The kindest cut of all for your dog

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It’a A Vet’s Life with Vetsavers of St Thomas’ Road, Spalding

There are many different views on the subject of male dog castration. Not surprisingly, if you ask most men if they would want their pet castrated they will say “no”.

As vets, we delve a little deeper because it can be the kindest cut of all.

Some dogs start to enter sexual maturity around six to nine months old and this is when problems with behaviour can start to occur. Unneutered dogs could:

l Display unwanted behaviour related to testosterone production such as aggression, not responding to commands, or unwanted sexual behaviour.

l Health problems are less likely – castration involves the removal of the testicles, so there is no chance of testicular cancer, and the chances of developing other cancers which are testosterone responsive are reduced.

l There is also a lower risk of some prostate problems in castrated dogs.

An entire dog can sometimes drive you crazy when a bitch in the close vicinity is in season. Some dogs have been known to jump fences, dig under fences or just bolt at any given opportunity to get to the bitch.

Again this can cause problems, both for the dog and for both owners, because if your dog manages to escape and mate with an entire bitch this would not be a planned pregnancy and can cause problems in itself.

Our advice would be if you are not planning to use your dog for stud ALWAYS neuter!

You can have a dog castrated at any age but the earliest is from about six months old.

The recovery for a dog after castration is very quick, They will be fully responsive when you come to collect them after their surgery and after care is also very easy – restriction on exercise for seven to 10 days and then that’s it!

The cost is not huge and you can not put a price on the health risks that are removed.

Question

This week’s question is from Mrs Zainiskova:

Q: My dog, Mishka, a Yorkshire terrier, is nine months old and has recently started to not want her food. I havn’t changed her food, so what is wrong?

A: You say you havn’t changed Mishka’s food so it could be a couple of things.

Firstly, Yorkshire terriers can be a little fussy and suddenly decide they don’t want their usual food, especially when they think they may get something better from your plate.

However, dogs will not starve themselves if food is available, so if this continues over three days then we would advise with some urgency that you let your vet take a look over Mishka.