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A day in the life of a dog castration.

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

black and white dog, mongrel, cute dog

This is one of the most common operations we see in practice, it is also known as neutering.

The patient will arrive at the surgery and dropped off in the morning and usually will be ready to go home later that afternoon. It is very unlikely a sleep over will be required.

Many clients i'm sure wonder what actually happens when they drop off their fury friend and leave them for the day. I will give you a time frame of what happens at my practice which is pretty standard in all practices to give you a wee insight.

  • 9am- The wee guy has had no food from 9pm the night before and arrives with his owner at the practice. He is greeted by one of the Veterinary nurses who quickly make friends with their patient for the day. The nurse will go through a consent form with the owner explaining the general anaesthetic, procedures that will be carried out and any applicable costs.

  • 9:10am- The dog is weighed and placed in a comfy kennel, which is labeled with the dog and owners details.

  • 9:30- The vet will prepare some sedation medication based on the dogs weight, this also includes a pain killer. This injection is given usually into the dogs muscle and afterwards plenty of reassuring cuddles are given by the nurse. The dog is placed back in his comfy bed for the sedation to take effect.

  • 10:00- The wee man is suitably drowsy now and we will carry him to a special table where we can induce the general anaesthetic. As the dog is drowsy now he is usually not really aware of this step and in a relaxing world of snooze. A small area of fur is clipped from a front leg and an injection is given into his vein- this is an anaesthetic drug which lasts long enough to place a rubber tube down the dogs throat. This tube delivers the anaesthetic drugs throughout the surgery.

German shepherd dog under general anaesthetic
  • 10:10- We clip the hair in the site of the surgery using electric clippers and then give the area a good clean with a solution called hibi scrub which makes the skin sterile for the procedure.

  • 10:30-The Vet will scrub their hands with special solution to kill any germs and put on surgical gloves, the dog is moved in the the surgical theatre and is laid on his back. The nurse will continuously monitor the dogs heart rate, breathing rate and a few other parameters that help her maintain the correct depth on anaesthetic gas to provide throughout the operation.

  • 10:40- The Vet will carry out the surgery. This involves a small cut in front of the scrotum, both testicles are removed through this small hole and associated blood vessels tied off. The procedure itself does not take long. Stitches are then placed to close the wound.

dog castration wound, stitches in dog wound
  • 10:55-The nurse will turn off the anaesthetic gas and give the dog oxygen until he starts to wake up. Once the tube has been removed from the dogs throat we place him carefully back in his kennel, making sure the room is nice and warm and he is tucked up in a blanket. The nurse will sit with him as he becomes more awake giving lots of gentle strokes and reassurance.

  • 11:30- The wee guy is awake and sitting in his kennel, still a bit wobbly on his feet from the anaesthetic and we continue to monitor him and need to keep an eye on him for the next few hours until we are happy the anaesthetic has worn off .

  • 2:00pm- We offer him a bite to eat and some water and check his wound and take him outside to use the bathroom.

  • 3:00pm- Its home time!!! The owner arrives and the nurse will discuss with them the procedure and medication he will need for the next few days.

German longhaired pointer with buster collar on

He will need to go home with a 'cone of shame' as we don't want him licking at his wound and causing an infection. He will need to take it easy for 7-10 days with limited exercise and plenty of rest. The nurse will arrange a post op check for a few days time so we can check the wound is healing well and answer any further questions.The wee guy will probably be quite quiet the day of surgery when you get home and like to take it easy. A nice relaxing evening in front of the TV is probably what he will fancy.

So that's it, a routine procedure, in and out on the same day and a relatively quick recovery time.

This procedure is advised from around 6 months of age- usually a bit later in bigger dogs. It has a number of heath benefits and if your not planning on breeding your dog is advisable. Some of the benefits are listed bellow.

  • Can help reduce behavioural problems related to testosterone such as aggression, marking, roaming

  • Can reduce sexual behaviour, hassling females, mounting dogs.....and people!

  • Prevents testicular tumours and reduces prostate problems.

  • Can help control hormonal related cancers

  • Eliminate risk of unwanted pregnancy

  • Help control dominance behaviours.

So in a nut shell I personally advise owners that have no intention of breeding their dog that castration is definitely worth some careful consideration based on the health benefits listed above. I hope this post helps give you an insight into what actually happens when you drop your beloved pet off as I know what an anxious time it is for the owners and I hope this gives you some reassurance.

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