It is difficult to tell if a dog is neutered or spayed just by looking at them.
The best way to tell is to look for a scar on the belly where the surgery was performed.
How to tell if a dog is neutered or spayed
Some dogs are born with one kidney and have to be spayed before they can be adopted into a home.
This surgery usually happens around six weeks old, but it should not happen later than three months old.
If you see a dog that looks like this, it is likely going to need to be spayed.
Other dogs may appear normal in their physical appearance, but they could still be a breeder who has been breeding out of season or an unspayed female dog.
These are also both signs that your dog needs to be spayed.
If you want to find out more about whether your dog needs to be spayed or neutered, here’s how you can tell if your dog is neutered or spayed.
Check for the presence of testicles
The easiest way to determine whether a dog has been neutered or not is to check for the presence of testicles.
This can be done with a quick glance from behind, but it is much more accurate if you have the dog’s front legs in your hands and are able to examine the scrotum.
You may see one or two small balls hanging between the dog’s legs.
These are called testicles.
If the dog has been neutered, the testes will no longer be present.
If they are still there, this means that the dog is either still intact or has been bred recently.
Breeding dogs or dogs who have been neutered within the last few weeks should be given a urine sample to confirm their status.
Look for a surgical scar
The surgical scars are usually around the waistline and the area between the hind legs.
This is because the operation involves cutting off the scrotum, which is located between the hind legs.
In most cases, the dog will be given pain medication in order to make sure that he does not feel any discomfort during the healing process.
The surgical procedure can also cause scarring on other parts of the body as well.
For example, it might leave visible marks on the penis (if the dog has one), the anus, the tail, the lips, the nipples, the eyes, the ears, the paws, the neck, the nose, or the face.
Most dogs that undergo this type of surgery will have a very obvious scar that you will be able to see from all angles.
However, there may be some dogs with less noticeable scars.
If there is no scar present, then it means that the dog did not undergo the surgery yet.
If a dog is still growing, then he is likely to have a much smaller scar than one who had the surgery when he was already an adult.
Most owners do not want their dog to undergo the surgery until he is fully grown so they try to hide the fact that they have done it.
Inquiring about the dog’s history
The dog may have been spayed, neutered, declawed, de-wormed, inoculated against rabies and vaccinated against distemper, canine parvovirus (CPV), and leptospirosis.
They will also be microchipped and/or have an ID tag attached to their collar.
Some of these procedures are required in order to enter into competition in shows.
However, some of the procedures may have been done as part of routine health care.
Before adopting any pet, it is important to inquire about its medical history.
Ask questions such as:
- Have there been any surgeries?
- Are there any other pets that they currently own?
- What medications does the animal take?
- What side effects do they experience from those medications?
- Do they live with anyone else?
- Do they like children?
- Are there any children living in the home right now?
- Is the owner ever away overnight?
- How often?
- Where do they go?
- How many animals do they own?
- How old are they?
- Do they breed dogs?
- Have they bred any puppies recently?
- Does the animal wear a muzzle when outside?
- What kind of training has this animal received?
- How long did it take to train this animal?
Also ask questions regarding:
- Any behavioral issues?
- Any accidents?
- Any injuries?
- Any illnesses?
- Any allergies?
- Any history of aggression towards people or other animals?
- Has the animal ever bitten someone?
- Has the animal ever bit anyone?
- Has the animal ever acted aggressively toward you?
- Has the animal ever attacked another animal?
- Has the animal ever attacked a person?
- Has the animal ever shown signs of aggression towards another animal?
- Has the animal ever shown signs of aggression towards another person?
You should also inquire about how the animal reacts to different situations.
For example, does the animal react well to being left alone? Does the animal react well to loud noises?
Observing the dog’s behavior
If you own a dog, it will be important to observe its behavior and make sure that your dog’s needs are being met.
There are some signs that show whether or not your dog is neutered or spayed.
Neutered dogs are less aggressive towards other animals and humans.
They may even become more affectionate towards you than before they were neutered.
They also tend to have fewer accidents in their house.
Spayed dogs are less likely to roam around outside because they don’t have any sexual urges.
They are less likely to bark at strangers.
If your dog has been neutered or spayed, there will be no need for you to worry about any of these problems later.
Your dog can live a happy life with all the benefits that come with being neutered or spayed.
The benefits of neutering or spaying a dog
Neutering or spaying a dog has several advantages, including reducing their chance of getting cancer and making them less aggressive.
There are many reasons why it is beneficial to neuter your dog, but here are some of the most important ones:
- Controlling unwanted behaviors
- Prevents reproductive problems
- Preventing aggression
- Reducing the risk of hip dysplasia
- Decreasing urine marking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Maintaining a clean coat
- Protecting from heat stroke
- Maintaining proper muscle tone
- Maintaining normal body temperature
- Helping with urinary tract infections
- Preserving your pet’s sex drive
- Maintaining an active lifestyle
- Maintaining a happy, healthy life
In addition to these benefits, there are also health risks associated with not neutering or spaying a dog.
