Dog Care: Understanding The Potential Post-surgical Complications Of Neutering

Neutering is the term generally used to describe the surgical removal of a male dog's testicles. The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic and can help improve boisterous or challenging behaviour and reduce the risk of your dog developing problems with their prostate as they age. Neutering is a common surgical procedure that is considered to be very safe and effective, but before you have your dog neutered you should be aware of the potential postsurgical complications that can arise when you take your dog home to recover. Complications aren't common with this type of procedure, but if you do not know what to look out for, your dog could suffer unnecessarily if they do experience any problems during their recovery period. Read on to learn about three potential postsurgical complications.

Wound Separation

Your dog's testicles will be removed through an incision at the base of their penis, and this incision will be closed with skin glue or stitches. It can be difficult to prevent your dog from running around or jumping up when they are recovering, but these activities are risky when their wound is still healing. If the wound opens up at any point after you take your dog home, you should contact your vet to have the wound closed. An open wound leaves your dog susceptible to a bacterial infection and can cause them pain.


Neutering is not associated with greater incidences of postsurgical infections than other types of elective surgery, but infection can occur if dirt gets into the wound or if any part of the wound opens up. Signs of an infection include localised swelling and redness, and in some cases, a pus-like discharge will ooze from the wound. The wound may also develop a foul smell and crusts may form around the edges. An infected wound will cause your dog pain and discomfort and can spread if it is not treated, so contact your vet at the first sign of an infection.


Mild bruising is to be expected after surgery, but if your dog's bruising worsens over the course of a couple of days, there may be an underlying cause, such as a hematoma, that will require investigation and treatment. Your vet will want to examine your dog if there's significant bruising or if the bruising is not subsiding.  

If you would like more information about having your pet desexed, contact your vet.