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Virbac: A kinder option and reversible solution to castration

Choosing whether to castrate your dog is a major conundrum but Virbac can offer a revolutionary and reversible solution

dog with tongue out

Some working dogs can be badly affected by raging hormones

Neutering is one of the most important decisions an owner can make regarding their dog’s health. As well as preventing unintended mating, neutering can be beneficial in preventing specific hormone (testosterone) related diseases and can help in the  management of some behavioural issues.

In the UK, surgical neutering – or castration – is one of the most common performed procedures by vets, but is this the only option and is it right for every pet? Surgical castration offers permanent sterilisation, removes the risk of testicular cancer and some prostatic diseases and may decrease urine marking and other male sexual behaviours. But surgical castration does require an anaesthetic and there will be a surgical wound to manage, which usually means your dog needs to wear the dreaded ‘cone of shame’ and face weeks of strict rest. In Norway, surgical castration is not permitted unless there is a genuine medical reason for doing so. 

There is no going back from this permanent procedure and there can be uncertainty in how your dog’s behaviour may alter with a change in their hormones.As a permanent procedure, there is also no opportunity to later breed from your dog if you wish to do so.

young cocker spaniel

Virbac’s implant gives you an idea of how your dog might behave after surgical castration

Thankfully, there is a reversible medical option, which comes in the form of an implant containing deslorelin. Made by Virbac, it offers many of the benefits of surgical castration but it gives you the chance to test the effect of castration without anaesthesia, surgical complications or wound management. The implant can last for six or 12 months and gives some insight into how your dog will behave if they were permanently castrated. This gives you the chance to “try before you buy” and allows you to decide whether long-term medical castration or surgical castration is right for your dog. The deslorelin medical implant has been shown to be well tolerated and is available from your veterinary surgeon.

For the working dog, sexual behaviours can be a real distraction, impacting on performance. Conversely, dogs lacking confidence may actually benefit from remaining entire and, of course, if there are plans to carry on their bloodline, permanent removal of the testes is undesirable. So if you are currently considering castration, speak to your veterinary surgeon about the options available and make the right choice for your dog. There’s more than one way to crack a nut.

For more information visit Virbac or speak to your veterinary surgeon.