Swelling After Neutering

By Jo Chester

Canine neutering has become commonplace surgery in today’s world. Despite its common nature, some complications can occur. Post-surgical swelling is one moderately serious complication of which dog owners should be aware.

What is Neutering?

Neutering is the removal of a dog's testicles for the scrotal sac.

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Neutering is the surgical removal of a dog’s testicles from the scrotal sac, traditionally done at 6 months of age. A professionally licensed veterinarian normally performs this surgery in a sterile operating room.

What is the Normal Appearance of a Post-Surgical Scrotal Sac?

The post-surgical scrotal sac is just a skin flap.

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The normal post-surgical scrotal sac is simply a flap of skin that hangs on the dog’s rear. It is flaccid and is warm to the touch.

Scrotal Swelling

Mature dogs have the most complications after surgery.

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According to veterinarians Tracy Land and Monica Voci on projectspayneuter.com, “Mature male dogs have the highest incidence of minor post-operative complications following neutering.” These complications include scrotal swelling, which may affect up to 50 percent of neutered dogs. This swelling may be unsightly, but it is not long-lasting or life-threatening.

Intra-Scrotal Bleeding

A small number of males will develop bleeding in their scrotal sacs.

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A small number of males will develop bleeding in their scrotal sacs. This discharge will sometimes fill the scrotum, make it appear swollen--it might even appear that the surgery was improperly performed. This source of swelling can take up to 10 days to subside; however, it will subside on its own.

Treating a Swollen Scrotum

Apply warm compresses to the affected area.

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Although the swelling might seem painful, do not give the dog aspirin to reduce the pain. Aspirin is an anticoagulant and may make the bleeding worse. Instead, you can apply warm compresses to the affected area for five to 10 minutes, two to four times each day. Use a clean washcloth or dishtowel wet down with very warm water to apply the heat to the area.