Dogs Health Cards N° 13. The castration of the dog



The castration of the dog is an intervention of convenience practiced very frequently. This can be done for a variety of reasons:

- for legal reasons (first category dog),

- to eliminate certain behavioral problems (fugue, aggressiveness ...),

- to prevent or treat certain diseases.

The purpose of this article is to help you to know the true benefits of the castration of the dog and to understand why this operation is indispensable to treat certain pathologies.


Compliance with the Law

A law published in January 1999 concerning "dangerous" dogs, classifies certain types of dogs into categories. Owners of first-class dogs (including Pitt-bulls) are required to sterilize their dogs at puberty.

Castration and Behavior

Castration reduces the dog's sexual ardor. It thus significantly reduces the behaviors of runaway and vagrancy (in search of bitches in heat) but also the risk of accident on the public road related to these runaways.

It also has the advantage of reducing fights in families where several male dogs live. The ideal is even to sterilize these dogs from the age of puberty to limit the risk of the appearance of conflicts (it is then necessary to sterilize all the dogs of the pack).

Castration in the prevention of certain pathologies

The castration of the dog prevents the subsequent appearance of certain hormone-dependent diseases.

- It makes it possible to avoid the appearance of testicular tumors (tumors relatively frequent in the dog)

- It limits the risk of the appearance of abscesses of the anal glands,

- It decreases the risk of perianal tumors

- It reduces the risk of perineal hernia,

- 50 to 80% of dogs over 5 years of age and 95% of dogs over 9 years old suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia (increase in prostate size due to dysregulation of testosterone secretion). This condition is not always accompanied by clinical signs but can later be complicated with various prostatic conditions (abscess, cyst, inflammation ...) Castration prevents the appearance of this phenomenon.

Castration as a treatment

Castration is the treatment of choice when:

- testicular torsion

- testicular inflammation

- testicular tumor (after ensuring that no metastasis is present)

- feminization syndrome (a phenomenon associated with the development of certain testicular tumors: following hormonal disorders, the dog loses its hairs symmetrically, particularly around the anus and the genital region and then throughout the body, its udders develop and the Male reaches can even begin to secrete milk ...)

It is also part of the treatment of:

- benign prostatic hyperplasia,

- inflammations, abscesses or prostatic cysts

Special Case of the Cryptorchid Dog

The testicles are not present in the puppy's purses from birth. They "migrate" from the inside of the abdomen to the groin area during gestation and end up in the scrotum around the age of 6 to 8 weeks. In some animals this "migration" is not performed correctly and one or both testicles remain intra-abdominal or stop in the groin area. The dog carrying this anomaly is called cryptorchid dog and the testis placed in abnormal position is called ectopic testicle.

It is strongly recommended to have these cryptorchid dogs sterilized because the tumors

Testicular lesions are significantly more frequent on ectopic testicles than on normal testis (risk 14 times higher).

If the castration of the dog has many advantages, it can have some disadvantages that it is good to know to avoid them.


The castration of the dog consists, in the majority of cases, to remove surgically the testicles from the animal. It is no longer possible, once the animal is operated, to obtain a progeny. The decision of castration must therefore be taken if one does not wish to reproduce his dog.

Weight gain

The decrease in physical activity and the hormonal changes that accompany castration are often responsible for weight gain of the sterilized animal.

These factors must be taken into account when choosing the food distributed after sterilization in order to limit the risk of overweight.

The castration of the dog therefore presents some disadvantages. Weight gain can easily be avoided by installing a suitable feed after sterilization.

It has, however, undeniable benefits, particularly in the treatment of certain diseases.



The castration of the dog

On the day of the procedure, you will be asked to bring your pet on an empty stomach for general anesthesia. The castration of the dog consists in removing his two testicles. For this, the veterinarian practices a single opening, a little behind the penis, through which he successively extracts the two testicles. He then closes the opening. Wound healing requires about 10 to 12 days.

Special Case of the Cryptorchid Dog

As mentioned above, one or both of the testicles of the cryptorchid dogs are not located in the usual position.

The surgery is a little different in these animals. If one of the testes is placed in the normal position, it will be extracted in the usual way. On the other hand, ectopic testicles should be sought either in the groin area for the testicles blocked in the inguinal position or directly in the abdomen of the animal for the testicles remaining in the intra-abdominal position.

These surgeries require the creation of two openings in order to extract the two testicles.

Although the sterilization of the dog is not as frequent as in the cat or the dog, it nevertheless remains very useful to regulate certain disorders (disorders of cohabitation between male dogs, runaways and vagrancy behaviors) but also to treat various pathologies (Cryptorchidism, testicular tumors, prostate diseases, ...)

It is essential to always explain to your veterinarian what you expect from the castration of your dog. Indeed, the improvement by castration of behavioral disorders such as hyperactivity, excitability or aggressiveness is not systematic and you could be disappointed not to achieve the expected results. In the case of a castration aimed at improving behavioral disorders, your veterinarian can advise you, to check that a surgical castration will have the expected effects, to perform a temporary chemical sterilization (by laying a Subcutaneous implant, for example).