Why Don’t Dogs Get Vasectomies

Every dog owner must make the decision to alter their dog at some time in the animal’s life. Should I neuter or not? It is a question.

In parks, daycares, during open play, or in social situations, male dogs who are intact and older than 7 months may be picked on by other dogs.

Nowadays, some pet owners opt for a vasectomy rather than a neuter for a male dog. What’s the distinction?

A medical technique known as a canine vasectomy or testicular tubal ligation removes the

reproductive organs that are unharmed while preventing reproduction. Following a vasectomy, the

He will continue to have the same testosterone levels as long as his testes continue to produce them.

The health and safety of every dog in the pack comes first when engaging with other dogs. A dog who underwent a vasectomy would still produce testosterone and might cause the same response in canines who no longer produce testosterone at that level. The intact males smell different to the neutered dogs, which is a reason for them to pick on them.

Why not simply perform vasectomies on canines?

A vasectomy entails resecting and tying off a little portion of the ductus deferens. Sperm passes from the testes to the entrance of the penis during ejaculation through the ductus deferens. By doing this, we prevent the dog or cat from procreating. It’s vital to remember that people do not instantly lose their ability to conceive after the operation. The time it takes for all of the sperm to be ejaculated or reabsorbed in dogs can be up to three weeks. Cats, however, can take up to 7 weeks. As a result, at this time, cats should not be permitted to wander freely, and dogs should not be left unattended near female unneutered dogs.

Why is the procedure not commonly performed?

There isn’t a regular practice of vasectomizing cats and dogs. The testes are not removed, unlike in surgical castration. As a result, the surgery has no effect on the synthesis of testosterone and only reduces fertility. This implies that they still exhibit fully masculine behaviors and are vulnerable to diseases that are influenced by hormones.

(As a side note, castration is 100% successful and, when done correctly, cannot be undone. Even in humans, the split ductus deferens will fuse and reopen in roughly 1 in 2000 cases as a spontaneous reversal of the process (Editor).

What behaviours will vasectomised dogs and cats maintain?

Animals who have had their testosterone levels vasectomized will still act in any testosterone-driven ways that they did before. This might comprise:

Are vasectomies performed on dogs?

Since about ten years ago, I’ve been blogging and contributing to publications about pet health. Which implies that I receive a substantial volume of correspondence regarding specific pet-related issues.

The most frequently asked question outpaces all other topics by a significant margin across all of these missives (I receive up to ten different inquiries each day). Surprisingly, it has to do with vasectomizing male dogs, a topic you’d assume doctors wouldn’t be involved with much.

Yes, where to find a vasectomy for dogs is the single most frequently asked question. It seems to be extremely difficult to locate veterinarians ready to do this straightforward treatment. Whether we’re talking about California, New York, Miami, or all the forward-thinking locations in between, vasectomy is not currently seen as a dog castration option. Certainly not by the overwhelming majority of veterinarians.

Which is extremely upsetting to pet owners who have read my articles promoting vasectomy as a secure and reliable method of sterilizing their male canines.

Yes, I will admit that after considering vasectomies for dogs, I started to wonder about all of these things (about seven or eight years ago now). I couldn’t help but wonder if simply rendering a dog sterile and not completely removing his gonadal apparatus might not be a reasonable substitute since some of my own human friends and family were doing it at the time and the veterinary community was just starting to admit that castration of male dogs might not necessarily be ideal for every single patient (see this article for background).

After all, why not perform a smaller snip-snip and leave the testicles alone if population control is the major motivation behind castration?

I made the decision to seek a couple board-certified veterinary surgeons for their opinions in light of these musings: How difficult is it to do a vasectomy? Is there a severe learning curve for this operation and is it particularly fiddly? What might go wrong? Do you possess any? You would?

Finally, they all reassured me that there is no medical reason why we shouldn’t routinely execute a treatment that is essentially less intrusive, quicker, and easier than traditional castration. In fact, the following concerns are the only ones preventing any of us from routinely doing vasectomies:

Can a dog’s vasectomy be undone?

Veterinarians portray the options as either/or choices when weighing the advantages and disadvantages of spaying and neutering dogs. This is not shocking. While it is always possible to spay or neuter an intact dog later, once these procedures have been carried out, they cannot be undone. But what if a third choice was available?

