Neutering, or castration, is the surgical removal of a male pet's testicles. This procedure eliminates the potential for testicular cancer. In dogs, it reduces the risk of prostate enlargement or cancer and possibly a type of cancer that develops around the anus.

In addition to medical benefits there are also behavioral benefits for a pet to be neutered. The male is no longer agitated by females or the strong hormonal drive to reproduce. He will tend to roam less, decreasing the potential to be hit by a car, become lost, or be involved in territorial fights.

Neutered male cats will be much less likely to spray urine. Castrated pets have no testicles (which produce sperm) so as a sterile pet they cannot add to the overpopulation of puppies and kittens.

Young pets are good candidates for surgery when they are between 4 months and 6 months. This is prior to the time when puppies and kittens develop the hormone that lead to wanting to mate. Older pets can have surgery as well; check with your veterinarian for an appointment. Any age of pet is recommended to have pre-surgical bloodwork prior to anesthesia to determine the health of the liver and kidneys and reduce the risk of anesthesia.

Most veterinary hospitals offer the surgical service to neuter you dog or cat. This is often times a one day visit to the hospital for surgery and then recovery at home.

If you have questions about this or any medical topic, please contact your Banfield hospital today.