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Should I castrate my dog / my cat?

After thoroughly examining the side effects of hormonal canine and feline estrus control agents, we have come to the conclusion that castration is a better choice. It has the smallest risks for the animal's health, its side effects are minimal and it has long established itself as an early routine procedure in all countries with well-developed veterinary medicine.

Castration is a surgical procedure that deprives a male or female cat or dog of the possibility of reproduction. In males, the operation consists of removing the testicles, in females, both ovaries and the uterus are removed. These operations are done under general anesthesia. Pets are castrated not only to prevent unwanted births, but also to protect themselves from certain diseases. In female animals, these are cancer of the mammary glands, purulent inflammation of the uterus (pyometra) and other diseases of the uterus. It is especially important to castrate males that are cryptorchid (one or both testicles are located in the abdominal cavity or in the inguinal canals), because very often the retained testicle degenerates into cancerous tissue. All these diseases are serious and even if detected in time and treated correctly, they put the animal's life at great risk. In order for castration to have a prophylactic effect against them, it is best for females to be operated on before their first dispersal, and males at 7-8 months of age. It has been statistically proven that neutered animals live longer.

Are there any side effects? Very rarely, spayed female dogs may have difficulty holding urine (incontinence) at an older age. This problem is successfully solved with hormone replacement therapy. Some individuals have an increased tendency to gain weight, but this is easily controlled with a suitable diet and exercise regimen.

Let's look at how castration affects the general behavior of animals and dwell on the issues that most concern owners and about which there are the most misconceptions.

Effect on general temperament. Many owners are worried that a neutered pet will lose its vitality. Temperament and intelligence are not affected by castration. On the contrary, many undesirable qualities, a consequence of the hormonal influence, can disappear after the operation. Your animal will not become less emotional or less playful, nor will it avoid you.

Effect on sexual behavior. Sexual behavior usually disappears after castration. But in animals that have already experienced sexual activity, some signs may persist. Behavior that appears to be sexually motivated may be triggered by other reasons. Jumping up exhibited by neutered dogs for example is a sign of dominance behavior. Masturbating in male cats and dogs can occur after castration. This happens in men who had sex before castration.

For most animals, castration effectively eliminates the development and progression of obsessive sexual behavior.

Effect on inappropriate urination and defecation. Dogs and cats may urinate or defecate in unwanted places in your home, which may be due to: marking territory, out of anxiety, or to demonstrate sexual maturity. Because this behavior is only partially under hormonal control, male or female animals may begin to urinate and defecate in inappropriate places even after castration.

Effect on escapes and wandering. A castrated animal is less likely to run away from home and wander. Castrated male dogs and cats mark smaller territories outside the home and are less prone to conflict with rivals. Fights between males and other males are significantly reduced.

Effect on body weight. Carefully monitor your animal's weight after castration. Change the amount of food to prevent weight gain. The suggested amounts on pet food packages are for general guidance only. Control the feeding of your animal according to its physical requirements and its appearance. Weight loss requires careful monitoring by your veterinarian, especially in severely obese animals.

The intensity of other types of aggression, for example dominance aggression, is also greatly reduced.

When the so-called irritable aggression in females is associated with hormonal imbalances, false pregnancy or irritation due to the drive itself, it is completely eliminated by castration.

If you are worried that the dog will not guard your home after neutering, then know that territorial aggression is not reduced by neutering.

If your pet is not intended for breeding, we advise you to neuter it to prevent aggression due to sex hormones.

Although castration is not the only treatment for aggression, it greatly helps to reduce the severity and progression, and is the first step towards solving the problem.

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