Stray dogs are a big problem all over the world, as these animals may display aggressive behaviors, get into trash bins, and spread diseases. Countries, communities, and animal shelters are finding ways to control the growing populations of stray dogs.
One of the ways that they are using to curb the situation is dog sterilization, which is a humane way of decreasing the number of canines on the streets as well as helping to improve the lives and health of the remaining ones.
What the Process Involves
Sterilization or neutering is a simple surgical procedure that aims to stop the ability of a dog to parent puppies. It involves the removal of the testes or testicles, which is the male reproductive organ that produces gonad hormones. The procedure usually leaves the scrotum intact, but the surgeon may also remove it. As for the female animals, spaying is the method for removing their reproductive organs.
A veterinarian conducts a pre-surgical blood exam to ensure the health and overall condition of the dog can handle the surgery and would not impact the anesthesia of choice. Young stray dogs typically do not have any issues, but performing blood tests is a good baseline reference.
After being caught, the vet will check them and clear them for surgery. If there are no complications, for example, infected uterus for females, the surgeons will neuter the animals within minutes. There are surgeons who are highly trained and experienced in doing mass sterilization. Therefore, these professionals can do mass surgeries efficiently and quickly.
Before the surgery, the animal should not eat for about 8 hours to prevent nausea due to anesthesia. The vet may allow the dog to drink water beforehand. During recovery, the dog will need to wear an Elizabethan collar so they will not lick the incision area.
The incision completely healed after two weeks, and the four-legged animals can return to a healthy and normal life.
Female dogs undergo dog sterilization in one of the surgical methods, which are also known as spay procedure.
- Ovariectomy – This procedure refers to the removal of ovaries and a popular sterilization method for female canines.
- Ovariohysterectomy – It is the removal of both the uterus and ovaries of the female canine.
These procedures lower the reproductive hormone production of a female dog. These cause positive behavioral changes and health benefits:
Besides the reduction of certain diseases that are associated with female reproduction and the lack of ability to procreate, other health benefits include reduced risk of mammary tumors and uterine infections.
In case the testicles of the stray dog do not descend, he may have cryptorchidism, but it is still possible to neuter him. Dogs that have this condition have a high risk of acquiring testicular tumors. Therefore, it is essential for these canines to undergo sterilization.
Also, some dogs are slightly at risk from complications after surgery such as those overweight, weak, and older dogs. However, professional vets know how to handle these conditions. Besides, the benefits of sterilization greatly outweigh the risks.
When it comes to sterilization of the male canines, there are several methods performed, but the two most common are:
- Castration – Castration or neutering is the removal of testes or testicles. Some procedures also remove the scrotum.
- Zeuterin – The doctor will inject this solution to each of the testicles of the dog, causing the animal to be sterile. It is done most painlessly, and the doctor may sedate the canine to keep it still during the procedure.
These procedures may cause behavioral changes in male dogs, such as:
- Disinterest in the female dogs that are in heat
- A decline in aggression
- Reduced roaming
- Humping, mounting, and other male reproductive behaviors become less
- Urine marking is lessened.
For the health benefits, the sterilization lowers the risk of perineal hernias, testicular tumors, and certain prostatic diseases.
If there are no initiatives from both government and non-government sectors, homeless dogs suffer from neglect and disease, which usually result in death or euthanasia. This is why sterilization is crucial for the management of stray dogs.
While sterilization is a simple procedure for dogs, it will significantly change the quality of life for these canines. During heat, female dogs tend to become restless and uneasy, attracting males in the process with their odors. Males also fight with each other.
With dog sterilization, it helps suppress such problems, as animals become calmer, more educated, and with fewer health complications. Life for these free-roaming animals becomes healthier, increasing their years of living.