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Neutering is a commonly recommended procedure for sterilization and behavioral modification of both dogs and cats. This procedure involves removal of the testicles to prevent the excess production of testosterone and other hormones that can lead to some behavioral and health issues as the pet matures. Inhibition of aggressive and marking behavior is best achieved when performed at a young age, around six months old. Behavior and marking are not always caused by hormonal influence, therefore some pets may still exhibit marking behavior.
Performing the procedure requires the pet to be anesthetized. The area around the scrotum is then clipped and scrubbed to provide a sterile working environment. The procedure differs slightly in dogs and cat in that the scrotum is incised in cats, while the incision is made just in front of the scrotum in dogs.
It is advised that any patient undergoing anesthesia have blood work performed and receive an IV catheter with fluids. Blood work helps the doctor determine if there is any kidney, liver or other underlying condition that should be addressed prior to an elective surgery. Fluids are given during anesthesia to help maintain hydration and blood pressure while also giving the doctor immediate access to the cardiovascular system in case of emergency. After the procedure, your pet may experience some discomfort, he will receive and injection for pain relief and oral medication will be dispensed to go home. He should not be allowed to run around after the procedure for at least 10 days and should be kept form licking at the area. Dogs that are neutered at an older age are more prone to developing swelling of the scrotum and sometime the scrotum will not completely disappear after the procedure.