One of the many questions that greyhound owners ponder over is whether or not to castrate their hounds. It can be quite daunting and overwhelming. Often, most dogs preparing for adoption undergo castration in the shelters. However, some may not, and it will be up to you to decide their fate.
Here are a few pointers to help you make that bold step.
The pros of castrating your hound are:
- Neutering prevents your hound from breeding
- Neutering reduces leg lifting and marking territories
- Reduces the risk of being attacked by other male dogs
- Reduces aggression and dominance
- Reduces chances of chasing female dogs on heat
- Reduces sexual behaviors
- Reduces the risk of prostate disorders
- Reduces the risk of perianal fistula
- Prevents testicular cancer
Prevents your hound from breeding
It is normal to fancy having mini-hounds running around your yard. Dogs have litters of up to ten puppies. Much as they are adorable little creatures, taking care of them can take a toll on you. Aside from the expenses it brings, there are many greyhounds stuck in shelter homes. These dogs wait and hope for someone to come adopt them. As you know, greyhounds train for racing when puppies and become ex-racers fast. When you do not castrate, you are displacing other dogs from the shelters by allowing it to breed.
It is also possible for your dog to pass done some hereditary defects through breeding. Hounds that are to breed should have a clean bill of health through testing to avoid such instances. Remember, many greyhounds are euthanized yearly when they fail to get adapters. You can save other future generations of dogs by fixing yours. That should at least move you.
Neutering reduces leg lifting and marking territories
Have you noticed the behavior of your dog lifting their leg and spraying their pee all over? Does it even get more excited with the furthest it sprays? Woe unto you if your hound has even been daring enough to spray all through your carpet and pillows. Your ultimate solution is castration. Because of the testosterone hormone, intact males mark their territory through such behavior. It appeals to other dogs, making your hound appear macho. Truth is, it is not worth the stress of you cleaning all the time.
Reduces the risk of being attacked by other male dogs
The rule of the jungle for competing on ‘who is the alpha dog?’ applies when your hound is outside. When around other male dogs, they will tend to view it as a rival. High testosterone level, common with non castrated hounds, can lead to aggression. You may find your poor pooch nursing wound bites all over from other male greyhounds. That will be after it got engaged in a fight with other dogs in packs. To say the least, on seeing your hound in wounds, you will swear that it is not a sight you to behold. Rather make the neutering choice.
Reduces aggression and dominance
Greyhounds may be of calm temperament. However, there are times by nature that they will tend to show dominance and aggression. When you neuter your dog, it reduces its testosterone level, although not fully out of the body. An intact dog is more likely to be unfriendly and have irregular moods. You will find your hound, letting out their howl cries for no reason and less calm than their nature. If you want a better and happier dog, castration will help you balance it out.
Reduces chances of chasing girl dogs on heat
Intact greyhounds will be all over embarrassing you during walks. This is from the behavior they exhibit when a female nearby is on heat. The female greyhounds release discharge that the male can pick from afar. This makes the dog super hyper, pacing up and down and panting all the time. In worst-case scenarios, the drive can be too high that it runs away from your compound. Imagine the horror in your face when your four-legged friend is nowhere to be seen! Later you get to know it is because it could not resist the magnetic pull towards the female dogs. If you cherish your dog, close your eyes and sign the neutering acceptance form. When castrated, you can say goodbye to such tendencies and have peaceful walks.
Reduces sexual behaviors
Have you spotted your hound humping on their stuffed toys, pillows, or a visiting dog? It could even occur on your legs. Even with respect to training, with an intact greyhound, these behaviors become the norm. The dog becomes over-excited, which leads to such tendencies. Neutering calms dogs down sexually to a great degree. This should encourage you to castrate your hound early. By 6 months, greyhounds are old enough to be on heat.
Reduces the risk of prostate disorders
Once you castrate your greyhound, prostrate disorders reduce by 70%. It is very common for intact males to have enlarged prostrates as they advance in age. These predispose the hound to urination challenges and difficulty during bowel movements. With castration, you are able to prevent any issues arising from an enlarged prostate. The procedure should take place early to prevent your dog from suffering. Disorders like prostate infections and developing cysts can be prevented too.
Reduces the risk of perianal fistula
No dog owner is at peace with a sick dog. No dog is happy and jumpy either when unwell. This is a reason why you should prevent as many pain inflicting instances as possible. Perianal fistula affects dogs that have not been castrated a lot. Its symptoms manifest in infected boils around the poor dog’s behind. You will spot an infected dog having trouble with its potty training in most cases. It will graduate from cries to howls when defecating. Extreme cases lead to an inability to sit. Ultimately, this condition leads to a lot of pain in both of you. Many vets recommend neutering to aid in curbing the disease.
Prevents testicular cancer
Cancer is a possible killer disease to your poor dog family too. This monster affects seemingly healthy dogs. Many times, the testicles develop a tumor. When a greyhound is young, you should observe whether the testicles are descended. Do this within the year. If one of the testicles is tucked in the body, there are high chances of tumor development. Since castration involves testes removal, it cancels the ability to get testicular cancer.
Methods used for greyhound neutering
- Complete castration: It involves the removal of the testes. It corrects breeding, prostate predisposition, and behavior issues.
- Fertility suppression implants/ contraceptives: This involves having an implant inserted into the dog’s body. It is also referred to as the ‘male pill’. The hormonal drug is released slowly and leading to inactive in testosterone drive. It will reduce their desire to hunt and chasing female dogs fully. It is a 12 monthly slow-release implant effective in controlling male dog tendencies.
- Vasectomy: This surgical procedure involves the removal of your dog’s sperm duct. It will ensure that the dog has no ability to breed. Because of this, the canine will be unable to pass through any defects or diseases that are a result of breeding. Vasectomy does not involve doing anything to the testes. The greyhound will still be high on testosterone hence no behavior changes. You will still notice your hound exhibiting dominance, aggression, and territory marking tendencies.
- Chemical neutering: It involves injecting the dog with a scarring agent into the hound’s testis and/or epididymis. The agent will make the testes get inflamed and unable to pass any sperms into the lower regions. This also introduces and rejects the sperms into the dog’s immune system and makes it infertile. Thus the dog cannot further any pups. Chemical neutering doesn’t assure you of behavior change since the testes are still present. This process can be painful to the dog as it will have swollen testes and epididymis for some days. It is also not immediate in effect, as it takes up to 35days to be sure.
- Anti-testosterone agents: Tardak, MPA 50 are some of the drugs available to reduce testosterone production. They inhibit testicular cells from reacting in the body. These are able to prevent the behavior that comes with no desexing. It achieves both breeding prevention and behavior control. The disadvantage is that it can have potentially devastating side effects on the dog.
When deciding whether to perform greyhound neutering, consider what is best for your pooch. Putting the long term interests of your dog forward will guide you. You also need to determine whether you need a second breed of your dog. If so, you may halt on the neutering plan. Read more about greyhounds in our blog.