- Increased risk of behavioral issues
- Increased risk of bladder stones
- Increased risk of testicular atrophy
- Increased risk of prostate disease
- Increased risk of mammary tumors
- Increased risk of uterine prolapse
- Increase in incontinence
- Increased risk of skin allergies
- Increased risk of bone fractures
- Increased risk of osteosarcoma
- Increased risk of heart failure
- Increased risk of epilepsy
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Increased risk of kidney disease
- Increased risk of liver disease
- Increased risk of dementia
- Increased risk of hyperthyroidism
- Increased risk of pancreatitis
- Increased risk of polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Increased risk of premature death
If you have questions about neutering or spaying your dog, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!
Reduced risk of certain cancers
Neutered dogs are less likely to develop prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mammary tumors, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, and uterine cancer than intact males.
Neutered females have a reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and vaginal cancer.
Studies have shown that dogs who are sterilized have a lower risk of developing these types of cancers compared with intact dogs.
Since most dogs are not sterilized until they reach sexual maturity, there is an increased risk of developing some of these cancers in older dogs.
Neutering your dog before it reaches sexual maturity can reduce this risk.
Cancer risks associated with age
In general, older dogs (those over 7 years old) have a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer than younger dogs.
This is because older dogs tend to live longer than younger dogs do.
As dogs get older, their cells divide more slowly, which reduces the number of mutations within their DNA.
Mutations are changes in the genetic code that can cause cancer.
In dogs, this process is known as “clonal selection”.
Dogs that are neutered will continue to be exposed to hormones, including testosterone from male dogs, estrogen from female dogs, and progesterone from both male and female dogs.
Studies show that this exposure to hormones increases the chances that a cell will mutate and become cancerous.
By reducing the amount of time that these hormones are present in the body, neutering may help reduce the chance of developing certain types of cancer.
Some breeds of dogs are more likely to develop certain types of cancer than others.
For example, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers are more likely to develop cancer of the urinary tract than other breeds of dogs.
Breeds like Boxers, Great Danes, and Saint Bernards also have a higher incidence of cancer of the tongue and mouth than other breeds of dogs.
Other breeds of dogs are more prone to developing cancer of the skin, such as pugs, bulldogs, and dachshunds.
Reduced risk of roaming and other unwanted behaviors
Neutering or spaying dogs reduces their risk of being involved in a fight, escaping from their yard, getting lost, running away, or becoming aggressive towards people.
There are many reasons that owners may want to neuter or spay their pet.
Some of these include:
If you have more than one dog, it can be expensive to keep up with multiple vaccination shots.
By spaying or neutering your dog, this becomes much easier to manage.
There are some breeds of dog that are prone to health problems that might not be caught until they are too old to be fixed.
This isn’t the case with spayed or neutered dogs.
In addition to reducing their risk of roaming, neutering or spaying also reduces the risk of aggressive behavior towards people.
This includes barking, biting, lunging, growling, etc.
Neutering or spaying your pet can have many benefits.
One of those benefits is that it will extend their lifespan.
There is no scientific evidence that proves this, but there are studies that show that dogs who are spayed or neutered live longer than dogs who are not neutered or spayed.
One study found that neutering a male dog has the same effect as giving him an anti-aging pill called Propecia, which is used in humans to treat hair loss.
The study showed that neutering decreases the size of the prostate gland in a male dog.
This reduces the amount of testosterone produced, which may lead to decreased aggression, increased playfulness, and reduced marking behavior.
Another study shows that neutering can reduce the possibility of cancer in dogs.
They found that while the risk of bladder cancer in female dogs is very low, it does increase with age.
However, they also found that neutering female dogs decreases the risk of developing bladder cancer, which is especially important because it’s usually diagnosed much later than most cancers in humans.
A study conducted in Sweden compared the lifespan of female dogs who were spayed before the age of one year with female dogs who had never been spayed.
It was found that spayed females lived an average of almost three years longer than unspayed females.
The difference between the two groups became more significant over time.
There are some downsides to spaying or neutering a dog.
While these downsides aren’t a concern for most people, they should be considered when deciding whether to neuter or spay your dog.
The drawbacks of neutering or spaying a dog
There are many reasons why people choose to have their dogs neutered or spayed.
Some of these include:
- To reduce the possibility of unwanted pregnancies and unplanned litters
- To prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases
- To reduce aggression and fearfulness
- To make your pet more attractive to potential buyers
- To help manage any health issues
Neutering or spaying a dog can also be considered as a preventative measure to help decrease the chances of developing certain types of cancer, including prostate cancer in male dogs and breast cancer in female dogs.
There are several steps you should follow to ensure that your pet has been properly neutered or spayed.
If you’re considering having your dog neutered or spayed, it is important to discuss this decision with your veterinarian.
Your vet will need to perform an exam to check for any abnormalities in your dog’s reproductive system before they can recommend either procedure.
They will also give you a full explanation about how the surgery works and what to expect afterwards.
