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What is Orchiectomy?

An orchiectomy is a form of castration in male dogs, in which the veterinary surgeon removes the male reproductive organs known as the testicles. Unlike a castration (also referred to as a neuter), an orchiectomy can be either unilateral or bilateral, meaning one or both of the testicles can be removed in this type of surgical procedure. Veterinarians commonly recommend an orchiectomy procedure to male dogs that have been diagnosed with cryptorchidism, but it can also be recommended for dogs at risk of developing health problems specific to male canines. Orchiectomy is a relatively quick procedure, which means the total amount of time the dog spends receiving anesthetic is very short and cost effective for the owner. 

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Orchiectomy Procedure in Dogs

Prior to conducting an orchiectomy surgery, the veterinarian will run an overall assessment exam of the patient to insure he is healthy enough to undergo surgery. If cancer or other disease of the prostate or testicles is suspected, diagnostic imagery may also be taken prior to the surgery. The canine will be placed under a general anesthetic and prepped for surgery. The patient will require shaving of the fur around the scrotal and abdominal area before being aseptically scrubbed. The vet will make an incision in the scrotum and above the location of the undescended testicle. Once the testicles are removed, bleeding will be controlled and the incision site will be closed with an absorbable suture material. 

Efficacy of Orchiectomy in Dogs

Orchiectomy in dogs is a highly effective surgical procedure for canines affected by cryptorchidism, testicular cancer, prostate disease, and hormone dependent conditions and is an effective form of castration. The technique used in an orchiectomy surgery greatly benefits the canine as the risk for accidentally cutting the urinary structures and hemorrhage are eliminated.  

Orchiectomy Recovery in Dogs

A dog that has undergone an orchiectomy surgery will be able to return home on the same day as the surgery. At home, physical activities will be restricted and the veterinarian will ask that the owner give the canine a soft, secluded area in the house to rest for the next couple days. An Elizabethan collar will likely be worn to prevent the canine from manipulating the surgical site and medication to prevent an infection, as well as pain, are given. Post-surgical swelling is a possibility, which can be treated at home with cold pack applied directly to the site of swelling in five to15 minute intervals. 

Cost of Orchiectomy in Dogs

An orchiectomy surgery for dogs can cost a pet owner from approximately $50 to $300 to perform. The total cost greatly depends on the dog’s condition, age, and general health.

Dog Orchiectomy Considerations

Postoperative drainage causing swelling of the scrotum is a common occurrence for canines after surgery. The issue is short-lived and can be prevented with a scrotal wrap. However, if the area appears red or abnormally large, surgical help may be required for the canine. 

Orchiectomy Prevention in Dogs

The need for an orchiectomy cannot be prevented, as the conditions associated with cryptorchidism pose too high of risk to not perform this type of castration surgery. A dog that is diagnosed with undescended testicles should not be allowed to reproduce, as the condition can easily be passed down to offspring.