21 Sunday July 2019
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Castration of Dogs and Cats

   Castration of Dogs and Cats Castration of Dogs and Cats2

 

What: Also known as Neutering. Also known as Brain Surgery. This surgery removes the testicles from the scrotum, there-by removing the major source of testosterone as well as the ability to make sperm.

When: Shelters frequently castrate kittens and puppies as early as 8 weeks old, but the very best time is after puppy or kitten vaccines have been completed, after the young pet's immune system is working well, but before sexual puberty.

That means the best time is between 4 and 6 months of age for both male kittens and puppies.Castrating pets older than this is fine too but it may not be in time to prevent unwanted male behavior such as marking, roaming, and fighting.

The advantages are pretty straight forward; castrated dogs are much less likely to spend half their day lifting their leg on everything, much less likely to roam, and much less interested in fighting. And it means that many fewer unwanted litters being destroyed at the pound. They can't breed.

The disadvantages are also straight forward; castrated dogs can't breed if that's your intention, are more likely to get fat, and just maybe, may not put on as much muscle mass.

Castration is a very simple, quick, easy, and inexpensive surgery and unlike with human men, there doesn't seem to be any emotional or psychological loss involved.

Nonetheless, even simple surgeries require pre-anesthetic precautions, pain management, anesthesia, trained staff, facilities, monitoring, and follow up care.

Here's what to expect at most veterinary clinics:

 

At least some of the following will be recommended in addition to the actual anesthesia and surgery:

Arrival on an empty stomach to prevent vomiting during the surgery. Usually this means no solid food after midnight the day before surgery.

Pre-anesthetic and pre-surgical exam to make sure there aren't any bad surprises like fever, infections, dehydration, or heavy parasitism.

Up to date vaccine status is a requirement prior to routine surgeries at many clinics.

Consent Form: Anesthesia and surgery is serious business. A responsible adult will be asked to sign a consent form designed to inform you that of course there are some risks and expenses involved.

Consent forms are also designed as talking points for required or optional options such as; Pre-anesthetic blood work to help ensure that kidneys, liver, protein levels, sugar levels, and red blood cell levels are all safely normal.

Pre-surgical pain management.

Bathing and/or parasite control may be required if your pet is filthy or covered in fleas or ticks.

Capstar is often used for this problem.

Pre-anesthetic sedation to calm, improve muscle relaxation, smooth induction and reduce the total amount of anesthesia needed.

Vets with very high surgical standards will recommend IV fluids on the grounds that there should be an open IV line for emergency medications ANYTIME a patient is under anesthesia.

Castration on young and healthy cats and dogs though, is a very minor and quick surgery, so most vets don't routinely give IV fluids to keep the cost down.

Anesthesia:

usually done with less expensive combinations of injectable anesthetics which are appropriate for such short procedures.

But other vets insist on gas anesthesia, oxygen therapy, and an anesthesiologist for all sugeries big or small.

Of course, this is much more expensive and therefore not common.  Most vets are very practical people.

Close and careful patient monitoring:  this may simply involve the experienced surgeon being watchful and paying attention to the patients respiratory pattern, muscle relaxation, sensitivity, mucus membrane color, and pulse before, during and after the surgery.

Other vets may use sophisticated, digital monitoring equipment that tracts pulse, resp rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and even provides continuous EKG.

 

Surgical Prep:

Hair is removed and the area cleaned and sterilized as best as possible.

The Surgical Procedure:

the testicles are removed from the scrotum, blood vessels are ligated, and in dogs, the small incision we make is sutured.

Some wackos want prosthetic testicular implants put in to replace the removed testicles.  Some vets will do this.

Extra pain medication or Anesthetic Reversing Agents may be needed in some cases.  Every patient is different.

Your vet will probably offer to do additional procedures while you pet is anesthetized for the castration such as:

Extraction of retained baby teeth, ear cleaning, toe nail trimming, and other minor requests.

Dewclaw removal (Dogs).

  1. Fluoride treatment.
  2. Polymer dental enamel sealants.
  3. Recovery and post surgery:  Your vet and his or her staff will have a system for closely watching your pet until it's recovered from anesthesia.
  4. Pain medication may be dispensed.
  5. Don't overfeed the first day you take your pet home.
  6. Encourage rest for a few days.
  7. Follow up recheck if there are any problems.
  8. Suture removal for dogs 10-14 days after the surgery.