What to do with family jewels? By Chloe Rezaie

From the first visits to the veterinarian, the subject of castration or sterilization is discussed. If you are wondering about this, here are some things that can help you decide.

Sometimes there is simply no better option than to consider castration. This is for example the case for animals with cryptorchidism, that is to say whose testicle(s) have not descended into the scrotum. When the testicles remain at body temperature, they are not functional and can become cancerous. In such cases, castration must be done before the animal is 3 years old.

In dogs, in 3% of cases, aggressive behavior may develop after castration.

The most determining factor and which often encourages owners to castrate their animal concerns behavior. When the animal is very dominant, very excited, or exhibits overt marking behavior, castration is often advised. However, when an animal exhibits fearful behavior, it is preferable to place a hormonal implant first, in order to assess the response of the latter to a potential castration. Indeed, in dogs, in 3% of cases, aggressive behavior can develop after castration.

In rabbits, in order to have a better tolerance between congeners, especially between several males, castration is also recommended. A small point on the cat. If you have a cat that goes outside, it is best to have it neutered to avoid unwanted litters and the spread of contagious diseases.

If you decide not to neuter your animal, it will of course be more prone to testicular problems but also to prostate problems.

If you decide not to castrate your animal, it will of course be more prone to testicular problems (change in size, inflammation) but also to prostate problems (infection, increase in size, cysts) as in humans. You will then have to pay attention to how your pet will do its business; any discomfort will be suspicious and will merit a check at the veterinarian. He will then take the opportunity to also control the size and symmetry of the testicles.

So if you are an invested and attentive owner, you just need to follow these few tips to avoid unpleasant surprises.

And if we were talking about sterilization?

Just like castration, sterilization remains a predominant subject during veterinary consultations. However, the stakes are not the same as for males.

Unless you work on a farm or wish to have a litter with your pet, your veterinarian will almost always recommend sterilization. The advantages are indeed numerous and specific to each species.

Sterilizing an animal at a young age significantly reduces the risk of developing mammary tumors.

Generally speaking, neutering an animal at a young age significantly reduces the risk of developing mammary tumors. In dogs, this risk decreases considerably if sterilization takes place before the fourth heat (about 2 years). In rats, a species that tends to develop mammary tumours, the placement of an implant before the 90th day of life is possible. Another very frequent pathology in the unsterilized female dog is the pyometra (infection of the uterus). This serious disease usually occurs within two months after the last heat and must be treated quickly. It often requires emergency sterilization.

During a classic sterilization, only the ovaries are removed. This solution is in no way to be considered in rabbits. This species is prone to a very aggressive tumor of the uterus, which is why it is important to sterilize the does. Since the tumor can grow even when the ovaries have been removed, it is essential to also remove the uterus during sterilization.

Kittens from the same litter may be from different fathers.

The cat is also a somewhat special case. When a cat is in heat, she can be impregnated by several males. Kittens from the same litter can therefore be from different fathers. In order to better manage the population of stray cats and thus avoid overpopulation, it is therefore much more effective to sterilize the females than to castrate the males.

If some of your questions could not be answered, do not hesitate to ask your veterinarian for advice.

Learn more: The site of the Valesia veterinary practice

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