Post-Operative Care of a Castrated Dog

We know that many owners may have concerns taking their pet home after an anaesthetic or surgical procedure. Please remember that you do not have to feel that you are on your own. Our trained staff are there to offer all the advice and support you may need.

Castrating (neutering) a male dog involves the removal of both testicles. This makes him less likely to roam after bitches, less aggressive, and easier to handle. Castration also reduces the risk of some cancers such as testicular, prostatic and perianal tumours. Castration can be carried out at any age but is usually performed at around a year old depending on the size and breed of the dog – small breeds may be castrated at an earlier age.

Castration is carried out under a full general anaesthetic. After a pre-med injection that includes a calming agent and pain relief, the anaesthetic is introduced via a foreleg vein. Some hair will have been clipped over this vein.

After the operation the skin just in front of the scrotum is sutured (stitched). These sutures are usually dissolvable ones buried under the skin (and so cannot be seen).

It is very important that your dog does not lick the wound site, as this will slow healing and may cause the wound to open. Your dog will probably need to wear an Elizabethan collar for 6-8 days to prevent him interfering with the wound. These are available from Reception.

When you come to collect your pet, the nurse will advise you of the post-operative care required and will make an appointment for a vet to recheck your dog in 3-5 days.

Due to the anaesthetic, your dog may be sleepy and a bit unsteady for the next 12-24 hours. During this time he should be allowed to rest quietly in a warm (not too hot) place. Offer a light meal but do not worry if he does not feel like eating when he gets home – normal appetite should return within 24-48 hours. Make sure fresh clean water is available at all times. (It is better to offer food and water little and often, rather than a large amount at one sitting).

Lead exercise only should be undertaken for the next 7-10 days. Keep to clean areas and do not let his abdomen get wet or muddy.

If your dog does not eat within 48 hours of his operation, he is listless, or you have any other concerns about his well-being, particularly with regard to any swelling around the wound or discolouration of the scrotum, please telephone for advice.