Deslorelin acetate-containing implants are authorized for causing “temporary infertility in male dogs, but they have also been successfully used off-label in female dogs in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. The implant is inserted under the skin and is about the size of a grain of rice. Deslorelin acetate, which is what is released, attaches to receptors in the body that gonadotropin releasing hormone typically uses, preventing the body from producing the reproductive hormones required for male sperm production and female estrus cycles normally.

A single 4.7 mg implant is effective for 6 months, while a single 9.4 mg implant is effective for 12 months, according to the manufacturer. Deslorelin acetate implants are used by Dr. Judith Samson-French, a veterinarian, to assist manage wild dog numbers in Canadian First Nation communities, according to an article for CTV news “has been shown to have a duration of over a year and no negative effects. It is frequently possible to surgically remove the implant if a return to reproduction is wanted before the implant expires.

I can envision numerous applications for a product like this in private practice in addition to its obvious advantages for controlling feral populations. For instance,

  • In this patient, anesthesia and surgery carry unacceptably high risk.
  • The dog’s owner does not want to have surgery or administer anesthesia to the pet.
  • Before deciding on a permanent procedure, the owner wants to be sure that neutering won’t have a negative impact on a working dog’s performance.
  • The drive for reproduction may change in the future.
  • Deslorelin acetate may be effective in treating some forms of aggressive behavior since it reduces testosterone levels.

The deslorelin acetate implant has the drawback of initially stimulating the reproductive system. “Females treated with deslorelin should be deemed fertile for three weeks following implantation,” the Saint Louis Zoo’s website advises. Males may be viable for two or more months before any remaining sperm degenerates or is passed (as following vasectomy). This shouldn’t be much of a problem for pet dogs, but it might be important if the implant is used in populations that are more challenging to control and monitor.

I firmly believe that spay/neuter procedures are the best way for the majority of dogs and their owners to permanently reduce the risk of unintended canine pregnancies and the risk of specific illnesses, such as mammary cancer and uterine infections in females and testicular cancer and benign prostatic hypertrophy in males. However, the ability to temporarily stop dog procreation would undoubtedly be appreciated.

How do you feel? Would you be open to implanting deslorelin acetate in your dog? Why would you pick permanent sterilization over a contraceptive implant?

Why aren’t cats given vasectomies?

Unless they are intended for use as reproductive stock, the majority of male animals kept for company, labor, or food production (stallions, dogs, tomcats, bulls, rams, and boars) are neutered (castrated). This is a standard procedure to stop inappropriate sexual activity, lessen aggression, and stop unintentional or random reproduction. The intact male (tomcat) is likely to roam, engage in male-to-male combat, spray, and is of course, fiercely territorial.

attracted to seek out intact females to mate with. Tomcat urine has an especially unpleasant smell. In general, an intact male cat can be a very disagreeable home pet.

How does castration affect behavior?

Castration only affects behaviors that are influenced by male hormones (these are called sexually dimorphic behaviors). The temperament, training, and personality of a cat are largely determined by heredity and upbringing, not by the presence or lack of male hormones. Castration is not likely to reduce a cat’s hostility toward humans or calm down a hyperactive cat. Castration will lessen some, but not all, of the sexually dimorphic male behaviors since the male brain has already been masculinized by the time the kitten is born. Castration can help to stop the development of secondary sexual traits such penile barbs, protruding jowls, and glands at the dorsal region of the cat’s tail if done before sexual maturity.

Castration only has an impact on behaviors that are influenced by male hormones.

What is neutering?

Orchidectomy refers to the procedure of neutering or castrating male cats. An incision is created over each side of the scrotal sac during the procedure, which is done under general anesthesia, in order to fully or excise each testicle. In most cases, external sutures are not necessary. When a guy gives birth, both testicles pass from the abdominal cavity through the inguinal canal and into the scrotal sac. Some cats’ testicles either remain in the abdomen or are kept somewhere along the inguinal canal’s journey to the scrotal sac rather than descended completely into the sac.

The testicles must be removed through a more involved procedure since these cats are cryptorchids. Intact male cats will exhibit behaviors that are typical of intact male cats if the retained testicles are not removed since they will continue to generate hormones. Cats are not given vasectomies since they are sterilised yet the generation of male hormones is not stopped. The behavioral advantages of castration come from both sterilization and the elimination of masculine hormones.

What are the benefits of neutering?

Because there are many more cats born than there are homes available, millions of cats are euthanized every year throughout North America. Neutering intact male cats is necessary for population management because a single male cat can father numerous litters. Castration will significantly lower sexual drive, but some seasoned males might still be attracted to women.

