Why Get A Vasectomy Vs Neuter For Male Dogs

Full castration may be the most well known neutering option for our canine friends, but the canine vasectomy is now becoming a topic of conversation. Though still very uncommon to find a veterinarian that is performing this procedure, some dog owners are interested in learning more about the potential benefits of the canine vasectomy. So why would anyone choose a vasectomy over a neuter for their male dog?

In this article we will discuss the details of vasectomies in male dogs, and help you better understand this procedure going forward!

What Is A Vasectomy In Dogs?

Dog Vasectomy Vs Neuter For Dogs

Before we discuss the potential benefits of vasectomies in male dogs, we should first dive into the details of the procedure in itself. A vasectomy is an entirely different procedure than the standard castration, with the only similarity being that it takes away a dog’s ability to reproduce. 

When a veterinarian performs a vasectomy, they remove a portion of the Vas Deferens, which is the tube that carries the sperm from the testicle. Each Vas Deferens is altered using two small incisions, leaving the testicles intact and in their place.

A vasectomy makes a dog unable to reproduce with other females, though they can still technically mate. They will not successfully transfer sperm from the testicles into the female, meaning their attempts to reproduce will be unsuccessful.

What Are The Differences Between Vasectomy Vs Neutering

As we mentioned above, a canine vasectomy is a drastically different surgery than the standard neuter procedure. To help you better understand the differences of each sterilization option, let’s break down each procedure below.

Vasectomy In Dogs

  • Uses two small incisions to remove a portion of the Vas Deferens that travels from each testicle.
  • Testicles are left in place and undisturbed, but sperm can no longer travel through the Vas Deferens.
  • Hormones are produced in the testicles, meaning a dog’s reproductive hormones will remain.
  • Some sperm may still be present in the Vas Deferens for 30-50 days, meaning the male dog should stay away from all intact females for up to 2 months to be safe. 
  • The two incisions are generally small, but still require about a week of limited activity for proper recovery.
  • All sutures are usually internal.

Castration (Neuter)

  • Uses one incision just in front of the scrotum to remove both testicles and tie off the spermatic cord.
  • Due to the testicles being removed, male reproductive hormones are not maintained.
  • A dog is no longer able to reproduce from the moment they wake up from surgery.
  • Sutures can be internal or external based on the veterinarian’s preference.

A canine vasectomy is simply a way to sterilize a dog without altering their male reproductive hormones. This can be both a good and bad thing in many ways, and is usually only recommended for male dogs in certain situations.

Why Would You Want Your Dog To Have A Vasectomy?

So why do some dog owners choose a vasectomy for their canine friends? A standard neuter is the most well known and widely accepted option when discussing pregnancy prevention in our furry friends, but there are some owners who have different desires for their pup.

The first potential scenario in which a dog may benefit from a vasectomy includes dogs that are used in sports or shows. These dog owners may want their male dogs to keep their reproductive hormones as long as possible, as this may increase overall strength and growth in some dogs.

The next group of pups that may benefit from a vasectomy include working dogs of all kinds. Many believe that a working dog will require higher levels of testosterone to perform their job properly, but they still do not want to worry about unwanted pregnancies around other female dogs.

The last scenario in which a dog owner may choose a vasectomy for their pup is if they want to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but they are not fully committed to the idea of their dog losing their reproductive hormones. Some dog parents would like their pups to maintain their hormones for various reasons, and may be more comfortable with this option.

Health Benefits Of A Vasectomy Vs Castration

Just as there are many potential benefits of a standard canine castration, there are a few possible health benefits of a canine vasectomy as well. The potential benefits will vary based on each dog in question, and what you want your male dog to achieve in their life.

Some health benefits of a vasectomy in dogs include:

  • Decreased chance of canine obesity and conditions that occur due to excess weight in dogs
  • Decreased chance of cranial cruciate rupture
  • Reduced occurrence in hip dysplasia in large breed dogs
  • Decreased chance of developing certain cancers such as osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, and transitional cell carcinoma
  • Less of a chance of the dog developing some behavioral struggles such as phobias, reactivity, and general fearfulness

It’s important to note that while these benefits come with maintaining the male reproductive hormones, many experts believe a neutered dog can still receive these benefits when neutering them in the ideal time frame (6-9 months of age).

Health Risks Of A Vasectomy Vs Castration

While vasectomies in dogs do prevent unwanted pregnancy in our furry friends, there are some risks that come along with leaving their testicles behind. Ranging from behavioral struggles to serious medical complications, there are a few risks to keep in mind.

Some health risks of a vasectomy in dogs include:

  • Risk of unwanted pregnancies if a dog is not kept away from other females in the 2 months following their surgery
  • Increased risk of developing testicular cancer
  • Increases risk of developing prostatitis
  • Increased risk of developing perineal or inguinal hernias
  • Increased chance of behavioral problems such as aggression, wandering to find females, marking in your home, and other behaviors driven by reproductive hormones

Cost Of A Dog Vasectomy

If you are interested in the vasectomy procedure for your dog, you may be wondering how much a dog vasectomy costs. The fact that this procedure is not often performed in veterinary offices makes it more expensive than the standard castration, and is more challenging to come by. Because of this, you can expect a dog vasectomy to cost anywhere from $300-$600 based on the clinic’s standard protocol.

So where can your dog get a vasectomy? The most challenging part of this entire experience for your pup may be finding a clinic that actually offers canine vasectomies. This procedure is still extremely rare, and may only be found in specialty hospitals or larger cities. If you are interested in a canine vasectomy for your dog, be ready to make multiple calls to find a clinic that offers the procedure near you.

Final Thoughts

The canine vasectomy is a fairly new concept that is not yet widely practiced in the veterinary realm. Be sure to review the information we discussed above, and you can determine if this is the right procedure for your pup!

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