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Ask A Vet: Can a Dog's Sexual Emancipation Make Him Hyper?

Photo via garyt70 on Flickr.com

Welcome to our weekly 'Ask a Vet from the SF SPCA' feature on 7x7.com. They've enlisted their Co-President, Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, to answer your questions every week. Got a question for Dr. Scarlett? Ask away in the comments!

Q: My neighbor's Labrador Oscar was neutered this weekend. Ever since he came home, he's been exceptionally hyper. Is this normal? What could cause this?
A: So Oscar is wild?  Maybe Oscar is elated about his sexual emancipation!  Neutering a dog doesn’t affect anything except their ability to reproduce.  It doesn’t alter their personality, so the change in Oscar’s behavior is likely unrelated to the change in his hormones. 

I have several theories about Oscar’s hyperactivity.  The first is general: that most dogs are neutered when they are young—4-8 months old which is equivalent to being about 12 to 16 year old human and as we know, teens have a lot of energy, so it may just reflect the phase of life Oscar is entering.  The other is more of an indirect result of the surgery which is that guardians are counseled limit their pet’s exercise for 7 to 10 days post-op to aid healing, so Oscar might just be bursting at the seams to get out and run off some energy.

While we can’t answer all of the questions here, please feel free to ask us during our Friday Twitter Ask the Vet Chat.  If your animal’s problem is of an immediate nature, please call your vet or you can reach the SF SPCA at 415-554-3030 to make an appointment.