Why Should I Neuter My Male Pet?

We’ve talked about why you should spay your female pets. The boys need the same attention. In male pets, the surgery is called castration, or neuter. So why should you neuter your male cat or dog? In addition to not accidentally fathering a whole bunch of kittens or puppies in the neighborhood, there are some health benefits to your pet when you do have him neutered.

Why should I neuter my male pet? Many people ask us "why should I neuter my cat or dog?" In addition to not fathering kittens or puppies, there are health benefits to neutering your pet.

Pin ItImage from Diagnostic Imaging Atlas.

Testicular cancer

If a dog is not neutered, he can develop testicular cancer.

Image from Diagnostic Imaging Atlas.

As intact (not neutered) male cats and dogs get older, their chances of developing testicular cancer increase. If the cancer is diagnosed early, neutering the cat or dog is usually enough to treat the cancer. If the cancer is not diagnosed early, it can metastasize, or spread to other parts of the animal’s body. If the cancer does metastasize, it can be very difficult to treat and may even be fatal. A neutered male cat or dog does not have his testicles, which means that he can not develop testicular cancer.

A seminoma cell tumor is one type of testicular cancer dogs can get if they are not neutered.

Image from Diagnostic Imaging Atlas.

Prostate problems

Cats don’t have a prostate, so this isn’t one that owners of male cats need to worry about. But dogs do, and intact male dogs are likely to develop prostate problems as they get older. Most commonly, intact male dogs will develop prostate hyperplasia (the prostate gets too big). Sometimes, this prostate hyperplasia can develop into prostate cancer. When the prostate is enlarged, it can cause pain in the hips and back. It can also interfere with normal bathroom habits, making it difficult for the dog to pass feces or urine.

Male dogs can develop prostate cancer if they are not neutered.

Image from Diagnostic Imaging Atlas.

The hormone levels in a neutered dog are much lower than in an intact dog. The lower hormone levels mean that it is extremely unlikely that a neutered dog will develop any prostate problems as he gets older.

Perianal tumors

Intact (not neutered) male dogs and cats are more likely to get tumors around their anus than neutered dogs and cats. These tumors can be large and painful. They can be quite sore. The pain can make your dog or cat rub the area, which can cause more irritation and bleeding. If they get large enough, perianal adenomas can interfere with your pet’s ability to pass stool. Just like other cancers, this type of tumor can also metastasize to other parts of the body. Surgery is often needed to remove these tumors, but can have many complications during healing. Just like with testicular cancer and prostate problems, the high hormone levels are the cause of perianal adenomas. Neutered animals have lower hormone levels, and are much less likely to develop these tumors.

Are your male pets neutered? Do you have more questions about the surgery, or what you can expect? Call us or come in to talk with our veterinary team about getting your male dog or cat neutered. Read this article to find out what kinds of minor changes you can expect to see in your dog or cat after he is neutered.

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