Canine neutering has become commonplace surgery in today's world. Despite its common nature, some complications can occur. Abnormal swelling after neutering is one moderately serious complication of which dog owners should be aware. Neutering is often considered a way to prevent unwanted puppy litters, but it also has more general health benefits for your dog as well.
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What is neutering?
Neutering is the surgical removal of a dog's testicles from the scrotal sac. It is traditionally done by a professionally licensed veterinarian in a sterile operating room at 6 months of age. Neutering is also known as castration. Removing both testicles makes a dog infertile, which means he can't reproduce.
According to VCA Hospitals, there are other long-term health benefits to neutering aside from not having any unwanted puppies. Neutering reduces the long-term risk of enlarged prostate that comes with age as well as prostate infection. It also reduces risks of some anal tumors as well as testicular cancer, which is the second-most common cancer in non-neutered dogs. Neutered dogs roam less and are less aggressive, and neutering helps dogs live longer, so you'll get more time—and likely healthier time—with your pal.
Swollen sack after neutering
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. Lake Air Animal Hospital explains that it is normal to see a swollen sack after neutering. The "sack" is sometimes what people call the scrotum, which is the small, muscular sack that contains and protects the testicles. Swelling after neutering a dog may cause him to look as if the testicles are still in his scrotum, even though they have been removed.
Swelling during the initial period following the surgery is normal, and the swelling should go away after a few days. Over time, the scrotum will shrink and become less noticeable. During the post-surgical period, it is important to prevent your pet from chewing or licking the area.
Abnormal swelling after neutering
While swelling is normal, be on the lookout for abnormal swelling after neutering a dog. Dispomed explains that abnormal swelling after neutering may be caused by an infection, scrotal hematoma, bruising, hemorrhage, or the wound opening (called dehiscence). Complications from neutering surgeries are fairly rare, with more complications reported in younger patients. They say that many complications are a result of the dog self-traumatizing the surgical site, so use an Elizabethan collar or a body suit if necessary to keep your dog's tongue, teeth, and claws off the surgery site.
A scrotal hematoma, according to the Pet Resource Center of Kansas City, happens when blood and fluids collect inside the scrotum. It's 50 percent more likely to happen in a male dog who is over 50 pounds. If a hematoma happens, the scrotum may swell, bruise, and be painful.
Using cold or ice compresses on the scrotum for 24 hours post-op can help reduce the likelihood of this occurring. If swelling continues and the scrotum is growing larger or is dripping blood, you should visit your veterinarian immediately.
Bruising after neutering
In addition to swelling after neutering a dog, bruising is normal too. The bruising is believed to be the result of blood seeping out of tiny capillaries that are cut during the surgery. It's more noticeable in pets with light skin, but don't be alarmed if you see it, as it is normal following this type of surgery for about a week.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.