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D2009-36

Dear Daisy Dog

My husband refuses to have our dog, Choco, neutered, because he says Choco won’t look like a male anymore.

Our veterinarian says neutering will decrease Choco’s risk of prostate disease, testicular cancer and other medical problems, as well as many undesirable behaviors, including urinary marking, biting people, fighting with other dogs, and roaming and getting hit by a car. For these reasons, I would like to have him neutered.

How can I get my husband to agree? Is vasectomy an option?

Daisy Responds

When a dog is neutered, his testicles are removed. This reduces the testosterone level in his blood, yielding the medical and behavioral benefits you mentioned.

Vasectomy affords none of these benefits because the testicles are left intact. A vasectomy only makes the dog sterile.

I can suggest a compromise to accommodate your desire to reduce Choco’s risk of testosterone-related diseases and behavior problems as well as your husband’s preference to retain Choco’s male appearance: Ask your veterinarian about neutering Choco and then implanting Neuticles.

Neuticles are artificial testicles that look like the real thing.

However, some dogs’ bodies react badly to the artificial implants; if an infection results, a second surgical procedure is required to remove the Neuticles. Another potential problem is that the Neuticles may harden over time, clanking when the dog sits on a wood or tile floor.

As a spayed female dog, I think the whole thing is silly. But if it’s important to Choco and your husband, you might look into this option.

 

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