Deciding to neuter your male pet is a great way to care for them. Neutering eliminates the risk of unwanted litters, reproductive cancers, and health conditions, and may reduce or prevent hormone-related behaviors such as marking, roaming, or humping.

While neutering is a common procedure, no surgery is without risk, and you may have questions about the process. At Groves Veterinary Clinic, we pride ourselves on maintaining the highest standard of surgical care with advanced surgical equipment, techniques, skilled nursing, and a focus on patient safety and comfort at the heart of everything we do.

Surgery is a big decision, and we want you to feel comfortable, too. Let’s walk through a typical neuter procedure to help you understand what to expect for your pet. 

Preparing for your pet’s neuter

Our veterinary staff will contact you before your pet’s procedure to confirm your appointment and drop-off time, and remind you not to feed your pet after a specific time. Fasting for your pet is necessary to prevent vomiting during or after anesthesia, which can cause them to aspirate food to the lungs.

Your pet’s surgery day

If your pet needs pre-surgical blood work, the sample will be collected, processed, and analyzed. Our veterinarian will review the results to check for adequate platelets for clotting, proper liver and kidney function for metabolizing anesthesia medications, and any abnormalities that may complicate or contraindicate anesthesia, surgery, or recovery.

Your pet receives a final once-over

Your pet’s vital parameters such as weight, temperature, heart rate and rhythm, and respiration will be measured and recorded to establish a baseline. Our veterinarian will also perform a pre-anesthesia examination to assess your pet’s physical condition, and determine if surgery may proceed as planned, or if further lab work or imaging is needed.

Your pet is premedicated

Based on your pet’s species, age, lab results, and physical assessment, our veterinarian will determine a customized anesthesia plan. An injection of sedation and pain medication will be given for relaxation. 

Your pet is prepared for surgery

Once your pet is calm and relaxed, an intravenous catheter (IV) will be placed in one of their legs. The IV catheter ensures secure access to the vein for delivery of anesthesia and pain medications, fluids to support your pet’s blood pressure, and immediate access in the event of an emergency. Once your pet is anesthetized, they will be intubated with a flexible plastic endotracheal tube. The tube maintains an open airway for oxygen and anesthetic gas exchange in the lungs. 

Your pet is prepped

Your pet will be continuously monitored by a technician dedicated to their case, and their vital signs will be recorded every five minutes. A second technician will prepare the surgical site, and your pet will be transported there. Once your pet is positioned on our heated surgery table, monitoring devices will be connected to measure oxygen status, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. A technician will center the surgical lights over the patient, and will perform a surgical scrub of the field.

Our veterinarian performs your pet’s surgery

  • Our veterinarian will scrub in, donning a sterile surgical gown and gloves. 
  • For a standard castration, an incision will be made in front of the scrotum. 
  • If your pet is cryptorchid—having one or two undescended testicles—the incision will be over the midline of the abdomen. 
  • The testicles will be exposed one at a time through the incision. 
  • Our  veterinarian will clamp the spermatic cord and major vessels to secure them while he ties multiple sutures around these important structures.
  • The suture knots will be tested for security. The vessels and cord will be severed, freeing the testicle and associated structures. The clamps will be released.  
  • The sutured end will be checked for any bleeding before being returned to the body.
  • The process will be repeated for the second testicle.

For adult, active, or older dogs, our veterinarian may perform a scrotal ablation, or scrotal sac removal—this will be discussed with you before surgery. In an adult dog, the dead space of an empty scrotal sac often becomes swollen, painful, and filled with blood. Removing the scrotal tissue prevents this from happening.  

After a final check of the field, the incision will be closed in two layers with absorbable suture. An external layer of sutures, staples, or tissue glue may be placed, depending on your pet’s size, age, and activity level.

Your pet’s recovery

When surgery is complete, your pet will be given supportive oxygen to help flush the anesthetic gas from their lungs and encourage a smooth transition to wakefulness. While still sleepy, they will be transferred to a warm and comfortable recovery cage, and closely monitored until they wake and can be safely extubated. Your pet’s pain will be reassessed, and the veterinarian will approve additional medication if warranted.

Your pet’s post-operative care

Our Groves Veterinary Clinic team will review your pet’s personalized discharge instructions with you when they are released from the hospital. As a general rule, you should plan to restrict your pet’s activity for 10 to14 days to prevent damage to or delayed healing of the incision.

We hope this peek inside our hospital has helped dispel any anxiety about the decision to neuter your pet. Providing patient-centered, top-tier veterinary surgical care that focuses on safety and attention to detail is our passion at Groves Veterinary Clinic. Contact us to schedule your pet’s surgery.