Are dogs "scrotally aware"?

October 20, 2017
Amanda Dykstra, DVM, MPH, DABVP

Amanda Dykstra completed her veterinary degree at Iowa State University in 2003. During college, she served as a flight medic in the Army National Guard and volunteered at local animal shelters. After graduation, Amanda practiced in Missouri for many years as a shelter veterinarian and a city veterinarian before completing a Shelter Medicine Fellowship with UC Davis in 2013. While a faculty member at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, she completed her MPH with a concentration in Veterinary Public Health and now works primarily as a shelter consultant and is the medical director for a nonprofit group working to improve access to care in Appalachia. She is certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, specializing in shelter medicine practice. Amandas husband is a middle school teacher, and they have three amazing daughters and two ornery dogs that keep them very busy.

Two studies are challenging long-held perceptions.

The notion that dogs are prone to self-trauma after procedures that involve the shaving of, surgical preparation of or cutting through the scrotum has been contradicted by a pair of studies, according to Fetch dvm360 conference speaker Amanda Dykstra, DVM.

More information on this topic

The surprising study on scrotal castration versus prescrotal castration in dogs.

Drs. Bushby and Griffin demonstrate pediatric castration in a puppy (photo package).

"We have avoided scrotal castration for a long time, but [a 2015 study by Woodruff, Bushby et al.] showed that this [self-trauma] isn't necessarily the case," she says.

In this video Dr. Dykstra imparts how this and another study point to the fact that dogs are two to four times more likely to cause self-trauma if neutered pre-scrotally. Click to learn more.