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Pet Health

How to Reduce the Risk of Dog Neutering Complications

Thinking about spaying or neutering your puppy? Discover potential dog neutering complications, and learn what you can do to prevent them.

So, you’ve learned about the many health and behavioral benefits of spaying or neutering your puppy and decided to move forward with the procedure. But it’s also important to consider potential dog neutering complications.

Since all surgeries have risks, your veterinarian will likely perform a full physical exam on your pup prior to spaying or neutering. Without a genetic health screening, however, certain life-threatening conditions may go undetected.

When it comes to spaying or neutering your dog, there are three medical categories worth testing for: drug sensitivities, bleeding disorders and immune system deficiencies.

Puppy sleeping in womans arms

Does your dog have a drug sensitivity?

As with many medical procedures—from dental cleanings to surgeries—dog neutering requires medication, such as anesthetics.

For most dogs, this isn’t a problem. But for those with a mutated or dysfunctional Multidrug Resistance Mutation 1 (MDR1) gene, it can be.

The MDR1 gene makes a protein that facilitates the excretion and elimination of many drugs veterinarians use in neutering procedures. This ensures they don’t remain in a dog’s system longer than is healthy.

Knowing whether your dog has a drug sensitivity before the neutering procedure will allow your veterinarian to plan accordingly to ensure a safe and successful surgery and recovery. (To learn more, check out our guide on MDR1 in dogs.)

Pet owner giving a dog a belly rub

Does your dog have a bleeding disorder?

In most cases, bleeding disorders prevent a dog’s blood from clotting, which leads to a greater loss of blood from wounds. As you can imagine, this condition can be a major issue when it comes to surgery.

Here are a few bleeding disorders that can impact a wide variety of dogs:

If your veterinarian team knows your dog has a bleeding disorder, they may perform a pre-transfusion or prepare ample transfusion supplies before the surgery to avoid a dangerous amount of blood loss.

Woman holding puppy dog

Does your dog have an immune system deficiency?

Immune system deficiencies in dogs are rare, mostly because animals usually don’t live very long with a compromised immune system. (After all, a dog’s immune response is what protects her from viral, bacterial and fungal infections.)

That being said, we believe it’s still important to screen for key immune disorders, such as:

  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) can occur in dogs with a breed mix that includes Bassett Hound, Cardigan Welsh Corgi or Frisian Water Dogs. (Note: Females may carry the disorder, but only males can experience its clinical signs.)
  • Canine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency (CLAD), which affects some Irish Setters, prevents white blood cells from attacking bacterial infections, often resulting in delayed healing.
  • Complement 3 (C3) Deficiency, seen in Brittanys, often presents as recurring bacterial infections, especially skin disease and pneumonia.

Test your dog’s DNA for medical conditions

Knowing whether your pup has drug sensitivities, bleeding disorders or immune system deficiencies can help you prevent potential dog neutering complications. Wisdom Panel™ Premium screens for these conditions and many others.

View Dog DNA Test Kits