This week, after some agonising, we took Nando to the vet to have the chemical castration chip (Suprelorin) implanted.
Nando is one week off being 10 months old, and is starting to act more and more like a ‘boy’. He is much more interested in girl dogs and follows them around the park with his nose almost glued to their girly bits, he tried to hump one (first time ever) and he is starting to pee like a boy (lifting his leg).
The peeing was kind of cute, at first it was just a tilt of the pelvis, with all four feet on the ground, so he would pee sideways, rather then straight ahead, then occasionally he started to lift his leg to pee. He was peeing slightly more often than previous.
In the afternoons he gets a burst of energy and attitude, where he doesn’t really listen or respond to any previous training and kind of gets this ‘belligerent’ look on his face, with his eyes a bit narrowed and muzzle kind of scrunched.
None of this is bad (yet) but we are expecting a baby in January, at which time Nando will be 12 months old and in full boy-to-man dog mode.
We have elected to do chemical castration as a first step, to see how it goes. We had the option of the 6 month and 12 month chip, and decided to go straight for the 12 month chip. These implants can take up to 6 weeks to be fully effective, and in the first 2 weeks the dog can experience a surge in testosterone before the hormones stabilise……so we wanted to be sure he was fully stabilised before the big changes come to our household in January.
Day 1 after implant – no change, still humps his blanket after the morning walk.
Day 3 – a little more ‘full on’, being more demanding, prancing around the dog park with his head fully erect, back very straight and tail at optimal ‘perk’ position. Fairly unsettled in the apartment – wandering around a lot, jumping on the furniture to look out the windows (maybe a female dog will fly past……), staring at us intensely, wanting to sniff/lick/chew us more than usual. He also has diarrhea – this is not a reported side effect (in retrospect I think this was caused by the pigs ears he gets to chew – the latest batch were huge!!).
Day 5 – seems calmer and sweet – plenty of energy still and plenty of interest in playing with other dogs – also listening fairly well at the park.
Day 14 – mostly he is fairly chill…..seems like his ‘normal self’ with less attitude but plenty of energy. He is coming back more often than not when when called (yay). He is cocking his leg to pee more and more, and if another male dog pees he will pee on top of it – which is new. His testicles have maybe shrunk a bit, but not a huge amount (a normal side effect of the implant). Still enthusiastically humping his blanket, but he did that before puberty. Overall – so far so good!
Day 40 – Nando seems to be stabilised now. He is still a bit interested in female dogs, but mostly just to play with them. He is not exhibiting any sexual behaviour with other dogs, and zero aggression. Nando unfortunately stopped cocking his leg to pee, which means he does still occasionally pee on his front leg (always the left leg for some reason!), but he is working out ways around this by squatting lower, or peeing over a large patch of grass. His testicles did not shrink much, but what has happened is that the black pigment that had almost entirely infiltrated the scrotum has faded to pink.
Also, a big bonus, is the amount of discharge from his penis/sheath has almost entirely disappeared! Our apartment walls, and elevator walls are not longer being misted by a fine spray of ‘penis juice’ every time he shakes.
Overall, we are happy with the effect of the chip…….Nando seems like a normal, relaxed, energetic dog.