Castração precoce em cães e gatos: vantagens e desvantagens

Stefano Romagnoli


Prepubertal gonadectomy is defined as the surgical sterilization of immature male and female animals aging from 6-to-14 weeks, and it is a less invasive, less traumatic surgery when performed prior to puberty than in adult animals. In dogs, growth plate closure is delayed when surgery is performed prior to puberty, but the delay is significantly longer when neutering is done at 7 weeks as compared to 7 months. External genitalia do not develop fully: penile and preputial immaturity and decreased radiodensity of the os penis are frequently observed. Vulvar development is also often insufficient in bitches gonadectomised at 7 weeks. Heat production is 28% lower in neutered compared to intact cats. A decrease in urethral diameter has been observed in neutered female but not male cats. Effects of prepuberal gonadectomy on behaviour vary depending on species and sex. In general, excitability and degree of activity are increased in males and females gonadectomised at 7 weeks or 7 months, and when surgery is done at 7 weeks animals are found to be more excitable if compared to those gonadectomised at 7 months. Incidence of urinary incontinence in the canine population may increase significantly when gonadectomy is done prior to 3 months of age. The most important anesthetic and surgical considerations concern fasting, the use of a warm environment, the use of short-acting inducing drugs, of volatile anesthesia. Prepubertal neutering is probably an acceptable technique for dogs and cats, although it carries some (minor) risks which should be explained in details whenever using it for client-owned animals.


ovariohysterectomy; spaying; gonadectomy; prepubertal

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