Because a vasectomy simply sterilizes the cat and does not prevent the formation of male hormones, it is not performed on cats.

Cats of all ages experience indoor elimination problems most frequently, which occurs outside of the litter box. Cats that spray or mark walls and other vertical home objects account for a sizable portion of these incidents. Both indoors and outside, adult male cats have a very strong drive to mark their territory. For 85% of male cats, neutering reduces or eliminates spraying.

Cats can fight, whether they are neutered or intact, but the majority of intercat aggressiveness is between intact males. This is a result of male cat competitiveness, as intact male cats travel and defend a considerably bigger territory. Abscesses are a frequent result if these conflicts result in punctures or wounds that penetrate the skin. Male cat neutering lessens fighting and abscess development.

Compared to females and neutered males, intact males have substantially larger territories and travel farther. During mating season, the desire to roam may be extremely strong. 90% of the time, castration minimizes roaming. Although neutering significantly decreases sexual attraction, some seasoned males may still find females to be attractive and continue to mate with them.

The smell of male urine is quite potent and powerful. After castration, pee smells more as it should. Many owners say that after neutering their intact males, they become significantly cleaner, less odorous, and better self-groomers. Fighting no longer results in the creation of abscesses as frequently, and some secondary sexual traits, including the overactive tail glands associated with “stud tail,” can be much improved.

Does neutering lead to any adverse effects on health or behavior?

The effects of neutering on health and behavior are widely misunderstood. Males who have been neutered are not any more prone to gain weight or become sluggish if they follow a healthy diet and get enough exercise. Reduced roaming, fighting, and mating activity may require lower caloric intake and alternate types of play and activity. Hunting and other behaviors that have evolved independently of hormone impacts are unaffected. Neutering has little impact on physical development regardless of the age at which it is done (overall height and weight, urethral size). Despite the fact that neutering a cat before puberty seems to have consequences similar to those of neutering a cat after puberty, every effort should be taken to neuter a cat before puberty to prevent the cat from developing issues, experiences, and behaviors related to sexual development.

Exists a method other than neutering a dog?

Vasectomy: This treatment is by no means a standard “neuter.” Dogs maintain all of their testicular tissue and, as with men who have this typical human treatment, retain all of their sex hormones.

Are male dogs eligible for implants?

Veterinarians have long advised pet owners to castrate or spay their animals. We frequently discuss it when we first meet your new puppy or kitten. You are all probably aware of the benefits of neutering, including reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, certain diseases, and pet overpopulation. Of course, there may be specific reasons why you decide against neutering your pet, and that’s fine.

However, the focus of this essay will be on pet owners who want to neuter their animals but are unconvinced by veterinarians’ recommendations for standard surgery. There are obviously many of you out there who would investigate other possibilities, such as a neutering implant, which is our topic for today. In the UK, anything between 30 and 50% of dogs and possibly even more cats are not neutered.

Why Not Surgery?

As previously discussed, there are many advantages to neutering your pets. It not only lowers the possibility of an unforeseen pregnancy, but it also has a lot of health advantages. Animals that have been neutered live longer, cannot develop cancer in organs that have been removed, may behave better, are not at danger of pyometra or false pregnancies, and have a lower risk of some other cancers. These procedures are also rapid, ordinarily highly safe, manageably simple, permanent, and frequently subsidized by practices to reduce their cost.

There are, however, a few disadvantages as well. Following neutering, certain dog breeds are more likely to develop other malignancies, have urinary problems, have a higher tendency to become obese, are more likely to develop orthopaedic ailments, and neutering can occasionally make behavioral problems worse. Surgery can result in bleeding, infection, failure to obtain the desired results, or other consequences even when the risks are modest. Some of you might be concerned about these adverse effects or problems. This is typical; we advise you to talk to your veterinarian to determine whether surgery is necessary for your pet.

Male Neutering Implant:

The neutering implant is one of the more popular alternatives to surgery for male cats and dogs. This is a tiny cylinder that is positioned beneath the skin on the back of the neck and contains the medication deslorelin. Deslorelin is comparable to a substance called GnRH found in the body. Your pet becomes viable when small levels of GnRH induce his testicles to generate sperm and testosterone. Larger doses of GnRH, on the other hand, have the opposite outcome, which lowers fertility and shuts down the testicles.

How does it work?