You should also ask your vet all the questions you may have regarding neutering or spaying a dog, whether you are planning on adopting or purchasing one.
Here are the most common concerns that people raise when deciding whether to neuter or spay their dog:
Is there a difference between neutering and spaying?
A lot of people think that neutering only means removing testicles while spaying simply means removing ovaries.
However, both surgeries involve removing reproductive organs from a dog.
Both procedures are typically done in a similar manner and result in the same outcome.
In fact, some veterinarians even refer to both procedures as “spaying” because they feel it’s easier for clients to understand.
Does my dog need to be declawed first?
In many cases, a dog’s claws will need to be removed prior to neutering or spaying.
This is usually done during routine grooming sessions, but sometimes, it needs to be done under anesthesia.
What happens after I get my dog neutered or spayed?
After your dog has undergone either procedure, there is always going to be some discomfort associated with recovery.
Most vets advise against keeping your dog inside for too long following the surgery, so keep them out of the house until they recover fully.
Your vet may also recommend taking your dog to the groomer for a few days post-surgery to allow them time to heal.
Will my dog experience pain?
Most dogs do not experience significant pain following either procedure.
However, if your dog does experience any pain, they may require pain medication.
After the surgery has taken place, your vet will likely monitor your pet’s progress to ensure everything goes smoothly.
If anything seems off, they may want to do another exam to rule out any complications.
Can I take my dog swimming?
Yes, you can take your dog swimming after undergoing either procedure.
Just be sure to keep them hydrated beforehand and avoid getting water into their eyes.
If you notice any discharge from their eyes, contact your vet immediately.
Do I need to crate my dog after neutering or spaying?
No, you don’t need to crate your dog after either procedure.
You just need to be sure to clean up after them and provide lots of fresh food and water.
Is it safe to bring home a puppy who has had both procedures already?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to bring home a puppy who has had both procedures already.
Just make sure that you don’t expose them to too much sunlight after recovering from either procedure.
Also, be sure to keep your puppy away from other dogs and cats until they have recovered completely.
Increased risk of other cancers
Neutering and spaying can lower your pet’s risk of certain types of cancer, but it also increases their risk of developing others.
In fact, they are more likely to develop any type of cancer than intact dogs.
This isn’t surprising when you consider that neutering or spaying removes the sex hormones that help control cell growth in both males and females.
This means that once removed, there are no longer natural barriers to cancerous cells growing out of control.
In addition, the body doesn’t produce estrogen after a male has been neutered, so this hormone will not be available to fight off cancerous cells.
Furthermore, as testosterone is produced only in males, it is also removed from female pets who have been neutered.
These facts mean that intact male animals are less likely to develop testicular, prostate, and mammary tumors.
Female dogs who are not spayed are more susceptible to ovarian and uterine tumors.
In addition, neutered dogs are more likely to get bladder cancer.
These risks increase even further after a dog reaches middle age.
Spaying a female dog can reduce her risk of breast cancer, but she still faces an increased risk of uterine cancer and endometrial hyperplasia (overgrowth of the lining of the uterus).
Male dogs are more prone to developing penile and anal cancers as well as skin cancers, while female dogs face an increased risk of mammary cancer and uterine cancer.
While these risks may seem small, they add up over time.
For example, a 10-year study found that intact male dogs had a 50% higher risk of developing a malignant tumor compared to neutered ones.
Female dogs were twice as likely to develop a malignancy of any kind.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the lifetime risk of developing a malignancy is one in five for intact male dogs.
That number rises to one in three for neutered males.
For female dogs, the AVMA says that the lifetime risk of developing a malignancy is approximately one in four.
However, with neutering, those numbers drop to one in seven for intact males and one in six for spayed females.
Possible personality changes
A dog that has had their testicles removed will not be aggressive towards other dogs, but they may become more timid and less likely to bark at strangers.
They are also more likely to bite children than before.
This does not mean that all neutered dogs become like this, but it is very possible.
Some dogs become more affectionate and playful after being neutered, while others become more wary and nervous.
Neutering can cause some changes in a dog’s behavior.
For example, if you have a male dog who is friendly with everyone he meets, then neutering him might make him more standoffish, as well as increasing his tendency to bark at strangers.
However, if you have a female dog who is extremely shy and afraid of strangers, then neutering her would make her much less fearful of people she doesn’t know.
You should consider these factors when deciding whether or not to neuter your pet.
Risk of weight gain
Neutering and spaying can cause weight loss in dogs, especially when done early.
This is because they are losing their ability to produce testosterone and estrogen.
These hormones play an important role in growth and development in young male dogs and
female dogs respectively.
In some cases, this could lead to a noticeable weight loss after being neutered.
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with it.
However, these risks do not apply to spaying and neutering as much as they do to castration.
For example, a dog that has had its testicles removed may be more prone to developing cancer
than one that has been neutered.
They also have a higher risk of developing obesity due to their inability to produce estrogen.
The opposite is true for females, who are more likely to become obese after having ovaries
removed as compared to those who have undergone spaying.
The reason for this is that they start producing more estrogen.