No food after 7pm, the previous evening and allow only a modest drink (if wanted) in the morning.

Please arrive between 8am and 8.45am

Please toilet your pet before arrival.

Castrating your dog at Oak Tree Vet Centre

Castration is the removal of the testicles. The operation is a one off procedure and is not reversible. Once your dog has been castrated he will never be able to father puppies. The normal dog has two testicles situated in the scrotal sac. It is not uncommon, however, for one or both testicles to fail to migrate down into the sac during early life. This is known as cryptorchidism. Sometimes, the testicles can be felt in the groin, in other individuals the testicle(s) cannot be palpated as it is or they are fully within the abdomen. Dogs who are cryptorchid should not be bred from.

What are the advantages.

Dogs are castrated for a variety of reasons. For many owners the fact that he will not be able to father a litter of potentially unwanted puppies is the main reason for castration.

Reduction of dominance related behaviour. Many entire dogs cause problems through being overly dominant in the family heirachy. We have produced a separate leaflet about the behaviour side of this problem. Please ask for a copy. Being castrated usually lowers the dog’s rank in the family pecking order.

Reduction in vagrancy. Some entire dogs have a tenancy to wander and be a nuisance to neighbours, especially if there is a local bitch in heat. As the owner you are responsible for the actions of your dog and this could involve, for example, paying compensation should your pet cause a traffic accident.

Reduction in excesses of sex linked behaviour. Many entire dogs can become a nuisance and embarrassment with excessive mounting behaviour. The smaller breeds are particularly prone. Whilst many grow out of the behaviour as they mature and others are trained out of it by their owners, some are left mounting family members, visitors and furniture. Castration usually reduces this problem to a minimum. Some entire dogs become very disturbed by local bitches in season and although the might not have the opportunity to wander, they can be a problem with howling at night and going off their food.

Prevention and treatment of testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is far from rare in the older dog and is the main reason why we palpate the testicles of your dog during a normal examination , for example at the time of the annual vaccination. When the testicles are in the scrotum, we can feel the vast majority of tumours without difficulty and we would recommend castration be done fairly quickly. Fortunately most forms of testicular cancer if diagnosed early are not life threatening and surgery is usually curative. Where we do have problems is in cryptorchid dogs. It is thought that there is a higher incidence of cancer in the retained testicle which does not make it down into the scrotum. When in the groin, we can usually still feel if there are any problems. An abdominal testicle, however, would have to be greatly enlarged before it could be felt. Some believe that dogs with abdominal testicles should, at least, have the affected testicle removed when young to prevent cancer in later life. If your dog is cryptorchid, we shall discuss this with you.

Prevention and treatment of male hormone linked diseases is another common reason for castration. Diseases helped or prevented by castration include, certain anal tumours, perineal hernia (hernia around the anus) and prostatic enlargement. If we discover that your dog suffers from any of these conditions we shall discuss this with you.

What are the disadvantages

Castration, although a routine procedure for small animal veterinary surgeons, is a theatre procedure, involving a general anaesthetic. A small number of animals have problems with anaesthetics, the operation itself and with post operative haemorrhage. This can result from too much activity, dislodging one of the internal blood vessel ties. Surgical experience, good nursing help and careful supervision does reduce the risk but that risk cannot be totally eliminated.

There is a higher proportion of overweight castrated dogs compared to their entire counterparts. There is no doubt that a castrated dog requires less food for a given weight and activity level. We suggest reducing the amount fed by 10-15% immediately after stitches out. It is easier to increase the food for dogs who loose a little weight than to diet those who have become overweight. We encourage weight checking and weigh your dog at each annual vaccination so that fine tuning of food intake can be made. With proper management, there is no reason for any weight gain as a result of castration. Some owners feel that the coat of some of the longer haired breeds can become excessively “woolly” after castration. Whether this is a genuine phenomenon, or simply normal coat changes associated with ageing, is not clear.

When should I castrate my dog

Castration can be done at any time generally after six months of age.

Booking your dog in for castration.

We perform routine surgery Monday to Thursday each week and given a little notice we can usually accommodate a specific day to suit your schedule.