The implant functions by delivering a significant amount of deslorelin on a daily basis, which stops the testicles from making testosterone and sperm. Although it takes around 6 weeks for the implant to fully take effect, the results are the same as if your pet had been medically castrated. The implant lasts for 6 to 12 months before needing to be changed, depending on its size. The prior implant does not need to be removed because it is safely absorbed by your pet’s body.

Why would you use it?

For some owners, such as those of dogs with behavioral problems, the implant might be a better option than surgery because it allows you to “test before you buy” a product to see if permanent surgical castration might help the dog’s behavior. The same is true for dog owners who have working canines and are concerned that permanent surgery may severely impact their canine companions’ behavior. Although owners who plan to breed their pets in the future may find it handy. If you ever want to breed from your dog or cat, you should be aware that in certain males, fertility may be permanently lowered once the implant wears off. For this reason, we do not advocate the implant.

Surgery always carries a modest risk, as was previously stated. Therefore, the implant might be a realistic substitute for surgery for animals that are old, immunocompromised, or have other conditions that make surgery too impractical. Pet owners of anxious animals may want to take into account the implant as well because it is small, painless, and stress-free. Deslorelin has also occasionally been used to treat some conditions brought on by having too much testosterone, such as an enlarged prostate, even though we would typically advise castration as the treatment option.

What are the disadvantages?

Even though the implant is just temporary, some of these fertility-suppressing side effects might also be transient and go away after the implant is removed. Others, though, might be long-lasting. Studies examining the possibility of long-term implant use increasing the risk of specific malignancies, obesity, and orthopaedic problems on par with surgery have not yet been conducted.

The implant’s long start-up time is one of its other drawbacks. Therefore, for at least six weeks after receiving the implant, male dogs or cats must be separated from unneutered females. You should make sure that your pet’s implant is kept current, just like with vaccinations and flea treatments, because fertility can return once the implant wears out. Finally, keep in mind that the implant is very recent compared to more established procedures. As a result, vets may be less competent or confident using the implant than surgery. Additionally, keep in mind that surgery is an upfront cost, whereas an implant requires ongoing maintenance and may end up costing more in the long term. Generally speaking, a single procedure is preferable if you’re hoping to treat long-term infertility.

Female Implants and Other Options:

You might be curious as to whether there is a female counterpart to the human contraceptive implant. Deslorelin is not currently approved for use in female dogs or cats to prevent pregnancy, but studies have shown that it may lower fertility by shutting down female ovaries in a manner similar to how male testicles function (although it does have a license for use in ferrets).

A melatonin hormone implant may also be an additional choice for cats. This disrupts the typical spring-summer breeding season for female cats. Both of these medications may eventually pave the way for a legal female implant with all the advantages and disadvantages that it gives in males. Keep checking back!


For females, medications based on the hormone progesterone are the other legal chemical alternative for neutering. A pregnant woman releases progesterone to deactivate her ovaries and diminish fertility while her puppies, kittens, or unborn child is developing. Similar to natural progesterone, synthetic progestogens fool a non-pregnant pet’s body into believing she is pregnant. If a female mistakenly mates while in this state, the ovaries shut down, preventing pregnancy. Progestogens can be administered to females through injection or tablet at precise points during their menstrual cycle. Her heat will be delayed or even stopped as a result, avoiding a pregnancy. These medications have been taken for a long period of time to postpone heat even though they are typically only used for short-term contraception.

While progestagens have several advantages over implants, they also have a number of disadvantages. Long-term use is linked to diabetes, growth abnormalities, localized inflammation at the injection site, expansion of the mammary glands, and may even raise the risk of pyometra. Additionally, since the reproductive organs are still there and functional, your pet could still contract illnesses including malignancies of the reproductive system. The medicine must be taken at extremely precise times; if you miss the window, your dog or cat may still be fertile. In contrast to long-term chemical neutering, progestogens are effective for short-term contraception.


Last but not least, for female dogs and cats who unintentionally become pregnant after becoming a bit too “friendly” with the neighborhood mutt or tom… To end a pregnancy, a variety of medications can be administered. We do wish to emphasize that pregnancy terminations should only be used in extreme cases. It is usually preferable to prevent pregnancy altogether. Even terminated pregnancies can be difficult on a mother’s body, the medications frequently have negative side effects, and it takes a lot of financial and veterinary resources to end a pregnancy. Additionally, if you only use sterilization to end pregnancies, your dog or cat won’t be protected from the illnesses and problems we spay for. The best choice for ending a pregnancy is typically a surgical spay, unless you intend to breed from your pet in the future.