Neutering is a common procedure today. In fact, it’s even required in some areas. Even if it’s not required by law, many dog parks and boarding facilities require male dogs of a certain age to be neutered. Some dogs appear to still have their testicles after being neutered, but do they?
Does a dog still have testicles after being neutered?
The short answer is, no. A dog’s testicles are removed during neuter surgery. The process of neutering is also called castration. Castration, or neutering, means removing the balls of the animal. However, there are other surgical sterilization options, which we will look at shortly.
Why does my dog still have testicles after being neutered?
Determining if a dog has been neutered can be surprisingly tricky. If you’ve owned your pet since they were a pup, you know for certain if they’ve been neutered. However, if you got your pet later in their life, it can be difficult to know for sure.
Some dogs appear to be intact, but are actually neutered. There are a few reasons your dog can look like they still have their testicles, but actually be neutered.
Neuticals are a testicular implant for pets. They are often implanted when neutering is performed, but they can be added later as well. This provides the look and feel of real testicles, without the testosterone and reproduction ability.
Some dog owners, generally males, are uncomfortable with their four-legged friend being “ball less”. They see it as a sign of maleness, and it seems wrong to them to rob their dog of this vital aspect of themselves.
Do the dogs care? Maybe not. However, there’s much about dogs that we still don’t know, so it’s impossible to be certain that they never miss “the boys”. Neuticals claims to preserve your pet’s appearance and self-esteem.
One thing is for sure, Neuticals is approved by the FDA as a testicular implant for pets. The company claims that they have had no complications when Neuticals are used correctly.
If your dog is neutered after puberty, their scrotum is fully developed. The scrotum is the skin that holds the testes in place. When a dog is neutered before puberty, the testicles may not have descended. Even if they did, they were only in the scrotum for a short time.
When a dog who has already experienced puberty is neutered, the veins and connective tissues that are tied off during surgery can give the experience of testicles. When a pup is neutered, the scrotum will shrink or not enlarge, causing it to look much smaller than a dog neutered after sexual maturity.
Since the majority of dogs today are neutered before puberty, the expected look for a neutered male is a small scrotal sac.
Can you neuter a dog without removing testicles?
The answer depends on your definition of neutering. You cannot surgically neuter a dog without removing their testicles. However, you can perform what’s known as chemical castration, while leaving the testicles intact. Dogs can also be sterilized without neutering.
Neutering is often used interchangeably with sterilization, which further confuses the issue. Let’s take a closer look at sterilization methods for male dogs.
Zeuter is essentially a form of chemical castration. Instead of surgically removing your dog’s testicles, a shot is administered into each testicle.
Unfortunately, Zeuter was removed from the market in 2016. The simple procedure provided an alternative to castration, and allowed dogs to keep 50% of their testosterone. We’ve learned more about the health benefits of testosterone in recent years. Perhaps another similar product will eventually have more success.
Vasectomy is the only commonly used alternative to neuter surgery currently available. A few other options exist, but they are rare.
A dog vasectomy is performed very similar to the way it is in humans. The vas deferens are tubes that carry the sperm from the testes so it can be released as ejaculate. If these tubes are clipped or cut, the sperm can’t leave the testes. If the sperm can’t travel outside the testes, they cannot fertilize an egg, or get a female pregnant.
A vasectomy also requires anesthesia, but is a simpler procedure than neuter. More importantly, it preserves the testicles and their testosterone production. Recent research has indicated that maintaining testosterone can be beneficial for physical and hormonal reasons, so this is an option for pet owners to consider.
Can a neutered dog’s testicles grow back?
Your dog is neutered, and you haven’t given much thought to that area of his body since he recovered from surgery. However, you suddenly notice that there’s a knot or knots where his testicles used to be. Did they grow back?
Dog Testicles Don’t Regenerate
First, it’s important to know that a dog’s testicles cannot regenerate. No, a dog’s testicles can’t grow back. If your dog appears to have lumps where the testicles should be after neutering, there are a few possibilities.
Botched Neuter or No Neuter
This is highly unlikely, but it’s not impossible. It’s hard to imagine your trusted vet “missing” a testicle when neutering. It should be quite noticeable if they only remove one, and not two.
