Banding Male Dogs



Bountiful Farm - Great Pyrenees Livestock Guardian Dogs  

If you have one dog that needs to be castrated, we say , by all means, have your vet do it!  If, however, you are a farmer with multiple dogs and need to keep  veterinary expenses as low as possible, you might want to castrate your dogs on the farm.  We do a lot of early neutering and those dogs we take to our vet because at that time the testicles are not developed enough to adequately separate them from the abdominal wall and apply a band.

Before we start, you must understand we are not veterinarians and we did, in fact, consult with our vet before starting this practice.  We recommend you consult with yours.  If your vet tells you, "You can't do it!", we further recommend you find a vet more open to working with you.

The tools you'll need are an elastrator available at your farm store for under $10.00 or from a farm supply catalog and a commercial Castrator band, less than $2.00 for 100 bands, and 2.5cc of Tetanus Antitoxin (our vet strongly recommended this which is why we use it).

To start with, we use two people; one sits at the head of the dog so his attention is focused on this person so the other can work free from interruption.  Stretch the band as far as the elastrators will allow and even then with a mature dog, you may need to slide the testicles through one at a time.  Place the band as far away from the abdominal wall as possible while ensuring that all of both testicles are clear of the band.  Before releasing the band, make sure no hair is caught or catches the band as it rolls off of the elastrator.  Finally,  give the dog their tetanus shot under the skin not in the muscle.  

Here are the reasons to follow the directions exactly:

  1. If the band includes any part of the abdominal wall, you risk opening a hole directly into the dog's body cavity exposing the dog to serious and possibly lethal infection.

  2. If you catch part of the testicles in the band, we don't really know what will happen but it isn't good.  Possibilities range from having a dog capable of producing puppies to getting bitten!

  3. If the castrating band has hair rolled into it where it pulls on the dog's skin, it may prove to be an irritant motivating the dog to lick the area incessantly causing open sores and the possibility of infection.

Done properly, banding a dog takes little time, no ill consequences and negligible cost compared to a vet's bill, and your Pyr does not need to be subjected to a general anesthetic. 

Oddly enough, the dogs do not seem to notice the castration activity and thoroughly enjoy individual attention and petting by the person keeping them occupied. 

Once again, we strongly recommend that you discuss this procedure with your vet for two reasons: 

  1. If your vet will discuss this in a positive way, you know you have a vet who is concerned about your situation as well as the dog's health;

  2. Discussions of this nature between yourself and your vet leads to a greater understanding by both parties and your vet's confidence in your abilities in animal husbandry will make life easier and better for you and your animals down the road.

Dan & Paula Lane
Copyright 2005 [Bountiful Farm]. All rights reserved.

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