You learn something new every day – Neutering a male dog…

I’ve had a number of dogs over the years, and known many others, but for some reason, I’ve rarely had a male dog. Those that I have had were old and neutered long before they came into my life.

Kai was neutered yesterday. I had planned to wait until he was a year old. There’s good evidence for and against a variety of different ages for neutering and waiting until he was a year seemed like a good position to take; especially as he is one of the calmest dogs I’ve ever met. In fact, if he wasn’t a service dog I probably wouldn’t have neutered him at all.

However, I personally feel that it’s not ethical to work an intact dog as other dogs can find it very difficult to cope with. That’s my personal feeling and not one that all SD handlers agree with.

While Kai seems to be completely oblivious to female dogs in heat, I’ve seen many dogs that aren’t and many male dogs that take being in the presence of an intact male as a threat. So to help reduce any risks to Kai, I planned to neuter him at 12 months.

However, I’ve been off sick for several weeks and I’m likely to be off sick for several more. As a result,Ā Kai is currently living a very sedentary lifestyle with me. If I’d left it until he was a year old, as planned, it would be likely that just as I’m going back to work he’d be having the surgery and needing to be kept quiet for a week to 10 days.

So on the advice of my vet, we decided to bring his neutering forward and do it while I’m home. Given that he’s already outgrown his parents in height and weight neutering him a little earlier than originally planned is unlikely to have much of an impact on his growth. In fact, it may help him fill out a little.

Monday night and Kai was not impressed at not getting any treats in the evening. Kai usually gets his main meal at breakfast and his second meal in the form of ‘treats’ during the day as part of his training. Often his training is actually just his regular kibble, with the high-value treats coming out for new tasks and reinforcement of old ones occasionally. He was allowed plenty of water, which is good as it’s very hot here just now (30 C).

Yesterday morning and you’d have thought that his throat had been cut – he was so hungry! Molly kindly waited to have her breakfast until a little later in the day so as not to rub it in too much šŸ™‚

8:30am and he’s dropped off for surgery. Around noon and the vet lets me know that he’s doing great, in recovery, and that he’ll be ready to come home at 4:30pm.

In the meantime, Molly has had her breakfast and plenty of treats during the day! Oddly, though, rather than take advantage of being home with me on her own she slept most of the day in the back room. I guess it was just too hot!

Thankfully my vet’s office is just a 2-minute drive from my home. If I was well, I’d have walked to it. I arrive and pay the bill and the vet calls me in to review the surgery. While Kai was under the anaesthesia they’d had a good feel of his stomach at my request.

Like many poodles, Kai has a bad habit of eating socks – whole! I was pretty sure that everything that had gone down, had come back up but just wanted to be sure. All was good and we discussed this odd trait of poodles. My vet owns two standard poodles himself. (For now, my laundry basket is out of reach and I’ve stopped training Kai to help with the laundry until he’s matured some more and we can address this issue better).

The vet had also checked out Kpenis and bladder as he’d had quite a serious urine infection a few weeks before and we wanted to be sure it was totally cleared up. Especially as he hasn’t quite grown out of being an excited pee-er yet! All was clear!

While Kai was under they’d had a good feel of his stomach at my request. Like many poodles, Kai has a bad habit of eating socks – whole! I was pretty sure that everything that had gone down, had come back up but just wanted to be sure. All was good and we discussed this odd trait of poodles. My vet owns two standard poodles himself. (For now, my laundry basket is out of reach and I’ve stopped training Kai to help with the laundry until he’s matured some more and we can address this issue better).

The vet had also checked out Kai’s penis and bladder as he’d had quite a serious urine infection a few weeks before and we wanted to be sure that it was totally cleared up. Especially as he hasn’t quite grown out of being an excited pee-er yet! All was clear!

Then my vet got to experience for himself what I meant by Kai still being an excited pee-er! Surgery, or no surgery, Kai was ecstatic to see me!

He soaked me, he soaked the vet and he soaked the exam room! You wouldn’t think that his body could contain the amount of pee that came out of him! It caused much amusement to the staff and other owners in the waiting room. I’m glad that I went to get him in old, dirty clothes!

Anyway, we shortly arrive home and he checks out the house and garden to make sure that I didn’t sneak another dog in or something? I’m not really sure what he was checking for exactly? Once he had confirmed that all was well in his world he curled up next to me and that was basically it for the next couple of hours. He woke up hungry, ate, went out to peeĀ and then went back to sleep.

So far he’s not had to wear the collar of shame! He’s being really good at leaving things alone. In fact, I’ve had to tell Molly to ‘leave it’ more than Kai as she wants to lick it better for him.

Now this is where the saying ‘You learn something new everyday’ comes in. First, when looking at his incision it’s not where I thought that it would be. It’s further up the base of his penis and not in his scrotum. I looked it up and it’s perfectly placed. In fact, Kai could be the photo opportunity for a surgical textbook it’s so perfectly placed. Secondly, it doesn’t look as so his testicles have been removed. They look smaller and more like oneĀ than two, and less hard but they’re still there!

Hmmm. So before I call my vet and look like an idiot accusing him of not doing the surgery I looked up how the surgery is actually done. Apparently, they make a small incision just up from the scrotum, in the base of the penis and pull the testicles through and out, then surgically remove them. The scrotum remains. So what I’m seeing is actually just his scrotum and the swelling from the surgery. Over the next couple of weeks, this will shrink and, given his age, within 6-12 months it’s likely that not even a skin flap will remain.

So there you have it. When a male dog is neutered don’t be surprised to find out, that at first, it looks like it hasn’t been done.

Now of course, when I looked this up I came across all sorts of interesting things.

Did you know that you can get false testicles Ā for dogs called neuticles?

Or that it’s possible to have your vet perform a vasectomy rather than to neuter your dog. (You can sterilise, rather they spay, a female dog too).

Anyway, Kai is currently lying flat on his back next to me on the couch, with his private parts fully exposed – this dog knows no shame! He’s certainly not bothered by his surgery as of yet.

He did get a dose of painkiller this morning and will do for the next few days, and I have a collar ready for him to prevent licking if need be.

I have to admit, though, that much as I love him, I will be glad when I don’t have to look at his ‘testicles’ anymore!