate of the bone. In some dogs this leads to an irregular body shape, with unpredictable consequences for the biomechanics of the individual joints. (3)

Golden Retriever males neutered early (before the age of one) showed a twice as high risk of hip dysplasia. A slightly increased risk could also be proven with a castration up to the age of three years. (4)

Cruciate ligament tears

Golden Retriever males neutered before the age of one year showed a cruciate ligament tear in 5% of the dogs. While no cruciate ligament tears were found in castrated males. (5)


Hypothyroidism is more common in neutered dogs than in intact dogs. (6)


The lack of hormones reduces the energy requirement by 30-40%, while the nutrient requirement remains almost the same. This means that neutered dogs should be supplied with high quality food that contains a high nutrient density with a low calorie density. In this way, obesity can be prevented after castration.

Change of coat

These changes in fur are also often referred to as puppy fur. A lack of sex hormones can (especially in bitches) lead to an increased growth of the undercoat. The coat is difficult to care for and is prone to moisture. The so-called puppy fur is mainly animals of the long-haired dachshund breeds. Irish setter and cocker spaniel affected. At another extreme, hair loss in the flank area can occur.


Alternatives to castration of a male dog (chemical castration)

A castration chip is available for males, which is implanted under the skin. This chip suppresses the formation of sex hormones and is therefore also known as chemical castration. The chip works like a real castration. Depending on the concentration of the active ingredient in the chip, its effect lasts for six or twelve months, after which it loses its effect on its own and has to be renewed if necessary. It can therefore also be viewed as a castration on trial. The costs for chemical castration are between 100-200 €, depending on the desired duration of action.

Chemical castration is particularly suitable for dog owners who want to stop undesirable behavior with castration. The chip has the same effect as an operative castration. If the behavior does not change as a result of the implantation, an operation will not have the desired effect.

The sterilization of the male dog only prevents fertility. This can be an alternative in certain cases. During sterilization, the vas deferens are severed and thus the ability to reproduce is prevented. The influence of the hormones persists, so this procedure is not suitable for the treatment of certain hormone-dependent diseases.


The right time for castration

There is no such thing as the right time that suits every male. We would only advise neutering a male dog if it is important to permanently prevent his fertility or if there are medical reasons for neutering. This is not tied to a specific age or seasonal point in time, as is the case with the castration of the bitch.

If possible, you should wait until bone growth is complete. Your vet can advise you on the best time to neuter you and your dog. Make an appointment with us today!


Procedure of the castration of the male dog

On the day of the castration, bring your dog to our practice around 8 a.m. We carry out the induction of anesthesia in our operating room. There we can guarantee the best possible care for your dog, because the introduction and discharge of anesthesia in particular are associated with increased risks for the patient. Only in exceptional cases do we induce anesthesia in the presence of the owner (for example in the case of very anxious or aggressive patients).

We generally use inhalation anesthesia for our patients. This form of anesthesia is considered to be particularly gentle and can be adapted to the needs of the individual dog. We also use modern anesthesia monitoring systems to monitor the depth of anesthesia and the course of the anesthesia.

The testicles are removed through a small incision above the scrotum. It is not necessary to remove the scrotum; excess skin will recede over time. Removing the scrotum lengthens the wound and lengthens the operation time, which contributes to an (albeit small, but) increased risk of operation. We therefore only remove the scrotum if there are obvious changes or at the request of the dog owner.

After the operation, your dog will be monitored by us until it can walk independently again. Statistically, fatal anesthetic complications occur more frequently in the postoperative phase, i.e. in the first 1-4 hours after an operation. We will therefore keep your dog with us for some time after the operation so that we can intervene in an emergency. During the operation, your dog will be given a pain reliever that will last for 24 hours. From the next day, you can give the drug at home in the form of a tablet or juice.

You can pick up your dog again in the late afternoon on the same day. We recommend not offering any more food on the day of the operation. Water can easily be offered after discharge.

Follow-up care of the castration wound

For the next 1-2 days, keep walking to a minimum. We would like to check the wound again after 2-3 days and see whether your dog is doing well according to the circumstances and whether the healing is going as expected. The dog should be kept on a short leash for another 14 days to ensure optimal wound healing. the dog should not lick the surgical wound. If you wish, you can have a neck collar. For some males, the patch is enough. As long as the wound heals without complications, the skin sutures can - if present - be pulled after 10 days. The inner threads are self-dissolving.

You should see a veterinarian if ...

  • The wound appears red
  • The wound appeared swollen
  • Wound fluid or pus collects on the wound
  • For bleeding
  • With missing seams
  • if you have a badly swollen scrotum


Cost of a male castration

The costs for the castration of a male dog are between 200 € -250 € (in individual cases also higher). Additional costs may arise as required. The price of an operation depends on the necessary measures that the individual patient requires.

We can only provide you with a more precise cost estimate after assessing the risk of anesthesia and knowing your individual pre-existing conditions. Make an appointment with us!

Author: Veterinarian Mrs. Korte