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  • Writer's pictureSarah, Chester & Crumble

What Can I Expect When Neutering My Dog?

Let me be clear, this post is not meant to be educational in terms of medical information, but rather a recounting of what I as a dog mum experienced after neutering Chester.

This post, post offers an emotional and practical perspective of how the operation and recovery process went. 

This question first entered my thoughts in 2018 when Chester was about 6 months old and the hormones were becoming increasingly obvious, deciding do we neuter Chester or get Maisy (My Parents dog) Spayed. Regardless of my life these two would be spending a lot of time together and we weren't having puppies so the topic was discussed.

We, like thousands of other dog owners came to the agreement that it would be easier to have Chester neutered because its an easier op, right?

Now if your new here, at 12 months old Chester was being a typical teenage border collie and I didn't want to neuter him too young, so I started looking initially at supplements to help him calm down as his anxiety was getting so bad. While searching I came across chemical castration and the implant lasting 6 or 12 months. I rang around our local vets and found one that carried it out, and asked them some questions. It was an ideal solution, try it out for 6 months and if it helps him then make it permanent with the op, if not let it wear off.

The initial implant went so well and it answered so many questions for me, however I wanted to be absolutely sure so I thought we'll do a 12 month one and then if were sure its positive for him then i'll book him in for a neuter. Anyway that appointment didn't go to plan and left him terrified of the vets with a failed implant. So it's taken a lot of training and multiple implants before we've even been in the position to take him to the vets for a neuter.

Fast forward to December 18th 2023, we'd noticed his implant was wearing off at the start of December and the plan we had with our vet was to neuter him in January with some of the implant still active to help aid his recovery (I've read to many horror stories about blood filled sacks and wanted them as small when the op was carried out) His anxiety was getting worse and worse and I decided to just go for it! I called the vets and they had a cancellation so he was booked in.

On the 19th, I went to the vets to pick up gabapentin and trazodone to keep him calm and relaxed to go to the vets. I was a nervous wreak, he still didn't love vets but was significantly better than even a year ago and I just wasn't sure how he'd be. The vets planned to sedate him in the consult room with me comforting him and then he'd be the first op (On the 20th).

It all went to plan the gabapentin and trazodone allowed him to walk into the vets with minimal anxiety and and he slowly went to sleep on my lap in the consult room. Although he was fighting the sleep so much.

I told the vets to call me if they needed me and I was staying local to the vets so if we woke up and freaked out I would be there.

They called me at about 11am and told me it had all gone well and he was slowly waking up the in the kennel. I asked if he was okay and the nurses reassured me he was much better than I thought he would have been.

At 12pm I picked him up and took him home. We bought a VetMedWear surgical suit from the vets and the nurses helped me zip him up before I put him in the car. He was much more out of it then Crumble when she came home, because of the effects of the pre-op sedatives.

The Recovery Period 

I was given a bag which contained a personalised letter for Chester's recovery period, the nurse took me through the additional instructions. I’d have to give him anti-inflammatory pain killer for the first 4 days, and the recovery period would take 10-14 days…and we weren’t allowed to get the stitches wet, thank goodness I'd bathed him before his op! I also had to take him back 2 days after the op to check on his stitches although they said if anything was wrong or I was concerned I could email them.

The post op 2 day check was all good and he was healing well. Within 3 days he was almost back to normal although he was still having testosterone surges which took about 3 weeks to settle down.

So, What Can You Expect When Neutering Your Dog?

Although a routine procedure, getting Chester eventually neutered was a tiring process with a lot of preparation, not that this is the experience for many other dog owners and please don't be put off by our experience for me advocating for him was the best thing I could ever have done and you should absolutely advocate for your dog too.

Be prepared for the financial aspect of the procedure, as well as your dog’s comfort. He’ll need a lot of love of attention. This may come with a couple of sleepless nights, thankfully me and Chester didn't experience this and he had really good nights with no disturbance. Although the recovery period is about 10 days, they bounce back pretty quickly and they’re back to their normal selves in no time for Chester he pretty much wanted to do everything he normally did within about 2 days and I'd say he was fully recovered within 7 days. Obviously I didn't return to allowing him to run around until post 10 days

Five images showing Chester the dogs surgical recovery from his neutering

All in all, I'm very happy I got him neutered, If I had to do anything differently, it would be to get the right sized recovery suit from the vet, as he was in between sizes I went for the smaller one and it just wasn't right in a few places! I linked a few products that helped get us through his recovery. Here’s hoping they can help you too! 

f you’re going through this experience soon with your dog, I’ve linked a couple of products within this blog post that I found to be helpful during recovery.

Thanks for reading

Sarah & Chester xx

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