We will ask you to withhold food from 7pm. the night before and take up all fluids at bedtime. It is important that your dog has an empty stomach for his surgery. We open at 8am. and normally admit day patients up to 9am but again we shall try to accommodate a later

admittance if it helps you. Most dogs admitted for castration are fully healthy but we shall, after weighing, examine him thoroughly to establish whether there are any pre existing problems which might have influence over methods and materials used. Some such problems, however, cannot be determined by physical examination alone and we have the

facility to perform a pre anaesthetic blood screen to determine whether there is likely to be an increased risk. We have a modern blood analyser for this purpose and results are available within 15 minutes, allowing any adjustments to be made in the anaesthetic protocol. An extended blood screen for all animals costs £51.96.

Please ask for further details.

As is routine in human hospitals, we can provide intravenous fluid support (a drip) for our patients. We believe this benefits all pets and allows them to make a stronger and speedier recovery.

You may request this service on the consent form at a cost of £36.95.

The consent form

We shall ask you, or an authorised adult, for written permission to perform the castration operation on your pet. We make time to guide you through the consent form so that we can explain any terms that you do not understand or are worried about.

The operation

All pets undergoing surgery at Oak Tree Vet Centre have an analgesic (painkiller) as part of their premedication, so that they are more comfortable and therefore less frightened when they wake up. We allocate each pet a pen within our day care kennels, which are situated within our central preparation room. The pens are warm and sound insulated and each has a lightweight polyester fleece for warmth and comfort. All animals are within sight of the operating team, allowing prompt intervention, if required. Following induction of anaesthesia, all theatre cases are intubated to protect their airway and maintained via a modern gas anaesthetic system, featuring sevoflurane. the latest and considered best anaesthetic gas. All anaesthetised patients are monitored throughout, by the theatre nurse under the constant supervision of the operating surgeon. All patients have their own set of operating drapes and instruments. There is never re-use of drapes or instruments without them having been cleaned ultrasonically, packed and sterilised in our modern hospital standard autoclaves.

Going Home

We are as flexible as we can be, regarding sending your pet home and we do not have to discharge animals prematurely as we have ample comfortable accommodation for them and two resident nurses. When you collect your pet we shall give you full verbal, practical and where necessary, written instructions on post operative care. We shall reiterate the simple but important point: If you are worried – phone us for advice. Please see the panel on emergency care.

Care of surgical wounds

Wounds do not normally require any attention except for you preventing your pet licking excessively at the wound, or removing the stitches. We have both anti lick products and plastic Elizabethan collars (like lampshades) for sale, to help you. We have to make a charge for re suturing wounds, often involving another anaesthetic, if stitches have been lost as a result of a lack of supervision.

Stitches out

We normally remove stitches after ten days. Dogs who have been castrated should not exercise strenuously until four weeks after their operation to give time for their internal tissue to become strong again.

Contacting us if you are worried.

Please phone for advice in the first instance on 539 7539. Please have a pen and paper ready to write down the phone number if ringing out of normal reception hours.

Please do not arrive at the surgery without telephoning first. This may lead to delay in treating your petas the veterinary surgeon may not be there to see you.

*n.b. all fees correct at time of writing. E.&O.E.


We know that even the most minor operation may cause you considerable anxiety. We shall keep you involved all the way and we assure you that we shall give your pet individual and caring attention.

voucher-3  | Edinburgh Vets

New to Oak Tree? Download your free voucher to receive £15.00 off your first full consultation or petphysio session and receive some helpful tips on how to give your pet the best care possible simply fill out the form below.

Your Full Name (required)

Phone Number

Your Email (required)

Keeping in Touch
By emailBy phone (including text message)By post

Yes please, I would like to receive marketing communications (i.e. products and services)
By emailBy phone (including text message)By post

Terms & Privacy – Please read here
I agree

I agree to have read and accepted your [business terms] and [privacy policy]. Your privacy is important to us and you can find out more about how we use your data from our “Full Privacy Notice” which is available from in the links above.

I am over 18