However, humans, even the best of us, are fallible. It’s also possible for a dog to retain a testicle. The testicle can be removed through another surgical incision, which is often recommended. If the vet doesn’t remove the retained testicle, it’s unlikely but possible it could drop at a later date. This would make it seem as if your dog had suddenly grown a new testicle.
The other possibility is that the dog was never neutered in the first place. Some less than ethical breeders may claim that their dogs have been neutered to make them easier to sell. Instead of dealing with the neuter themselves, they simply claim that the dogs have been sterilized. By the time the owner realizes they were lied to, they are unlikely to take action against the breeder.
Dogs have some very strange reproductive habits. One of the most interesting, and disconcerting the first time you witness it, is tieing. A tie occurs when the male and female become stuck together during sex.
The tie is caused because the male has an organ known as the bulbus glandis at the base of his penis. Just like human penile tissue, the dog’s penile tissue fills with blood, becoming firmer and larger.
However, the bulbus glandis swells much larger than the rest of the penis. It swells so much that the penis can’t be removed from the female until the swelling subsides. They are locked together until the bulbus glandis returns to its unexcited state.
What does this have to do with the testicles? The bulbus glandis is often mistaken for testicles, particularly in neutered dogs. Dogs can become excited for many reasons that are nonsexual.
Their favorite food, verbal praise, or a scratch behind the ear can send them into a pleasurably excited state. This excitement can cause the bulbus glandis to enlarge. It doesn’t swell to the extent it does during sex, but it can become large enough to be noticeable.
Recovery From Neutering
If your pooch has recently been neutered, the swelling is likely just their body healing. You may notice their scrotum swelling, or even knots that seem like testicles. As long as their’s no signs of infection or severe pain, the swelling should subside within 10 days after surgery.
What should a dog look like after being neutered?
This depends on when after neutering. Immediately after neutering and during the recovery period, it’s important to keep an eye on the surgical site. After the recovery period, how your dog looks will depend mostly on their age.
Immediately After Neutering
Immediately after neutering, you can expect some swelling. The scrotum may be swollen, and look much as it did before the procedure. The swelling should go down within a few days after surgery.
Mild swelling can remain, but the dog’s scrotum will continue to shrink over time. You may also notice bruising. If you notice significant swelling or your dog seems to be in lots of pain, contact your vet.
You’ll also need to contact your vet if you notice any discharge from the incision site. Your dog will likely have stitches inside that aren’t visible. They may have sutures on the outside that dissolve, or medical glue. These are given so your dog doesn’t have to go to the vet to have their stitches removed after surgery.
After the Recovery Period
As mentioned previously, how a dog’s scrotum looks after neutering largely depends on the age they were when neutered. A dog neutered before puberty will not have a developed scrotal sac. A dog neutered after puberty will have a fully developed scrotal sac, which looks similar to a dog who is intact.
Some dogs who are neutered after sexual maturity only have a flattened skin flap. Others will look similar to an intact dog because of scar tissue and the tied off connective tissues and veins.
Can dogs still ejaculate after neutering?
Some owners worry that their dog will never experience the joys of sex after neutering. It is possible for your dog to ejaculate after neutering, although they may lose the desire to do so.
Neutering can eliminate sexual behavior and desire completely if performed before the dog reaches sexual maturity. If the dog is already sexually mature, they may retain some sexual desire and behavior, although it should subside somewhat.
How much sexual desire is retained depends on the dog. Some dogs will get sexually excited, particularly if they are around a female in heat. Other dogs can seem unphased by females.
Dogs can also masturbate. Your dog may continue to masturbate and ejaculate after neutering because they associate it with enjoyment.
Can dogs still tie after neutering?
Yes, a dog can still tie after neutering. They retain the ability to get an erection and ejaculate. When these things occur, they can tie. The glands bulbus enlarges right before ejaculation. If the dog can ejaculate, they can tie.
As mentioned earlier, many dogs lose most or all of their sexual desire. However, they are still capable of having sex, ejaculating, and tying with a female.
Can a Neutered Dog Get a Female Pregnant?
Although they can tie, they aren’t able to sire puppies. The exception to this is right after neutering. Once your dog is neutered, they will not be able to produce anymore sperm.
However, they still have dormant sperm. This dormant sperm can be released during ejaculation and still get a female pregnant. A male can remain fertile for up to 6 weeks after neutering, so don’t allow them to tie with a female during this time.